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That’s a shame about Jaws (and I suspect the other classics this month) – Universal has a very nice DCP of that title available, and I ran it in 35mm at the Lafayette about 13 years ago.
As far as I know, it was never equipped with 70mm when it was a UA house.
The iPic that recently opened in Fort Lee, NJ is reportedly doing very good business at $25 a ticket for the Premium Plus seats.
How many people were there for the show? What type of gear did they bring in to run it? I would have liked to be there but one-day events are hard to get to in the summer.
No, the old VHS and LaserDisc Special Editions were an attempt at reconstructing the Roadshow version but were not complete and the additional scenes were in very rough shape and, in some cases, contained a distorted/squeezed picture. While also not fully complete, the Criterion is the closest to the original Roadshow cut and runs almost 15 minutes longer than those editions.
BigJoe – I have a copy of the final cutting notes dated January 10, 1964. They have specific instructions for the projectionist where the cuts are to be made to the print they are running (the roadshow theatres would later be sent new prints after the negative was cut). So you can assume the longer cut ran until that time and no later.
The Criterion Blu-ray that contains the Roadshow cut was made from the best surviving elements (and stills) to recreate it. It’s all there is. Watching it, you can see why most of those scenes were cut. IMO, the shorter version is superior.
Contrary to the above post, the Star Wars Trilogy is coming to the Kings, tickets go on sale Friday, July 1 at 10am:
I ran the 35mm at the Cultural Arts Center one night during the Jewish Film Festival in, I think, 2004. That wasn’t the original gear, I’m pretty certain it was donated by Nelson Page after being removed from one of his other theaters and that showing was the first time it had been used. The night was memorable because the motor on the feed platter burned out about 20 minutes into the show and I had to turn the platter by hand for the next two hours.
Potentially sad news for fans of the Lafayette:
“A six-year contract between the town of Ramapo and the Lafayette Theatre — which had the town loaning the venue a digital projector in exchange for the movie palace hosting a Saturday morning classic film series each fall and spring — is gone with the wind.
After the Lafayette’s owner and operator, Ari Benmosche, informed the town on June 8 that he did not want to extend the contract that had been signed with a previous operator of the theater, the Town Board voted unanimously Wednesday to remove the projector."
Cinema 35 was not equipped with 70mm. When I worked there in 1992 it did not have stereo, so I’m not sure if it ever did.
“The Star Wars Films are not going to be shown here”
That’s too bad, it would have been worth crossing the two rivers for that show.
Nice listing, Michael. Thanks for going to the trouble of posting it.
Good to hear – glad they got things off to a good start this year.
Senior admissions usually varied between 50-150 and if they had to pay, they wouldn’t have come. The Shining had about 150-200 people both times we ran it during the HorrorThon. Only shows that ever did more than 50% capacity on Saturday mornings were Wizard of Oz, It’s a Wonderful Life, Babes in Toyland, Miracle on 34th Street and maybe one or two others.
“Packed” definitely a relative term in this case. Biggest paid crowd we had would have been maybe 125 people for Goldfinger.
Where were you guys when we played Bond & Harryhausen between 2003 – 2014? :)
Sure: In New Jersey: the Loews Jersey, the Union County Arts Center (pretty sure they still have it), the Count Basie in Red Bank, probably some others I can’t recall. In NY: MoMA, the AMMI in Queens, the Film Forum, the Walter Reade at Lincoln Center, the DGA, a few others.
Most places will do rentals, but you have to factor in the cost of the venue rental plus the film rental. And you wouldn’t get a cut of concessions.
Yes, DCP is the current theatrical standard (that’s how all new films are distributed). DCPs for classic films should look better than the Blu-ray edition since the DCP has no picture compression applied, but there are some studios who simply take an already compressed Blu-ray file and put it on a DCP hard drive.
I projected Blu-ray when I was there and it looks pretty good as long as you’re not sitting very close. DVD doesn’t hold up that large at all and was really only suitable for the shorts and trailers I occasionally ran from it.
As far as I know, the Lafayette no longer has operating 35mm equipment so you’ll most likely never see another film presentation there. When we left in 2013, the gear was in fine shape, but subsequent changes in the booth have placed it out of commission – I would assume permanently – as the cost of restoring it after sitting idle for several years and finding a qualified projectionist to run special shows would be prohibitive.
Cost for booking classic films varies depending on the studio, but the minimum usually starts around $350 (for studio supplied DCP, running a Blu-ray or DVD costs a little less as those are usually not booked by the studio’s theatrical department). And that’s an upfront guarantee (paid in advance before the movie is delivered) against 35-45% of the box office. So figure you need about 125 paid admissions at $9 each just to break even on the film cost. Then factor in labor, utilities, etc., and you can see why there isn’t much of anything to be made running classic movies. Concessions contribute a bit to the theatre’s bottom line during these shows, but the free admission seniors rarely purchased anything.
Even the Horror-Thon weekends usually did not break even, sad to say.
Thanks for the kind words, guys. The 10 years running the classics at Lafayette were the most fun I ever had while working, no matter how much hassle they could be.
Mark – you should ask around, Weinstein is actively seeking former projectionists with large format experience to run the 70mm show.
Mechanical failure, repaired and back on screen within an hour. If it was a digital failure, they’d probably have had to send everyone home.
“Operated by” needs to change to “JACA Entertainment” as of 11/20/2015 (also, Majestic Star – which no longer exists – hasn’t been the operator since 2013).
Great article, Michael. Love seeing that slow rollout and long runs these films had.
“The 50th anniversary print of My fair Lady may have been. The scope on the screen seemed different from the scope previwes. The masking which lowers top and bottom rather then side to side was opened when the film started and the aspect ratio seemed different then 2.35”
Yes, the aspect ratio of My Fair Lady is 2.20.