Who Says Showmanship Is Dead In Movie Theatres? Look At This!

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Peter Kline, Apr 21, 2004.

  1. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    From a report at http://www.in70mm.com/wide_screen_we...004_report.htm

    On March 18, 2004 at the Bradford Theatre outside London during "Wide Screen Weekend" the audience saw a Sensurround performance of "Earthquake" in 70mm. Darren Briggs and his colleagues from the York cinema gave a splendid performance which lived up to the best tradition of SHOWMANSHIP.* Before the film they had set up a poster from the film and handed out "My Last Will" to the audience. Two actors, playing engineers were entertaining the audience before the show. They all wore t-shirts saying "An Event - in70mm and Sensurround". During the film they used strobe lighting effects and pumped in smoke during rumble scenes to add to the illusion of a real earthquake. They are truly the Mike Todds of today, somebody remarked after the film. Their efforts to make the show an event were highly praised. In fact the audience responded with a huge applause after the film.

    [​IMG]

    Cough, cough....
     
  2. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Not bad. Too bad they can't do anything like that with new films; can you imagine the legal liabilities of some of William Castle's stuff if it were tried today?
     
  3. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Screenwriter

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    Sounds very cool and Earthquake of all movies?! In a sort of related not, I think the ultimate height of showmanship occured when John Williams conducted a live orchestra to perform the entire score for E.T. while the movie played back in 2002 for the 20th anniversary over here at the Shrine Auditorium. Wish I could have been there! At least the DVD has that optional sound track.
     
  4. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    Even more interesting then the ET-live orchestra was seeing Abel Gance's "Napoleon" at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles with a live orchestra accompanying the "silent" film back in the early 80s. I put the word "silent" in parenthesis because in fact there were no such films. All of them had music scores written for them to be performed on a piano, organ or orchestra of some kind.
     
  5. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    Anyone living in the New York area can come to one of my film presentations and experience showmanship every Saturday morning.

    We also ran a silent film with orchestra accompaniment a month ago.

    Info here: Big Screen Classics website

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Craig S

    Craig S Producer
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    Peter, I wish I lived up there. Based on your current schedule I'd be in your house at 11 AM every Saturday!

    Do you draw good crowds for your Big Screen Classics series?
     
  7. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    Thanks, Craig. We do okay with the shows (depends on the movie - over 400 for The Wizard of Oz!), but nobody is ever going to get rich running classic films, we do these shows out of love for the films and for the art of showmanship. The first-run movies allow us to run these fun shows.

    You should plan a vacation in NY for mid to late September when we will have the 3-day Horror and Science Fiction Film Festival [​IMG] . Dates and titles announcing soon.
     
  8. Nick Sievers

    Nick Sievers Producer

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    Just checked out the site for your theatre, Peter. What a great line-up for the next few months. I wish theatres in my area had the balls to run a few classics every now and then.

    Re: Showmanship, They should do what Peter Weir suggested in the booklet that came with Master & Commander, get some big fans and blow a salty breeze through the air every now and then. [​IMG]
     
  9. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    I had no idea your theater was so close. For a two/two-and-a-half hour drive, I might just head down if there's something I really want to see.
     
  10. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    Showmanship doesn't neccessarily mean gimmicks. Just a clean theatre, friendly ushers to show you to seats and sell you popcorn, proper projection (in focus, correct AR) and before screening, music that sets the mood for the film (not the soundtrack recording). And on the other side, patrons that understand it's not their living room and that they need to be quiet. No noisy candy wrappers, no cell phones and no hats (men and women). In other words respect yourself and your fellow patrons. Suddenly, I wake up and realize it's all a dream.... people just don't care any more.
     
  11. Craig S

    Craig S Producer
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    Hmmm... maybe next year. This year I'll be at the HTF Meet in LA in late Sept. [​IMG]
     
  12. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    I don't know, I think the E.T. live orchestra was slightly more impressive as it can't be easy to accompany a film with dialog & sound effects and hit all the beats. This was the first time this had been done, right?
     
  13. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    City Lights and Modern Times recieved reconstructed scores which had the original 1931/1936 sound effects (and dialogue, for Modern Times), but with newly recorded or performed versions of the score.

    So far, Modern Times has only been performed live, while City Lights had performances (and still does!) plus a digital stereo recording (which was used for the DVD).
     
  14. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Considering how pleasantly effective the Terminator-3D ride/movie is I can see how such an event would really be fun and entertaining, at least if done right.
     

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