Comments from vindanpar

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vindanpar
vindanpar commented about Radio City Music Hall on Dec 23, 2015 at 7:01 am

When I first started going to the Hall in ‘70 it was $1.75 before 12 weekday mornings and this was when they still had a ballet company, full symphony orchestra and 36 Rockettes. I believe a few months before it had been $1.50.

Of course the films at that point were very weak, things like Sunflower and Private Life of Sherlock Holmes which was so disastrous they had to pull it early and for the first time in Music Hall history and opened the Christmas show before Thanksgiving which at the time was considered too early.

The films only got worse but every once in a while though rarely they got a What’s Up Doc or Play It Again Sam.

Sill I got to see the spectacles Rhapsody in Blue and the Undersea Ballet which were great. Literally missed Bolero by days and though it had been done frequently in the past it was never done again much to my eternal chagrin. It was done again as part of a Encores spectacle but it was a completely new staging and new sets and costumes like the current Nativity. A completely different thing without the Leonidoff imprimatur and therefore not really the Music Hall at all.

vindanpar
vindanpar commented about Radio City Music Hall on Dec 22, 2015 at 8:46 am

And maybe Mr Endres is to modest to say but the presentation of SITR was so spectacular that Vincent Canby in that Sunday Times did a big piece on it(gilt edged he called it.) And you must understand this was in 75 when all the NY critics were droning on endlessly about the American New Wave in all their long essays. Very surprising.

I was there on a Saturday and had never seen the film before not even on TV. I was in shock(you know how us movie fans can be) and sat through it twice. I had never seen such colors before and there seemed to be enough inventiveness for 10 films.

It was one of my 3 greatest movie going experiences.

Also I don’t know if the sound had been put through some fake stereo or what but I have not heard since then Conrad Salinger’s orchestrations with such clarity. Especially in the sound stage sequence when Kelly starts turning on the effects for Reynolds. Listen to what Salinger is doing and imagine it in stereo. Magical. Who knows maybe it was stereo originally! The great score of Scaramouche was recorded in stereo(alas the tracks are lost) and that played at the Hall shortly after Rain the same year. Doubt though if it was presented that way. At this point who knows?

The Music Hall had a great stereo system and this was before Dolby. The analogue stereo was better. Warmer, richer and with greater depth. Not so hard and glassy. And there were no visible speakers!

The memory of the sound in the final musical sequence of Scrooge when all the groups converge still gives me chills. It made the final moments of Finney all the more moving. I was a boy but I was practically lifted out of my seat in exhilaration.

vindanpar
vindanpar commented about Baronet and Coronet Theatre on Dec 21, 2015 at 11:51 pm

When I referred to Ran and OK I was continuing the Cinema 1 discussion. When I mentioned MMM I specifically said sneak preview. I’m sorry I’ve confused you but as I said that photo initially threw me.

My memories are not false. There is no need for research I was there. Sometimes memories run together and I apologize for that. Especially when its 35 years ago and you’ve got 5 theaters on the same small city block.

vindanpar
vindanpar commented about Rivoli Theatre on Dec 21, 2015 at 11:32 pm

I posted on the Music Hall page. That woman was correct but she got the year wrong. It was ‘75.

And the Music Hall did indeed show long epics with their stage shows. Not only SOM, but also GWTW, 2001 and Dr.Z. And though I didn’t see the other films SOM had its intermission as well.

vindanpar
vindanpar commented about Baronet and Coronet Theatre on Dec 21, 2015 at 11:05 pm

I found this on the 70mm website referring to the ‘82 release of OK though it does not mention the theater it played in.

‘Major restorations on the film, which has had only limited TV airing and has been theatrically shown only in 35mm since 1956, was done under the supervision of Tom Bodley, Goldwyn’s director of the film department, in conjunction with MGM laboratories and Todd-AO. This marks the first time in 20 years that a print has been struck in 70mm, rather than blown up from the conventional 35mm. The restored version will include the films original overtures, exit music and intermission.’

So what did I see at the Penthouse above the Warner Cinerama in ‘78? Was it an original Todd AO print? Whatever it was it was spectacular and I did not know why I liked it so much when on TV it was such a bore until I found out it really was separately filmed from the 35mm film. So that bit about it only being shown in 35mm since '56 is wrong.

If I could only go back in time and have the sense to talk to the managers and the projectionists of that era.

I still remember the humongous cans of Todd AO South Pacific in the Cinerama lobby.

vindanpar
vindanpar commented about Baronet and Coronet Theatre on Dec 21, 2015 at 10:47 pm

Well I saw Ran and OK here in the 80s though god knows this is so long ago now. What year did Ran open? It was very crowded and I waited on one of those east side movie lines that were so ubiquitous back then.

I then returned to see a sneak preview of Manhattan Murder Mystery in the 90s and remember thinking they ruined this one splendid spacious art house. It was clearly a disappointingly smaller place though I could tell by the seat configuration it was part of the older theater.

And I was surprised myself that they showed OK(maybe ‘81 or '82?) considering that this was one of NY’s most important theaters of the time but it was a special big fanfare release and I was grateful the screen was large enough to do it justice. I saw it on a Sat and it wasn’t at all crowded so it probably didn’t last too long.

vindanpar
vindanpar commented about Baronet and Coronet Theatre on Dec 21, 2015 at 9:43 pm

Are you saying the original screen size in theater 1 is the same and only the auditorium was made smaller? Because when I returned in the 90’s the auditorium was much smaller and the screen was in no way as expansive as what it was for OK.

Goldwyn releasing played OK exclusively here in the early 80s so it would be interesting to see what the ad says. If it says 70mm I stand corrected. But could they have played a 70MM print and called it Todd AO?

vindanpar
vindanpar commented about Baronet and Coronet Theatre on Dec 21, 2015 at 8:52 pm

Not wrong Coronet, wrong theater!

I’m thinking of the Cinema 1 because of the photo which gives it pride of place. The Cinema 1 was split which before then was a fair sized theater and that is where I saw Oklahoma in Todd AO.

vindanpar
vindanpar commented about Baronet and Coronet Theatre on Dec 21, 2015 at 5:14 pm

Before the Coronet l was split it had a very impressive sized screen. They even showed Oklahoma there in Todd AO in the early 80s.

The recent publicity about Oklahoma being shown for the first time in Todd AO in 60 years is bunk. I even saw it at the Penthouse in ‘78 in a beautiful print. You can even see the ad for it on the Strand page.

vindanpar
vindanpar commented about Embassy 1 Theatre on Dec 21, 2015 at 5:07 pm

From what I remember of that time and I was so young and went to so few presentations as it was at the point when first run Times Square houses were turning to exploitation films was that roadshow movie houses along with Broadway theaters had female ushers.

Men in tuxedoes sold the souvenir programs. I remember this from when the Rivoli showed Fiddler and the Criterion showed MFL in ‘71.

And I only remember usherettes at legitimate theaters though now it is kind of hazy. Maybe somebody who was going to Broadway shows and roadshow movies during the 50s and 60s could clarify this.

vindanpar
vindanpar commented about Radio City Music Hall on Dec 21, 2015 at 4:53 pm

She did not mean ‘65 she meant '75. SOM had a run with stage show. I remember it as it was one of the most beautiful 70MM prints of a film I have ever seen and the sound was spectacular. A great movie presentation(maybe I should thank Mr. Endres.)

I didn’t stay for the stage show because by that time they were so pathetic they were unwatchable. By this time there was no ballet and the Rockettes were cut to 30. The great spectacles that made the Hall famous were no longer done. There were relatively few people on that vast stage and sets were simple and unimpressive.

Also at this point so few people were going to the Hall that sometimes the lights were kept a dark blue so you didn’t realize you were only among a couple of hundred people in a theater of 6,000 seats. Of course you knew and it was painfully sad.

The only good thing I could say about the Hall at this point is that they could still could present a movie. Singing in the Rain, Fantasia and The Sting(if only it had opened there!)were also excellent presentations.

Also the Hall was kept unadorned and intact in its art deco magnificence. No extraneous lights, video screens or thunderous ugly Dolby speakers on the choral stairs.

vindanpar
vindanpar commented about Loew's Capitol Theatre on Dec 20, 2015 at 4:53 pm

And Bill if there’s anyone I envy it’s someone who saw 2001 at the Capitol. Perhaps the ultimate movie experience? Though seeing it at the Rivoli in ‘76 was pretty stupendous. I was completely floored.

vindanpar
vindanpar commented about Loew's Capitol Theatre on Dec 20, 2015 at 4:48 pm

Very odd that for the big 50 for Dr. Z there hasn’t been much of a flurry. Nobody thinks about it anymore though for many years it was considered a classic? No listing of premiere engagements? No restored print theatrical showings? It deserves better. Though I do think it was a crime not filming it in 70MM. Penny wise pound foolish.

vindanpar
vindanpar commented about Radio City Music Hall on Dec 18, 2015 at 7:16 pm

Great ad from near the end of the Music Hall’s golden age era of a movie and stage show presentation house. There was a real excitement to going to see a Christmas show back then.

vindanpar
vindanpar commented about Broadway's Palace Theatre Will Be Lifted by Four Floors on Dec 16, 2015 at 10:14 am

I avoid Times Square like the plague now.

Too heartbreaking to see what has been destroyed from the 80s.
If I went back to the 60s it would even be more so.

vindanpar
vindanpar commented about NYC ROXY Theatre 1955 on Dec 16, 2015 at 10:11 am

A film like this normally would have played the Music Hall. Guess they didn’t think it was good enough or maybe because it was a 20th Century Fox film.

vindanpar
vindanpar commented about Frank Sinatra Draws Thousands at Paramount Theatre in 1944 on Dec 16, 2015 at 9:59 am

The important question is what was the movie?

vindanpar
vindanpar commented about Rivoli Theatre on Nov 23, 2015 at 3:39 pm

Thanks for the recent pics of the Rivoli at twilight in the early 60s. Wish I had been around then to go to these roadshow movies. I’m sure I would have gone multiple times.

Going to a multiplex to see contemporary movies does absolutely nothing for me. A DVD at home will do fine.

vindanpar
vindanpar commented about Radio City Music Hall on Nov 8, 2015 at 1:05 pm

I believe the Music Hall opened with 46. With that false proscenium they can make the stage shows smaller without it being noticeable.

The ballet company and orchestra were huge as well as one can see in photos from the early 30s.

In the 70s after they cut the ballet troupe the Rockettes were cut down to 30. Though there was no false proscenium the curtain opening got narrower and the girls were a bit more spaced out. Also the orchestra members were also spaced out and they started to use a synthesizer to augment it.

vindanpar
vindanpar commented about Regency Theatre on Nov 1, 2015 at 4:12 pm

Frank Rowley was one of the great contributors to the New York revival house scene of the 70s and 80s.

A bit aloof and serious but nice when you approached him to ask about upcoming festivals.

He had a wonderful evening with Robert Wise who was with Portia Nelson at the Gramercy. One of the last evenings in NY with one of the giants of the studio era.

And those summer MGM festivals were out of this world. But on the weekends you had to get there very early or end up on the standby line which was almost as long as the ticket holders line.

The Regency was one of the best things about New York for movie lovers during those decades.

vindanpar
vindanpar commented about Film Forum on Oct 29, 2015 at 10:55 am

I myself am grateful for the place. Bruce is a wonderful programmer and Steve Sterner should be in every issue of New York magazine’s The Best of New York.

I just will not see wide screen films there because they seem pointless. But then there isn’t one wide screen in NY that can do justice to old wide screen films while it seems there are several on the west coast which sadly enough I can’t get to.

Oddly enough the old Film Forum had a very good wide screen in the right side cinema which hit you head on. Too bad they couldn’t design a similar one for this space.

Another big caveat. Too many old films getting 1 to 3 week runs. And much fewer double bills. It wasn’t like this years ago. Most of these single film runs you would see on double bills that ran a day or two. I don’t care if they are DCP restorations they are a waste of time for those of us who have memberships and have already seen these films in excellent prints which Film Forum would often present anyway. Very frustrating.

vindanpar
vindanpar commented about Film Forum on Oct 28, 2015 at 8:54 am

Presentation of films here is always top notch. Though I believe they squeezed in more seats in the revival room(can’t really call it a theater) because my knees now hit the seat in front of me which didn’t happen before.

My only problem is the size of the wide screen which is really a joke. They might as well set up a flat screen tv in front of the audience and show it on dvd.

They are showing Spartacus for a week. They might as well be showing a three strip This Is Cinerama for all the sense that makes.

vindanpar
vindanpar commented about St. James Theatre on Oct 28, 2015 at 8:27 am

Saw Hello Dolly here in July ‘70. Believe it was in Todd AO. Wonderful roadshow theater. Comfortable with large screen. Sat mat and practically empty. No reserved seats and continuous showings. By that time roadshow presentation was just about dead though Dolly was still paying exclusive engagements and would go wide later in the summer.

I do think mezz was 50 cents more than orch or balc. Though I just sat there anyway and usherette didn’t mind.

vindanpar
vindanpar commented about Loew's Jersey Theatre on Oct 27, 2015 at 8:51 pm

The print for Guns was very good. It was the changeovers that were sloppy. They work so hard to keep this theater going and to present 35mm films that I wish presentation wasn’t so uneven. It is as if half the time they have a professional and the other half an eager volunteer.

The gilt edged presentation of Flesh and the Devil a few years ago was royally messed up by the projectionist though probably the organist and myself were the only people who noticed and I had never even seen the film before!

vindanpar
vindanpar commented about Criterion Theatre on Oct 27, 2015 at 8:22 pm

Yes it was the Bowtie and it was the restored version to tie it in with the blu-ray coming out.

It looked no better than the 90’s restoration and the sound was much worse. In fact the sound wasn’t very good even at the Ziegfeld in ‘93.

I guess Super Panavision 70 6 track stereo has deteriorated beyond salvation.