Comments from vindanpar

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vindanpar commented about Baronet and Coronet Theatre on Dec 21, 2015 at 9:05 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 commented about Baronet and Coronet Theatre on Dec 21, 2015 at 8:47 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 commented about Baronet and Coronet Theatre on Dec 21, 2015 at 7:43 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 commented about Baronet and Coronet Theatre on Dec 21, 2015 at 6:52 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 commented about Baronet and Coronet Theatre on Dec 21, 2015 at 3:14 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 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.