Apparently back in 1947 Hollywood thought it was a good idea to release Christmas films in the middle of the year instead of the holiday season. In June of that year, two films were released within a week of each other. Both placed ads in the New York Times weeks before they opened as if it were a preliminary for the main bout. Who will grab the public’s imagination and more importantly their dollars? The two contenders were the now almost forgotten “It Happened on 5th Avenue” and a film that would become a perennial holiday classic, “Miracle on 34th Street.”
While the stories are different, the two films do have some similarities. Both take place in New York during the holiday season, both feature kindly cherubic older men and both spread philosophies, though very different, on the goodness of man. Continue reading →
Before cinemaplexes and mass bookings films use to play at one theater for more than a couple of weeks. In New York and other large cities a film could run for months even years in the case of a blockbuster like Ben-Hur which ran for two years on Broadway at the Loew’s State. The theme of this edition of old movie ads is just that, films that seems to run forever at one theater.
Before Cable TV, before downloading, before Blu-Ray, DVD’s VHS, Beta and all, there were revival movie houses, and theatrical rereleases. Those days are mostly gone except for a few major cities where one or two theaters still show older films and a few other cities that have summer film festivals that generally consist of the standard Hollywood classics (Casablanca, Gone WIth the Wind, Yankee Doodle Dandy, and a Grease sing a long). This posting of Newspaper Ads focus’ on ads of not just revival houses but regular theatres that would show rereleases of older films, a more common site than we see today in the age of home video.
This is the first in what will be an occasional look back at some old movie ads.
The first James Bond film had what was then a wide release at PREMIERE SHOWCASE Theaters
“Jailhouse Rock” was Elvis’ third film. What is also interesting in this ad is the second feature, a little known film called “Action of the Tiger.” It was directed by Terance Young, who a few years later would direct “Dr. No”, and in the cast below the stars Van Johnson and Martine Carol was an unknown actor by the name of Sean Connery.
Brando and Bogart on the same screen!
“A Hard Day’s Night” was rereleased for the holidays.
In 1965 two films were released called “Harlow”, the first was a big splashy color production produced by Joseph E. Levine and starred Carroll Baker as the 1930′s blonde bombshell. Also released was a quickie production in black and white in a process called “electrovision” and starred Carol Lynley as Jean Harlow. This film came and went in the blink of an eye and has rarely been seen since. Note that in addition to the movie there was a live on stage rock and roll show hosted by New York D.J. Clay Cole.
This 1930′s ad features Chaplin’s masterpiece “City Lights” in its 6th week.