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Old 06-10-2017, 09:10 PM
Reddy Mercury Reddy Mercury is offline
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What was seeing a movie like in the 1960s-1970s?

What was it like to see a movie in the 1960s or 1970s? I've seen a photograph circa 1958 of my local movie theater and it seems like theaters only played two movies at most at a time - is this true? In the photo I've seen, the billboard only lists two films. How big of an experience was seeing a new movie prior to Jaws? What I mean is, was there anything like the concept of a blockbuster picture prior to Jaws? How wide was the selection at a movie theater say prior to 1975?

How did word travel about new movies? Were trailers a thing - and did movie trailers play on TV at home if so?

Also, a side question but how big were the James Bond films in the 1960s to early 1970s with your parents if you recall. I'm curious if my grandad (who I never met, who was born in 1920 and died in 1975) might have been into them.

My parents do not remember a lot of the 1960s or 1970s at all and so I'm curious about a world I never go to experience.
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Old 06-10-2017, 09:27 PM
burpo the wonder mutt burpo the wonder mutt is offline
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Before "Jaws," "The Poseidon Adventure," was the big blockbuster and ushered in the disaster film craze ("Gone With the Wind" had made more money, but had been re-released a bazillion times.).

We had these things called, um, newspapers (?) in the '60s and '70s. Big print ads; charts full of listings--a movie ran longer than 2 weeks. There were theaters that were so huge (and had balconies), you could chop them up into a quad-plex and still have leftover space.

Can't help you with J. Bond, my folks were not movie-goers (occasional drive-in with a back seat full of kids; once was a Matt Helm film--pretty racy.).

Last edited by burpo the wonder mutt; 06-10-2017 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 06-10-2017, 09:37 PM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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Originally Posted by Reddy Mercury View Post
What was it like to see a movie in the 1960s or 1970s? I've seen a photograph circa 1958 of my local movie theater and it seems like theaters only played two movies at most at a time - is this true? In the photo I've seen, the billboard only lists two films.
If I remember correctly, when I was a kid in the early 70s, all the theaters in town had just one screen (which would have made it confusing if they played two movies at the same time, though there may have been some double features). Eventually, some of them got reconfigured to add another screen(s), while others just closed. (By the way, your question inspired me to check Wikipedia to find out when multiplexes started becoming a thing.)

As I understand it, movie theaters in the old days were more likely to be downtown, and were more likely to be fancy and ornate and seat a lot of people (all in the same auditorium), and going to see a movie had more of the feel of attending live entertainment than it does today. Which I kind of miss.
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Old 06-10-2017, 09:41 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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First of all, the stadium seating that's common today was unknown, so the person in front of you was at eye level. So if you were a kid and some basketball player sat in front of you, this was a problem. Second, if you wanted to know what was playing and when, you could check the newspaper (most of the theaters had display ads listing the movies they were showing and the show times) or you could call the theater. I remember that they would have a taped announcement of the movies and show times that you could listen to.
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Old 06-10-2017, 09:49 PM
silenus silenus is offline
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Movies are movies. Back in the mid-sixties, Mom would drop me off at one of the movie houses downtown (usually the Crest, although the California and Studio houses also got play) for the afternoon and I'd watch movies. Usually two, an A picture followed by a B picture. It kept me busy and out of trouble for 5 hours or so. I remember seeing my first movie boob when The Blue Max came out in '66. I was 11. No ratings back then, so I saw all sorts of stuff that later would be PG-13 at least, maybe soft R. If I recall correctly, the whole afternoon cost me $1.50, plus popcorn and a soda, so maybe another $.50.
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Old 06-10-2017, 09:53 PM
Saintly Loser Saintly Loser is offline
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There were theaters that were so huge (and had balconies), you could chop them up into a quad-plex and still have leftover space.
And they had smoking sections! The good old days. . .
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Old 06-10-2017, 09:59 PM
burpo the wonder mutt burpo the wonder mutt is offline
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And they had smoking sections! The good old days. . .
Sometimes there was a curtain that was opened at the start of the film and closed at the end. Occasionally, a BIG curtain.

Last edited by burpo the wonder mutt; 06-10-2017 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:02 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is offline
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There were no smoking sections. Like everywhere, apart from open cavity surgery, smoking was accepted EVERYWHERE.

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Old 06-10-2017, 10:05 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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And they had smoking sections! The good old days. . .
Smoking sections? Folks who wanted to smoke just smoked in any old place, back then.

My parents weren't into Bond films, but I was. They were a thing, a popular one.

As others have noted, there were things back then called newspapers, which were widely available, and they had not only ads for coming attractions and lists of showtimes, but also reviews of movies, to help you decide which pic to see. The sunday edition of these newspapers usually carried extra info about the movie situation.

Duplex cinemas were just becoming a thing in the late 60's and early 70's. A movie house would have TWO SEPARATE THEATERS inside. It seemed extravagant, but it gave more choices. Some old move houses were refurbished to provide this same experience. There was some talk about building places with 3 screens, but that just seemed crazy.

Movies had trailers at the beginning, and also some cartoons. Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny were frequently featured. I even recall a few newsreels, but not real often anymore by the time my theater-going experience began.

They also had Drive Ins, but that's a whole separate experience. One I enjoyed a LOT more once I started dating.
  #10  
Old 06-10-2017, 10:06 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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There were no smoking sections. Like everywhere, apart from open cavity surgery, smoking was accepted EVERYWHERE.

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The smoking section was usually in the balcony, wasn't it?
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:09 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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The smoking section was usually in the balcony, wasn't it?
That was the makeout section. Smoking happened everywhere in the theater.
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:09 PM
burpo the wonder mutt burpo the wonder mutt is offline
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TV commercial for "Willard" (1971); scared the living shit out of me. It was actually scarier than the movie.

ETA: Note the rating (GP).

Last edited by burpo the wonder mutt; 06-10-2017 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:11 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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Having watched quite a few older movies, I get the impression that double features used to be more common and that many films were scripted to be shorter, so that a double feature would have kept silenus off the streets for only about three and a half hours.

Again with the smoking theme, I'm sure a major reason for the intermission, or the break between two halves of a double feature, was to give audience members the chance to go out to the lobby and light up.
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:22 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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By the way films were shown on actual film back then. (Today virtually all theaters are projecting films that are transmitted and stored digitally.) For one thing, this meant that there was a signal on the screen (usually a small object that briefly appeared in the image) that told the projectionist to change the reels. If you were in a secondary market, the print you were viewing might have been projected many times and not be in the best condition.
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:23 PM
Reddy Mercury Reddy Mercury is offline
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Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
If I remember correctly, when I was a kid in the early 70s, all the theaters in town had just one screen (which would have made it confusing if they played two movies at the same time, though there may have been some double features). Eventually, some of them got reconfigured to add another screen(s), while others just closed. (By the way, your question inspired me to check Wikipedia to find out when multiplexes started becoming a thing.)

As I understand it, movie theaters in the old days were more likely to be downtown, and were more likely to be fancy and ornate and seat a lot of people (all in the same auditorium), and going to see a movie had more of the feel of attending live entertainment than it does today. Which I kind of miss.
Where I live (Bay Ridge, Brooklyn) we at one time (in the 1950s-1970s) had MANY movie theaters within a just say a two to three mile radius. I can think of three off the top of my head. Of those three, only one exists. There were probably more. For whatever reason, this area was, until the late 1970s, a haven for movie theaters.
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:24 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is offline
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The smoking section was usually in the balcony, wasn't it?
No. One could smoke anywhere. There were no restrictions. Maybe an operating room and possibly church.
When I started working in the mid-1980s I could smoke in my cubicle, and I did.

I got better.

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Old 06-10-2017, 10:27 PM
Reddy Mercury Reddy Mercury is offline
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I can't find the 57 pic, but this is a circa '70 shot of the one surviving neighborhood theatre:
http://photos.cinematreasures.org/pr...jpg?1316656307

This was another theatre, which closed in 1963:
http://photos.cinematreasures.org/pr...jpg?1313624121

One part of the theater is now Rite Aid Pharmacy, the corner is a McDonalds, and the upper floor is a gym.

Last edited by Reddy Mercury; 06-10-2017 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:30 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Again with the smoking theme, I'm sure a major reason for the intermission, or the break between two halves of a double feature, was to give audience members the chance to go out to the lobby and light up.
I don't know why you keep saying this. Smoking was a thing in theaters all over the US and Europe, and prohibitions on smoking at the movies did not start until the 1970's, nor become widespread until the 1980's.

Intermissions were always about bathroom breaks and selling snacks/drinks (and yes, cigarettes, which would be smoked then AND during the 2nd half of the movie).
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:30 PM
burpo the wonder mutt burpo the wonder mutt is offline
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I don't think you see this any more but, the line for, "The Exorcist," usually ran down the block, around the corner, off into the distance, summer, winter, whenever. First run of, "Deep Throat," same thing.
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:31 PM
RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
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I went to movies a lot in the 70s-- not so much in the 60s. I was born in 1967. By the time I was going to PG movies in 1977, most theaters had banned smoking except in the lobby, because theaters were firetraps, and their insurance companies had made them ban it. Live show theaters had banned it even earlier, for the same reason. Drop a cigarette in those wooden seats and flammable cushions, and "FOOM!"

It was normal for theaters to regularly sell close to capacity, and for lines at the box office to be long. You still usually got to sit with your friends, but it was normal to be in close proximity to strangers.

They played previews, movies advertised on TV, and there were ads in the paper. As a courtesy, the paper also published a grid of all the theaters, and all the titles and times.

Malls a lot of times had duplexes, or even quadruplexes. A few large theaters had converted their balcony areas to second run houses, or lower demand movies ("art" or foreign films) but still showed the big films on the big screen.

Candy and soda was more expensive there than anywhere else, but it wasn't as outrageous as it is now.

If you put your feet on the back of the seat in front of you, an usher would come around and tell you to put them down. You'd do it, then put them right back up as soon as he left.

The floor was always sticky.

Going to a movie was glorious. It was so fun. We had B&W TV and got 7 channels. The movies were so much better than TV.
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:33 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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We had B&W TV and got 7 channels. The movies were so much better than TV.


You had 7 channels! We only had 4, and had to have someone stand by the TV to hold the antenna just right to get two of those!
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:34 PM
RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
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No. One could smoke anywhere. There were no restrictions. Maybe an operating room and possibly church.
When I started working in the mid-1980s I could smoke in my cubicle, and I did.

I got better.

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Yeah. When I was a little kid, you could smoke while shopping at the A&P. You could also go barefoot there.
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:37 PM
burpo the wonder mutt burpo the wonder mutt is offline
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Don't get me started on A&P; I miss the pickle barrel.
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:42 PM
Periwinkle Periwinkle is offline
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TV commercial for "Willard" (1971); scared the living shit out of me. It was actually scarier than the movie.

ETA: Note the rating (GP).

Here's the one that scared the hell out of me (Beyond The Door)

https://youtu.be/QKqzFb0O_x0

The first movie I remember seeing in a cinema was "Love Story", that was a big hit in 1970. From what I remember the floor sloped up and there were comfortable padded chairs that flipped up, but I don't think there were cup holders. I remember the big velvet curtains that swept open at the beginning. I don't think there was any smoking, I don't remember it anyway.

There were lots of movie trailers on TV, and ads and features in the paper. Similar to today, many actors turned up on talk shows to promote their movies. I think fan magazines were a bigger thing back then too.

Last edited by Periwinkle; 06-10-2017 at 10:43 PM. Reason: Removed space
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:48 PM
Knowed Out Knowed Out is offline
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We had to crank the films by hand over a 120 watt bulb. Only cost a quarter.
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Old 06-10-2017, 11:02 PM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is online now
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You had 7 channels! We only had 4, and had to have someone stand by the TV to hold the antenna just right to get two of those!
We had seven - Ch. 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13 - well, 13 was educational and didn't count, so six (this was N.Y.C.). I was almost electrocuted changing the channel on our Admiral portable B&W with a pair of pliers (the shock instead knocked me partway across the dining room).

Anyway, movies don't seem very different to me now compared to the period the OP is asking about. I think the first movie I saw on my own was The French Connection in a small theater in Times Square which had a brief but exciting glimpse of female nudity.* Also stimulating was the fact that some of the action took place in the same area where I went to high school.

*On screen, though nudity in the audience would not have been a shocker.

Last edited by Jackmannii; 06-10-2017 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 06-10-2017, 11:02 PM
OldGuy OldGuy is offline
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In no particular order.

Bond films were very big in the 60s and 70s.

Smoking was allowed in every theater I recall into the 70s. They might have no-smoking sections. Later they had smoking sections with no smoking the default. Finally it was banned. As I recall it was banned in theaters before it became generally not allowed indoors.

In the late 50s you could go to a Saturday afternoon movie that had coming attractions, a short, a cartoon, and episode of a serial and possibly a double feature.

Most theaters had only one screen. A movie might be popular enough that there were four showings back to back (possibly with some of the fillers listed above in between). While each theater had only one screen, there were many more theaters. There were four I cold ride my bike to all within a mile of my home, and I lived in a suburb not a city.
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Old 06-10-2017, 11:04 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is offline
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They played the national anthem before the movie began.

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Old 06-10-2017, 11:05 PM
blondebear blondebear is offline
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You could often buy movie programs in the lobby for major releases. They were pretty cool souvenirs. I still have the ones I got for 2001, Apocalypse Now, Close Encounters and Ice Station Zebra.

Last edited by blondebear; 06-10-2017 at 11:07 PM.
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Old 06-10-2017, 11:06 PM
burpo the wonder mutt burpo the wonder mutt is offline
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Here's the one that scared the hell out of me (Beyond The Door)

https://youtu.be/QKqzFb0O_x0 <snip>
Didn't need to access the video, that's burned into my memory. Sweet Juliet ("Nanny and the Professor") Mills and her spinning head.

Had an English class in late '70s high school that would show us trailer reels. The whole 50 minutes! So cool! "The House That Dripped Blood, Blood, Blood, Blood..."
  #31  
Old 06-10-2017, 11:12 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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How big of an experience was seeing a new movie prior to Jaws? What I mean is, was there anything like the concept of a blockbuster picture prior to Jaws?
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Originally Posted by burpo the wonder mutt View Post
Before "Jaws," "The Poseidon Adventure," was the big blockbuster and ushered in the disaster film craze ("Gone With the Wind" had made more money, but had been re-released a bazillion times.).
There was also The Exorcist. That was a huge hit when it came out in 1973 (two years before Jaws and four years before Star Wars).
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Old 06-10-2017, 11:27 PM
steatopygia steatopygia is offline
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Here are some pics of a local theater that was restored in the '80s. There is a slope to the floor but nothing like in modern theaters.

The Panida was built in the '20s so is more of a multi-purpose building than some.
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Old 06-10-2017, 11:28 PM
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Where I lived in the 50s & 60s, the big downtown theaters played only one film at a time on a single screen, but it was preceded by trailers, shorts (cartoons), newsreels, and rarely -- ads. You saw one show and left, since a matinee had several hours before the evening show started. Some of the ads were for stuff sold in the lobby; talk about a captive audience. Sometimes you bought tickets early, to be sure of getting a seat, then went for a bite or window-shopping and came back at curtain time. If there was more than one showing that day, the curtain closed and the theater cleared out completely before the next one.

In contrast, the suburban theaters, which were also single-screen boxes, would show a double feature, cartoons and newsreels, continuously. Weekdays, this might start at 4PM and go to midnight, but on Saturdays, there was a show from early in the morning to late at night, no intermissions at all. If you came in late for the start of one show, you just stayed until it repeated to see what you missed -- "this is where we came in, let's go". One ticket got you in for as long as you wanted to stay.

Then there were driveins, oh, the driveins! Not usually first-run films, but double or triple features, lots of cartoons, lots of ads for the Salmonella Snack Bar, lots of necking in the front rows and fucking in the back rows. Playgrounds below the screen for kids before dusk. Strangely, family and fun-friendly.

For the technically-minded, the suburban houses were 35mm dual projectors with mono optical sound, but the downtown theaters often had 70, 95 or 120mm projectors with multi-track, magnetic sound. Theaters tried to compete with what marginal advantages they had over TV -- wider, bigger screens, sharper pictures, color, and better sound.
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Old 06-10-2017, 11:35 PM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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My memories go back to the mid-50s.

The kid next door was my best friend, and every Sunday his father took us to the next town and dropped us off at the movie theater. They always showed a double feature of B movies like The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms or It Came from Outer Space. Between the movies were newsreels, shorts and of course cartoons. During intermissions we always got more candy or popcorn. The floor was always sticky. After the second movie we'd leave, and my friend's father would be waiting for us.

Sometimes my whole family would go to a movie in a more upscale theater. It was air-conditioned (a really big deal) and had fountains with colored lights and a juke box in the lobby. The one I especially remember was a re-issue of Gone with the Wind, though I think I slept through most of it.
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Old 06-10-2017, 11:35 PM
Rick Kitchen Rick Kitchen is offline
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They had air conditioning! It was a huge draw. They had a card in the window advertising KOOL cigarettes, "It's KOOL inside." On Saturdays there were two movies, previews, cartoons, newsreels, and sometimes a drawing for dishes. Yes, really.
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Old 06-10-2017, 11:53 PM
burpo the wonder mutt burpo the wonder mutt is offline
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We had to crank the films by hand over a 120 watt bulb. Only cost a quarter.
I saw movies on my GAF* View Master. One stereo frame at a time.

* You have to say it like Henry Fonda.
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Old 06-10-2017, 11:54 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is online now
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Here are photos of my childhood theater, which is still standing and used for other purposes. The interior was all art deco. It is presently in danger of being destroyed.

Blockbusters were things like Spartacus, The Ten Commandments, Mad, Mad (etc) World, and a lot of musicals like Oklahoma and West Side Story. 2001 in Cinerama was awesome in 1968.

Bond was huge. I saw every one as it came out.
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Old 06-11-2017, 01:11 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is online now
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The movie experience wasn't much different. Most theaters only had one screen, the theater might play only one movie for a week or two but often had different movies for early shows. Double features were shown also. The theaters I went to had more seats for that one screen. Some theaters had balconies. You could smoke, the seats had ashtrays. They showed trailers for upcoming movies. Snack bars at popcorn and candy, not as ridiculously priced as now. One theater in town didn't have a snack bar at all, they had a machine that sold lemonade in those drop down cups and and a candy vending machine. People were better dressed for the evening shows.

We had drive in movies also, there the snack bars offered lots of food, hot dogs, hamburgers, milk shakes and fries, some had playgrounds for kids, and seating areas for walk-ins. You usually paid by the person to get in so teenagers would hide in the trunk to get in cheaper. Once there people would get out of their cars and move around and mingle, drink, get in fights, and may not pay attention to the movie at all. There was a lot of sexual activity going on in the cars. My first job was working at a drive-in snack bar, short lived because I was only 14 and not supposed to be working. The food served there was disgusting but the customers didn't seem to mind. That theater and others in the area were soon showing porn at the late shows, and before long that's all some of them showed, it wasn't real XXX stuff, just stuff like Candy Stripe Nurses.
  #39  
Old 06-11-2017, 01:48 AM
actualliberalnotoneofthose actualliberalnotoneofthose is offline
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Originally Posted by burpo the wonder mutt View Post
We had these things called, um, newspapers (?) in the '60s and '70s. Big print ads; charts full of listings--a movie ran longer than 2 weeks.
Wow. We even had those in the late 1990s! I remember being asked on a date after a co-worker was reading a newspaper and saw that a movie she wanted to see was coming out. And then we went and she didn't even watch the movie!
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Old 06-11-2017, 01:50 AM
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My family didn't watch that many movies. We saw a couple in the local drive in and apparently Bambi was too much for this five-year-old boy.

The first movie I saw in Japan was in the early 80s and was probably similar to US movie theaters in the 60s, although there were obvious differences.

People would just show up at random times. You would start watching the movie from that point, watch the next movie in the double feature and then the first was again, leaving when you got to the point where you had started. Smoking was allowed of course. It wasn't banned until much later than in the US.
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Old 06-11-2017, 02:17 AM
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Ashtrays in theatre seats.

People tended to be quieter while the movie was showing.

Floor slope was less

People were better dressed overall, there was more a of a "night out" vibe to it

I could be incorrect but I don't think popcorn and candy was quite as expensive even in in date adjusted terms as it is today.
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Old 06-11-2017, 04:11 AM
Monty Monty is offline
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Originally Posted by Saintly Loser View Post
And they had smoking sections!
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Originally Posted by Leaffan View Post
There were no smoking sections.
So, which was it?
  #43  
Old 06-11-2017, 05:37 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monty View Post
So, which was it?
There was one smoking section, and it was the whole theater.
  #44  
Old 06-11-2017, 08:04 AM
Mr. Miskatonic Mr. Miskatonic is offline
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There was such a thing as "First run theaters". They had the best, most recent movies and unless they were a massive flop they ran them for a few weeks before they moved to the second run theaters, where theater quality was lower but the admission cost much less. The 2nd run theaters would often show a wider variety of movies during the day and would get the non blockbuster movies as "first run"

Some theaters had a reputation, the infamous Budco-Goldman theater in Philadelphia showed 2nd run blockbusters, horror, and exploitation movies. The jokes about the place is that it was the kind of theater you ran into to escape the police. Also that when there was Kung Fu on the screen there would be Kung Fu in front of the screen.

The Trocadaro theater (now a small concert venue) was in Chinatown and showed Chop-Sokey and Kung fu films. It was quite a ratty theater. The TLA would print a schedule as they changed movies throughout they day, showing different 6-8 movies a day. VCRs killed that and the TLA became a local video chain with a stronger cult movie selection. But that didn't finally happen until the late 80s. So VCRs didn't win overnight.

There were still porn theaters. Oddly the last one with an actual marquee didn't close until a couple of years ago.

I never saw a line for a theater stretch around the block until I went to see Star Wars. Doesn't mean it didn't happen.

Most of the theaters were pretty grand places, and some of them might have survived when the city rebounded had the owners actually given a shit. They didn't, and the result was that there was no reason to watch a movie in those theaters when you could go to a more corporate theater in the suburbs that was cleaner and showing the movie properly.

I lived downtown and I miss being able to walk to a theater. Discounting the art house theaters I think the last movie I was able to walk to was the enhanced re-release of Empire Strikes Back.
  #45  
Old 06-11-2017, 08:20 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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In small towns, theaters at the time had one screen and one movie that ran two shows a night plus matinees on weekends. In larger cities, there were continuous shows all day.

In a city, there would be many theaters. Each would run a movie one week (unless it was a smash and held over).

Movies had a slow release. It would premiere in one theatre in the big cities, and expand out to more theaters as time went by. I lived in a rural area and it would take a month or more for our theatre to show them. Cities also had second-run houses that showed movies a couple of months after release. Few movies opened on thousands of screens.

The first multiplexes started showing up around 1970. Star Wars was the point of change. Before it, people saw a movie once and wouldn't pay full price to see it again. People went to see it multiple times, and studios started to make movies for that audience?
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  #46  
Old 06-11-2017, 08:39 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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1. Yes there were trailers. There were no commercials.

2. Yes, each theater would play no more than two films, because there was usually only one screen, but small college towns often had two theaters and an actual city would have theaters all over the place, so you had a big variety.

3. A movie would stay in a theater as long as enough people were coming, so movies would often stick around longer. The lack of the "blockbuster" mentality meant that the first weekend performance didn't mean as much because of a movie was good it could build sales through word of mouth.

4. There were a lot of "revival houses," which showed only old movies.

5. The absence of the blockbuster mentality meant that a lot more movies were made in a year by Hollywood, because there were no blockbusters eating up all the studio budgets.
  #47  
Old 06-11-2017, 09:00 AM
DesertDog DesertDog is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
Then there were driveins, oh, the driveins! Not usually first-run films, but double or triple features, lots of cartoons, lots of ads for the Salmonella Snack Bar, lots of necking in the front rows and fucking in the back rows. Playgrounds below the screen for kids before dusk. Strangely, family and fun-friendly.
Even if a drive-in ran an "A-list" movie, it was after the first-run houses were done with them. This was for two reasons. First, they didn't want to pay the higher rental price so they could keep their admission prices down. Second, the higher wattage, higher heat of a d-i projector lamp could "pillow" each frame on the print, making distributors reluctant to send a print that might have more life in it.

Absent a big film, they would show Poverty Row fodder or, especially in the late fifties/early sixties, American International releases. There is a reason so many of the latter have become targets of MST3K or RiffTrax. Even as a tyke, I could tell from the previews that an AI movie's quality was not on par from something by, say, Columbia, to say nothing of MGM or WB. Us kids not being teens at the time, we didn't see many AI releases, except for the Corman-Poe ones. I distinctly remember having the bejesuz scared out of me by The Pit and the Pendulum, especially the POV of that pendulum swinging back and forth.

Last edited by DesertDog; 06-11-2017 at 09:04 AM.
  #48  
Old 06-11-2017, 09:05 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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What was seeing a movie like in the 1960s-1970s?

Oh and once you bought a ticket you could stay in a theater as long as you wanted. There were no more ushers shooing you out like in the 1960s. So in a first run movie theater you could watch it over and over.

A lot of people would come in the middle of a movie and then stay to watch what they had missed.

If it was a theater that showed different things all day, you might possibly be able to go in around 10 in the morning on a Saturday and stay until after midnight.

Last edited by Acsenray; 06-11-2017 at 09:06 AM.
  #49  
Old 06-11-2017, 10:14 AM
jtur88 jtur88 is offline
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In 1950, the town I lived in had one movie theater. They would show two programs a week. One on Sun-Wed, the other Thur-Sat. S-W there would be two showings, at 7 and 9 pm, with a 2 pm matinee on Sunday. Thnn Th-Sa, a double feature, starting at 7, showing A-B-A. So that would be 156 titles a year, and I suspect I saw every one one of them, although we skipped the ones with a lot of kissing in them. Variably, there might be a Saturday matinee with kid-type shows. Kids paid 14c, over twelve paid 20c, adults 35c.

At 7oclock, the house lights wouold be turned down, the velvet curtain drawnn open, and a catoon woujld start. Fllowed by previews of coming attraction, and a fw ads. A special featur would show, to pad out the two yours before the 9pm showing. Like a travelogue or a short comi-drama or newsreel. Then the main picture. When it was over, we'd all stay to see the cartoon again at 9, then go home. Kids behaved themselves in the movies, because of the morbid fear that misbehavior would result in our dads being told about it. Everybody knew everybody.

I usually went with other kids. There were three other towns within a half hour drive, which had a total of 6 movie theaters, and my family would often drive to one of those, and have a burger or pie or ice cream afterwards, always in a sitdown storefront cafe, there were no drive ins.

The movies were a very socially homogenizing experience. For me, there wasn't much difference between going to a movie in Milwaukee, or Meadville Mississippi.

Last edited by jtur88; 06-11-2017 at 10:15 AM.
  #50  
Old 06-11-2017, 10:21 AM
burpo the wonder mutt burpo the wonder mutt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
Oh and once you bought a ticket you could stay in a theater as long as you wanted. There were no more ushers shooing you out like in the 1960s. So in a first run movie theater you could watch it over and over.

A lot of people would come in the middle of a movie and then stay to watch what they had missed.

If it was a theater that showed different things all day, you might possibly be able to go in around 10 in the morning on a Saturday and stay until after midnight.
But then you and Old Weird Harold had to make it home after the monsters came out. And your Mom was not coming for you.

(Not insinuating you're Cosby.)
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