History, Legacy & Showmanship
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 00:01

Cleopatra: The Roadshow Engagements

Cleopatra, 20th Century-Fox’s well-publicized epic starring Elizabeth Taylor, was the most popular movie of 1963/64… even though history informs us the movie was a failure.  Presented here in commemoration of the golden anniversary of it premiere, and its recent Blu-ray release, is a (work-in-progress) list of the film’s original theatrical roadshow engagements in the United States and Canada.  These engagements of Cleopatra were shown exclusively in major cities prior to the film being given a traditional nationwide release and included reserved seating with an advanced admission price with an average of ten scheduled showings per week.  Much like a Broadway production, these presentations included an overture, intermission, entr’acte and exit music.  The roadshow engagements were presented in 70-millimeter and six-track stereophonic sound. As well, souvenir programs were sold.

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Adam Jahnke

In 50 years or so, the @Criterion edition of The Interview will make a nice bookend with The Great Dictator.

by Adam Jahnke