Comments from Gerald A. DeLuca

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Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca commented about Belmont Theatre on Mar 15, 2004 at 7:55 am

A reproduction of a flyer from a book I have on silent Italian cinema has a film called NAPOLI CHE CANTA or WHEN NAPLES SINGS playing at the Belmont Theatre, 123 W. 48th Street, called “The Only Italian Motion Picture House on Broadway.” This is the Cines-Pittaluga version made in 1926 but released in the U.S. in the early 30’s, probably with music and songs added to create a sound track. No dates are given on the flyer. According to Variety Magazine, the first actual Italian sound film, LA CANZONE DELL'AMORE, played at the Belmont in March, 1931.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca commented about Warwick Cinema on Mar 15, 2004 at 7:12 am

The subtitled version of Vittorio De Sica’s delightful MARRIAGE, ITALIAN STYLE, with Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni, began a nice run here in January, 1965.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca commented about 55th Street Playhouse on Mar 15, 2004 at 7:05 am

They also in their time premiered such honorable films as Cocteau’s ORPHEUS, Fellini’s I VITELLONI, Rossellini’s THE FLOWERS OF SAINT FRANCIS.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca commented about Carlton Theatre on Mar 15, 2004 at 6:36 am

Interesting bit of programming at the Carlton: in January, 1936 they showed the film THE LAND OF PROMISE. It was described in the newspaper ad as “Produced in Palestine under the auspices of Palestine Foundation Fund, auspices of Zionist Organization of Rhode Island.” Some details on the film can be found at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0162427/

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca commented about Olympia Music Hall on Mar 15, 2004 at 6:30 am

The theatre is now called the Art.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca commented about Carlton Theatre on Mar 15, 2004 at 6:26 am

The Carlton, judging by the address in the Providence Business Directory of 1915, was previously known as the Emery.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca commented about Royal Theatre on Mar 15, 2004 at 6:23 am

The exact address was 15 Olneyville Square.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca commented about Gilbert Stuart Theatre on Mar 15, 2004 at 6:22 am

The exact address was 19 Maple Avenue. The theatre was also formerly known as the Odeon.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca commented about Olympia Theatre on Mar 15, 2004 at 6:00 am

The exact address was 1849 Westminster Street. The theatre was also known as Conn’s Olympia Theatre.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca commented about Stadium Theatre on Mar 15, 2004 at 5:42 am

The Stadium has now been beautifully restored and serves as an arts center to Woonsocket. Many cultural events take place here. Two years in a row we were treated to the Moscow Boys Choir. Free classic movies are often shown. The world premiere showings of two Farrelly Brothers films were presented in the theatre: THERE’S SOMTHING ABOUT MARY and the STUCK ON YOU (with Cher in attendance.) The Farrelly Brothers grew up in nearby Cumberland and have a particular affection for the Stadium, where they saw movies as youngsters. The theatre has a fine pipe organ. There are occasional organ recitals, and in December, 1971 I remember seeing a special presentation of Rudolph Valentino’s THE EAGLE, with live
organ accompaniment by Lee Erwin.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca commented about Carlton Theatre on Mar 15, 2004 at 2:52 am

The Carlton Theatre is a faint memory from my childhood, since the auditorium was torn down before or at the beginnng of my teen years in the early 1950’s. What was the original entrance area and building front remains as a group of shops. The only movies I remember seeing here were the Italian film ANGELO in 1951, which my Italian-speaking parents brought me to, and a couple of years later I saw Disney’s PETER PAN. For the record, Mr. Van Bibber, the spelling of the street is Mathewson (only one “t”).

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca commented about Hollywood Theatre on Mar 15, 2004 at 2:40 am

As of this date the red-brick theatre building is there and used as a storage facility. I have never seen the interior. Perhaps some are residents acquainted with the theatre could give some details. Otherwise it just remains a tantalizing presence on Taunton Avenue.
The marquee is no longer there. East Providence has a large Portuguese population. For the longest time after the theatre closed (early 60s?), the marquee announced an imminent program of Portuguese films. Ghost programs for a ghost theatre?

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca commented about Sony Columbus Circle on Mar 15, 2004 at 2:29 am

The only time I was in that theatre, and I remember it well, was to see Carlos Saura’s haunting CRIA! (Cria Cuervos) an the late 70s.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca commented about Fine Arts Theatre on Mar 14, 2004 at 5:14 pm

This is the theatre that opened Truffaut’s THE 400 BLOWS in 1959, Resnais' HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR in 1960, and Godard’s BREATHLESS in 1961. The Fine Arts played some very significant films in its time. My own best memories there were of seeing Pasolini’s THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO SAINT MATTHEW and Germi’s THE RAILROAD MAN. Film enthusiasts who went frequently to the Fine Arts during those years may owe some of their best cinematic affections to what they first saw on that screen.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca commented about State Theatre on Mar 14, 2004 at 4:13 pm

I believe it was known as the Trans-Lux in the 1950’s where it indeed specialized in the racier foreign films that contained subject matter not generaly allowed in American movies.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca commented about Danielson Cinema on Mar 14, 2004 at 4:00 pm

I only visited this theatre once, to see a showing of CABARET in the 1970’s. Recently, when driving through Danielson from Rhode Island, where I live, I looked for the theatre and wondered what had happened to it. Now I know. I remember it as place with some character.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca commented about Brattle Theatre on Mar 14, 2004 at 5:40 am

I’ve been going here sporadically since 1962. The first film I saw at the Brattle was Michelangelo Antonioni’s LE AMICHE…rarely if ever shown, or even known, any more. The theatre incorporates a rear-projection system with the projector behind the screen rather than behind the auditorium. They can show both 16mm and 35mm prints and are meticulous about respecting a film’s aspect ratio, particularly crucial when showing older classics so that part of the frame is not cut off in projection. Thus SINGIN'IN THE RAIN looked fabulous here. The hall was larger and roomier before the building was partitioned and given over to chic shops a couple of decades ago. It was also much nicer entering from Brattle Street through a direct front entrance covered by an awning.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca commented about Strand Theatre on Mar 14, 2004 at 5:12 am

This former movie palace looms high among my nostalgic memories. I remember, as a child of eight in 1950, going here with my parents to see Martin and Lewis in AT WAR WITH THE ARMY (“The Navy gets the gravy, but the a Army gets the beans, beans, beans…”) We sat in the balcony of this huge theatre which was utterly packed! Here is where I saw REAR WINDOW, SAMSON AND DELILAH, TO CATCH A THIEF, THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY, SANGAREE (in 3-D), PSYCHO, where the massive audience emitted a massive scream at the moment of horror, Orson Welles' TOUCH OF EVIL, and hundreds of other films, the memorable and the forgettable. The theatre, though huge and not unbeautiful, was functional and without the ornate grandiosity of Loew’s State, now the Providence Arts Center.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca commented about Majestic Theatre on Mar 14, 2004 at 4:57 am

Sorry, the title of the “big-ant” movie was THEM!

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca commented about Majestic Theatre on Mar 14, 2004 at 4:51 am

In 1953 this was the theatre that introduced CinemaScope showings to Providence with the local premiere of THE ROBE. I remember attending a jam-packed showing with my parents. When the theatre showed Elia Kazan’s BABY DOLL in the late 50’s, R.I. Catholics were asked at mass (and in the Catholic high school school I attended) not to see this “sinful” movie. PEYTON PLACE was a big hit here when I was in high school and I remember going to see it after an exam. The big-ant movie, seen here, scared the wits out of me. When Trinity Rep took over the theatre several decades ago, they ruthlessly gutted the lavish interior. Only part of the lobby and most of the exterior remain unchanged.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca commented about Symphony Space/Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre on Mar 14, 2004 at 3:30 am

For many decades the amazing Thalia on 95th Street had daily changes of double bills: they showed virtually everything: foreign films, recent American movies, classic revivals, silents, educational film programs, cartoon programs, films from private collections, films forgotten, films dumped, films rarely or never programmed. I submit that, from the viewpoint of programming alone, this paradise for film lovers was the greatest commercial movie theatre in the history of the United States, if not the world.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca commented about Carnegie Hall Cinema on Mar 14, 2004 at 3:12 am

The New York premiere run of Alain Resnais' LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD, one of the great must-see works of the French new wave, was at the Carnegie Hall Cinema in early 1962 and constituted one of its finest hours. In the late 1980’s the new teeny-weeny adjunct Carnegie Hall Screening Room featured a continuing series of new Italian cinema, sponsored by RAI and SACIS under the heading “Cinema Italia Roberto Rossellini.” One of the highlights in that series was the N.Y. commercial premiere of the uncut four hour version of Luchino Visconti’s LUDWIG.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca commented about Paris Theatre on Mar 13, 2004 at 3:45 pm

The Paris Theatre figures in one of the most significant events in cinematic exhibition history in the United States. It involved the Italian film of Roberto Rossellini, THE MIRACLE, a 40-minute piece that was part of a distributor-concocted 3-featurette package shown under the title WAYS OF LOVE. The other two parts of the program were Renoir’s A DAY IN THE COUNTRY and Pagnol’s JOFROI. When the program opened in New York at the Paris Theatre in December, 1950, Rossellini’s episode caused a storm of protest, similar to that which would greet Scorsese’s LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST. Religious groups considered the film “blasphemous”; it dealt with a poor peasant woman (Anna Magnani) who believes the child she is carrying is the baby Jesus. She had been seduced by a wandering shepherd, played by Federico Fellini, who also co-wrote the screenplay. The protests were organized mainly by Catholic organizations like the Legion of Decency, which ‘condemned’ it, the Knights of Columbus, which organized protests in New York and pressured the New York State Film Licensing Board into withdrawing a previously-granted exhibition license, preventing the film from being shown in theatres. Cardinal Spellman denounced the film (unviewed) from the pulpit of Saint Patricks’s Cathedral. The decision was appealed by Lillian Gerard, manager of the Paris Cinema. The case ultimately went to the U.S. Supreme Court where it was ruled that film is a form of free speech and that the banning of this movie had no legality. The whole story of this episode and the landmark case it led to can be read in “American Film”, the issues of June and July-August, 1977. The long article was written by Lillian Gerard herself.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca commented about Elmwood Theatre on Mar 13, 2004 at 9:58 am

The Elmwood opened as a neighborhood theatre in the 40’s. In the 60’s 70mm projection equipment was installed, and in its golden era this theatre became a roadshow house for many films, including LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, SOUTH PACIFIC, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS. A period of art house programming ensued, selected first run and second run. It was twinned, became a Spanish language theatre, and now is a Latino church.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca commented about Cable Car Cinema & Cafe on Mar 13, 2004 at 9:49 am

A second-run art house with a funky atmosphere, couches in the auditorium. This unique theatre, carved out of a former garage, opened in the mid 70’s and is very popular with Rhode Island School of Design students, since it is practically surrounded by the RISD campus. First run films are sometimes presented. There are sporadic special events, such as Brown University’s annual French Film Festival. From 1981 to 1996 I ran the Italian Film Society of R.I. screenings in this theatre on weekend afternoons. The cafe' has some great food, coffee, and snack offerings. Sound is very good. The only complaint to offer, and I’ve offered it often, is that all films, regardless of how they have been made, are presented in a similar wide screen aspect ratio, about 1:1.85, including CinemaScope films which invariably have the sides cropped. Older Academy ratio films cannot be properly shown either with top or botton of frame sliced off.