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Old Canny Street Kid

Films with longest runs in Sheffield

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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!

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.

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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.

"Swanee" is an interesting song.

It is arguably the song that made the Gershwin brothers music popular simply because of the exposure Jolson gave it.

The Gershwins early songs like "The Real American Folk Song (Is a Rag)", George's early piano music, like the 1916 very long titles "When You want 'em You Can't Get 'em, When you Got 'em You Don't want 'em" and their early shows like "La La Lucille" were never big hits.

This all changed on 24 October 1924 when a Broadway revue opened with a new Gershwin tune, "Swanee". After the show the Gershwins met Jolson at a party, at the time Jolson was a top star at his peak. The Gershwins and Jolson were all from Russian Jewish ancestry and although "Swanee" was about the southern American states it was a very Jewish sounding song (just listen to the first 4 bars when George Gershwin plays it on the piano). Jolson liked the song so much he wanted to record it and use it in his latest Broadway show called "Sinbad". The Gershwins agreed and within a year they had made $10,000 in royalties, - a fortune in 1920, and suddenly they were the stars of Tin Pan alley with other artists wanting their songs.

The rest, as they say, is history.

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Regarding the earlier posting for "Half a Sixpence" here's a display of some memorabilia items from my collection. Not from the EXACT showing at the ABC Sheffield, but hopefully nevertheless interesting.

Shown: open-up soundtrack recording sleeve; colour photographs from my mother's "Woman" magazine; display advert (a whopping 8" horizontal x 28" vertical from those days!) advertising the opening week in London.

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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

You never know, the queue might actually have been for the Tatler 'adult' cinema nearer the city centre he he

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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

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Now I am sure I saw this film, "The Battle of Britain", perhaps a while after it's original release at either Studio 7 or at the Classic in Fitzallen Square. Not sure which but I think it was Studio 7.

"Battle of Britain" ran at the Classic the week of 12th September, 1971.

Was that when you saw it Dave ?

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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 !

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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......

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Interesting story about Ruby Keeler AFTER Jolson.

..and you actually got to meet her!

Yes, we did. She was a really nice lady, and still had that lovely smile.

She was over here for the opening of the stage version of "42nd Street", at the Theatre Royal - Drury Lane, in London.

She was guest of honour at the opening night and received a huge ovation.

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

I also saw 'Hello Dolly' at the Gaumont 1 Sheffield and 'The Intelligence Men' at the Odeon, plus of course 'Mary Poppins' at the Gaumont (at a special 11.30am performance on the Easter Monday - and yes we still had to queue). Saw 'The Sound Of Music' several times during its long run at the Odeon. Has anyone got a picture of Sheffield Odeon when 'The Sound Of Music' was showing there they could upload on this file.

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Saw 'The Sound Of Music' several times during its long run at the Odeon. Has anyone got a picture of Sheffield Odeon when 'The Sound Of Music' was showing there they could upload on this file.

I wish I had ABC Man...... or photos of the Odeon's facade for any of the Epic Road Shows that played there.

Why didn't we go down there and take photos at the time ?????

Just wait while i've finished my time machine !

I remember that they usually went to town with the advertising materials. Those railings that run around the bay at the top of the steps there were always boarded over with the relevant artwork,etc......and there were sometimes other items on top of the canopy.

I also remember that, when the Odeon had its first Road Show - "Oklahoma!" ( January, 1957), they had a real "Surrey with the Fringe On Top" standing in the bay.

Likewise, when they showed "The Bridge on the River Kwaii" ( March, 1958), they had an accurate model of the bridge in the foyer.

There is a brief clip of film in one of those "Remember Sheffield" videos that are around that shows the facade during the run of "South Pacific", and it was festooned with flags and leis,etc.

Love to see more of stuff like that.

So, i'll repeat the request..............."Does anyone out there have any such photos?"

I do still have the ticket stubs from three of our many visits to "The Sound of Music" during it's record run at the Odeon, and here they are..............

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I wish I had ABC Man...... or photos of the Odeon's facade for any of the Epic Road Shows that played there.

Why didn't we go down there and take photos at the time ?????

Just wait while i've finished my time machine !

I remember that they usually went to town with the advertising materials. Those railings that run around the bay at the top of the steps there were always boarded over with the relevant artwork,etc......and there were sometimes other items on top of the canopy.

I also remember that, when the Odeon had its first Road Show - "Oklahoma!" ( January, 1957), they had a real "Surrey with the Fringe On Top" standing in the bay.

Likewise, when they showed "The Bridge on the River Kwaii" ( March, 1958), they had an accurate model of the bridge in the foyer.

There is a brief clip of film in one of those "Remember Sheffield" videos that are around that shows the facade during the run of "South Pacific", and it was festooned with flags and leis,etc.

Love to see more of stuff like that.

Fantastic, those ticket stubs bring back happy memories.Funny you should mention the railings on the Odeon steps. I was only thinking about this the other day that they advertised film boards on them when a Road Show was playing.Spooky or what. Yes, why didn't we go down with our cameras!

So, i'll repeat the request..............."Does anyone out there have any such photos?"

I do still have the ticket stubs from three of our many visits to "The Sound of Music" during it's record run at the Odeon, and here they are..............

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"Fantastic, those ticket stubs bring back happy memories.Funny you should mention the railings on the Odeon steps. I was only thinking about this the other day that they advertised film boards on them when a Road Show was playing.Spooky or what. Yes, why didn't we go down with our cameras!"

Crazy eh? I guess we didn't stop to think about nostalgia back then and thought that things like that would always be there. How wrong we were !

Luckily, i've never been one for throwing things away. So, I still have a lot of original stuff, as well as all the posters,stills,press books, programmes,etc i've aquired over the years.

Oh well !......as I said earlier, just wait until i've finished that time machine.

(Which also played at the Odeon - w/c Nov. 20th, 1960 !) lol

.

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I think my first time ever in this part of the forum, and i must admit what a brilliant job !! Love the posters and ticket stubbs etc.

S24, could you tell me when i was watching 'The Black Panther' at the Classic in Fitzallan Square, and 'The Towering Inferno' at the Gaumont ?

Dean.

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I think my first time ever in this part of the forum, and i must admit what a brilliant job !! Love the posters and ticket stubbs etc.

S24, could you tell me when i was watching 'The Black Panther' at the Classic in Fitzallan Square, and 'The Towering Inferno' at the Gaumont ?

Dean.

'The Towering Inferno' played its original run in 1975 at the ABC (not the Gaumont) in 70mm

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I think my first time ever in this part of the forum, and i must admit what a brilliant job !! Love the posters and ticket stubbs etc.

S24, could you tell me when i was watching 'The Black Panther' at the Classic in Fitzallan Square, and 'The Towering Inferno' at the Gaumont ?

Dean.

Hello, Dean...glad you're enjoying the site.

Sadly, my records only go up to the end of 1971. So, I can't give you the exact dates you require.

I do however still have my ticket stub for "The Towering Inferno", which I saw in it's original run at the Warner, West End (London) on March 1st, 1975.

So, I guess it would have been not too long after that when it reached our ABC.

"The Black Panther" was released in 1977.......so, it may have been at the Classic that year, or possibly 1978?

One day, I may extend my database to cover (at least) the rest of the 1970's.

Watch this space.

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'The Towering Inferno' played its original run in 1974 at the ABC (not the Gaumont) in 70mm

It must have been 1975 abcM.........It had it's London opening on 30th January, 1975.

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Thanks chaps. The late 70's seems about right for the Black Panther.

So The Towering Inferno moved to the Gaumont after it had been shown at the ABC ?

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It must have been 1975 abcM.........It had it's London opening on 30th January, 1975.

Yes, sorry I have amended the date. I was Assistant Manager at the ABC Huddersfield when 'The Towering Inferno' opened and relieved the Sheffield ABC while the Manager Les Allen was on holiday, when it was showing there.As I returned to the Sheffield ABC as Senior Assistant manager in 1975 I thought it was slightly earlier but obviously not. (It is after all 35 years ago.)

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Thanks chaps. The late 70's seems about right for the Black Panther.

So The Towering Inferno moved to the Gaumont after it had been shown at the ABC ?

Don't remember it playing the Gaumont but it could have done because the Gaumont did re-show later 'Ben Hur, 'Doctor Zhivago', 'Far From The Madding Crowd','Mayerling', &'Gone With The Wind' after they had run at the ABC.

They also re-ran 'Lawrence Of Arabia', 'West Side Story', 'The Sound Of Music' (several times) & 'Oliver' following their original runs at the Odeon.

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Definately the Gaumont, i can see myself now standing on the steps waiting to get in.

Dean.

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Definately the Gaumont, i can see myself now standing on the steps waiting to get in.

Dean.

And here are those steps:

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Regarding the earlier posting for "Half a Sixpence" here's a display of some memorabilia items from my collection. Not from the EXACT showing at the ABC Sheffield, but hopefully nevertheless interesting.

Shown: open-up soundtrack recording sleeve; colour photographs from my mother's "Woman" magazine; display advert (a whopping 8" horizontal x 28" vertical from those days!) advertising the opening week in London.

I enjoyed going to watch Tommy Steele in "Half A Sixpence" so much that I actually got the book "Kipps" by H. G. Wells, the novel on which "Half A Sixpence" is based, out of the library and read it.

Being a science student interested in factual science, science fiction does not really interest me at all in either book or film, unless of course it comes from one of the masters of the genre like H.G. Wells, Jules Verne or Isaac Asimov. I had read most of Well's science fiction books but this was the first romantic novel of his that I had read and possibly the only romantic novel I have read. The book "Kipps" about the life of Arthur Kipps and his first love is for a large part, autobiographical about H. G. Wells.

The film "Half A Sixpence" actually follows the story in the book very well.

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You never know, the queue might actually have been for the Tatler 'adult' cinema nearer the city centre he he

No they're not waiting to go into an "adult" cinema.

They are not wearing plastic macs, dirty old raincoats and some of them are women! lol

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"Battle of Britain" ran at the Classic the week of 12th September, 1971.

Was that when you saw it Dave ?

That will have been the one S24.

Shown on 12th of September to mark "Battle of Britain week" (1971 was the 31st anniversary of the battle)

Most air shows in Britain were always on this week in September (e.g. RAF Finningley) to mark the same event, nearly always with the battle of Britain memorial flight fly past (a Spitfire, a Hurricane and a Lancaster bomber)

The Luftwaffe launched a major air attack on London on 15 September 1940 but due to a regrouping of the RAF defence squadrons suffered heavy losses to a much smaller RAF. On 16 September the Luftwaffe abandoned its planned invasion of Britain, although attacks and raids continued. Britain was saved and the Battle of Britain was won.

We used to celebrate this week regularly when we were younger by going to air shows and events.

I am almost certain I would have gone to see this film in September.

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