Showing 201 - 225 of 804 comments
Ok, so what’s the movie that I’m paying to see?
Huh?Does Google translate English to English?
The entire first mezz was always reserved seats for every performance of its move/stage show history. To say 2500 seats reserved, which itself is an exaggeration, it would have taken the entire first and second mezz.
Concerning grindhouse’s series of STAR! ads Saul Chaplin writes in his auto bio that when the first ad was placed 17 months before the opening and in the midst of production they received thousands of responses. When in ‘68 these same people received mail order forms the responses were in the hundreds. People lost interest overnight in Julie Andrews roadshow musicals. You could say that in a year the world had changed which was true but a month before the STAR opening the old-fashioned Funny Girl was a big hit at the Criterion. And then Oliver opening in Dec was another big hit. The sad bitter truth is that STAR! was a terrible film. Even I who am a lover of 60s reserved seat film when I finally saw it in a roadshow cut at the Regency thought wow this really is a bomb. I got the dvd to find out if I was wrong but when I turned it off at intermission I had no desire to turn it on again. I really wanted to love it. I remember seeing the spectacular block long sign in Times Square and then the 7th Av Rivoli billboard. Both very impressive. Got the cutout LP and loved it. And ordered the souvenir book from National Publishers which was a beaut.
But then there was the film itself which was expected to have a run of at least a year and a half rivaling that of SOM. And nobody went. Gone by February. Though I wonder if it had been the hit they were expecting where would Sweet Charity and Hello Dolly had opened? The other prestigious houses were taken though I guess Sweet Charity could have opened at Loew’s State 2(what if CCBB been a hit?) and Hello Dolly could have opened at Loew’s State 1.
I don’t see either of them opening at the Demille, Palace(this might have had George M when Charity opened), or Cinerama or Penthouse. Maybe Dolly could have pushed out Funny Girl at the Criterion.
I’ve always wanted to see this movie simply because it closed the Roxy. did the people in the audience know it was the last night of the Roxy or did it close without being announced? I wonder how many people were there.
I assume that was the lay out of the auditorium until ‘70? I wonder if the proscenium was widened for 70mm or if it was projected within it for films like MFL and Camelot.
I just noticed the ad for The Devils. This and Song of the South are the only 2 films I know of as banned.
Are there any pictures of the interior when it was Warner’s premiere house in London in the 60s? I only see the one of the band right at the lip of the proscenium but nothing of the auditorium itself. Above picture looks like after the twinning in ‘70.
That’s one of the shortest shows I’ve seen at the Hall. Movie must have been about 75 minutes when you think there was The March of Time.
As per CC’s ad Harry and Walter Go to New York was the first non exclusive NY area film for the Music Hall. When I mentioned this to a woman in the box office when I worked there before the film had opened she said to me ‘that’s it, it’s over.’
George Roy Hill was an odd choice to make this eagerly awaited epic(his previous film was the quirky Henry Orient popular with critics though not so much with audiences. It did so poorly as the usually enormously popular Music Hall Easter film that he declared he would never have one of his films play there again.) and it turned out to be a poor one.
Movie was playing drive ins by the summer of ‘67. Probably made it even that long as a roadshow because of the immense popularity of the book.
Eventually one of his films did play at the Music Hall, The Sting, though second run. It honestly would have been a suburb choice to open there. But Hollywood no longer wanted the theater. Films opening there were from hunger. It was an excellent presentation. Beautiful print with Joplin’s wonderful music very impressive through the Hall’s excellent sound system. Enjoyed it so much more there than I had than when the film first opened.
Considering The Sand Pebbles had its world premiere at the Rivoli Dec 20,‘66 this is probably '67.
A friend who has worked for years as an usher in Broadway theaters is saying it could be March.
Yes but the Music Hall has about 6,000 seats. If 2 mezzanines are used that brings you down to more like 4,000.
When selling first mezzanine seats in advance for a holiday show for example the Music Hall would always say 5,000 general admission seats available for every performance. Here they are saying the exact same thing but reserved seats are in two mezzanines.
It’s pure hype.
When I worked there as a doorman they would sometimes create outside lines when the performance was far from sold out or even well attended.
I think Times Square theaters did the same thing.
I read Mike Todd sometimes had the sold out sign put up at the Rivoli for 80 Days even if the performance wasn’t.
Now on youtube I’ve been hearing that Disney has been known to buy out performances of ‘tentpole’ movies to inflate grosses and increase demand for tickets. The old showmanship is not completely dead.
If that is the case how did they come up with 5,000 general admission seats available?
And how did this movie get a G rating?
You didn’t experience the curved screen at the Rivoli?
You can see a quite a number of seams. I wonder how noticeable it was when a film was on the screen.
But they were able to fly it so it couldn’t have been that curved and it had to be inside the proscenium so there couldn’t be any sense of enveloping the audience despite what the ads made it look like. Of course I’m not speaking from first hand experience. Is there anybody who can?
Yes all the theaters showed exploitation fare but the DeMille, Criterion and Cinerama got the worst of it. It was especially bewildering to me about the Criterion. I thought it was the classiest of the bunch on my all time favorite NY block with the spectacular Bonds sign above it and then the Gordon’s Gin above that. At least until the early 70s.
Both Tora Tora Tora and Nicholas and Alexandra were both very early 70s blips that had very poor runs. I remember going to Nicholas on a Saturday mat and there was hardly anyone in the audience.
As to CC’s current photo from Funny Girl to Myra Breckinridge in a matter of months shows you how Times Square and movies in general were changing very rapidly and not for the better. And then to come shortly trashy ordeals at the Criterion like Possession of Joe Delaney and Mandingo. One of the most important cinemas turned into an exploitation house in less than 6 months. More like 2 months if you include Patton as one of its more prestigious offerings. Places like Loews State and then the National and Astor Plaza managed to not wallow in the mud. Unfortunately the Criterion was the best of them.
Looks like Preminger owned Broadway between 45th and 46th Streets.
It was the $6.50 I had trouble making out but that’s what I figured. Maybe the highest movie ticket price ever adjusted for inflation for a non benefit performance? In fact taking inflation into account My Fair Lady seems to have had the highest ticket prices ever overall. Even Sound of Music at the Rivoli was cheaper. $1.25 cheaper for a loge seat on a Saturday night in 1965 dollars was a big difference.
Anybody have the prices of This is Cinerama or Cleopatra at hand for comparison?
Grindhouse could you list the prices for MFL for NY’s Eve which are difficult to make out?
This must have been where my parents took us to see My Fair Lady though we usually went to the Nyack or 303. Children under 12 free.
Definitely saw Finian’s Rainbow here and I remember the lights from the Garden State Plaza being a distraction.
Moviebuff you left off the Century which was a beautiful single screen theater on the edge of the Plaza parking lot until they split it down the middle in the early 70s and it became a dump.
Great stuff grindhouse. I love these ads. Thank you. Now if I had been older I would have been going to these gilt edged roadshow presentations several times per film.