I had to do some research to nail down the time period that I was at the Cinerama theater. As I mentioned in a former post, the theater changed hands some time during my tenure there. I was able to run down the date that this occurred by checking with the Seattle Times newspaper website. On August 15, 1972, the Cinerama was taken over by the Sterling Recreation Organization.
Using this same site I was able to track down the films that were booked at the Cinerama and hopefully to trace back to the time I started. I am not quite one hundred per cent sure, but I think I began when Stanley Kramer’s film, Bless the Beasts and Children was playing there, which puts the date as sometime in November 1971. I don’t think many people are familiar with this film. Not many saw it when it was out. It was a “coming of age” story about a bunch of misfit boys out to save a herd of bison from slaughter. It wasn’t long before a second feature, the sci-fi film Marooned was added to it to help out.
From then until the take over, I tore tickets for:
Ryan’s Daughter – by one of my favorite directors – David Lean
Sometimes a Great Notion – Paul Newman (starred and directed) which might have been a re-release as it opened originally in 1970
A Clockwork Orange – Kubrick – this carried an “X” rating for its violence and controversy
Silent Running – directed by Doug Trumbull (famous for the SFX on Kubrick’s 2001)
While Bruce Dern and his robots Huey, Dewey and Louis were trying to save the last of Earth’s plant life, another figure joined the lobby to promote an upcoming film. And I had my eye on him.
Alfred Hitchcock was a great showman as well as a legendary director. For his upcoming film he had had full size cutouts of his standing figure created for theater lobbies across America. There he stood with a finger pointed at whomever he was facing. And attached to the back of the figure was a small tape recorder that continually played a message from the Master of Suspense – all centered around neckties – to huckster for his latest film – Frenzy.
I prevailed upon Mr. McKnight to give me the cutout after the film completed its run. And he acceded to my request, but not until after the run was stretched a bit when Clint Eastwood’s Play Misty for Me was added to boost the attendance.
When Woody Allen’s “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask” moved in, I moved Hitch out and gave him a ride home in my Roadrunner.
Upon arriving home, I propped Hitch up on the front step and rang the doorbell. When my Mom answered the door, she must have jumped a foot in the air, and three feet back. After she recovered her composure, she told me, “Let’s do it to Dad!”
So we did.