phillyfilmbuff

Roadshows

5 posts in this topic

I can remember seeing what is being called a roadshow throughout the 50s. My parents would take me into Center City Philadelphia to all the large extravagant theatres to see films like The Robe, The Ten Commandments, Around The World in Eighty Days, Pepe, Oklahoma!, South Pacific, Ben-Hur, Giant, for starters. They all came replete with overtures, intermissions, programs in the lobby and my favorite - bon bons! So I’m thinking roadshow wasn’t new to the 60s. 

In fact, I recently got the roadshow edition of Since You Went Away! Wasn’t that the 40s?

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I remember seeing Billy Rose's Jumbo in the early 60s and the lobby was full of all kinds of souvenirs and memorabilia. I know I wanted a stuffed elephant, but I don't remember getting one so I doubt my parents gave in. That's really the only road shop type of movie I remember seeing.

We were stationed in Germany when Sound of Music was released and the first time we saw it was at a German theater. It was dubbed in German with English subtitles. (or vice versa, now I'm wondering...it was over 50 years ago so I guess I can be forgiven for a lack of total recall). But I'm fairly sure it was German with English subtitles. Either way, I didn't enjoy it very much we got back to the States and I saw in on TV.

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The last road show movie with reserved seats that I remember seeing was the musical remake of Goodbye Mr. Chips in 1969.  Tickets were bought by mail weeks in advance.  

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The first time I saw The Sound of Music was when it was re-released in the 70s. I was quite young, maybe 5 or 6 years old. It was shown in an old movie theater with huge chandeliers and curved staircases leading to the balcony. There were programs and an overture, just like the road show event it was when originally released. However, when the intermission started after Maria left the night of the ball, I started crying uncontrollably. I thought the movie was over. Talk about relief when my aunt told me there was a second part! I could enjoy my Junior Mints in peace.

 

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I saw the Roadshow of "Sound of Music" at the Colony Theater in Cleveland. A very elaborate beautiful theater that happily is still standing, although renamed.  I remember "Sound of Music" being there for a very long time.  The picture attached is another roadshow film shown there.

 

 

colony.jpg

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