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I just loved the post from John Rice which gave me goose bumps about the good ole days in theaters. Curtains played a big part in the movie presentation, proper timing of the curtain to ensure that the two panels met or kissed just as the last note of the music played or the picture faded to black was very a very important part of the presentation. John mentioned never showing a white screen which was so true you simply never did that neither was the moving of the masking which had to be done while the curtain was closed. A Delux, as we called it back when, meant closing and reopening the curtain between all pre feature presentation films and when going from flat to scope audiences never saw the masking move. we had some pictures with overtures and intermissions and part of he presentation meant dimming the lights gradually with two or three different settings as the music played. Ah yes, we had fun in the booth back then and the audiences loved it.
Thanks for speaking out against that photo with the curtain open. I cringe every time I see it, a harsh reminder of what our theatres have changed for the worst. A naked screen must never be shown in a theatre like the Ziegfeld. Leave that to the little boxes they call theatres theses days. I too will click on to the proper picture to keep it alive thanks for the hint.
When NA had the theatre we disused adding stadium seating; perhaps that is being dome now. Adding IMAX as we did at White Plains would also be a good idea for that location
Mark, I am sorry to hear about the marquee change but today it’s all about money and time savings I guess. Sounds like a money saving move in the long run by eliminating the cost of labor and replacement letters. I always put a lot of effort into the look of that attraction board; my thinking was so many people saw it every day driving and walking by it had to always look sharp. I also insisted that the new movies were always listed first in the left panel meaning that no matter how many new movies opened that week most of the titles had to be shifted to make way for the new one. I just preferred it that way.Another rule was never use the single block substitute for words like THE, WITH, AND unless space was tight and the entire title could not fit words like those had to be spelled out completely. Lastly the look of the sign had to be kept in good working order and immaculately clean which meant removing all of the panels from time to time and replace the neon bulbs, care also had to be taken to be sure all the bulbs were cool white and not mixed with warm white. In addition the panels had to be completely removed and cleaned especially after a tough winter; no cost was too great for the look of that marquee.
Watching a sportscast last night the guys were talking about how the Football draft will no be at RCMH next year cause there is a new show featuring the Rockettes in the works for that time spot. If this is true hopefully it does not fall thru as the last one did. Anyone heard anything about this?
Yup Luis I shared the same thoughts watching the show.
I too loved “Gentleman’s guide” and plan on seeing it again. Let’s also give a big hurrah to Neil Patrick Harris for his outstanding performance and Tony win.
only thing missing was seeing the grand curtain go up oh well not that I have not seen that quite a times in the good ole days. Live live RCMH may she prosper and live on
Hey Rob I was just thinking we should have gotten together and modified a couple of those ole film lifts we had back in the three strip Cinerama days to lift those double 70mm reels which were made all the more difficult to handle with a full 70mm load on those floating hubs.
We had double 70mm reels at the D-150 on Long Island after 3 double shifts of “White Nights” I needed a couple of days off; ouch my acking back. A shame Rob did not get to play “Master” in 70mm which I hope would not have been the Music Halls 70mm swan song.
I had a different reaction to that commercial although I loved the old booth with reels hanging on the wall and the film projectors in the background but I had cold water splashed on my face when it showed the movie delivered in a single small box which is how unfortunately movies are delivered today. No more film cans just a box containing the media to load on to a computer. I am told that some theatres have already started to get the movie via satellite no need for any delivery. Just an old man feeling sorry once again for the loss of film I just can’t get my head around that. Oh well did not mean to bring down the conversation but seeing that projectionist receive a box instead of film cans just made me sad forgive me
So I am watching this ad on TV for the new spring show and there is a still shot of the stage completely covered by some sort of hideous set. The curtain cannot be seen at all Is that the look for that show and will the curtain not be used?
As to Heart & Lights just knowing the Rockettes are dancing to Fosse will put my butt in a seat.
So the plan for next year as of now is to include the 70mm 3-D opening sequence? it may not be much but at least I can hold off holding a wake for film at RCMH
A while back a ton of new surround speakers were installed in the theatre you can see the boxes just about everywhere on the walls and mounted in front of the mezzanines my question is are they used for anything other than film sound and with movies basically finished will the speakers be removed as well or used for other purposes
I am wondering if that silver sheet is installed every year for the Christmas show and will be removed after tonight’s performance. I would like to point out to those of you who are not aware, rcdt55b used that word correctly, Sheet is the correct and common word used to describe a movie screen in our business. If in the day you were to go backstage at any of the theatres featuring stage/screen shows such as Paramount or Roxy you would find in the rigging one marked Sheet for the screen as well as Rag which was how stage curtains were labeled. I wonder if the word Rag is still used in B’way houses today.
As we mourn the end of movies at the Hall we must take time to be grateful for the fact that the theatre is still with us; for movies or no movies this treasure is alive and thriving. As rcdt55b has written we need to get used to the changes embrace them in fact for the Hall will continue to change as new technologies emerge and new challenges for the brilliant Music Hall staff and the great stage in particular emerge.
Recently we have had the pleasure of reading posts from rcdt55b who has kept us up to date on the goings on at the theatre I very much enjoyed being kept up to dates on everything Music Hall. I am sure rcdt55b would agree that our greatest contributor here in the Radio City thread has of course been REndres. As most of you know Rob for many years was Chief Projectionist during the time of movies and stage shows and after the Hall stopped showing movies Rob continued to inform delight and entertain us with marvelous Music hall stories. Today is the final day of the 2013 Christmas show and could conceivably be the last time film will be projected at RCMH.
So everyone join me at approximately 8PM tonight as the last show begins and bow our heads in a moment of silence ;)
Any final thoughts Rob?
Well the end of an era has finally come movies are finished at the Hall. It was inevitable I suppose with the death of film and the fact that in order for the Music Hall to show Digital movies it meant setting up two Digital projectors in the mezzanine which probably became an it’s just not worth it situation. The beginning of end came a year or so ago with the removal of all the changeover equipment needed to run reel to reel I saw that as a sign of things to come. Now they have put the final nail in the coffin with the removal of the picture sheet (screen) and the speaker border and stage speakers
One has to wonder if they end up dropping the 3-D form the Christmas show or find a Digital way to replace the 70mm how long it will be before all the projectors are removed and that space utilized for some other equipment.
So goodbye to movies at RCMH it was a heck of a place to see a movie but now that it’s pretty much over we can all stop dreaming and hoping for movies to return which let’s face it we all knew but did not want to accept would never again happen.
So let’s hold on to our memories of the good ole days at RCMH we will never see the likes of that again.
No it doesn’t rcdt, guess we will have to see how it looks to form an opinion. I knew the use of film was to good to be true….oh well.
rcdt Please tell us more about the trailer is it on film? and is that why you wrote a while back that more projectors would be used this year? Thanks
I enjoyed that I would also love to see the ones from the 50s with those great double bills Inn those days the marquees were a work of art perfectly centered and well maintained. I used to love to walk down 42nd from B'way to 8th to admire them
Mark and redt55b thanks for that update sure glad to hear 70mm film is staying for the 3D.
What is the news about this years Christmas show will there be any changes? How will the booth be used
Nice picture sartana. you will notice the open projection booth window. Before they started showing advertising slides during intermission we had a curtain that would close in front of that window so you could not see into the booth. Then at the start of the show when the lights went down and the show began the curtain would open as a part of the opening automation procedure.
It was all very heartbreaking to see all those magnificent theatres closed the worst being the destruction of the Royal and Waikiki #3 We had so many great plans in the early 80s to upgrade and improve all of those theatres with new sound and projection but then all of a sudden it was all over when the new administration came in and shut it all down. I had to feel especially bad for Wesley Inouye who put his heart and soul into the new #3 only to see it all torn down. All gone now, Cinerama, Waikiki 1-2-3, Kuhio and Royal, all that remains are a bunch of little boxes they call theatres but are nothing more than screening rooms.
May I assume that now that those TV people have left the presidium has now been returned to original glory and all the work been completed on the removal of that desecration.? Yes I know a lot of folks thought it looked great for a national audience but I say humbug, if you want that go to Vegas and stop messing with the great stage.
Rob, Thanks for the heartwarming Ray Dolby tribute, he changed and greatly enhanced the way we hear recorded sound. During the sixties and most of the seventies 35mm sound had for the most part gone mono optical a full decade and a half of almost nonexistent stereo sound in the theatres. Then came Dolby and a breath of fresh air had been pumped into the theatres again, finally stereo sound was back bigger and better than ever. It also, thanks in many ways to George Lucas, revitalized 70mm which had all but disappeared. Yup movie sound had gotten pretty dull there for quite a while but Mr. Dolby forever changed that what a joy it has to be to have known both Ray and Ioan Allen both of whom brilliantly improved recorded sound.
I am glad you mentioned the confusion caused by magnetic prints being sent to theatres that could not play them, another great innovation in those times was of course mag/optical prints which to some degree solved that problem. I say some degree cause there was still the issue with one of the mag tracks overlapping slightly onto the optical track area but we lived with that
Thanks Bill I appreciate that, sometimes I worry that my posts are too boring or long in the tooth. In the days when I still attended union meetings I would enjoy entertaining the youngins with stories about the good ole days of projection, or at least I hope they were entertained.
As to REndres I cannot compare my humble posts to the magnificent ones he provides which are always interesting and technically educational. In spite of all my years in the business I still managed to learn something new reading Robs posts.