Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Chaplin, To-Day

Looking at this photo from April 1936 reminds me of how slow the release process used to be.  I've written about it before, as recently as last year, but this really brings it home.  The movie playing, "to-day", is Chaplin's Modern Times.  That film premiered in February in New York but now, in April, it's still playing (or just opening at this particular theatre, The Lyric) and the one of the other films playing, The Headline Woman, opened over a year earlier in March of 1935!



That tradition of holding over bigger movies and rotating older ones in and out at discounted prices, is what I grew up with.  Sometimes I would wait months to see a movie instead of ponying up the new movie price at the first-run theatre.   No, not because I knew it would be on cable or out on videotape, there was no such thing!  Rather, I knew that after a few months it would be playing at later hours at the respectable theatre for half-price or all throughout the day at the second-run theatres in the area.  Seeing a movie at the second-run theatre was kind of like waiting for it to come out on DVD is now.  Only better because at the second-run theatre I went to with my brother, The Pinehaven, you could pretty much do anything:  Drink, smoke, bring in food.  No one cared.   There was no concession stand.  If I traveled back in time and went to it now I'd probably get nauseous but at the time it was a pretty sweet deal.    Ah, the good bad old days.