Interview Exclusive Interview: Robert A. Harris & Kevin Koster on the Restoration of My Fair Lady

octobercountry

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MarkW2 said:
... I know this is a new company bringing My Fair Lady and Oklahoma! in November....
Wait, I had no idea Oklahoma was screening in November! Now I'll have to get out and try to see that one as well...
 

Matt Hough

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Charles Smith said:
Well, I must be a glutton for ... I don't know what ... (My Fair Lady?) ... because I'm going back this afternoon for more.


And as this will also be my first visit to an Alamo Drafthouse, whatever happens, it will be an Experience.


Ticket purchased. Can't back out now. The fasten seat belt sign has been illuminated.
Very interested to read about your experience. Please keep us informed!
 

Mike Frezon

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Roger Grodsky

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I just returned from a screening of "Steve Jobs" at my local Cinemark and they showed a trailer for their classic film series that included scenes and dates for "My Fair Lady" (as well as for "Oklahoma!" and "Fantasia"). Strangely, even though the date for MFL was given as November 1st, tickets are still not listed on their website. This theater does an excellent job with these shows (I saw a spectacular presentation of "The Ten Commandments" there), so here's hoping. The MFL scenes were pristine and colorful, btw.
 

MarkW2

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Thanks so much for responding to me Wayne_j. I'm I'm so glad to hear the film is being shown properly! I can't wait for the dates in November. Might have to see this more than once. :)
 

Charles Smith

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I'll post some comments about today's fairest and loverliest MFL tomorrow, when I'm up and at it and not on the iPad.
 

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From the Spectrum theater webpage:


We are announcing the upcoming sale of the Spectrum 8 Theatres to Landmark Theatres. Landmark is the nation’s largest theatre circuit dedicated to exhibiting independent and foreign film. After 35 years in the movie business, we felt it was time to hand over the stewardship of the Spectrum. We searched long and hard for a company that reflects our views about the importance of independent film. Landmark showcases much of the same type of programming that the region has come to expect from the Spectrum and therefore we feel that Landmark will serve our community well. We are very grateful for the support that the Capital District has afforded us over the years. As some of you may remember, two couples, Sugi and Keith Pickard & Annette Nanes and Scott Meyer, started the 3rd Street Theatre in Rensselaer in 1980 and The Spectrum in 1983. We have always felt very fortunate to have partnered with such an involved, enthusiastic and passionate community. With gratitude for your support over the last 35 years, our last day running the Spectrum will be November 17th. The theatre will close for 2 days and then reopen with Landmark at the helm. - See more at: http://spectrum8.com/2015/10/23/important-news-for-spectrum-lovers/#sthash.FYCorv96.dpuf
 
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Charles Smith

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Okay, so --

It's not easy to talk about seeing a particular film at an Alamo Drafthouse without speaking of the venue itself when it's also one's first time to see anything there -- but let's cut to the chase, take their operating philosophies for granted, and praise them for getting it completely right. Our favorite restored large format films seem to be the test from HELL for most other theaters, and these people just passed with flying colors.

There were no ads. Unless they ran any before I walked in, there were also no trailers. If last week's theater had this, I was outside and totally missed it, but as a pre-show to the dimming of lights they ran a loop of clips from various Audrey Hepburn films and of several My Fair Lady-related things, all well chosen and entertaining. More of the same would have been welcome.

Right at the appointed start time, the lights dimmed. One Alamo clip re cell phones and other etiquette played, and the featurette began. The image very generously filled most of the height of the screen, immediately a huge improvement from last week, and it was completely watchable and enjoyable.

At this point I still felt like Higgins sneaking that glass of port before taking Eliza to the Embassy Ball, but thank God I needn't have worried. The card explaining the intermission came on and it filled that screen. Wall to wall. A thing of beauty. Then Mr. Previn gave the downbeat and the flowers likewise filled it. The overture had been playing in beautiful stereo or whatever multi-channel configuration it plays in, at the proper volume, for probably half a minute when I suddenly felt that the smile on my face was probably causing a distraction to people in the lobby. Unlike last week, there was no flickering or other crap in the main titles. Brightness, focus, and framing were perfect to these eyes, and the size of the image in relation to the room was completely satisfying. It was perfection from beginning to end. I was able to relax and just concentrate on the movie. The time flew by.

This was in a small theater -- I won't even give the capacity because it would unnecessarily distract those who haven't experienced a film at Alamo. But the showing -- their only one, I'm afraid -- was sold out, and the audience was wonderful. There were laughs in some excellent places, and just enough spontaneous applause at appropriate points that one could feel the warm reception for this film that it deserves. I believe I personally appreciated it for the total masterpiece it is like never before.
 

Mark-P

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Yeah I've heard that Alamo Drafthouse is one of those chains that prides itself in superb presentation. Here in the Portland Oregon area we have a chain called Cinetopia that is also top-notch when it comes to presentation with all theaters equipped with 4K projectors and state-of-the-art sound systems.
 

Allansfirebird

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Charles Smith said:
Okay, so --

It's not easy to talk about seeing a particular film at an Alamo Drafthouse without speaking of the venue itself when it's also one's first time to see anything there -- but let's cut to the chase, take their operating philosophies for granted, and praise them for getting it completely right. Our favorite restored large format films seem to be the test from HELL for most other theaters, and these people just passed with flying colors.
I love seeing these positive reviews of Alamo Drafthouse, as it makes me increasingly excited for the location that's due to open in my area within the next couple weeks. I've been awaiting it for months, and I think it'll become my only theater, regardless of the extra few miles I'll have to drive to get there.
 

David_Jr

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Wayne_j said:
From the Spectrum theater webpage:


We are announcing the upcoming sale of the Spectrum 8 Theatres to Landmark Theatres. Landmark is the nation’s largest theatre circuit dedicated to exhibiting independent and foreign film. After 35 years in the movie business, we felt it was time to hand over the stewardship of the Spectrum. We searched long and hard for a company that reflects our views about the importance of independent film. Landmark showcases much of the same type of programming that the region has come to expect from the Spectrum and therefore we feel that Landmark will serve our community well. We are very grateful for the support that the Capital District has afforded us over the years. As some of you may remember, two couples, Sugi and Keith Pickard & Annette Nanes and Scott Meyer, started the 3rd Street Theatre in Rensselaer in 1980 and The Spectrum in 1983. We have always felt very fortunate to have partnered with such an involved, enthusiastic and passionate community. With gratitude for your support over the last 35 years, our last day running the Spectrum will be November 17th. The theatre will close for 2 days and then reopen with Landmark at the helm. - See more at: http://spectrum8.com/2015/10/23/important-news-for-spectrum-lovers/#sthash.FYCorv96.dpuf
I would swear I saw a film at the Third Street Theater well before 1980, say 74 or 75. My grandparents lived across the street and they took us there to see a film one day when we were over visiting. Can't remember what film now.
 

Tony Bensley

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David_Jr said:
I would swear I saw a film at the Third Street Theater well before 1980, say 74 or 75. My grandparents lived across the street and they took us there to see a film one day when we were over visiting. Can't remember what film now.
Hi David!


I'm not familiar with the Third Street Theater's history, but based on your recall, perhaps somebody else owned it before the two couples who have just sold it?


CHEERS! :)


Tony
 

Mike Frezon

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David_Jr said:
I would swear I saw a film at the Third Street Theater well before 1980, say 74 or 75. My grandparents lived across the street and they took us there to see a film one day when we were over visiting. Can't remember what film now.
I live just blocks from that now-shuttered theater and drive/walk past it nearly every day. I mourn the inactivity there. But the building still stands. It's main problem was parking. It had NO parking except for what people could find on the street of that completely residential neighborhood.


It is a very small theater. When it opened (in probably the 1930s) it was called the Uptown and served the small city's population (all of which changed with the advent of the interstate highway system and shopping malls). My dad--who grew up just around the corner from the Uptown--used to take in the occasional Saturday matinee shows there and called it the Spitbox. This had something to do with the small balcony and the unfortunate targets below of some miscreants who used to hang out in that balcony.
 

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My neighborhood theater, growing up, was also a battle zone. I developed slouching in my seat during those formative years. If you got there late on Saturday afternoon, you would have to sit nearer the screen, so your head was a target to more kid's unwanted/spare candy. The idea with the slouching was to get your head below the seat-back to keep from getting beaned. Some more savvy assaulters developed an arching lob to still drop one on your head. I'm not saying I was one of them but...

One day we walked into the theater to find a nice tear in the screen with brown stains running down, no doubt from a hurled cup of soda that apparently made it through. We never discussed correct color, aspect ratio or director intent in those days.
 
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