Showing 201 - 225 of 1,390 comments
Thanks JAlex, I completly forgot about all the fuss made over JR and “That Dance” as it was called. Jane’s “looking For Trouble” number was filmed mostly in long shot but the church would have none of it and said NO!
I was interested in hearing about Jane not going to the premiere.
I neglected to mention on my original ost about why 3-D died off.
Besides the projection proiblems peole wewere not happy with the glasses which were uncomnforatble in some cases caused headaches.
I think that may be how the CinemScope ad campain of “The Miracle you see without glasses” came about.
JAlex I wonder how long the 3-D version of “The French Line” lasted in St. louis before it was swithced to 3-D.
Do not be disapointed cause “The Robe” was never shown in 3-D and those green and red glasses were never used in major atudio releases during the 50s. Perhaps the ads for “The Robe” that read “The modern miracle you see without glasses” confused some.
The Robe was however shown flat in some areas, production had already started when Fox decided that this was to be the first film shot in CinemaScope. As a result filming continued in both scope and flat(1.37) for theaters not yet using Scope projection
As a been there done that projectionst during the 3-D phase of the 50s I can tell you the biggest problem and probably one of the main reasons 3-D died was the projection. Many pronblems plagued us breakdowns were frequent and people just tired if it all.
Point of fact, in 1954 “The French Line” premeird at the Criterian theatre in NY. It opened in 3-D (JR in 3-D need we say more)but as a result of the projection and print problems the 3-D was dropped and the theatre showed the picture in 2-D a few weeks later.
As somweone wrote there were too many 3-D pictures released, as a result 3-D equpment was improperly installed and there were not enough qualified projectionist to show the picture properly.
One of the probems with the 1950s 3-D was with the projection. We had many problems with sync motor breakdowns and improberly trained projectionists. In addition, since we did not have mylar stock back then, film breaks and sprocket damage were problematic and repairing the left eye print to match the damaged right eye print took patience and skill. When there was a sync problem or a film break resyncing the prints took time while the audience waited and fumed. The audience grew tired of the gimmick but even more tired of the breakdowns.
Thanks Rob, I love that Blue Cross story, it’s the backstage fun stuff we rarely get to hear about
Easter 1955 click on picture to enlarge
I wonder if I could ask REndres to retell the great story about the
color mix up of the Rockettes forming the cross.
hint: Blue cross :)
Thanks William for the very informative and interesting answer to my WSS sound question.
I have a question regarding the 5 track vs 6 track versions of WSS
My only experience with 70mm WSS was the full six track version. I know that the left center and right center tracks were no longer used for music/dialogue in 70mm films post Dolby, with the two tracks used for boom tracks for sub woofers and stereo surrounds. So I am assuming the original left center/ right center tracks remixed for the 5 track version? Surly the information on those tracks was not eliminated
Hi Rob and thanks for that.
The night I went to check out the theatre shortly after â€œMaroonedâ€ opened, the fella at the console did not represent himself as a union man even though I had introduced my self as a member of local 640 projectionist union from Long Island. He seemed to indicate that not only, as you said, was only one man necessary but that in fact the man â€œup thereâ€ was not even all that necessary at all which of course could not be further from the truth and got my gander up. All this was at a time when those of us in the profession of projection for a living were getting more and more sensitive to all this new fangled automation stuff, so I guess I went in there looking for a fight. Later I got to know Steve D rather well and I can just hers him telling management in a no doubt forceful tone â€You will still need two menâ€
We had a similar situation when â€œFiddlerâ€ played as a road show in the early 70s in 35mm. Management felt the need for two men (which was always used for 70mm road shows) was no longer necessary. But the union prevailed and we ran that show in 35mm with two men in the booth.
it’s ok Stan,I take solice in knowing the boys in the booth are still there while the console is gone and the jackass who ran it
is probably an usher now.:)
No offense to ushers and the important job they do.
I look forward to that film.
Please try and include the people behind all those magnificent marquees which had to changed on almost a daily basis. They were a work of art so well thought out and attractivly presented show after show. I would walk the street from end to end just to admire them.
Hi Mark, yes I did move around a lot mostly putting out fires and training MDs. I have worked just abut every NA theatre in LI,NY and NJ. I opened a few of em as well.
Retired now but keep in touch with many of the boys.
I was Managing Director there for about 3 years if anyone has any questions
Thanks Bill, I must have mised something there. I read that thread and did not see anything I could respond to.
I will have another look, thanks
Oh yes Bill I so remember that thing. When “marooned” opened I spoke with the guy running the thing. He basically ran he lights, sound levels and may have started the show from there. But he went to far when he said something along the lines of we barely need anyone in the booth anymore now. As a projectionist at the time and concerned about all this automation stuff I was a little shall we say sensitive to that remark Man did I give him a piece of my mind.
Oh my God, the curtain thing again.
Management, please put a big sign in the booth
CURTAINS MUST BE USED AT ALL TIMES!
If they are breaking down a lot for heavens sake get a pro in there to find the reoccuring problem and fix the darn things once and for all. I spent close to 60 years in theatres and sure they broke down but we got em fixed. As to a projectionist who needs to be instructed to open and close the curtains…
please, are you kdding me. I have said this before,in my day we would have rode him outta town on a rail.
Look, I understand by now that the curtain thing at this theatre is a lost cause but I feel better bitchin about it
There I feel better now. :)
In February 1953 “Bwana Devil” the first full length motion Picture in Natural Vision 3-D had its NYC premiere at Loew’s State.
The picture had its NYC premiere engagement simultaneously at TWO theatres— Loew’s State in Times Square and the Fox in downtown Brooklyn. Newspaper reviews mentioned only Loew’s State.
The Fox had about 900 seats more than the State. Variety reported a first week gross of $87,000 for the State, nearly breaking its all-time record set in 1949 by “Jolson Sings Again.” The State had a sliding price scale of 55 cents to $1.50. Variety gave no figure for the Fox, but said business was “socko.”
Normally I would not even dignify AGR’s comments with a response. However since my name was mentioned in the post allow me just say
I forgive his ignorance.
By the by I was able to reach one the boys I did the WSS Road show at the Syosset. He is 88 years young and happy retired and living in Arizona. While he had no positive memory of how the opening was handled he believed we would have ran the whistles with curtains closed. In fact he went on to say â€œThere ainâ€™t no way we exposed the white sheet, not even for Bobby Wiseâ€
He also reminded me that while instructions or requests for presentation of the pictures were generally honored there were times when we had to remind the film makers that their job is to make the pictures, and a damn fine job they did. However it was our job to project or present them in the atmosphere of showmanship that WE did so well.
Gary that was nothing short of outstanding.
Excellent job which had to have a been appreciated by all in attendance. It sorta gave me some of Bill’s goose bumps to hear a showman in action again.It’s the sort of thing we did in the glorious movie days of old which may be gone but thanks to you not forgotten.
Yes Gary I believe that is correct.
However, if a theatre used motorised curtains as most if not all did, the gearing or speed on the curtain motor would have to be adjusted for the WSS run. Secondly and most importantly it would have exposed a white screen which was taboo.
Is there no one that ran this picture in Roadshow besides myself that can chime in here.?
Thanks Gary, perhaps the curtain issue has become a sore spot for them and wanted to assure you they would be used.
While we are clearing things up I would not want anyone here to think we choose to disrespect instructions with respect to the opening of the curtains during the sounding of the whistles. Those instructions were requests from the film makers and were not demands. The only time I can recall a situation which was in the form of a demand was from Warren Beatty regarding the proper masking and lens selection for â€œREDSâ€ which was part of the contractual agreement between the theatre owners (first run) and Paramount pictures. There may have been a similar situation with Woody Allen with respect to the showings of â€œManhattanâ€ due to the proper presentation of the anamorphic image.
We always tried to respect the film makers wishes but I honestly do not recall the Robert Wise instructions asking for the curtains to be opened displaying a white sheet during the whistles. In any event we would never have agreed to that at the Syosset or Rivoli.
Gary, it was instructions like those that we received on most road show presentations. However I Am a bit confused about the opening with regard to the whistles. We did not open the curtains at the Syosset until all three whistles had sounded and I am quite sure it was the same for the Rivoli. Neither the Syosset or the Rivoli would have opened the curtains to a blank sheet (screen). Although it was close to 50 years ago I am sure the rest of the instructions were meet, they sound familiar and correct. Perhaps there were changes or a seperate directive from UA theatres.
Bill, I was very happy to hear that the instructuions were “enthusiastically accepted” and that you experiened “goose bumps”.
I was troubled, almost amused by what Gary wrote about the conversation with a manager who said the â€œcurtains would be usedâ€ as if that were an option. My goodness I can only imagine when I ran WSS at the Syosset going to the manager at the beginning of my shift and asking â€œdo you want curtains todayâ€ He would have thought I had gone mad.
As to the print, based on what Bill said are we to believe they are showing a 35mm mono print?
Good GOD, itâ€™s the Apocalypse.
Gary you are a good man, it it all fails and they screw it up, as they often do, it will be through no fault of yours and those of us who tried to have the presentation done right.
Should you folks be interested I would be happy to share some of the
preparations we did before and during those wonderful Roadshow runs of days gone by.
I am not sure which downtown theatre that was. My guess would be the Hawaii which sill operates today as a live theatre venue, we also had the Liberty which was a second run grind house till it closed and the Rex which was a chinese opera house that later began showing porn films. As to the drive ins we had the Kam in Aiea which was later twinned and now closed, the Wai'alae in honolulu also closed, the Kilua in kilua and the Royal Sunset in Waipahu, also closed.
Thanks Gary, thatâ€™s all we can ask. As I am sure you are aware by reading many of the posts here that the presentation of pictures like WSS is a major part of the movie going experience for a vast majority of the people coming to the Ziegfeld. When you do things like dim the lights during the opening whistles of WSS and then part the curtains and lower the stage lights as the first beat of the overture begins you get the blood pumping, people will notice and for many who may not have experienced how movies were presented in the Road show days will think to themselves what an exciting way to present a motion picture. Itâ€™s all about putting on a show and making the experience so much more and so marvelously different from what they accustomed to at the local Plex. Itâ€™s theatres like the Ziegfeld that we can retain some of the showmanship that has been lost over the years. The Ziegfeld must go that extra mile and present the movies in a way that has been sadly forgotten. We expect that, and the movie going public deserves that. In many ways I feel you almost have an obligation to do what ever you can to keep showmanship in the theatres alive, it is after all the Ziegfeld. So Thanks, I am sure you do all you can to separate your theatre from the rest and I wish a butt in every seat for the run of WSS.