Saturday, May 13, 2017

1964 ads for the Rialto: Louisville's million dollar movie palace


It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, the first Cinerama feature in Ultra Panavision 70, started at the Rialto on Christmas Day 1963.  This ad appeared January 12, 1964.  I wanted to see it very badly but didn't see it here; I saw it while visiting my grandparents in Butler, Pennsylvania later that summer.  I was still talking about it when I went to school in the fall.
March 3, 1964.
                                                                     May 3, 1964
When Mad World finally ended its run, Cinerama had apparently given up booking three panel Cinerama engagements but that didn't stop them from squeezing some money out of How the West Was Won as a standard release in optically printed anamorphic Panavision.  I'm sure more than a few people were extremely disappointed when they showed up at the Rialto to see this greatly downgraded version, especially since the Rialto still had its Cinerama screen! In any case, it only played a few weeks. July 12, 1964.
Then came Circus World in Super-Technirama 70 (anamorphic VistaVision) August 2, 1964.  Even in 70mm revivals, this one is overlooked along with Custer of the West and Krakatoa, East of Java. It's not great.
                                                                  August 9, 1964.

People probably assumed that Mediterranean Holiday (1962), a poor man's Windjammer made in Germany, was another Cinerama travelogue. It wasn't. Though the ad says it was CinemaScope, according to Wide Screen Museum, it was actually shot in MCS-70, 'a good quality Todd-AO clone. In cities with Cinerama houses that were desperate for something to run, a deal was worked out with Cinerama, Inc. to advertise the film as being a genuine Cinerama release.' You can read more here.  This explains why a few years later it popped up advertised as such at the Cinema 1, which replaced the Rialto as Louisville's Cinerama venue. A friend who saw it at the time told me it was incredibly boring.  October 16, 1964.
The Kim Novak remake of Of Human Bondage was universally panned and didn't last long.  November 3, 1964.
No doubt the Rialto management was surprised at just how badly Of Human Bondage bombed and in its place the latest Elvis feature stopped in, even sharing the booking with the Twilight Drive-in. November 22, 1964.
And if Roustabout wasn't bad enough, that gave way to a beach movie double feature. I'm sure by now they probably wished they'd kept Mad World.   December 13, 1964.
For Christmas 1964, Emil and the Detectives, a rather minor Disney release was booked. According to IMDB, Billy Wilder helped write the screenplay. December 20, 1964.

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