I've previously described some of my memories of growing up attending movie revival theaters in Los Angeles. There were a couple theaters here in Orange County, but for the most part we drove to Los Angeles to see "old" movies in the pre-VHS, pre-cable TV days of my childhood.
I was weeding out a file cabinet today and came across a forgotten folder which turned out to contain a treasure trove of ads, schedules, and reviews for classic film screenings I attended as a child and on up through my teen years. I'm so glad I saved them!
Here's some memorabilia from a series of MGM films we attended in Westwood when I was 11 or 12. Incidentally, the paper that one ad came from, the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, doesn't exist anymore! (Click images to enlarge.)
My favorite theater was the Vagabond:
This was the era of THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT! (1974) and THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT, PART II (1976) when MGM films were receiving renewed attention. I have great memories of seeing double bills from this schedule like MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944) paired with YOLANDA AND THE THIEF (1945), and a Christmas week showing of SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (1954) with LITTLE WOMEN (1933).
Then there was the Tiffany. I've recounted seeing AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (1951) there...
...and previously shared my autographed program from that amazing night.
There was also KISS ME KATE (1953), complete with 3D glasses...saw it in 3D there twice over the years!
Occasionally we saw films, like CAROUSEL (1956) and THE SEARCHERS (1956), at the Beverly:
The Beverly was also where I first saw one of my favorite comedies, THE MORE THE MERRIER (1944).
And the Fine Arts ran a huge Warner Bros. festival:
I was introduced to THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938) and CASABLANCA (1942) at the Fine Arts, and I also saw old "TV favorites" TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT (1944) and THE BIG SLEEP (1945) uncut for the first time at that theater.
It's hard to imagine, in these days of cable, streaming, and DVDs, how challenging it could be not only to see "old" films in uncut versions, without commercials, but to gather information about them. In those pre-Internet days of the '70s, when film research or collecting memorabilia could be a slow, painstaking, or expensive process -- often involving mail order, hours at library reference desks, or trips to Los Angeles -- these ads were special reminders, in and of themselves, of classic movie titles and the opportunities I'd had to see them. They were all the more significant to me as in those days, who knew when or if you'd ever have the chance to see a particular movie again?
I'm glad I saved them and rediscovered them today -- lots of happy movie-going memories at these theaters!