Does anyone know how long THE SHARK IS STILL WORKING originally ran? My only "this is too good to be true" fear is that it's some shorter, edited version of the original piece, and now we'll never see the original piece. That's based on nothing but equal parts speculation and neuroses, however
Actually I wouldn't be surprised. I think the original was about two hours.
It was a working movie palace. Probably the biggest bummer of the show getting canceled was that building (or the inside of it, at least) getting disassembled. They need to be giving tours of it. Or screw it - just set another show there. You're right, it was gorgeous.
Okay well I can explain that it was all on a stage at Warners - entirely a set, that had only the slightest resemblance to a theatre. I remember looking at it knowing it was supposed to be an old theatre but didn't look much like one - but from my days at Studio 54 and Xenon, the Ed Sullivan, an old former RKO on upper Bway where Love, Sidney was shot, and the former Aquarius/Earl Carroll Vanities nee Nick on Sunset - I know that you can "adapt" nearly all the atmospheric and functional theatricality out of a theatre. If it makes you feel better, you know movie and TV sets (like the Kodak Theatre) are built to look good on camera and don't look nearly as good in person - this set was definitely like that. I think it was in one of the old West Wing stages, directly across from where Friends (previously Full House) was. The exterior was simply the Hollywood Palladium with matte work from the marquee up. The side entrance and building across the street were shot pretty much as they are. Sorry for the sidebar... to compensate: Soo... moments I can report from the TSISW doc... they even got into some of the more quotable lines and characters. Someone on the island made up t-shirts that say "a whaaaaa?" - the goofy townie's reaction to Dreyfuss' line about the shark species. The local actress (who I always thought looked more like a grandmother than the mom of little Alex Kitner) says hundreds of people have asked her to slap them, and she won't do it anymore. Some of the cast have aged enough to be almost unrecognizable. Oh, and what happened to the sharks and the boat... The sharks of course were badly damaged by the salt water, so very little of them survived, but what was left of the Orca boat ended up unassumingly in the Cabot Cove bay on the USH backlot. That was the Amity background for the Jaws attack on the studio tour. The Orca was not put there for that reason, it was just another unrecognizable prop. At some point the Orca was disposed of, because very few people on the lot (including Steven) knew what it really was. For years the studio tour has passed an outdoor prop storage area where a wrought iron elevator car sat among the other stuff, very familiar to people who have seen Universal's record breaking roadshow hit from 1967 that ranks only a couple titles behind Jaws. The tram also went right past a bridge built for Shirley MacLaine to get pushed off of into a heated lake for a 1969 musical. The bridge was altered for Weird Science and later for the "red sea" effect on the tour, but on a lunch hour from some shoot there, I was able to find enough parts of it that are still identical to what i saw the night before on the DVD.