Comments from vindanpar

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vindanpar commented about Embassy 1 Theatre on Dec 21, 2015 at 3:07 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 commented about Radio City Music Hall on Dec 21, 2015 at 2:53 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 commented about Loew's Capitol Theatre on Dec 20, 2015 at 2:53 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 commented about Loew's Capitol Theatre on Dec 20, 2015 at 2:48 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 commented about Radio City Music Hall on Dec 18, 2015 at 5:16 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 commented about Broadway's Palace Theatre Will Be Lifted by Four Floors on Dec 16, 2015 at 8:14 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 commented about NYC ROXY Theatre 1955 on Dec 16, 2015 at 8:11 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 commented about Frank Sinatra Draws Thousands at Paramount Theatre in 1944 on Dec 16, 2015 at 7:59 am

The important question is what was the movie?

vindanpar commented about Rivoli Theatre on Nov 23, 2015 at 1:39 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 commented about Radio City Music Hall on Nov 8, 2015 at 11:05 am

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 commented about Regency Theatre on Nov 1, 2015 at 2:12 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 commented about Film Forum on Oct 29, 2015 at 8:55 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 commented about Film Forum on Oct 28, 2015 at 6:54 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 commented about St. James Theatre on Oct 28, 2015 at 6:27 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 commented about Loew's Jersey Theatre on Oct 27, 2015 at 6:51 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 commented about Criterion Theatre on Oct 27, 2015 at 6:22 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.

vindanpar commented about Criterion Theatre on Oct 27, 2015 at 5:12 pm

At a multiplex in Hoboken.

Digital projection.

No life to it whatsoever.

If you can’t get the opening credit sequence to this film right, and I consider it one of the best, forget it.

vindanpar commented about Criterion Theatre on Oct 27, 2015 at 12:23 pm

Recent MFL restoration lousy. Left shortly after titles. Sound flat and only behind the screen. Image did not have the practically 3D brilliance that the original Superpanavision 70MM prints had. Image did not even fill the screen. I guess if you like these films on DVD you’ll be fine. For me they are unwatchable. But I saw it on the 80ft curved screen at the Warner Cinerama. With a sound system that was glorious. I didn’t expect it to be so magnificent. It was something.

vindanpar commented about Radio City Music Hall on Oct 27, 2015 at 11:59 am

I read the curtain can no longer do the complex configurations Roxy designed it to do. Is this not the case? There are video screens and speakers I see in all the pictures. An ugly blight. The proscenium is for the Christmas and Spring shows and this is doing fine? These are the absolutely worst shows to have it for. This makes absolutely no sense to me but ok.

vindanpar commented about Radio City Music Hall on Oct 27, 2015 at 6:04 am

How ironic that a few years ago they made such a big deal about restoring the Hall to its former glory when they fouled up the curtain so that it is no longer allowed to make its multiple configurations, they installed a false proscenium totally throwing of the sweeping sunrise arches and have large video screens and ugly speakers everywhere. I guess the Music Hall is lost for good. Just like New York.

vindanpar commented about Loew's Jersey Theatre on Sep 19, 2015 at 8:25 pm

Yes it was and I thought it would be in mono. I was astonished the film was in stereo, I had no idea until I started listening. It seemed to become more pronounced as the film went on and became very impressive. Now if they could get some 70MM 6 track analogue prints that would be movie heaven. Would like to request though that reel changes be somewhat smoother. Often when you see one coming up your not quite sure what is going to happen. Will the screen go blank? Will they leave out a reel? Will you find yourself 10 minutes into the next reel or will the picture appear with no sound. All this happened last night. Except for the missing reel. That was WSS. Where they left out Officer Krupke. However they did play it after the film as an extra.

vindanpar commented about Lafayette Theatre on Jul 5, 2015 at 12:57 pm

A roadshow print of Sand Pebbles? I didn’t even know one existed. Do you know if this was newly struck or was it from the 60s?

vindanpar commented about St. James Theatre on Jul 1, 2015 at 6:50 pm

It really is heartbreaking seeing the old postcards of Asbury Park. I vacationed there as a boy with my family in the 60s. It was a very beautiful seaside town with both honky-tonk and class side by side. I don’t think anything like it exists today.

The St James and Mayfair were great theaters. How lucky people were back then to have such wonderful movie theaters to go to after a day at the beach and then a late evening stroll on the boardwalk.

vindanpar commented about News From Loews Jersey City on Jun 12, 2015 at 10:23 am

One would like this to be the case but after the government swoops in to take advantage of literally decades of the Friends of the Loew’s struggles and work(I’ve been going there since they could only show movies in the lobby) as soon as we see them in league with the big music promoters I think we can say goodbye to reasonably priced classic films. It would simply cost too much money to open the theater after such an expensive renovation for such little revenue. Those who have dedicated so much time to the theater will be left out in the cold(I hope I have to eat those words.)

Look at Radio City, Loew’s Paradise and the Kings. Do any of these show films at what once was called popular prices? Do they show silents with an organ? I’m not aware of it if they do. Maybe someone has more knowledge of this than I do.

I just find it so ironic that people like Ms Morrill who view the world through green colored glasses talk about being concerned with benefiting the people of Jersey when all she sees is a cash cow. As other cities renovate theaters for over priced concerts that locals can’t even afford Jersey City politicos are chomping at the bit. They can’t even wait 5 lousy years! That says it all.

As I said before if she and people of her kind had the say so years ago the Loew’s would have become nothing but rubble.

vindanpar commented about Perth's Ambassadors Theatre - A Short Tribute to a Lost Gem on Jun 6, 2015 at 8:00 pm

Down Under and invisible?

Unfortunately yes, though pictures I’ve seen of Perth in the early part of the 20th century reveal it to have been a magnificent city. One I would have gladly flown half the globe to visit. Now it looks from photos like any other in the 21st.