First movie where you had to leave at the end?

This thread got me to thinking back to when you could pay one admission and could watch a movie as many times as you wanted that day.

Other than when it was the last showing of the day, what was the first movie you went to where your ticket paid for only one showing of the film? Mine was Star Wars when it first came out.

We had a local theater that did this occasionally, I assume when they had sold out the next showing. The Godfather is the first one I can think of like that. As a standard practice I’m not sure when the changeover occurred. As a little kid my brother and I would go to the matinee and just go sit down whenever we got there and stay through at least the next showing.

As a small child, we would go to local theaters that pretty much kept the projector running all day. Between movies, there would be previews, newsreels, and other stuff. If you wanted to watch the movie over again, you just stayed. Sometimes there were double features, so you got two movies for the price of admission, and it didn’t matter which movie you saw first.

When I was 12, a Showcase Cinema opened in my town. It had a different model. The theater itself was luxurious compared to the local ones, and admission was $2.00-3.00, depending on the movie, as opposed to 75 cents at the local theater. The theater emptied out between showings (no double features), and the screen was blank for a time as the theater emptied and refilled. The new theater also got the best first run movies; the first film I recall seeing there was Goldfinger. As a result, despite the much higher admission price, it did very well. It was originally a double cinema (two auditoriums) and in time they built Cinema 3. Today, there are 15 auditoriums on the original footprint of those three.

As time went on, the older theaters were either driven out of business, converted to porn theaters or adopted the new model. Most of them are gone now (and of course, porn theaters disappeared as access to the internet became ubiquitous). The old theater in my hometown was opened a few years ago as a live theater, which is cool, but the corner movie houses are gone and missed much. A few drive-ins survive, but not nearly as many as there used to be.

I believe Hitchcock pressured theaters to admit people to Psycho only between screenings, because he didn’t want people showing up halfway and missing the brilliant misdirection of having his supposed main character killed off in the first twenty minutes. Whether that meant theaters also made people leave between screenings, I don’t know, but it showed that movies didn’t have to be screened continuously.

I have no idea what movie it would have been, and I can only pin the time frame down to some time in the 50’s (might be as late as the 60’s).

I do recall going to the little theater in the small town we lived in while I was in grade school on Saturdays just after noon and staying there until after dark, seeing at least two features, previews, newsreel, cartoon(s), serial and other short subjects, all for a dime or 12c. That would pretty much fill up a Saturday afternoon.

But even in those days on weeknights when the “adult fare” was showing, they would empty the theater between showings of the feature, which would be shown twice or three times each night. Memory has it that the feature would change at least once per week. My mother would take my brother and me to night movies every once in a while and it was a big deal for us kids. I can’t remember a single time Daddy went to a movie with us.

Really big movies had roadshow releases in big theaters - these had one showing per ticket. Plus, movies at Radio City Music Hall, with the Rockettes too, were one ticket per showing. I went to see The King and I in 1956 when I was 4, and I went to see Journey to the Center of the Earth (original) there whenever it was playing.

By myself it was the road show version of 2001 at the Capitol Theater in NY in 1968. It not only had an intermission, but you could buy a souvenir program, which I did and still have.

I saw Empire Strikes Back in my wife’s home town under the old as many times as you want system. That is about the last one I remember where I could do that, but I could be wrong.