Comments from vindanpar

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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.

vindanpar commented about Radio City Music Hall on Jun 6, 2015 at 5:14 pm

Mike I only wish I had the photos I saw in a family encyclopedia I had as a boy which were under the heading of ballet. I believe you bought them volume by volume from the A and P.

Also the company Impact Photos I believe it was called had photos in one of the outside vetrines of the Music Hall of past stage shows(by the 70s this was far in the past)which were pretty impressive.

The most spectacular stage show I saw was the ‘69 Christmas show which started with The Nativity(very Catholic Renaissance unlike today’s more reformed Christian take)and ended with I kid you not the launch of Apollo 11 and its’ landing on the moon with a guy as Neil Armstrong coming out of the spacecraft and planting the American flag on the lunar surface. How they managed to tie this into a grand Christmas finale was ingenious. Such was the theatrical showmanship of the old days.

vindanpar commented about News From Loews Jersey City on Jun 6, 2015 at 1:48 pm

City spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill offered a statement later calling the judge’s decision “a loss for residents.”

“Instead of the possibility of daily events with global talent coming to Jersey City, this instead guarantees the theater will sit as is with only sporadic silent movies, even less frequent concerts, no air conditioning and no ability of the group to complete the restoration,” Morrill said. “It is upsetting because the most important thing to the FOL was protecting their own personal salaries and fiefdom, despite the fact they can’t complete the repairs after 25 years.”

Her lack of knowledge(to put it very very kindly indeed) about what the Friends of the Loew’s has meant to Jersey City and her ugly swipe concerning those running it is appalling.

This woman owes a big apology to those who have a commitment to this city and this theater which is beyond her comprehension. The fact that she would accuse anyone else of protecting their own salary is beyond rich.

vindanpar commented about Radio City Music Hall on Jun 6, 2015 at 12:35 pm

That seems curious as the Music Hall disbanded its' ballet company 4 years earlier and it was not in existence when the Music Hall ended its' film/stage show format.

This was especially unfortunate as the ballet company was the ensemble on which the Music Halls spectacles were built such as Rhapsody in Blue, Bolero and the Undersea Ballet.

I remember many years ago seeing color photos of Music Hall stage shows from the 50s and they really were something. I wish somebody would find them and post them.

By the 70s when I was going and especially after the ballet company was dismissed the stage shows were incredibly amateurish, cheap looking and embarrassing. The curtain opening kept getting smaller and smaller doing little to disguise the fact that the sets were puny and there were few people on stage. Even the Rockettes were reduced to 30!

Even when films still had limited engagements the Music Hall got the leftovers which were from hunger. Why didn’t the Hall get films like The Way We Were, Murder on the Orient Express or That’s Entertainment? Because the studios no longer wanted their films to open there. Seeing stuff on the great screen like The Girl from Petrovka and Hennesy was mortifying.

vindanpar commented about News From Loews Jersey City on Jun 6, 2015 at 10:40 am

I would like to know the name of the spokesperson who questions the motives of the paid staff of the Loew’s while earning their salary off the taxpayers as a government flunkey who is so ill informed that at best they are repeating the party line and at worst questioning the ethics of individuals who with great dedication have fought for many years to save this jewel in the New Jersey crown.

This is a person who knows nothing of their struggles and achievements yet with the typical hot air of one who claims authority while knowing little of their subject speaks only for those who wish to exploit the efforts of so many years of the Friends of the Loew’s for personal financial gain. This same individual 25 years ago would have happily witnessed the destruction of this great building crowing eagerly about what a great boon to the economy a large, ugly, soulless office building would be.

vindanpar commented about Criterion Theatre on Jun 6, 2015 at 10:03 am

I’d like to thank the individual who posted the covers of the souvenir programs of the roadshow attractions that played at The Criterion during its' heyday in the 50s and 60s. Unfortunately I was too young to go Times Square during this era. By the time I was old enough this great prestigious movie house was reduced to showing horror and exploitation films. All the more astonishing because the nearby Loew’s State and Astor Plaza were still getting top Hollywood films. I would be curious to know why the management of this beautiful theater couldn’t get top product and drove it into the ground. Its multiplexing was horribly done and heartbreaking.