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Old 28-05-2009, 16:14   #21
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More interesting - what is the oldest film you saw at the cinema at the time of the film's release - seeing films in repertory cinemas doesn't really count in terms of knowing what the film originally looked like. So, what are the first films you actually saw in a movie theater? I'll start - my first conscious memories of seeing films in theaters were: Singin' In The Rain, The Tender Trap, and The High And The Mighty. After those, I would say I saw at least four movies a week up until the advent of the cineplex.
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Old 28-05-2009, 16:17   #22
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Hmm. I wonder if I'm thinking of the same thing... in the 70s again the Tyneside screened a double bill - Woody Allen's 'Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex etc...' was coupled (excuse me) with a compilation of adult entertainment dating from the early 1900s. I was sure I had remembered the name of it but neither imdb nor a quick google throw anything up.
I think I know what film you're talking about - I think it had the word "blue" in the title and I think it was in some sort of weird widescreen process, like Panorama or something - the title is just escaping me right now, but I saw it.
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Old 28-05-2009, 16:20   #23
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Boy is my memory good - just found it - and yes, it had the word blue in the title AND the word panorama

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070507/

Amusingly, in my acting days, I did a film with the producer of Panorama Blue - Alan Roberts (not his real name) - one of the worst movies ever made - Raquet, with Bert Convy, Lynda Day George, Phil Silvers, Tanya Roberts (her first film), and little old me.
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Old 28-05-2009, 16:44   #24
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More interesting - what is the oldest film you saw at the cinema at the time of the film's release - seeing films in repertory cinemas doesn't really count in terms of knowing what the film originally looked like.
I don't think the point of the thread is about print quality or how exactly a film looked like on it's original release. Some old films will have looked more, others less pristine than at their original release. All I remember is being glad to see the films at all in repertory houses and getting a good eduction in classic cinema.

Btw., the first then contemporary film I saw was What's Up Doc? and I have no memory of what the print looked like, only that I felt quite grown up for seeing my first film that wasn't an animated Disney re-release.
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Old 28-05-2009, 17:11   #25
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Originally Posted by haineshisway View Post
More interesting - what is the oldest film you saw at the cinema at the time of the film's release. So, what are the first films you actually saw in a movie theater?
Very good point. In that case, mine would be Walt Disney's Jungle Cat in November 1960. I realise that the film was released in the West in 1959, but I was a poor little boy growing up in India and English films took their time arriving. So for me, that was the first film that I saw at the cinema on its initial release.
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Old 28-05-2009, 17:32   #26
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My first cinema visit was in the mid 60s to see either Bambi, so obviously a re-release, or The Sound of Music.



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I think I know what film you're talking about...
I dont want to take this thread too OT but it wasn't that. It was a compilation of (very) naughty early century fillums. There may have been some early talkies in there but the clips were mainly silent. I was sure it was called 'Ain't Misbehavin' but can't find trace of it anywhere.
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Old 28-05-2009, 17:37   #27
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More interesting - what is the oldest film you saw at the cinema at the time of the film's release - seeing films in repertory cinemas doesn't really count in terms of knowing what the film originally looked like. So, what are the first films you actually saw in a movie theater? I'll start - my first conscious memories of seeing films in theaters were: Singin' In The Rain, The Tender Trap, and The High And The Mighty. After those, I would say I saw at least four movies a week up until the advent of the cineplex.
My earliest memory in the cinema is when I was 6 in 1956. The first ep. of the Flash Gorden serial, Flash parachutes down & Dr. Zarkov holds a gun on him (my first visit to Saturday Morning Pictures). 53 years ago! It was love at first sight!
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Old 28-05-2009, 19:05   #28
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Metropolis for me too - last month at Birmingham Town hall with live organ music from Nigel Ogden. They showed it in widescreen though - muppets!

When I was a kid they used to show an episode of Rocket Man and Flash Gordon every weel at my local cinema (Odeon - Sutton Coldfield) usually followed by a Childrens Film Foundation flick. Must've been the late 1970's I think.
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Old 28-05-2009, 19:11   #29
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Ben Hur in the old cinema in Roscrea before the local nutjob burned it down.

I was about 12 id say so around 1990.

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Old 28-05-2009, 20:18   #30
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From Russia with Love - 2 weeks ago. It was the newly restored print, looked like it was made yesterday.
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Old 28-05-2009, 22:11   #31
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I'm not sure if there was something I've seen which is older, probably seen lots of clips of stuff.. but I saw "The Kid" (1921) in film class. The film class was actually taught in a cinema.... so we saw many films on the big screen. The one that I recall which looked really amazing was a newly minted BFI print of 'Meet Me in St.Louis' (1944). I wasn't I wasn't too keen on the film itself, but it looked unbelievable. For example on an interior shot the wallpaper on a wall in the background was pin sharp. The "Cat People" (1942) and "Curse of the Cat People" (1944) double bill we had was awesome too.

As for my oldest cinema memory/experience, it was a re-release but in 1986 I remember seeing Bambi, I was 3 at the time.

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Old 28-05-2009, 23:15   #32
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Old 30-05-2009, 07:15   #33
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The oldest films I've seen in a cinema are some Charlie Chaplin silents. The Kid, I see, dates from 1921.

I've forgotten the very first films I saw in cinema because I was about four years old when my father (R.I.P.) first starting taking me to the movies. Shane was one of the first and I became a big Alan Ladd fan as a result. In 1953 at the time of the coronation school children in the U. K. were taken to the cinema to see a special film about the big event. (We were still a patriotic nation in 1953. Today any such school trip would be decried by the pseudo-liberals as indoctrination.)

As one who spent innumerable happy hours in repertory cinemas catching up on old movies, I regret having to agree with haineshisway that seeing films years after they were first released does not provide a reliable idea of what they originally looked like. I've seen faded prints with massively reduced colour and contrast. I've seen prints where the colour has changed completely. I've even seen colour movies in black-and-white!. DVDs are frequently criticised for not doing justice to the film in question. It is also true that for people like me who first saw most of their favourite movies on faded prints in repertory cinemas, DVDs are sometimes a revelation. Before DVD I could never understand why Columbia's house cinematographer Joseph Walker was so highly regarded. I thought his work consisted mainly of soft focus shots with limited contrast. How wrong I was! Thanks to DVDs of movies like Only Angels Have Wings, I now have a much better idea of Joseph Walker's capability.

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Old 30-05-2009, 07:41   #34
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Old 30-05-2009, 09:07   #35
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and a programme of vintage pornography starting around 1908.
The Good Old Naughty Days?

It had a cinema release, followed by DVD (I saw it on the latter), and was exactly the above.
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Old 30-05-2009, 09:30   #36
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The Good Old Naughty Days?

It had a cinema release, followed by DVD (I saw it on the latter), and was exactly the above.
That's the one !
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Old 30-05-2009, 10:09   #37
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Quo Vadis (1912), is probably the earliest movie I have ever seen with live piano accompaniment by this chap.
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Old 30-05-2009, 10:59   #38
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That's the one !
I saw that too. If you don't count that, the oldest film I saw in the cinema was The Birth of a Nation, at the National Film Theatre.
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Old 30-05-2009, 17:46   #39
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More interesting - what is the oldest film you saw at the cinema at the time of the film's release - seeing films in repertory cinemas doesn't really count in terms of knowing what the film originally looked like. So, what are the first films you actually saw in a movie theater?
Indeed the OP thread title is not quite right so I will add these two which I saw on actual release.

Legend of Hell House.
A Clockwork Orange.


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Old 30-05-2009, 19:04   #40
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Indeed the OP thread title is not quite right so I will add these two which I saw on actual release.
I beg to differ... the intention of my question still stands - regardless of whether you saw the film on its original release day or not, I'm just interested in what the oldest film you've seen at a cinema is.
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