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My mistake the Rivoli payed an advance of $1,250,000 to get Cleopatra
It would be interesting to see an as close to possible roadshow version of Mad World. Stills in place of footage that is missing may annoy some people so I suppose both versions would be best. I assume the sound as well as the picture is missing. They did make some three projector prints of Mad World those should be close to road show length if any survived. As long the whole Ultra-Panavision frame is shown that is a given but the longest version available would be fine by me.
The 65mm negative for Cleopatra should be in pretty good shape. The Rivoli in New York paid a million dollars in advance to book Cleopatra. A large up front advance was required to play the film. The Rivoli did make its money back and the film had a long roadshow run at that theater. Many people traveled to New York City just to see Cleopatra. Theaters in smaller cities payed a smaller advance and many of those theaters did not make their advance back. The general audience did not appreciate the film. Cleopatra was a run away production there were huge cost over runs and producing a movie in Todd-AO was expensive prints were expensive; Fox was strapped for cash because of Cleopatra. It took years to get most of their money back. Of course Cleopatra was followed by Sound of Music and that was an instant hit and a cash cow in roadshow and in general release. What almost put Fox into bankruptcy was Star, Doctor Doolittle and Hello Dolly these three Todd-AO films did not do well at the box office. Easy Rider was shot in 16mm by anyone who could hold a camera and out grossed Hello Dolly. Viet Nam had made the country cynical. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was designed to roadshow but the public taste had changed it did not do well. While some theaters did well with a popular movie that movie may have been in four channel magnetic, or even mono optical others would get into financial trouble with a 70mm show like Chitty. The inflation of the 70’s and the increase in the cost of energy put many of these big roadshow theaters out of business. There was a roadshow theater in Boston called the Astor it was a Todd-AO theater and it lost money for years in the late 60’s and early 70’s. There now stands a multiplex run by AMC on the same site taking up the same area as the one theater once did.
After the initial release two scenes in A Clockwork Orange were replaced in order for the X rating to be reduced to an R rating. Kubrick would not let anyone view the original version once the change was made.
The cut footage was tossed in the trash like so many other things. Prints have faded. There is an an age old phrase and that was faded by Deluxe. The future use of the original negative and footage wasn’t envisioned in the twentieth century. I remember screenings in Hollywood where I met with people in control of this media and they questioned the reason for keeping these old films and negatives. Many a print has been run through a band-saw or used as slug in sound editing. Millions of feet went to be recycled. Some footage has survived and much has not. Cuts were made by the filmmakers and cuts were made by the studio.
Once a film was in general release there was little reason for the studio to cut it. The long films were a problem. Some theaters ran two shows a day some ran three but these long films couldn’t be run more than three times a day. An early show shortly after noon then a mid day show and an evening show. Managers anxious to cut theater payroll and reduce hours (union projectionists didn’t work cheap) may have trimmed some general release prints as much as possible by cutting the intermission (that takes fifteen minutes at least) but once a film was in general release I don’t know of any case where the film once in general release was officially cut by the filmmaker or the studio. Of course these films were butchered for television and could have been cut for re-release. Many a film was butchered for television. Yes, the powers that were in charge figured that once a film was televised that was the end of its useful life.
Star Wars ran almost twenty four hours a day in Los Angeles and other major cities when it was released and many a projectionist sent their kids to Harvard on the overtime pay. Managers were glad to pay the overtime. While Cleopatra bankrupted many a theater. It was a grand and glorious time.
Bigjoe in the days of film it took a little effort to tweak a film. Sound and picture had to be cut separately and new prints had to be made. Or sections of the print had to be replaced. If the films were shortened for neighborhood theaters it was done by the theater owners. Do you have any examples of films that were tweaked in their roadshow run? I know Mad World was and there was a longer version of 2001. The standard release print of Sound of Music was the same as the roadshow version and it was not unusual for managers to order the projectionist to skip the intermission.
to Bigjoe there was a roadshow release usually with multi channel magnetic sound then there was a 35mm print with mono optical sound sent to neighborhood theaters they didn’t do that much tweeking.
To answer your question Bigjoe most films that were cut were cut to allow more shows per day. A few because the filmmakers felt it was too long. A Star is Born was butchered to allow more shows. The road show version of Mad World was just too long for a comedy so it was cut. The general release prints were cut even more. It was not unusual for the general release print to be quite different from the roadshow print.
the 6 channel mix sounded better 5 behind the screen and one surround channel with no sub. That is how is was released
Bigjoe most of the grand movie palaces that were built in the early part of the twentieth century are gone. The value of the real estate and the cost of heating and air conditioning coupled with the lack of interest in single theaters did them in. The grandest and most famous movie palace was the Roxy in NYC. The Roxy was demolished in 1960. The high cost of energy and the popularity of the multiplex closed most of the movie palaces in the 70’s and early 80’s. The are a few of these theaters and few are still first run. Most of the movie palaces that are left run special shows or are just dark. Do a google search for oldest running movie theaters and you will find a few.
I don’t think they have the laser light source installed yet.
For a while there were sixteen 16 inch Cerwin-Vega speakers in two banks powered by two 2,000 watt amps for the sub woof channel. Someone from Universal brought in a couple of reels of Jurassic Park and it sounded great.
Most people seem to agree that the seating and viewing is much better now. There is very little chance someone’s head will block your view.
A friend went to see the five o'clock show on Sunday. He is a film student and went with a group. From what he said the volume was set much too low. Doesn’t anyone set the volume where it is suppose to be anymore. I know that AMC runs the fader in most of their theaters at 5 and that is one quarter of the level it should be set at.
Things in the Chinese Theater do rattle with heavy base. It takes a lot of audio power to fill that theater and there are a lot of things to rattle.
The Chinese is an all purpose theater they can run non IMAX stuff too.
It was a wise decision to use LED lights. At one time there were three different lighting circuits in the ceiling with three different colored bulbs. Changing the intensity of each color would produce a different effect. All those incandescent bulbs took a lot of electricity.
Yes Chris some segments of some films are shot in 15/70 making the segments that are not shot in 15/70 stand out all the more but most of the IMAX shows are from originals with a much lower resolution than 15/70! I watched an IMAX film at Universal and the grain was so big is was distracting.
Has there ever been a feature film shot in 15/70? Most of the IMAX films are blow ups anyway.
They used the curtain, nice.
Chris, I agree that for $20 a seat the management shouldn’t be running ads but there could be some contractual thing where they must. It would be much nicer and give the place some class to go old school with the music and curtain but alas showmanship almost dead (still alive at the El Capitan). I want to thank all of you for the updates it saves me I trip into the city to check it out myself. I went to the “buy a ticket” site for the Chinese Theater and it requested credit card information before it let me select a seat. Yes it gives a chance to cancel if you don’t like the seat. I was just curious how well the site worked and didn’t buy a ticket. The Arclight site let’s you select a seat before entering the credit card info. Members might not have to do that step.
Well Chris glad to hear that there was enough of an audience to cheer.
Some people don’t like the curved screen at the Dome.
Cliff’s there was no big conversion to Cinemascope. The Cinemascope screen was installed on the stage and the original projection booth was used. The major renovation that changed the stage area of the theater to make room for a huge screen was to install Cinemiracle a three projector process very much like Cinerama. To install the 120 foot 120 degree curved Cinemiracle screen two columns were removed and most of the stage. The Cinemiracle projection booth was where the rear of the new concession stand is now. The Cinemiracle projectors were removed and three Todd-AO machines were installed with 13.6 carbon arcs. Star Wars ran in 70mm on water cooled Todd-AO machines with 13.6mm carbon arcs on a very big screen. Eventually xenon lamps and then automation was installed. The light from the xenon was no where near that of the carbons so the masking settings were changed and the 70mm picture reduced in size. Eventually one of the Todd-AO machines was removed and a platter installed.
Film IMAX is dead the theater at Universal will be digital soon. The Chinese looks like it is the new standard for IMAX.
Well I’m glad someone is going to see Gravity in IMAX when I read it was shot in 2K I put it on my watch at home list.
Somebody had to help pay for the upgrade. So they put up a sign. The sign seems to blend in just find and like bigjoe59 said most people won’t notice it. Besides it’s what is inside the building that counts not some little sign on the outside.
Im waiting to see Avatar in IMAX 3D at the renovated Chinese. The Wizard of Oz in 3D may appeal to some and Im sure it will be a treat. I am waiting to be impressed.