Billy Wilder Comedy Film Festival At Loew's Jersey Theatre

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Susan_S, Mar 10, 2004.

  1. Susan_S

    Susan_S Auditioning

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    Wilder Laughter
    With Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, James Cagney & More!
    Friday, March 19 & Saturday, March 20

    Spring Comedy Festival
    At the Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre
    54 Journal Square, Jersey City, N.J.*

    Tel. (201) 798-6055*

    Friends of the Loew's continues our tradition of ushering in Spring with laughter by
    presenting three of the brightest comedies by Billy Wilder, one of* America's most prolific
    movie makers, and featuring some of the greatest stars of the mid-20th century, some in
    familiar roles and others playing decidedly against type in one way or the other:

    "Sabrina"
    Starring Humphrey Bogart & Audrey Hepburn
    (1954, 113 min., Paramount, B&W)
    Academy Award for Edith Head's Costume Design

    Friday, March 19, 8PM:* A romantic comedy that's part fairy tale, Sabrina features
    Humphrey Bogart playing somewhat against type, in a role originally intended for Carey
    Grant, as the protagonist who knows the price of everything but has no concept of the
    value of love.* William Holden plays Bogart's younger brother who wants to marry for love,
    not money.* Audrey Hepburn is a Cinderella-type character; her waif-like vulnerability and
    angelic beauty, as always, make her perfect for such a part.* Wilder, who directed,
    produced and shared screenplay credit for Sabrina uses snappy banter and double
    entendres to play on such themes as commerce vs. love, cynicism vs. romanticism, sex vs.
    love.* In typical Wilder form, he doesn't hit the audience over the head with these themes,
    but rather uses just a wink and a nod to play them out as we are thoroughly charmed by
    watching Bogart and Hepburn inexorably fall for each other.

    "One, Two, Three"
    Starring James Cagney
    (1961, 110 min, United Artists, B&W)

    ***A Rare Big Screen Presentation of This Title, Screened in an Archival Print***

    Saturday, March 20, 4 PM:** In his last starring role in a theatrically released motion
    picture, Jimmy Cagney gave a virtuoso turn in a kind of role he was not best known for -
    rapid fire comedy.* He plays a Coca Cola executive assigned to manage the company's
    West Berlin office in the days just prior to the construction of the Berlin Wall.* Cagney
    agrees to look after his Atlanta-based boss' daughter when she visits Berlin.* When she
    arrives, she announces to Cagney's horror that she has married an uninspiring East
    German Communist.* Cagney conspires with the East German Police to arrest the
    bridegroom and breakup the marriage, only to learn to his greater horror that his boss'
    daughter is pregnant.* As fast as you can say "one, two, three",** Cagney* must reverse
    course and conspire to get her husband released and then pass him off, despite his
    determined anti-capitalist pronouncements, as acceptable to Cagney's decidedly pro-
    capitalist boss.* Mayhem and hilarity ensue.* This lightening-fast, breathless farce sends
    up everything from soft drink capitalism to Communist hypocracy, Soviet disorganization,
    male lechery, female giddiness, postwar Germany and American pop culture.* Cagney and
    director Billy Wilder never let up the pace for even a moment, down to the final punch-line.**

    "Some Like It Hot"
    Starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis & Jack Lemmon
    (1959, 120 min, United Artist, B&W)

    ***Screened in an Archival Print***

    Saturday, March 20,* 8 PM:* Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon give flawless fish-out-of-water
    performances playing decidedly against type as two musicians who disguise themselves as
    women in order to hide from a mobster played by George Raft. Marilyn Monroe is certainly
    in character, and turns in one of the best performances of her career, as a bubble headed,
    sweet and devastatingly sexy singer who the two boys - or is it girls? - fall head over high
    heels for. Genuine hilarity ensues as Curtis and Lemmon try to woo Monroe through
    elaborate gender-bending ruses.* The script is riddled with hilarious set pieces and movie
    in-jokes. Some Like It Hot was remarkably ahead of its time, providing both timeless
    laughs and sly gender commentary.* The film also stands out as a classic example of the
    heights to which all-out farce can aspire, achieving an uncontrived giddiness through both
    plot manipulation and the finely tuned work of its performers.* The movie has not
    tarnished at all with time, and remains one of the few films that can still make drag seem a
    novel and innovative subject.* Some Like It Hot was the biggest money-making comedy up
    to 1959.


    Admission for each film is $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and children 12 years old and
    younger.


    The Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre presents its classic films on a 50 foot wide screen
    using carbon arc illumination for the brightest, whitest light.

    The Loew's Jersey Theatre, located at 54 Journal Square, Jersey City, is easily reached by
    car or mass transit from throughout the Metropolitan Area.* Ample off-street paid parking
    is available.* For directions or additional information, call (201) 798-6055 or visit loewsjersey.org

    Classic Film Weekends at the Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre are presented by Friends of
    the Loew's, Inc., which operates the Loew's as a non-profit arts center.
     
  2. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    If only I lived closer!!!

    I'd definitely be there for every movie.
     
  3. Susan_S

    Susan_S Auditioning

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    Thanks for your interest!

    FYI, the theatre can be easily reached by train from Newark Airport and there is a Ramada located a block away.

    You know, just in case money's no object for you. Hee hee.
     
  4. Susan_S

    Susan_S Auditioning

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    Oops my grin symbol disappeared (I'm new here!). I'll try one of these instead: [​IMG]
     
  5. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Location:
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    Matthew
    Oh, and after just making it to Seattle.
     
  6. MitchellD

    MitchellD Agent

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    Hi Susan,

    What do you mean by "rare archival print"? This term normally refers to prints struck at or near the time of original release that were set aside and preserved as a reference copy. Is that the case, or are these just the regular prints in circulation from the studio's classics division?

    Also, I notice that your promotional material no longer indicates that these films are being presented in 35mm. Are these shows in 35mm or 16mm?

    One of the great thing about your shows was seeing all those rare trailers and shorts, that can not be seen on video. The other great thing was those spectacular poster displays of original posters and promotional material. In the last year or so, trailers and shorts are no longer being shown, and the poster displays have been skimpy at best. What happened?

    I am also curious about the status of the theatre's restoration. When they first started running films a few years ago, they had a working curtain, a microphone stand that raised and lowered from the stage, and a newly restored clock tower. When last I was there, the curtain no longer worked, the microphone stand no longer worked, the clock no longer worked, and the theatre looked like no work whatsoever has been done on it in the last year. What's the story?

    I hope you get the theatre back on track.

    /Mitchell
     
  7. Susan_S

    Susan_S Auditioning

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    > What do you mean by "rare archival print"?

    It means just that.


    >Also, I notice that your promotional material no longer indicates that these >films are being presented in 35mm. Are these shows in 35mm or 16mm?

    All our films are 35mm unless we say otherwise.


    > What happened?

    I think you know what happened. But I can't get into that here.


    >I am also curious about the status of the theatre's restoration... What's the story?

    You may or may not be aware of this, Mitch, but because of background politics (which I also can't get into here), we have had to curtail some of our larger restoration projects. Nevertheless, we are just as capable of presenting classic movie shows as we have always been.

    Susan.
     
  8. Sam Roth

    Sam Roth Auditioning

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    This is my first time posting here, but it's interesting that this topic showed up here. Besides being into Home theatre items, I'm a movie theatre buff too and I know the Loews. It's quite amazing what has been done there. I remember that theatre as a tri-plex. But this topic kind of explains some questions that I had the last couple of times I've been there . I thought something was remiss when I was at the War Of The World showing because I remember the "Forbidden Planet" in perspecta, "It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World", and "Jack and The Beanstalk" shows, which were absolutley perfect. I hope that Jack and the Beanstalk will return in the future too. That was a great show! Those shows were an accurate recreation of how movie palaces were in the day. But I remembered being very disappointed in the War Of The Worlds show. I was really excited about seeing this in the theatre. It was the first time ever seeing it on the screen. and also was the first time this film was being shown in this area in a long time. My enthusiasm ended once it hit the screen. When it hit the screen you heard the Paramount Logo music, but nothing on screen and the change overs were quite bad. I recall sound problems going in and out. It wasn't something that I was accustomed to there. I even remember the movies when they were shown in the lobby and that was better than the WOTW showing. I hope for this event it won't be that way. Are you planning any shorts for these shows? That was one of the things that sets the Loews apart from all the rest. Anyone can just run the movie. If I want that mediocrity I can go to the Film Forum in NYC for that. But that was the thing that got me excited about the Loews. There were so many rare items that were presented which I have never seen before. I remember going in to AMC Empire in NYC and seeing Citizen Kane when they first opened. What did they show? Trailers for the new films. But that's a multiplex and I expect that from them. These shows are about the entire experience that comes with; that is what's important. It's not what you show, but how you show it. We must respect the history of these theatres. I don't know why people have a hard time understanding that. I've supported the Loews for a long time, I just hope it's more like the sci-fi and comdey weekends, which were absolutely perfect.

    Sam[​IMG]
     
  9. BillD

    BillD Auditioning

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    Sam makes some valid points, that the supplemental material was what really made the shows special at Loews. Where else could you see: production shorts for On Her Majesty's Secret Sevice; excerpts from the Martin & Lewis Colgate show before Artists and Models; original Previews or classic comedy shorts? Not to mention some of the lobby displays of vintage promotional material. Revival screenings, nowadays especially, cryout for making the show more of an 'event' or 'movie going experience' and not a run of the mill 'showing' which you can get anywhere. Those previous shows were great! Let's see some more like them!
    Certainly it is understandable that a venue the size of the Loews would take a phenominal amount of money and time to bring it back to full splender. Most all of what Loews has done, has been done with volunteers. You don't need a curtain, mic stand or clock tower to show movies. I think it's great what they've done since the theater was to be a victim of the wrecking ball. I commend them for opening to show films and maybe this will also generate buzz that they have done some great things but some major funding is still needed to carry on the work. It's certainly better than keeping the doors shut on this wonderful venue.
     
  10. MitchellD

    MitchellD Agent

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    Susan,

    What do you mean by “rare archival print”?

    It means just that.

    That is not an acceptable answer. Maybe you did not understand the question, so I will ask again as a multiple choice question (pick one):
    1. You mean these are original prints from time of release that were preserved as reference copies. Since film is no longer processed in the same manner as it was years ago, this makes a difference. For example, B&W film has much less silver content, and many B&W films have been reprinted on color stock. Another example is Dye Transfer (IB) Technicolor, a process that no longer exists. While a new print may look very good, it would not look like a “rare archival print”.
    2. You mean these are prints from the studio’s archive. This is how the studios describe their regular repertory prints that are currently available for exhibition. There is nothing rare or archival about these prints.
    3. You mean these are studio “vault” prints. While Vault prints are sometimes archival prints, normally they are same as repertory prints, except they are usually (but not always) in better condition and are only sent out to theatres that run reel to reel. However, the fact that the Loews Jersey runs reel to reel does not guarantee that you are getting a vault print.
    The answer to this question determines whether a show is worth going out of our way to see, or something that will look better in our home theatres.

    we are just as capable of presenting classic movie shows as we have always been.

    I have never doubted your ability to book and run films, but there is a difference between running a film and presenting a show. While I have a great deal of respect for the job that Colin and Pattie and all the original volunteers did in saving the theatre from demolition, I feel that The Friends Of The Loews has lost it’s way, and that many of their current problems are of there own making. As things stand now, it is very clear that they are not the best choice to finish the restoration, nor to run the facility. The current management of the Friends Of The Loews seems incapable of delegating any kind of authority, and as such, is spread far to thin and doing a mediocre job of everything. Just take a look at the side panels of the marquee, which one would think, being located on the busiest street in Hudson County, you would want filled with show information. Instead they are consistently blank making the theatre look abandoned. Just putting information on the front panel is inadequate, since you can not see the front panel while driving. Issues such as the broken curtain, microphone stand, tower clock, and the graffiti on the broken poster cases are not major restoration issues, these are day to day maintenance issues that are not being done. Not only is the theatre not being restored, but it is going backwards with things that were working and previously restored not being maintained.

    As to what happened to the rare trailers and shorts, you are correct, I do know what happened. I was in the lobby and personally heard Colin (the executive directory of the facility) announce that they should be eliminated to allow more time for his pre-show speech. After a year of abuse and hostility from the FOL management for attempting to put on quality presentations, it is no wonder that most of the original team that brought classic film programming to the Loews Jersey finally quit in disgust.

    In spite of above, I am rooting for Friends Of The Loews to succeed. There can never be too many venues for classic film programming. I hope you get past current problems.

    /Mitchell
     
  11. Susan_S

    Susan_S Auditioning

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    Look, Mitchell, obviously I disagree with you.

    But I'm not going to get into a fight with you on a public forum. I simply came here to post a notice to folks in the Jersey City or New York City area about our upcoming shows, much like you and your pal Bob Furmanek are free to do.

    >In spite of above, I am rooting for Friends Of The Loews to succeed. There
    >can never be too many venues for classic film programming. I hope you get >past current problems.

    You know, you got a funny way of showing it. This was the very first time I've posted to this forum, and BAM! you pop up with all sorts of accusations and innuendo, which sound to me like you're trying to poison the Loew's to anyone here who hasn't even had a chance to visit.

    Thanks. Thanks a lot. Proud of yourself?
     
  12. Susan_S

    Susan_S Auditioning

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    BillD

    >Most all of what Loews has done, has been done with volunteers. You don't
    >need a curtain, mic stand or clock tower to show movies. I think it's great >what they've done since the theater was to be a victim of the wrecking ball. I >commend them for opening to show films and maybe this will also generate >buzz that they have done some great things but some major funding is still >needed to carry on the work. It's certainly better than keeping the doors >shut on this wonderful venue.

    Thanks a lot. I'm glad someone on this board is cheering for us [​IMG].

    BTW, if you're local, you may have been following our efforts in the news to secure a lease, which will finally allow us to seek major funding. Since everything is in flux right now, I'd rather not go into details here. Sorry.

    Susan.
     
  13. Susan_S

    Susan_S Auditioning

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    Sam Roth,

    I acknowledge we've had problems with sound and changeovers and those happen for a variety of reasons. I can't address what happened in each individual instance (I simply don't remember - I'm not one of the tech folk), but, sometimes we do get bad prints (and the worst parts of those are at the changeovers), sometimes our equipment fails and sometimes it's simple human error. Sorry.

    Oh, and as far as I know there won't be any trailers or shorts at this weekend's shows. I know this disappoints a lot of our movie buff fans (myself included), but to tell you the truth, we've gotten complaints from other people (OK, I admit these people aren't what you guys would consider "movie buffs") who thought they ran too long and delayed the start of the feature that they showed up for -- and some were confused when we ran trailers for films that we weren't planning on showing.

    So you see it's impossible for us to please everybody. In any case, I hope you won't give up on us. [​IMG]

    Susan.
     
  14. MitchellD

    MitchellD Agent

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    Susan, you are sounding paranoid. I simply asked the question of what you meant by “rare archival print”, a question you seem unwilling or unable to answer. I have no problem with you posting your press releases here, as film screenings are of interest to me and other members of this forum. I do have a problem if (and only if) you are misrepresenting the prints.

    This was the very first time I've posted to this forum, and BAM! you pop up with all sorts of accusations and innuendo

    As to popping up, I have been a home theatre enthusiast for many years, currently with a 55” Samsung HDTV and Dolby Digital, in addition to home film screening capabilities. I find this forum both entertaining and informative. You just happened to stick your press release in front of my face.

    sound to me like you're trying to poison the Loew's to anyone here who hasn't even had a chance to visit.

    Not my intention. The Loews Jersey is an incredible place, and the only one of the Loews Wonder Theatres still in operation. It is well worth the trip to Jersey City to see the place. What I am trying to do is alert everyone that the team that originally brought film programming to the Loew’s was pushed out, so that our reputations are not soiled by what is currently happening, and to shame the Friends Of The Loews into properly running and maintaining the facility.

    I truly do hope FOL gets it’s lease from the city, as the most likely alternative would probably end classic film programming. My concern, based solely on how FOL has squandered past resources they had available to them, is that they are not up to the job. Susan, please prove me wrong.

    /Mitchell
     
  15. dave wright

    dave wright Agent

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    as someone who has attended a handful of screenings over the past couple years im thrilled just to walk into the lobby.and then making my way into the theatre i try and imagine frank sinatra sitting in the balcony listening to bing sing.then its time to settle in for a classic film.now ,i now NADA about the the personalaties,behind the scenes politics and red tape involved in the day to day business and the ongoing renovation,but its discouraging to hear petty squabbling when you would hope that everyone would be pulling the rope in the same direction.so,thank you susan and anyone involved with the loews for your hard work and dedication!

    one question--i understand the recent concert at the loews did very well.are their any plans for more concerts and does any of this money end up helping the revovation?

    ---------dave from jersey
     
  16. Susan_S

    Susan_S Auditioning

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    Thanks for the kind words, Dave.

    The Bright Eyes show did very well. In fact, it was sold out.

    Since the show was produced by someone else (the owner of Maxwell's in Hoboken, who is interested in doing more shows at the Loew's), we earned money from the rental fees and consessions (sodas and snacks). And, yes, the money does go back into our renovation efforts.

    Susan.
     
  17. Sam Roth

    Sam Roth Auditioning

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    Here's the thing. I understand about human error and mechanical too. I accept that. But I can say it was a very different show from the Sci-fi and Comedy shows.

    Look, I don't really give a damn about the behind the scenes bickering. But I can comment about the "complaints" you mentioned about trailers and shorts. First, of all, in my experiences, I've never heard anyone complain about trailers (as long as they are for up coming events) If trailers are shown specifically for historical or curiosity reasons then it most be noted that these trailers are being shown for that purpose and you've had requests for it. For example the James Bond show. The reel that was in between shows was incredible to see. But you did it right. It was an added feature after the movie and due to it's length, you were smart in doing so. That I would agree that would be too long before a feature. But a handful of trailers before the show advertising up and coming events is perfectly fine. Shorts... I can't understand why anyone would have a problem with shorts. Now I have known theatres that have done cartoon festivals or 3 Stooges fest and people would come out and complain that there were too many cartoon or stooge shorts. Now, honestly, are we gonna listen to these people? These are the nutty 20% club. You can't make everyone happy, but in business you should make the majority happy . I bet if you polled the audience, most people wouldn't have a problem, if not wanted the shorts added to the shows. It's what makes the difference in just seeing a movie or seeing an event. I know the Colonial in Phoenixville, PA tries to gather as much extras that they can for their film shows. Like I said, most people from NY would likely go to the Film Forum if that were the case. When I went out to CA for the America Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre, they scurry around looking for such odd ball things to show. Now you could say that that's California. Well, I can tell you this, "most" New Yorkers I know are too critical and wouldn't know a good time when it sits on their head. So as far as "complaints", I have a hard time accepting that notion.

    If the length of the show is a consideration, then the one thing I would cut are the speeches before the show. Now that's a complaint. I went to the Frankenstein show awhile back and I couldn't believe that I waited almost an hour for the show to start. It was speech after speech. Most people that come to your theatre, I could bet, don't even know what FOL is, and for that fact don't care. My experiences in show business have always been, "here's my money, I want to see the show". Most audience members don't care. Just as long as they have a place to go and it's worth their money. And if this thread is a sneak preview of what actually goes on there, why would audience members want to get involved and volunteer. It shouldn't be that way. Just my 2 cents
     

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