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The Barstow Station Cinema opened with four screens on August 2, 1985. The debut bookings were “Back to the Future,” “Mad Mad Beyond Thunderdome,” “Pale Rider” and “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.”
“Gone With the Wind”… Happy 75th! Premiered here this day in 1939.
Thank you, NYer.
What booking followed the roadshow of “My Fair Lady”? Was “My Fair Lady” the longest-running engagement at this theater?
Happy 50th! The Century 21 opened this day in 1964.
To celebrate, here’s a list of the Century 21’s bookings during its first decade as researched from their original newspaper promotion.
1964-11-24 … IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD (19 weeks)
1965-04-06 … MY FAIR LADY (33)
1965-11-24 … THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES (15)
1966-03-09 … THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD (14)
1966-06-15 … BATTLE OF THE BULGE (9)
1966-08-17 … DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (58)
1967-09-26 … GRAND PRIX (43)
1968-07-23 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (87)
Michelemichaels430…. “2001: A Space Odyssey” has indeed been mentioned “here” both in a comment posted on March 18, 2008 and in a related article linked under News About This Theater (located on the right margin of this page underneath the map and nearby theaters).
It’s been documented that “Hello, Dolly!” was the first movie to play at the UA Cinema 150. What was the second movie to play there?
Here’s an article from a few days ago published in the Toronto Star that some may find of interest. The Glendale and other Toronto cinemas are mentioned (and some might recognize a Cinema Treasures contributor quoted in the piece).
Find Toronto’s favourite movies
We Torontonians like to think of ourselves as visionary sophisticates, the kind of people who would prefer to boldly reach for the stars, rather than doggedly climb every mountain.
Our choice of favourite movies suggests otherwise.
I thought I was on safe ground last week when I declared 2001: A Space Odyssey to be T.O.’s all-time most popular cinematic experience, going by what two sources (and personal memory) indicated was a four-year run at the old Glendale theatre on Avenue Rd. I believed that to be the longest a movie has ever played in one theatre in the city for a continuous run.
Tim Elliott, a Toronto movie buff and collector, contacted me with a contrary assertion: The Sound of Music edged 2001for popularity honours. The Sound of Music, a musical in which Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer climb every mountain that love, geography and the Nazis hurl at them, played for 144 weeks at the Eglinton Theatre, which still stands but no longer operates as a movie house. The film made toes tap and tugged at heartstrings at the Eglinton from March 10, 1965 to Dec. 21, 1967.
A few months after The Sound of Music closed, 2001: A Space Odyssey opened at the Glendale theatre on Avenue Rd. The outer space adventure billed as “the ultimate trip” seared eyeballs and dazzled brains there for a total of 127 weeks, roughly 2.5 years, from May 30, 1968 to Nov. 3, 1970 — and it screened in the widescreen marvel known as Cinerama, no less. The Glendale no longer exists, sadly, having been demolished in the 1970s and replaced by a car dealership.
“These were both the longest single engagements in the city, as far as I know,” Elliott, 62, told me via email.
He bases this on his study of movie ads in the Toronto Star and other newspapers, “a hobby of mine since seeing my first grown-up film Breakfast at Tiffany’s in 1961 as a kid and falling in love with Audrey Hepburn and the movies and movie theatres.
“In my basement I have file drawers filled with the movie ads from all of the Toronto newspapers from the ’60s on. I also used to keep lists of most of the theatres of Toronto and write down each movie that played in each one and how long they played. Unfortunately, I misplaced those lists during a move and haven’t seen them in years.”
But he managed to keep a lot of stats on movie engagements, including these other long runs in Toronto:
Ben-Hur (77 weeks): Dec. 23, 1959 to May 4, 1961 at the University.
Funny Girl (68 weeks): Oct. 3, 1968 to Jan. 22, 1970 at the Odeon Fairlawn.
Doctor Zhivago (61 weeks): Oct. 16, 1966 to Dec. 21, 1967 at the Nortown (it followed a 28-week run at the University, for a total of 89 weeks).
My Fair Lady (60 weeks): Oct. 28, 1964 to Dec. 21, 1965 at the University (it moved to the Nortown on Dec. 25 for a seven-week run that continued to Feb. 9, 1966).
Fiddler on the Roof (57 weeks): Nov. 10, 1971 until Dec. 12, 1972 at the University.
MAS*H (53 weeks): March 27, 1970 to April 8, 1971 at the Hollywood.
There have also been long engagements of close to a year or more for the original Star Wars, Oliver!, Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines, The Gods Must Be Crazy and La Cage Aux Folles, among others. Note that these achievements were all notched mainly during the 1960s and ’70s, before the widespread adoption of colour TV, multiplex theatres and home video. Then came the Internet and VOD (video on demand), which changed things further still. Most of these records also precede the blockbuster era, where it became commonplace to open a movie at many theatres at once, rather than have it take up residence in a single prestigious theatre for a “road show” run. It’s almost impossible now to think of movies having a lengthy run in a single Toronto theatre, although there are exceptions. Avatar ran in the Scotiabank theatre for nearly six months, from Dec. 18, 2009 to May 27, 2010, and it remained in the Toronto market at least until June of that year, says Cineplex spokesman Mike Langdon. He adds there’s nothing to stop a film from setting a record. “For us, we will leave a film on screen as long as there is demand from the guests to see it. Our guests determine how long a run actually is.” I recall that Titanic also had a very lengthy run in Toronto, perhaps as long as Avatar, both films having been directed by Ontario-born James Cameron. Cineplex doesn’t have ready access to screening stats, and neither does Paramount, the studio that released Titanic. But the intrepid Astrid Lange in the Star’s library found that it played at the Uptown theatre from Dec. 19, 1997 to June 30, 1998. It moved from the Uptown to the Uptown Backstage on July 1 for another few weeks. Sad to think that most of the single-screen theatres where records were set are now demolished or otherwise unavailable: Uptown, University, Odeon Fairlawn, Nortown, Hollywood, Eglinton. All gone. It comes as no surprise that all of these movies are mainstream crowd-pleasers, although 2001: A Space Odyssey also qualifies as an art house head-scratcher. But three of Toronto’s all-time favourites are space movies: 2001, Avatar and Stars Wars. So maybe we’re visionaries after all.
Here’s an article from a few days ago published in the Toronto Star that some may find of interest. The University and other Toronto cinemas are mentioned (and some might recognize a Cinema Treasures contributor quoted in the piece).
Here’s an article from a few days ago published in the Toronto Star that some may find of interest. The Eglinton and other Toronto cinemas are mentioned (and some might recognize a Cinema Treasures contributor quoted in the piece).
Happy 50th! “My Fair Lady” opened at the Coronet on this day in 1964 (and went on to become one of the theater’s longest-running engagements).
Happy 50th! “My Fair Lady” opened at the Egyptian on this day in 1964 (with a benefit premiere the previous night) and went on to become the theater’s second-longest-running engagement.
Happy 50th! “My Fair Lady” had its world premiere at the Criterion on this day in 1964 (and went on to become the theater’s longest-running engagement).
Note: there are some inconsistencies between the two lists I linked to in the previous comment. The former includes some titles that in the other list are tagged as unconfirmed (i.e. some sources claim 70mm print availability but no corroborating evidence could be found). The latter list identifies such unconfirmed titles. The latter list, also, since it focuses on the blow-up titles, omits the few titles shot in large-format during the 1976-present period. But…if all you’re interested in is learning which titles were baby boom and which were split surround, then the details highlighted in this comment might not matter to you (but I felt compelled to point them out).
See: Presented in 70mm and six track magnetic Dolby Stereo and a more-detailed year-by-year breakdown beginning with the year 1976. As you’ll see, most of the titles listed were of the “baby boom” variety; any “split surround” mixes are listed as “SS”.
“The Rocketeer” would’ve played here in mono. The theater was not Dolby-equipped at the time.
Chief Jensen…. Thank you. I’m pleased at least one person enjoyed the article. I never know what readers think since so few people take the time to comment anymore. It was just a few years ago that articles such as these would routinely generate 30, 40, even 50 comments, with readers expressing their appreciation for the research, asking questions, pointing out items they believed to be in error, reminiscing about seeing these films when they were new, and so forth. I’m not sure why these things no longer seem to generate much feedback. Anyway, as to the Norfolk vs Virginia Beach thing…lately my preferred approach to identifying exclusive engagements on these historical projects is to cite according to what I would consider the “anchor city” of a region. Norfolk, as you know, is among a cluster of cities that comprise the Tidewater (or Hampton Roads) region of Virginia. Population-wise, Virginia Beach is the largest of the bunch and so I listed the “Mary Poppins” engagement according to that locale. I still made sure to include Norfolk in parenthesis, though, to alert the reader to the fact the theater where it played was actually located there. Scan through the list and you’ll see some other similar examples. Call it a quirk if you want. Or a form of watermarking….
I guess I may as well post the rest of the 1970s era bookings for the Uptown from the point my list from the August 4th posting left off.
Again, this is a work-in-progress which includes some details that probably should be double-checked. I hadn’t planned to post any of it given its incomplete status, but the recent roadshow and “Circus World” questions have prompted me to reconsider. Anyway, regardless of its current state of completion, I believe enough of it to be complete and accurate so as to justify posting it here for all fans of the Uptown to enjoy. If you think any detail is incorrect, simply send me an email or make it a part of the conversation. Otherwise, enjoy the flashback if you resided or visited the area and attended any of these shows at the Uptown.
1973-11-14 … THE SERPENT (5)
1973-12-19 … MARCO (2)
1974-01-02 … PAPER MOON / ROMEO & JULIET (1)
1974-01-09 … THE GETAWAY / THE LIFE & TIMES OF JUDGE ROY BEAN (1)
1974-01-16 … LIVE AND LET DIE / HARRY IN YOUR POCKET (1)
1974-01-23 … THE GODFATHER / LADY SINGS THE BLUES (2)
1974-02-06 … FANTASIA (1)
1974-02-13 … A TOUCH OF CLASS (2)
1974-02-27 … NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA (1)
1974-03-06 … KLUTE / MAN IN THE WILDERNESS (1)
1974-03-13 … THE CANDIDATE / BLUMEIN LOVE (1)
1974-03-20 … A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1)
1974-03-27 … CONRACK (1)
1974-06-26 … THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT! (20) 70mm 6-Track Stereo
1974-11-15 … EARTHQUAKE (27) Sensurround
1975-05-23 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (2) 70mm 6-Track Stereo
1975-06-04 … GONE WITH THE WIND (4) 70mm 6-Track Stereo
1975-07-02 … ROLLERBALL (9) 70mm 6-Track Stereo
1975-09-03 … LAST TANGO IN PARIS (2)
1975-09-17 … A DELICATE BALANCE (1)
1975-09-24 … THE HOMECOMING (1)
1975-10-01 … RHINOCEROS (1)
1975-10-08 … DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (2) 70mm 6-Track Stereo
1975-10-22 … ALICE DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE (1)
1975-10-29 … AMERICAN GRAFFITI (1)
1975-11-05 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1) 70mm 6-Track Stereo
1975-11-12 … SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE (1)
1975-11-19 … YESSONGS (2) 4-Track Stereo
1975-12-03 … WHOSE CHILD AM I? (1)
1975-12-10 … HARRY & TONTO (1)
1975-12-17 … MALIZIA (1)
1975-12-24 … LUCKY LADY (5) 70mm 6-Track Stereo
1976-01-28 … THE SHELTER OF YOUR ARMS (1)
1976-02-04 … HARD TIMES (1)
1976-02-11 … ALL SCREWED UP (2)
1976-02-25 … GIVE ‘EM HELL, HARRY! (1)
1976-03-03 … FAREWELL MY LOVELY / CARNAL KNOWLEDGE (1)
1976-03-10 … GONE WITH THE WIND (2) 70mm 6-Track Stereo
1976-03-24 … MOSES (1) Super SpectraSound
1976-03-31 … GONE WITH THE WIND (1) 70mm 6-Track Stereo
1976-04-07 … FAMILY PLOT (7)
1976-05-26 … JAWS (3)
1976-06-16 … THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT, PART II (8) 70mm 6-Track Stereo
1976-08-11 … GATOR (1)
1976-08-18 … SURVIVE (1)
1976-08-25 … THE GROOVE TUBE / MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL (1)
1976-09-01 … CAR WASH (9)
1976-11-03 … THE PASSOVER PLOT (2)
1976-11-17 … LED ZEPPELIN: THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME (2) 4-Track Stereo
1976-12-01 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (2) 70mm 6-Track Stereo
1976-12-15 … NETWORK (9)
1977-02-16 … SCOTT JOPLIN (5)
1977-03-23 … AIRPORT ‘77 (7)
1977-05-11 … CINDERELLA 2000 (2)
1977-05-25 … STAR WARS (55) 70mm 6-Track Dolby Stereo
1978-06-16 … GREASE (16) 70mm 6-Track Dolby Stereo
1978-10-05 … THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL (11)
1978-12-22 … FANTASIA (7) 4-Track Stereo
1979-02-09 … RICHARD PRYOR: LIVE IN CONCERT (7)
1979-03-30 … HAIR (8) Dolby Stereo
1979-05-25 … ALIEN (19) 70mm 6-Track Dolby Stereo
1979-10-03 … APOCALYPSE NOW (11) 70mm 6-Track Dolby Stereo
1979-12-21 … THE BLACK HOLE (8) 70mm 6-Track Dolby Stereo
NOTE: The 70mm notations on STAR WARS (1977) and GREASE (1978) represent a mid-run upgrade; both began their engagement in 35mm.
At long last, here are a few words from me regarding your (multiple) requests for comment pertaining to “Circus World” and its short run at the Uptown. I’ve rounded up all of my data on the roadshow/Cinerama engagements of “Circus World” and am presenting it here. There are a few dates that require a double-check and a missing engagement or two, but I believe it to be mostly complete. Scrolling through the list you’ll be able to compare how long the film played in each city and can draw your own conclusion as to whether or not the film’s roadshow release ought to be considered a success.
As to my take on the matter of the Uptown’s brief engagement. Washington, DC opened the movie several months into release, by which time it proved to be a commercial and critical disappointment, and so I suspect the studio lost any leverage they may have had in demanding a lengthy booking. Just a guess, though. Still, three weeks for a reserved-seat engagement is ridiculously short for a city of any size, especially a large one (and it kinda makes me wonder if I erred when I originally researched the matter).
Anyway, while there’s some risk in irking some readers that this may be somewhat off-topic, here is the roadshow booking list for the United States and Canada for “Circus World”:
1964-06-24 … Dallas, TX – Capri (11 weeks)
1964-06-25 … Boston, MA – Boston (18)
1964-06-25 … Cleveland, OH – Palace (7)
1964-06-25 … New York, NY – Loew’s Cinerama (19)
1964-06-25 … Philadelphia, PA – Boyd (9)
1964-06-26 … Atlanta, GA – Martin Cinerama (13)
1964-07-01 … Cincinnati, OH – Capitol (8)
1964-07-01 … Honolulu, HI – Cinerama (14)
1964-07-01 … Kansas City, MO – Capri (15)
1964-07-01 … New Orleans, LA – Martin Cinerama (13)
1964-07-01 … Pittsburgh, PA – Warner (8)
1964-07-03 … Milwaukee, WI – Southgate (7)
1964-07-08 … Chicago, IL – McVickers (15)
1964-07-08 … Virginia Beach (Norfolk), VA – Rosna (?)
1964-07-22 … Miami (Miami Beach), FL – Sheridan (7)
1964-07-23 … Houston, TX – Windsor (12)
1964-07-29 … Toronto, ON – Carlton (5)
1964-08-05 … Buffalo, NY – Teck (5)
1964-08-12 … Columbus, OH – Grand (9)
1964-08-12 … Louisville, KY – Rialto (8)
1964-08-20 … Charlotte, NC – Carolina (6)
1964-08-21 … Tampa, FL – Palace (8)
1964-09-23 … Albuquerque, NM – Fox Winrock (4)
1964-09-30 … Fresno, CA – Warner (10)
1964-09-30 … Rochester, NY – Monroe (4)
1964-09-30 … Syracuse, NY – Eckel (4)
1964-10-14 … Wichita, KS – Uptown (13)
1964-10-21 … Denver, CO – Cooper (8)
1964-10-22 … Portland, OR – Hollywood (11)
1964-10-28 … Salt Lake City, UT – Villa (21)
1964-10-28 … Washington, DC – Uptown (3)
1964-10-29 … Hartford, CT – Cinerama (23)
1964-11-05 … St. Louis, MO – Martin Cinerama (19)
1964-11-06 … Baltimore, MD – Town (4)
1964-12-09 … Omaha, NE – Indian Hills (15)
1964-12-14 … Newark (Montclair), NJ – Clairidge (16)
1964-12-17 … Indianapolis, IN – Indiana (12)
1964-12-18 … Los Angeles, CA – Warner Hollywood (16)
1964-12-21 … San Francisco, CA – Orpheum (13)
1964-12-24 … Providence, RI – Cinerama (?)
1965-01-13 … Las Vegas, NV – Cinerama (6)
1965-01-22 … Orlando, FL – Beacham (4)
1965-01-27 … Montreal, QC – Imperial (22)
1965-02-10 … Toledo, OH – Valentine (11)
1965-02-17 … Akron (Cuyahoga Falls), OH – Falls (?)
1965-02-17 … Dayton, OH – Dabel (7)
1965-02-17 … San Diego, CA – Center (8)
1965-02-18 … Phoenix (Scottsdale), AZ – Kachina (6)
1965-03-16 … Detroit, MI – Summit (7)
1965-03-23 … Sacramento, CA – Esquire (6)
1965-04-29 … Birmingham, AL – Eastwood Mall (?)
1965-10-27 … Minneapolis (St. Louis Park), MN – Cooper (8)
What’s up with all the comments about “The Rocketeer” posted yesterday? There were over twenty of them. Anyway, I think the sound format of the film’s 70mm prints was Dolby A, not Dolby SR. And I believe only Screen #3 (the smallest and newest of the three in service at the time) at Edwards Newport was THX certified. Did “The Rocketeer” play on screen #3 or the big screen? I didn’t see it there, so I can’t say for sure. (I saw it once at the AMC MainPlace in Santa Ana and a second time at the El Capitan in L.A.) I’d have to double check, but I think the newspaper promotion implied it played on the big screen. (A few weeks into its run it moved over across the street where it would’ve been in a THX house.)
Walt Disney’s “Mary Poppins” premiered here 50 years ago today.
Radio City Music Hall was the second theater in the United States to open “Mary Poppins.” (It opened about a month earlier at Grauman’s Chinese in Los Angeles. Also, many sources, including the IMDb, continue to cite an incorrect Radio City/NYC opening date.)
For those who might have an interest, I’d also like to mention I have prepared a “Mary Poppins” 50th anniversary retrospective article for my film & TV history column at TheDigitalBits.com. The article includes a historian Q&A and a list of many of the film’s first-run engagements. The article is also linked on the Cinema Treasures home page in the News section.
Bigjoe59… There’s a lot of great detail in the Chinese presentations timeline mentioned in the above comment, but if you don’t wish to scroll through numerous pages of data just to locate the roadshows, then I can inform you the answer you’re seeking is: “Windjammer” (1958), “Half A Sixpence” (1968) and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” (1968).
Source: 70mm in Los Angeles and the Los Angeles entry in the Remembering Cinerama series of articles.
Thirty-five years ago today, the Ziegfeld was among three North American theaters to open Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” in a reserved-performance, guaranteed-seat exclusive engagement. A 35th anniversary retrospective article was posted today at The Digital Bits.
Thirty-five years ago today, the Cinerama Dome was among three North American theaters to open Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” in a reserved-performance, guaranteed-seat exclusive engagement. A 35th anniversary retrospective article was posted today at The Digital Bits.
Thirty-five years ago today, Toronto’s University was among three North American theaters to open Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” in a reserved-performance, guaranteed-seat exclusive engagement. A 35th anniversary retrospective article was posted today at The Digital Bits.