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Posts posted by S24

  1. Does "Swanee" appear in the film twice?

    As I remember it a young Jolson (played by Larry Parks, - appologies for previously mis-spelling his surname) is singing "Swanee" when either his voice breaks or he forgets the words.

    Not to be outdone or lose his audience he puts his fingers in his mouth and whistles the next verse until he either regains his voice or remembers what to sing.

    Jolson's own version of "Swanee" became famous for that whistling bit in the middle which other artists versions (e.g. Judy Garland) lacked.

    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. Somehow I never enjoyed the story of "Hello Dolly"

    But, with Barbara Streisand singing it was bound to get my attention.

    Then the real best bit, LOUIS ARMSTRONG !!!!, wow, what a musical masterpiece that film was.

    "Well Hello Dolly, - this is Louis, Dolly, - it's so nice to have you back where you belong"

    Yes....I enjoyed it then, but, it all looks rather dated now - despite it's oppulent art direction....and Babs, of course !

  3. That's an interesting observation S24, I went to see Eric 7 Ernie in "The Intelligence Men" at the Odeon but I had forgotten when.

    It must have been at Easter 1965 then.

    Perhaps we went to see this film because we didn't want to wait in the queue to see Mary Poppins at the Gaumont. lol

    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

  4. Just been reading all about the "colly", all of them brought back such memories. Though I was surprised that i couldnt find a mention of the owners of this delightful picture house. If any one interested the "colly" was owned and run by brother and sister Peter and Peggy Blaskey. yes they were related to the blaskey wall paper shops. When Star Cinemas started buying up all the little places (Heeley Palace included) Peter and Peggy managed to hold out vowing they would never sell to star.

    In the end they sold and it became a super market. My sister was the head cashier at the colley from leaving school until she married in 1958.

    I folowed in her footsteps becoming cashier at the Gaumont in town. still keeping it in the family my grandson also works in th cinema.

    Great site keep up the good work.


    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 !

  5. 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".

  6. 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!

  7. Now if you are going to convert "The Jolson Story" (starring Larry Parkes as Jolson) into 70mm then surely you would also have to convert the sequel film "Jolson Sings Again" (starring Larry Parkes as Jolson and also Larry Parkes as Larry Parkes **) into 70mm as well.

    ** In one scene, "Jolson" meets Larry Parkes and has a brief conversation with him!!

    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!

  8. I hadn't thought of doing it by that quick and simple method and losing the top and bottom bits witout a care. I was just trying to retain as much of the original picture as possible by whatever method.

    As the 70mm version is merely an enlarged copy of the 35mm version it does mean that the overall picture quality of the larger 70mm version will still be no better than the original and, that by using lenses to magnify the original the quality of the copy will be slightly reduced.

    However, they seem to have got away with this without any noticable quality loss.

    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.


  9. Yes DaveH...the wording in those days matched the majesty of the magnificence (lol) . I'll have to wait and see which films Sheffielders post up as a memory (or a moment in time at one of your great cinemas) to see if I can come up in my collection with an equally descriptive advert. MGM were especially good at this technique!

    20th Century-Fox may have thought they had the monopoly of 'widescreen wording' as they invented Cinemascope to challenge Cinerama; but then Cleopatra with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor came along and the rest his...history!

    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:

  10. So if the original was on 35mm and in standard format but the 70mm copy was in a more modern "Widescreen" format they must have either lost some of the picture at the ends or, more likely, gained a black margin top and bottom in what became known as "letterbox" format.

    Unless, possible but even more technically advanced, each frame was copied using AO (Anamorphic Optics) to distort the image into the new format, and then using similar optics on projection to correct it again.

    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 !

  11. Having mentioned 3D techniques in the 1970's and 80's

    What happened to Holographics and the Hologram?

    Using LASER light a Hologram was a true 3D image, at the time highly popular novelties.

    The Hologram is still with us today mainly as a security device on credit cards and banknotes because they cannot easily be copied.

    But I am sure that at one time it was considered that LASER's and Holographics was going to be the way to make 3D TV a reality.

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

  12. Neither did the report say anything about wearing a pair of 3D specs to view the 3D effect.

    I got the impression that it used a different system as light from a TV screen cannot easily be plane polarised and the red - green analglyph system from the 1950's would compromise the picture quality way below modern broadcast standards.

    I would have liked more technical details on how the 3D for TV system is going to work.

    Or is that still a "patents pending trade secret" between the top manufacturers?

    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 !


  13. Old fashioned perhaps but I just love this type of all singing all dancing Hollywood musical.

    ..and who better to perform in them than the likes of Fred Astair, Ginger Rogers, Cyd Charisse, Donald O'Connor, Gene Kelly, Bing Crosby,....

    The list goes on. They did these numbers to perfection, - both the music and the choreography.

    So, the film was in "Breathtaking CinemaScope" but not (at least at the Hippodrome) "Stereophonic Sound", but was it in "Glorious Technicolour"?

    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" !

  14. Just read a report on 3D TV in this months WHICH? magazine.

    Says that 3D TV should be on sale by end of 2010, but doesn't say what proportion of the programmes broadcast will be in 3D.

    I suppose we will just have to wait and see for ourselves.

    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 ........

  15. Actually the song is just called "Stereophonic Sound". I even found the lyrics for it.

    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.

  16. I haven't read all posts so fingers crossed that I dont duplicate. House of Wax was made in 1953 and was the first grade a 3d film. it was originally shown in the states with stereophonic sound. the director was blind in one eye and could not see the 3d effect.


    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

  17. Don't think they've done a 'sing a long Showboat' - AS YET. Give them time.

    Over the years Showboat has had many additions and subtractions to its song list. I understand that 'Ol Man River' was written for Paul Robeson for the 1936 film version and did not appear either in the original stage show or first film version.

    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.

  18. Will 3D TV ever be any good?

    I don't mean technically, - I.m sure modern technology is well up to the job.

    I mean aesthetically.

    Wouldn't a 3D TV just look like everything was happening inside a Punch & Judy booth?

    Effectively you would just be looking "into the box"

    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:


    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.

  19. Now here is a pop trivia question that both me and my wife would love to know the answer to, -

    Who was "The wailing woman" on Johnny Leytons records "Johnny Remember Me" and "Wild Wind"?

    Neither his official site, or the Joe Meek site (who produced Leytons records) mention her so we would love to know.

    Her "wailing" certainly adds a mysterious atmosphere to both of these hits.

    We think she would have been an ideal subject to appear on Eamon Andrews programme "What's My Line?" due to the fact that she never sang, only wailed.

    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 !).

  20. Thanks S24, a very nice collection of original 1950's film advertising posters. Brilliant

    What stands out (if you'll pardon the 3D pun) in these posters is that the thing that jumps out of the screen at you isn't the moving objects or the monsters at all

    It's the star actresses well endowed assets

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

  21. I must admit that I saw both "The Creature From the Black Lagoon" and "It Came From Outer Space" at a special showing at the cinema owned by the council near the Grosvenor Hotel (The Anvil??) in 1977 or 1978 and NOT when they came out in the 1950's.

    However, I did see them at a cinema in Sheffield.

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