Tuesday, November 09, 2010

West Side Story Coming to Hollywood's Egyptian Theatre

Southern Californians will have the opportunity to see the multi Oscar winning WEST SIDE STORY (1961) in 70mm at Hollywood's Egyptian Theatre on Thursday, November 18th.

The screening will be the premiere of a newly restored soundtrack. Per the Egyptian's website: "After years of searching and restoration efforts, the full original 6-track mag masters have been recovered and restored, bringing back the glory of this magnificent sound mix, which has not been heard with prints since the early 1970s."

According to the theater's Facebook page, audience members will have the chance to win tickets to see the show on stage at the Pantages. I've been planning to see that in Orange County next year, as I've never had the opportunity to experience this show on the stage.

I've seen WEST SIDE STORY on a big screen several times, although not since I was in college. The most memorable time I saw it in a theater was a Filmex movie musical marathon when I was a young teen; overnight we watched OKLAHOMA!, WEST SIDE STORY, and MY FAIR LADY! In those pre-video, pre-cable days, classic film fans did what they had to do...and besides, it was a lot of fun!

Seeing the dance numbers in WEST SIDE STORY on a movie screen is an experience not to be missed. Although the gang dances shot on the streets of New York are justly famous, I think the most effective dance on the big screen might be "Cool," set in the parking garage. Watching those dancers running straight toward the camera is an unforgettable "wow" moment.

For those who don't have the opportunity to see this film in a theater, I highly recommend the 2003 Collector's Edition DVD set, which contains a wealth of impressive extras.

Update: My review and a description of the evening can be found in this post.


Blogger Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

"In those pre-video, pre-cable days, classic film fans did what they had to do..."

I like this. So true. I feel so lucky now to be able to find films I want to watch, and discover so many films new to me. Grateful, is more the word.

4:47 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I definitely agree, Jacqueline! Having grown up at a time when I sometimes watched (commercial-filled, edited) movies in the middle of the night because they might not turn up again for years, I am so appreciative of the wealth of movie treasures available to us -- and that very often they're in beautiful condition, too.

Best wishes,

3:12 PM  
Blogger panavia999 said...

I agree with you Jacqueline and Laura about enduring certain movies on commercial TV in the old days. Out in the sticks, we had such poor reception, it was like watching films through gauze. But I loved watching fuzzy old movies at 2AM. While the rest of my schoolmates were up to no good after midnight, I was squinting at old Warner Bros movies on channel 11 :-)

11:18 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I watched Ch. 11 here in So. CA. :)

I treasure the memories of some of the less-than-ideal viewing situations I experienced, because my first exposure to many great movies was through commercial-riddled films, scratchy 16mm Films Incorporated prints, viewings in a converted swimming pool (a theater in Fullerton!) and projected on screens that were little more than sheets...but I'm so glad that now we have DVDs and TCM!

Best wishes,

11:38 AM  

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