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The picture & map are wrong on this theater. The location you show is 3730 South Main Street, Houston, Texas instead of 3730 North Main Street. The North Main Theater is on the north side of Houston not the south.
Interstate opened LAWRENCE OF ARABIA in 1963 and THE CARDINAL in 64'on a reserved seat, hard ticket policy. Did Interstate remodel the theater a second time putting in 70mm etc. as they did with the Alabama,Houston in 1960? What other reserved seat, hard ticket pictures played the Esquire?
I stand corrected. I always thought the Rivoli played THE LONGEST DAY and in 70MM. What was the first picture to be blown up from 35mm to 70mm? Wasn’t DOCTOR ZHIVAGO a blow up?
THE LONGEST DAY opened at the Rivoli in New York in October 1962 on a Hard Ticket Reserved Seat Engagement. Although is was shot in BXW Cinemascope, if check the listings in the New York Times in October 1962, I think you will find that the Rivoli ran a 70MM print. Darryl Zanuck had a special 70MM print made for the engagements in New York and Los Angeles.
According to the local newspaper, Regal dropped IMAX.
Back in October 1960, I worked for Interstate Theatres Inc in Houston, TX of which the Tower was part of. About 10 days before THE ALAMO opened on 10/26, the Tower received it’s 70mm print and it was screened one Thursday afternoon to make certain the print was in OK condition and to have a correct running time. The entire film was run including the Overture, Intermission, Entr'acte, and Exit Music. I was at that screening and although I did not clock the film, I was told it came in right at 202 minutes. Recently I have read the 70mm roadshow prints ran only 192 minutes. I wasn’t aware that the Tower received a second print at 192 minutes, but maybe it did. I wonder what happened to those 10 minutes?
The first 10 years of my life, 1939 to 49', I lived in the Almeda area of Houston, TX. and went to the above mentioned theater many times. Once and a while we would also frequent the Delman on Main Street. But there was a third theater in that same area that my brother & I would ride our bikes to. We liked going there because it specialized in films geared to kids. You know, the B westerns, Kids dog pictures, Tarzan and Bomba etc. It always played double features so we could spend the entire afternoon there. I remember it changed programs 3 or 4 times a week. I think it closed in the early 1950’s. It wasn’t the Holman. Can anyone remember?
Great Job on SPARTACUS. Hope you can do the same on THE ALAMO that was released the same month in 1960 and EXODUS in December 1960. Both were 70MM Roadshow, Hard Ticket Presentations.
Didn’t DeMille’s THE TEN COMMANDMENTS open at the Warner on Nov. 8, 1956 on an exclusive LA roadshow, reserved seat presentation? Friends of mine have told me of the outstanding vistavison picture the theatre had. They told me the theatre was equipped with vistavision projectors. I’ve been told it ran for almost a year.
In DAVID SELZNICK’S HOLLYWOOD, he states that GONE WITH THE WIND premiered first in Atlanta on 12/15/39 at the Loews Grand (3 continuous shows daily) , then four days later in New York at the Capitol (3 continuous shows daily) and the Astor (reserved seat; 2 performances daily) and finally in Los Angeles at the United Artist Downtown (3 continuous shows daily) and the Carthay Circle (reserved seat; 2 performances daily). The Los Angeles invited premiere was held the day before on 12/27/39 at the Carthay Circle.
Check this out with Universal with someone who is still alive and worked the JAWS release. I’ve heard, before the sneaks in Dallas and Lakewood, Universal planned to saturate the picture with over a 1000 prints in the US and Canada on June 20th as they felt the picture was a fast burn. They labeled it an exploitation (2) week release. No one at Universal had seen the picture as of yet and with the picture so far over budget, they were looking for as much boxoffice as they could get in a short period of time. Of course, everything changed after those sneaks. 500 theaters, even in 1975, was not a wide saturation release. It was more of a platform release.
Like the Tower in downtown Dallas, this neighborhood 28 day Interstate theater became a 70MM Roadshow House in the early 1960’s. I believe it opened LAWRENCE OF ARABIA on a hard ticket exclusive Dallas run.
LarryFM, I’m going back some 60 years but this is what I remember about the screen tower. The “duck” was bright yellow. I always thought the owners copied the design from and old MGM cartoon character from the 40'& 50’s. I believe the outside border of the tower was red and the word POST OAK was black. There were 2 to 4 flood lights at the bottom of signature that lite it up at night. When Cinemascope came in 54, they added 6 to 8 feet of new tower on each side of the existing tower.
In 1951 when the Post Oak was built, there was no other drive in on that side of town so it did a lot of business.
I use to frequent the Post Oak Drive In many times during the 1950’s when it was at it’s original location on Post Oak at Westheimer. When looked at, during the daytime, you could see Hayes, Kansas on the other side as there was nothing built beyond it except wondering praire. As a matter of fact, there was nothing on Post Oak except the Post Oak Drive In. In 1951 when it was built, Post Oak was considered out in the middle of nowhere.
I remember this theater during the late 1940’s. They ran all the B westerns from Republic, Columbia, PRC, Monogram etc every Saturday as I recall. They were always double features. What a blast.
GESkelton: I worked for your father at the Alabama during the late 1950’s while I attended Lamar HS and the University of Houston. Started out as an usher, than a doorman, cashier, candy attendant and finally as his assistant. I think you have a sister named Sharon and your first name is George. Sharon use to work the Saturday Kid Shows as a candy girl and you and your mother once in a while would come and see a movie. I don’t think yet you were 10 years old. Those 3 years have very special memories. I remember when your father got transferred to the Metropolitan. I was at the River Oaks by then. I hope your father, mother and sister are doing well.
I worked at the Alabama Theatre in Houston when it was managed by Howard Skelton. In the mid 1960’s Mr. Skelton was transferred to Tyler, Texas as the city manager. He was a terrific guy. Can anyone who lives in Tyler update me on what happened to Howard Skelton? I will always remember him as the first manager I ever worked for.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the Vista the first 70mm roadshow reserved seat theater in Phoenix during the late 1950s and 60’s? I know it played BEN HUR, SPARTACUS, MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY and THE SOUND OF MUSIC. MUSIC played for over 2 years in the Vista. It was operated by Fox West Coast.
I’m doing some reseach on when and where some of the early Fox Cinemascope pictures opened in Manhattan in 54'55'. I have the Roxy dates. I’m looking for GARDEN OF EVIL, THE ADVENTURES OF HAJJI BADA, CARMEN JONES, PRINCE OF PLAYERS, WHITE FEATHER, VIOLENT SATURDAY, THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH, HOUSE OF BAMBOO & THE TALL MEN. Can anyone help me? I believe many of these played at the Rivoli
Besides SOUTH PACIFIC in 58' and WINDJAMMER in 61' did the Wynnewood get any other of the 70mm roadshow reserved seat pictures that were released during the late 50’s to middle 60’s? I know the Tower in downtown Dallas played many of them but not all. Were their other neighborhood theaters that were converted to 70mm roadshow houses? Houston for example, started with the Tower but then added the Uptown, Delman, Alabama, Windsor & Village. I’m sure Dallas did the same.
Wasn’t the Palace the first Cinemascope theater in Dallas? I saw THE ROBE at the Metropolitan in Houston and I remember seeing a sign in it’s lobby stating that the Palace and Metropolitan were the first two theaters to show Cinemascope in Texas. This was early 1954.
On a Saturday night, in the spring of 1975, Steven Spielberg and Universal choose the Lakewood Center for the second sneak preview of JAWS for an audience. The first being the UA Cine 150 in Dallas the night before. The 1200 seat theatre was full long before the picture started at 8PM. I know because I was there. In all my years of going to sneak previews, I had never witnessed a audience reaction like what I saw that night. I had read the novel, so I was prepared, but the audience certainly wasn’t. It scared the hell out of everyone. People were jumping out of their seats and screaming in fear. But they loved it. A night to remember.
On a Friday evening, in the spring of 1975, Steven Spielberg and the executives from Universal choose the UA Cine 150 to have the first sneak preview of JAWS for an audience. Spielberg was in attendance. The word got out in Dallas before the picture screened and there was pandemonium at the theatre with people trying to be admitted. There were so many people, Universal had to have a second screening later on that same evening. Something that’s rarely done. Needless to say, the audience loved the picture which went on to be a gigantic success. The following evening, Universal took the picture for a second sneak to the Lakewood Center Theatre in Lakewood , CA.
In October 1956, three friends and I traveled from Kerrville to San Antonio to see GIANT at the Majestic. We were all in our teens and big James Dean fans. It was a Saturday afternoon and you should have seen the crowds. After we purchased our tickets, we had to stand in line down the street for almost two hours before we could get in. That same line went almost around the entire block. Wow. What an exciting day. Once we found our seats, we were amazed at the beauty and size of the auditorium. The theater quickly filled up and the when the picture went on the screen, the audience went wild. This was one of my best movie experiences.
You are correct. The Eastwood was almost a carbon copy of the Tower Theater which was located on the west side of Houston. Both theaters opened around the same time and were operated by Interstate Circuit Inc. out of Dallas. The Eastwood closed it’s doors and was dismantled in December 1960. This beautiful art deco theater didn’t last 25 years….and again the people of Houston did nothing to try and save it. What a waste.