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S24

Sheffield History Member
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Everything posted by S24

  1. No, it wasn't "Swanee" in the scene you're thinking of Dave - it was "Farewell My Bluebell"...........and it was the scene where the young Jolson (still Asa Yoelson) is up in the gallery (planted by Steve Martin) when his voice suddenly breaks in mid song. That's when he comes up with the whistling gimmick. Scotty Beckett was the young Asa, and his voice belonged to Rudy Wissler. A memorable scene. I still have the ticket stubs from that 1970, 70mm re-issue at the Gaumont......
  2. Yes....I enjoyed it then, but, it all looks rather dated now - despite it's oppulent art direction....and Babs, of course !
  3. "Battle of Britain" ran at the Classic the week of 12th September, 1971. Was that when you saw it Dave ?
  4. Maybe Dave ?..... "The Intelligence Men" was on at the Odeon the week of 18th April, 1965. I'm surprised it wasn't held over for a second week. Showing with it was "Be My Guest".......Boarding house shenannigans with David Hemmings and Steve Marriott (Yes!...that Steve Marriott!). Or, you could have gone to the ABC, where Elvis was going "Girl Happy". (Not his finest hour!). Oh!.....and "The Crimson Pirate" and "Young at Heart" were on at the Classic that week too I think i'll stick with "Mary Poppins" ! lol
  5. S24

    The Heeley Coliseum

    I was just asking my Mum what she remembered about the Heeley Colli - she was a manageress for Blaskeys for many years. She remembers that Nathan Blaskey ( brother of the wallpaper Blaskeys) was the owner, and Peter and Peggy were two of his children. Apparently, the old man actually died in his office at the Colliseum. She was speaking to Peggy a few years ago and asked her what happened to all the advertising material (posters, stills,etc) that they had accumulated over the years, and she said that it had all been binned when they closed. As an avid collector of such material, that really hurts! When you think about it, most of the local cinemas must have junked all their stuff too, as they closed down. That's an awful lot of valuable collector's items - "Gone With the Wind" ! We must have visited the Colli on many occasions (as we did most of the locals), but, the only film that I can definitely remember seeing there was a re-issue of "Ivanhoe". This must have been around April/ May, 1960. I remember that, when Richard the Lionheart comes riding in at the end, everyone cheered. Funny, the things you remember !
  6. Here are a few more ads and flyers for movies showing in Sheffield. They may stir a few memories for you. I'm having difficulty down-sizing scanned images to show as thumbnails on this site, so I have posted larger images. Some of the detail has been lost on some of them, but I think you can still read them. Here goes: Mary flew into the Sheffield Gaumont on April 18th, 1965 and stayed for four weeks (until the wind changed!). In this photo, you can see the huge queue to get in. You don't see those today! The poster on the right tells us that Eric & Ernie were on at the Odeon, in their first film - "The Intelligence Men".
  7. An interesting story, and another example of Jolson's huge ego. He always had to be "on". Ruby Keeler was Jolson's third wife - a fact not mentioned in "The Jolson Story" - and was married to him for eleven years. When they married in 1928, she was 18 - and he was 42......something else overlooked in the movie! I guess, just like in the movie, Ruby had had enough of coming second to his career, and moved on to a second, very happy marriage and four children. She didn't want to know when Columbia approached her about the movie, and wouldn't even let them use her name. That's why Evelyn Keyes' character is called Julie Benson in the movie. Up until a few years before her death, she had always refused to even watch the movie. Friends finally got her to sit down and watch it on video, and she actually enjoyed it. We met her towards the end of her life, and she was charming and very friendly, signing several items for us. A nice lady, and a real trouper. By the way, when "The Jolson Story" was muted to him, even though he was 50 years old at that time, he immediately wanted to play himself (of course!), but finally saw sense. Larry Parks did an excellent job lip-synching him, but Jolson did finally get his way and appeared in one sequence in the movie. In the "Swanee" number, there is a long shot of the stage.....and the guy up there is not Parks, but Jolson himself. You just couldn't keep him off!
  8. He was a great entertainer, a great Star, and a great ego! He even has the biggest and flashiest tomb in the cemetery.....Amazing! :
  9. You would have thought so, wouldn't you? But, the second movie was never as good as the first one, and , I guess that , by 1969/70, tastes and audiences were changing quickly, and the audience for "Jolson Sings Again" just wasn't there. I still like them both though!
  10. On the whole - yes. Although, in the case of "The Ten Commandments", in the scene where the giant obelisk is raised, in the 70mm blow-up, the top of the obelisk gets sliced off. Ouch!!
  11. Well, I guess you could say that 20th Century Fox did rather have a monopoly on Wide Screen movies. After the huge success of CinemaScope in the early 50's, it was onwards and upwards......to Todd-AO. This process had been pioneered by Mike Todd in order to produce a single lens version of the gigantic ("You are in the Picture") Cinerama. The first two movies were "Oklahoma!" in 1955, and "Around the World in 80 Days" in 1956. Neither of these two films were seen in that process here until the late 1960's. Cinema managers didn't want to go to the expense of re-equiping their theatres all over again, so soon after installing CinemaScope. The UK's (and Sheffield's) first Todd-AO movie was "South Pacific", released by Fox in 1958 with the tagline "The perfect / greatest show in Todd-AO". After this, Fox plumped for the Todd-AO process for most of their Epic films of the 1960's. Such as: "Can-Can", "Cleopatra", "The Sound of Music", "Those Magnificent Men....", Star!", "Hello,Dolly!", "Doctor Doolitlle", etc. "Cleo" had it's London Premiere on July 31st, 1963, and arrived in Sheffield for a ten week run at the Sheffield Odeon in Feb, 1964.....here is an announcement:
  12. Actually, the original image was " top and tailed ". When you show a square picture through an elongated (letterbox) rectangle, obviously, the top and bottom of the picture has to go. Some tops of heads were missing, but on the whole, it was a successful experiment. A huge hit, all over again, and a big enough success for MGM to start rummaging through it's old hits and blowing them up to 70mm too. Such as: "7 Brides for 7 Brothers", "The Great Caruso" and "Quo Vadis". .....none of which made it back to Sheffield in that format ! Other studios tried it too. Most notably, Paramount with "The Ten Commandments" and Columbia with "The Jolson Story" .....which did show in 70mm at the Gaumont 1 from Oct 26th to Nov 8th, 1969. Incidently, the artwork for "Gone With the Wind" that you mentioned (and the one that we still see today) was not the original 1939 artwork. This was painted by Howard Terpning for the 1968 re-issue, and was based on the 1961 artwork, when the film was re-issued during the centenary year of the American Civil War ( returning to the Sheffield Hippodrome in Feb, 1962). This would also be the final film to be shown at the Hippodrome, when it closed in March, 1963. The 1961 artwork: The 1968 artwork: Some of the original, 1939 artwork: Whichever way you show it, it's still a great film !
  13. S24

    3 D Films

    "Help me Obi Wan Kenobi ...... You are my only hope."
  14. S24

    3 D Films

    From what i've seen and read about 3-D TV Dave, you do have to wear glasses to see it. Take a look at this link and you can read all about it. And - already, there are complaints about having to wear the glasses - just like in 1953 ! http://www.t3.com/ne...-screens?=43421
  15. S24

    3 D Films

    Me too Dave, those were real Stars, with real talent. Sadly, we shall never see their like again. They wouldn't know where to start today! Oh! - yes indeed , "Silk Stockings" was most definitely in Technicolor. And, if you buy the DVD (Region 1 ,from Amazon), you can still see it all in "Glorious Technicolor, Breathtaking CinemaScope and S-t-e-r-e-o-p-h-o-n-i-c S-o-u-n-d" !
  16. S24

    3 D Films

    I think the biggest problem for 3-D at home Dave is going to be the cost of the equipment needed to view it. I mean - who is going to fork out another several hundred pounds for a new, 3-D ready TV, when the HD sets they have now are not very old ? It's a lot of money for a five minute novelty "toy". I can't see it happening, unless they can adapt the TV's we already have. We shall see ........
  17. S24

    3 D Films

    That's the one Dave. The movie version of Cole Porter's "Silk Stockings" was released by M.G.M. in 1957, and starred Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse and Janis Paige. Fred and Janis sang (and danced) the "Stereophonic Sound" number - and very well too ! Although, as was the norm in those days, some of the more "racy" lyrics were re-written. The film played at the very same Hippodrome in question, from October 14th to 19th, 1957....... in CinemaScope, but (ironically), probably not in Stereophonic Sound ! It still holds up very well too, so, don't miss it next time it's on TV.
  18. S24

    3 D Films

    That's right..... Andre de Toth was blind in one eye, and wore an eye patch. Originally from Hungary, he directed many westerns during his Hollywood career. "House of Wax" was the most famous, and successful film he ever made. Whilst that movie did have Stereophonic Sound in it's London run at the Warner Theatre, there is no mention of it in the Hippodrome's press advertising in Sheffield. Nor is there any mention of stereo for it's later CinemaScope movies' runs. I remember the Stereo was terriffic at the Palace, Union Street, and a great novelty back then. I can't remember when the Hippodrome installed Stereophonic Sound, if ever! Can anyone else? It wasn't the most comfortable of cinemas, nor did it's shape lend itself to Wide Screen presentations. The Hippodrome's listing in The Star - Sept. 7th, 1954
  19. Just to clear up a few points: "Ol' Man River" was indeed written for the original Broadway version of "Showboat". Based on Edna Ferber's novel of the same name, it opened on Dec 27th, 1927, and the song was sung by Jules Bledsoe (as Joe), who also sang it in the 1929 part-talkie screen version. Laura La Plante and Joeseph Schildkraut played Magnolia and Gaylord. Paul Robeson sang it in the 1936 screen version of the show, reprising the role that he had played in the original 1928 London version, and 1932 Broadway revival of the show. Irene Dunne and Allan Jones played Magnolia and Gaylord. In the 1951 M.G.M film version, William Warfield sang "Ol' Man River", with Kathryn Grayson and Howard Keel as Magnolia and Gaylord. Joe E. Brown played the part of Capt. Andy, owner of the Showboat.
  20. S24

    3 D Films

    I don't know Dave....I havn't seen it yet. I suppose it would be just like watching a 3-D movie. Your TV has the same, flat screen? I shall have to try and catch up with a football match in 3-D, if I can be bothered to trail out to find a pub that's showing it! Have you seen IMAX yet ? That works surprisingly well, and the glasses aren't uncomfortable to wear. From the photos i've seen in the press, the glasses for the TV 3-D experiments look to be the same. If you havn't seen it yet, The National Media Museum in Bradford have regular IMAX showings (Currently showing "Avatar"), and it's well worth a visit. They are also one of only three cinemas in the World that are still equipped to show the gigantic Wide-Screen process from the 1950's - CINERAMA. They have the authentic, 3 panel set up, and their own print of the first Cinerama film - "This is Cinerama" (the one with the roller coaster ride). They usually show this on the first Saturday afternoon of every month and you can find details on the attached link: http://www.nationalmediamuseum.org.uk/ They also have their own Cinerama print of "How the West Was Won", which they show a couple of times a year. If you havn't been yet, it's a great day out.
  21. S24

    3 D Films

    Not at the moment....but, i'll look it up, next time i'm having a session at the library.
  22. Well Dave, the answer to your "wailing woman" question is - Lissa Gray, who sang on many of the records produced by Joe Meek. I hope that wins you your next Pub Quiz - and, if it does, you owe me a pint ! By the way, Billy Fury is gone, but Mike Sarne is still with us. He appeared in "Doctors" (BBC), only last year, and before that, both him and John Leyton (and other contemporaries) appeared in the Joe Meek biopic - "TELSTAR"......not as themselves, but playing character roles. If you havn't seen this fabulous movie - do so! (it's out on DVD). It's a real nostalgia trip, and Con O'Neill is absolutely amazing as Joe Meek. Likewise.....read John Repsch's excellent biography of Meek - "The Legendary Joe Meek - The Telstar Man" (Cherry Red Books). As far as I know, the Brook Brothers are still with us....... Ricky being 70 this year, and Geoff 67. Wow!....that makes me feel old (although, not as old as them !).
  23. S24

    3 D Films

    Yes indeed. The actresses' assets were always the two most important selling "points" in Hollywood's marketing !
  24. S24

    3 D Films

    Yes, Dave.......I saw those two movies there too. They had a special 3-D revival week, as I recall ?
  25. S24

    3 D Films

    In view of the current vogue for 3-D movies, I thought that I would add some more detail to the earlier posts. In fact, very few 3-D films were shown in Sheffield back in the 1950's, and I can only find references for 8 of them. The process had been started in 1952, by an American producer named Arch Oboler. He filmed a cheap jungle quickie called "BWANA DEVIL" ( starring Robert Stack) which had nothing going for it, except the new process of 3-D. The ads promised you "A Lion in your lap, and a lover in your arms !". The film was a sensation in the States and Warner Brothers - looking for a way to combat the onslaught of television in the early '50's - quickly took up an option on the process. (I can find no record of this movie ever having played in Sheffield at that time.) Warners made their first 3-D movie in 1953 - "HOUSE OF WAX" (starring Vincent Price), and it was a MASSIVE hit, all over the world. It was the first 3-D feature seen in Sheffield, and it played at the Hippodrome from Sept. 7th to 19th, 1953. You wore a special pair of glasses in order to see the illusion of depth, and these cost an extra sixpence. Several other 3-D movies followed, all playing at the Hippodrome. These were: "SANGAREE" - with Fernando Lamas & Arlene Dahl (Dec 30th, 1953 to Jan 5th, 1954) "THE CHARGE AT FEATHER RIVER" - with Guy Madison & Frank Lovejoy (Jan 18th to 23rd, 1954) I believe that this is the Western that the guy in the earlier posting remembers seeing back then?) "CEASE-FIRE" - a curious, semi-documentary film about the Korean War, with real soldiers, and no stars.(April 26th to May 1st, 1954) "HONDO" - with John Wayne & Geraldine Page (One of the best 3-D movies made) - (May 24th to 29th, 1954) "KISS ME KATE" - Kathryn Grayson & Howard Keel (June 7th -12th, 1954) "THE PHANTOM OF THE RUE MORGUE" - Karl Malden & Claude Dauphin (Aug 23rd - 28th, 1954) The last of the Warner Bros 3-D movies was Hitchcock's "DIAL "M" FOR MURDER" (Sept 13th - 18th, 1954), but this was shown here "flat". Interest had quickly begun to wain in 3-D, and people didn't like having to wear (and pay for!) the special glasses, complaining of eye strain and headaches. It was also apparent that the new process that 20th Century Fox had been developing - CinemaScope, was going to be a huge success, and Warners soon bought a license from Fox and went into CinemaScope production too, as did nearly all the other Hollywood studios. Warner's first CinemaScope movie was - "THE COMMAND" - with Guy Madison. It ran at the Hippodrome from October 18th to 23rd, 1954 M.G.M.'s first CinemaScope film - "KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE" - with Robert Taylor & Ava Gardner) quickly followed it, running from Dec. 1st to 6th, 1954. Other studios too produced 3-D movies, but most of these were only shown "flat" here. Most notably Universal's "THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON" which played at the Cinema House. The Gaumont showed several others - "MONEY FROM HOME" with Martin & Lewis, "THE FRENCH LINE" with Jane Russell and "THOSE REDHEADS FROM SEATTLE" with Rhonda Fleming. All of these "made in 3-D" films were shown "flat", and not in 3-D. The only other Sheffield cinema that I can find a reference for having shown 3-D films was - the Essoldo, Sheffield Lane Top. They had the Sheffield premiere of "IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE" from Feb.15th to 20th, 1954, and subsequently played several of the above 3-D films. (Later on, the Essoldo was also the first suburban cinema to show CinemaScope films in Sheffield.) That was more or less it for 3-D here. The process came, and went within the space of a year. CinemaScope had proved to be the winner, and films like "THE ROBE", "HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE", "THREE COINS IN THE FOUNTAIN",etc,etc were MASSIVE hits, all over the world....and Sheffield ! By the way, the film mentioned in the earlier posting that was shown on ITV in 3-D, in October, 1982 was Columbia's weak effort - " FORT TI " - with George Montgomery. This did play at several local cinemas in the '50's, but not in 3-D. CinemaScope, and Stereophonic Sound were here to stay (at least until the late 1960's), and "THE ROBE" ran for 8 weeks at the Palace, Union Street, from February, 15th to April 10th,1954. An unprecedented run at that time. Oddly enough, the second CinemaScope movie - "HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE" (Marilyn Monroe,Betty Grable & Lauren Bacall) beat "THE ROBE" into Sheffield by two weeks - playing at The Gaumont from 1st to 13th February, 1954. The reason for this being that....normally, the Gaumont would have the first runs of 20th Century Fox, Columbia, United Artists and Universal's movies (with the Hippodrome taking Warner Bros, M.G.M. and Paramount's fims)......in the main. However, J.Arthur Rank told Fox that he would take their CinemaScope films, but he couldn't tell the difference between Stereophonic Sound and the normal mono......so, he didn't want to go to the extra expense of installing that in all his theatres. Fox said "No way!....you can't have one, without the other. It's a package". So, foolishly, Rank said "I'll leave it then" ! (he later relented). Fox then approached independent cinemas in each city to be the exclusive exhibitor of their sensational new product, and the Palace, Union Street was the winner in Sheffield.... and that is where nearly all the early CinemaScope films were first seen here. Notice the selling point in the early ads for CinemaScope......."You see it without the use of special glasses". In later years, other studios tried to revive 3-D in one form or another, but with little success. It proved to be a gimmick that the public soon grows tired of. I wonder how long today's 3-D trend will last for ??????
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