Sunday, May 14, 2017

1960 ads for the Rialto, Louisville's million dollar movie palace

Journey to the Center of the Earth had been the big Christmas release to play the Rialto in 1959 and was still playing on January 7, 1960, when this ad appeared. My parents took me to see it, and I believe it was the very last time we went to see any movie downtown.  If we saw any movies, it was always at a drive-in.  It would be years before I got to go to the Rialto again, always with friends.
January 13, 1960.  
                                                        January 20, 1960. 

                                                              January 28, 1960
                                                          February 11, 1960

                                                          February 18, 1960.
                                                                February 25, 1960

I saw Toby Tyler at a drive-in later that summer and I loved it so much I was sure that someday I would run off and join the circus myself. I also had a glossy book based on the movie and looked at often. Years later, when I was working at Disney studios, I met Kevin Corcoran.  He was quite friendly and still had his trademark freckles.  I don't remember seeing Gala Day at Disneyland but if I did, I'm sure I was thrilled. I had a Disneyland lunchbox I used to gaze at every day while I ate my half sandwich and Campbell's chicken noodle soup that was kept tepid at best in the miniature thermos. Both Nixon daughters, Pat and Tricia, are in it.  March 10, 1960.

                                                          March 17, 1960.
                                                               March 24, 1960.
                                                                 April 14, 1960.

                                                          April 21, 1960.

                                                                   April 28, 1960.
According to IMDB the real Purple Gang was a group of Jewish mobsters, but that interesting fact was not discussed in the movie.  May 5, 1960
 I imagine more than one person in the audience said this title aloud while watching it. May 12, 1960
                    Jacques Bergerac played a Batman villain -- Freddie the Fence. May 19, 1960.
                                                              May 26, 1960.
                                                                   June 2, 1960.

The Angry Red Planet's Cinemagic screen process, according to IMDB, used for the scenes set on Mars was actually the result of a film-developing mistake. The budget was slashed mid-production so the producers considered turning the film into black and white to keep costs down. However, one reel became accidentally double-exposed which produced a shimmering, vaguely psychedelic glare that director Ib Melchior latched onto, thinking it would suit his purposes for the Mars scenes. (It also helped to camouflage the cheap Martian monsters and scenery.)  IMDB also adds: Master Marionette artist, Bob Baker, was called in to manipulate the Batratspidercrab creature (a marionette fifteen inches tall). Mr. Baker's talents were also called into play for Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977).  Released by American International. I personally find the movie impossible to sit through. The Man Who Died Twice, a Republic picture from 1958, is a crime drama.  It starred Vera Ralston, a Czech ice skater whom Republic head Herbert J. Yates married and hoped to turn into the next Sonja Henie.  While on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Maureen Stapleton was asked what she did to make herself feel better when she knew she'd given a bad performance. "I look through the TV Guide and try to find a Vera Hruba Ralston picture to watch," said Stapleton, "because I know, no matter how bad a performance I may have given, I could NEVER be as bad as she was!" (IMDB)  Poor Vera.  She was still alive at the time and might have been watching.  June 12, 1960.
                                                                June 16, 1960.

 The Sign of Zorro (1958) was edited from eight episodes of Disney's TV series.  I personally would have considered that a ripoff. With it was a reissue of Hoppity Goes to Town, aka Mr. Bug Goes to Town (1941) from Disney's chief competitor early on, the Fleischer studio. I'm sure Walt Disney would not have been happy to see the movie attached to one of his, even something as low-power as a cobbled together feature from old TV episodes. June 26, 1960.
                                                                   June 30, 1960.
                                                                  July 10, 1960
                                                               July 14, 1960
                                                                      July 21, 1960

Disney returned to the Rialto with their big A picture of the summer, Pollyana.  While I was at DreamWorks in the late 1990s, director David Swift visited and gave a talk to a small group of interested employees.  He had started his career at Disney as an assistant animator.  A very friendly man, he told us that Walt did not want him to trim the carnival sequence because it made him very nostalgic for his boyhood in Kansas City, MO.  The movie ended up being very long (2 hours and 14 minutes) but Walt didn't care.   Because it was his directorial debut, Swift told us he was very nervous, and once asked Walt why he wasn't overseeing the filming.  Walt told him he had hired him to do it and trusted him to do a good job, and if he had to look over his shoulder then he should hire someone else.  (But he still wouldn't let him trim the carnival sequence). Another story about Walt he told involved Walt calling him to his office to discuss something about the movie.  Swift was gone from the set for quite a while and when he said he probably needed to get back, Walt said, "This is MY studio and if I want you here, then that's where you'll be." The movie did not perform well at the box office, but Walt liked Swift and he had a good rapport with star Hayley Mills, so he was given The Parent Trap, which turned out to be a very big hit.  I told Swift that I really believed that Brian Keith and Maureen O'Hara liked one another.  He said they did; they became very good friends.  July 28, 1960.
                                                                  Aug 4, 1960.
                                                                 August 25, 1960

The Lost World made big promises, but wasn't very good, in part due to its slashed budget because of the out-of-control Cleopatra which plagued Fox at every turn. Irwin Allen had wanted stop motion monsters but didn't get them. September 1, 1960

Marilyn Monroe played the Rialto next.  I saw it at the Twilight Drive-in a few years later with Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation  September 8, 1960
                                                               September 15, 1960

                                                       September 22, 1960.
                                                                   September 29, 1960
                                                                   October 6, 1960.
                                                            October 13, 1960.

I don't know if I've seen The Hound that Thought He was a Raccoon, but I presume at some point one or both of them got into the flour in the kitchen.  October 20, 1960.
                                                                 October 27, 1960
  November 3, 1960.

 The 39 Steps was a Rank Organisation movie, released by 20th Century Fox and is either one of few non-wide screen films or even the only one released by Fox in this era.  November 10, 1960.
                                                          November 17, 1960.
                                                             November 24, 1960.
                                                                 December 8, 1960.

Now here's a monumentally horrible movie -- The Wizard of Baghdad.  I caught about twenty minutes of it not long ago on the Fox Movie Channel.   December 15, 1960.
Flaming Star was the Rialto's Christmas movie of 1960.  Delores del Rio played Elvis' mother in this movie, so that's something.   December 22, 1960.

 For New Year's Eve, the Rialto previewed The Marriage Go-Round which would officially arrive the following week.  The New Year's Eve tradition at the Rialto of previewing an upcoming feature  had come to an end with The Marriage-Go-Round.  December 31, 1960

All articles and advertisements appeared in The Courier-Journal in 1960. 

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