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Mr Sugarman was friends with my parents and always came out to talk when we went there to a movie. The 60s weren’t always the best years for the movies, but he always liked to say that “there’s nothing wrong with the picture business that can’t be solved with good pictures.”
I loved that theatre and saw so many wonderful movies there. One of the best was the reissue in the early 80s of the Todd-AO version of Oklahoma! One of the most thrilling movie experiences I’ve ever had.
Thanks, you just caught me where I live: the day-to-day minutiae of operating a great movie palace. No detail too small!
If you look at the timings of the overture and exit music, the time between shows is probably more like 22 minutes. Pretty tight turnaround, no doubt, but the 5:15 show probably rarely sold out and there was a healthy 40 minute break before the evening show to pick up trash and straighten up.
The overture and exit music played with the curtain closed and the lights up, so that was extra time to get people in and out. I’ll bet the Capitol, designed as it was for 5000 people, emptied pretty fast.
Interesting. I wonder, from 1933 to 1979, did RCMH never close, not even one day? Anyone know?
Why so full of rage? “The Wind Cannot Read” was the last film to play the Roxy which makes it completely on-topic. And I’ll bet a lot of fans of the Roxy have wondered over the years why they have never been able to see this film, however routine or dull it may be.
Yes, I wonder if they ever replaced it.
And yes the screen was somewhat curved, looking at the photo. Nothing like Cinerama, CM, or a Todd-AO Cinestage screen, of course.
If you can copy and paste this link, scroll down for a photo of the Roxy’s Cinemascope screen at the 1953 debut of “The Robe”. It was able to be flown because stage shows continued at the Roxy up until it’s last weeks. It was 65x25 feet.
The exception was the 24 week run of “Windjammer” in CineMiracle in 1958. The CM screen was 100x40 feet and completely covered the proscenium and some of the side walls. The front of the Roxy suffered severe damage during its installation. After Windjammer, those messed up walls were covered in drapes and the Cinemascope + stage presentations continued for about two more years till the theatre closed.
My mother, who attended this theatre as a girl in the 1920s and 1930s, recalled that she and her sisters preferred it to the other Hough area movie theatres. She said it was classier and had nicer amenities than those other neighborhood movie theatres. It would be nice if someone had an interior photo.
This photo is of the Knickerbocker Theatre in Columbus OH
And not to forget there is also a fourth giant reel synched up for each half which contains just the soundtrack!
Has there been any activity on beginning the Uptown’s restoration yet? Thanks!
First, but not only. Thanks for the reminder!
Interesting how this photo has been retouched to make the crowd much much bigger than it was.(If indeed there was any crowd at all!)
The Capitol was the number one flagship theatre of the entire chain.
Why not post instructions on how to do it?
Check out photo 131 on p7. Its plenty big and slightly curved and just fits inside the proscenium. Of course I was never in the Roxy, but if you search for the photo that shows the Roxy’s pre-CinemaScope standard screen you can see why it must have thrilled audiences. And, for what it’s worth, the Roxy was already gone 2 years when the Capitol installed its 90 foot Cinerama screen.
The Roxy’s Cinemiracle screen for “Windjammer” was reported to be 100 feet wide. But it was in use only for a few months and was removed immediately following the 23-week run of that movie. The Roxy’s regular wide screen, initially installed for “The Robe”, was 68x24 feet. This screen was able to be flown out and allowed the stage to be used for the Roxy’s stage shows.
This is amazing. I’ve never seen this view before! Thanks for posting.
Bill, you actually have taken us back. Your descriptions make me feel like I was there! Thanks for that.
FYI: If you didn’t know: 2001 is still running at the Village East, at least through June 21, per their website.
Also it is now at the AMC Garden State 16 in Paramus, June 16-19.
I love the detailed description of the “2001 Experience”. Makes me want head over there now!
Oh gosh. I had heard John Harvey was Ill. I’m sorry to know he has died. He was the nicest person, and the work he put into that Cinerama run in Dayton, I think it was about 1.5 years, was unbelievable. Installing the screen and projectors, which he owned, and then running almost all of the shows himself. His prints of HTWWW and This Is Cinerama were as gorgeous as you could ever hope to see. May he Rest In Peace!
No sadly I was never in the Capitol. I saw 2001 during the 1990s Cinerama revival at the New Neon Cinema. Fantastic, but not the same as your experience at the Capitol.
Any news of the new 70mm print of 2001:A Space Odyssey appearing at the Fox this summer?