Archive for the 'Movie Theaters/Marquees' Category

Times Square, 1977

Times Square 1977

Times Square 1977-2

Lovely shots by an unidentified photographer. I wonder why no one’s standing in line for Exorcist II.

UPDATE: David Augustyn, who works in Times Square, sent in the shot below from about the same angle and same time of day, taken on April 15, 2016. The more things change… Thanks, David!

Times Square 2016

(First two images via Tumblr)

Movie Theater Marquees: The Exorcist (1973/1974)

Exorcist 1973

Above: The Exorcist opens at the Paramount Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1974. “Proof of age required”! The Paramount opened in 1964 and closed in 1990. According to Cinema Treasures, “no trace remains” except for this lone photograph.

Below: The Exorcist opens at the National Theatre in Westwood, California. The film received a limited release on December 26, 1973, and the National was one of the 26 participating theaters. The landmark was demolished in 2008, displaced by luxury apartments.

You can see more Exorcist marquees here, as well as video footage of audience reactions at the National and elsewhere.

Exorcist National

Exorcist National-2

Movie Theater Marquees: Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

Star Trek 1979

The Capri Theater in Charlotte, North Carolina, December, 1979. Sleeping Beauty (1959) was re-released theatrically in 1970, 1979, 1986, and 1995.

(Image via Retro Charlotte)

Movie Theater Marquees: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Empire 1980

Above: The lobby of an unnamed theater, probably the Avco Westwood. That helmet is part of the “Astro Explorer Play Set” seen here (worn by the kid in the catalog).

Below: Moviegoers line up at the Alabama Theatre in Houston, Texas, on May 21, 1980. Many engagements of the first run of Empire were shown in 70mm, as opposed to the more standard 35mm. There were minor changes in the two versions.

Star Wars fans wait outside the Alabama Theater to see the film The Empire Strikes Back in this May 21, 1980 photo. (Ben DeSoto / Houston Post)

(Images via Pinterest and The Houston Chronicle)

Australian Mad Max 2 Ads, 1981




Mad Max 2 (The Road Warrior in the U.S.) remains, and will always remain, one of the most sophisticated, most uncompromising, most meaningful, most convincing, most thrilling action movies ever made. Every time I watch it—at least once a year—I’m awed by how perfectly it holds up.

(Images via

Jaws in Valletta, Malta, Circa 1975

Jaws Valletta

Now that is a packed theater!

(Photo via Ramona Depares)

Movie Theater Marquees: The Muppet Movie and Dawn of the Dead (1979)

Marquee 1978

Don’t laugh. In 1979 this was a valid double feature for the kids. Getting a ride home might be a problem, though.

The Walker Theater in Brooklyn, New York closed in 1988.

Another DotD marquee here.

(Photo via Cinema Treasures)

Movie Theater Marquees: Star Wars (1977)

SW Vancouver 1977

The queue outside the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver for the first screening of Star Wars on June 24, 1977. (Photo: Glenn Baglo/Vancouver Sun)

Some seriously wide-bottomed pants were present at the event.

(Via the Ottawa Citizen)

Movie Theater Marquees: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Raiders 1981

No waiting, pardner.

Poulsbo, Washington’s Almo Theatre closed in 1987. One screen, one aisle, millions of memories.

(Photo and info via Cinema Treasures)

Movie Theater Marquees: Book of the Dead (1981)

Raimi Josh Becker 1981

Josh Becker and Sam Raimi

Raimi Ethan Coen 1981

Sam Raimi and Ethan Coen

Raimi Tabert Campbell 1981

Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, and Bruce Campbell

Book of the Dead (later retitled The Evil Dead) premiered on October 15th, 1981, at Detroit’s Redford Theater. Turnout was excellent, and Raimi started touring the movie. Eventually he met Irvin Shapiro, who had distributed George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. Shapiro convinced Raimi to change the title to The Evil Dead and got the film into Cannes in 1982, where Stephen King saw it, loved it, and gave it a rave review. The rest is history.

Josh Becker did sound and lighting, Rob Tapert was producer, and Ethan Coen, believe it or not, flew down from New York with the final edit on the day of the premiere. His brother Joel had assisted with the editing. Blood Simple, the movie that got the Coen brothers their start, was inspired by the indie ethos and look of The Evil Dead and premiered three years later in 1984.

(Photos via Home Theater Forum and Book of the Dead)




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