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Old 04-30-12, 01:13 PM   #1
Jaymole
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Real Theatre Marquees in films

I may be the only one, but I love looking for the names of movies on theater marquess in films I am watching. Sometimes I have to pause and zoom in on the marquee in order to read the titles...it instantly sets the movie to a very specific time period.

I just watched a guilty pleasure (don't laugh) The Crater lake Monster, and as a car was going down the avenue I paused and was able to read on the theater marquee Strike Force with Peter Fonda and Telly Savalas and Aloha Bobby and Rose. It reminded me how much I love looking for real theater marquees in films.

Was wondering if anyone else looks for this and what movies you remember seeing on theater marquees in different films.
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Old 04-30-12, 01:42 PM   #2
Mondo Kane
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Re: Real Theatre Marquees in films

All..The..Damn..Time.

I especially love freaking out on the stuff that plays on (Vintage) 42nd Street.

A few years ago, I remember (While on Ricco The Mean Machine's IMDB page) that it had an alternate title called "Cauldron of Death". I thought, "Yeah, right. No way would an Italian gangster movie be re-named that."
Sure enough, On The Exterminator, the lead character is approaching a theater with a familiar title playing.

So sometimes, there's visual proof to back odd cases up.

It's also common to spot a star/director's film-within-a-film on a marquee (ala Dirty Harry/Play Misty for Me) and just this month, thanks to the exploitation challenge, I noticed on Jean Rollin's Lips of Blood that the lead character walks by a theater with Nude Vampire playing (Also a Rollin film)
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Old 04-30-12, 01:56 PM   #3
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Re: Real Theatre Marquees in films

i read them every time i see one...here's one that comes to mind:

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Old 04-30-12, 02:27 PM   #4
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Re: Real Theatre Marquees in films

One famous/weird example is in Annie Hall. When Woody goes to LA he sees a marquee for House of Evil and Demonic Possesion. It's up on the marque like this:

House of Evil
Demonic Possesion

Out here in LA a lot of old theaters have become churches and for years I thought Woody was making a joke that in LA the theaters have become churches of devil worship. Then I found out that those are actual titles of two actual movies that were showing at the time they filmed.

Anyone seen either film?
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Old 04-30-12, 02:48 PM   #5
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Re: Real Theatre Marquees in films

James Glickenhaus (THE EXTERMINATOR) was great for this. Here are some screen grabs from the 42nd Street scenes in SHAKEDOWN (1988), starting with this homage to himself:



I love how Charles Bronson didn't even need his first name on the marquee:




But, yeah, I love when this happens, esp. in old movies. I recently watched THE GLASS WALL (1953), a story of a "DP" (Displaced Person) who stowed away on a ship to New York and escaped into Manhattan, and it has several scenes of Times Square and 42nd Street theater marquees. I haven't taken any screen grabs yet, so I don't have pix to share, but I'm proud to say I've seen all the films visible on those marquees. Kubrick's KILLER'S KISS has a late scene in Times Square that has some marquees visible.

THE LAST ACTION HERO tricked up 42nd Street with some fake marquees, but they're not seen to great advantage in the finished film:





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Old 04-30-12, 03:18 PM   #6
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Re: Real Theatre Marquees in films

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Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
One famous/weird example is in Annie Hall. When Woody goes to LA he sees a marquee for House of Evil and Demonic Possesion.
And let's not forget Halloween III and Q on a marquee in Broadway Danny Rose.


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Old 04-30-12, 05:50 PM   #7
Mondo Kane
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Re: Real Theatre Marquees in films

(Not a marquee shown, but a banner. And as you can see, one hell of a banner!)
Cool to know that rare/controversial movies oten got the deluxe treatment when released:

(From Wham! Bam! Thank You Spaceman)
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Old 04-30-12, 06:32 PM   #8
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Re: Real Theatre Marquees in films

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Old 04-30-12, 06:40 PM   #9
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Re: Real Theatre Marquees in films

In the video for Pet Shop Boys song West End Girls you can see the marquee for a theater in London playing Fletch. Odd.
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Old 04-30-12, 06:44 PM   #10
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Re: Real Theatre Marquees in films

i always thought this one was odd considering it would've been an easy way for tarantino to name drop a film or two...

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Old 04-30-12, 07:18 PM   #11
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Re: Real Theatre Marquees in films

Just yesterday I caught Lethal Weapon on Encore and saw The Lost Boys written on a marquee in the background.

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Old 04-30-12, 07:23 PM   #12
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Re: Real Theatre Marquees in films

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That's in (was) in South Pasadena. They closed it down a few years ago. One of the last films that actually played there was "Daywatch" with the actual animated English subtitles that "Nightwatch" had.

BTW, "The Player" was shot there and in their parking lot.
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Old 04-30-12, 08:08 PM   #13
Mondo Kane
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Re: Real Theatre Marquees in films

Quote:
Originally Posted by riotinmyskull View Post
i always thought this one was odd considering it would've been an easy way for tarantino to name drop a film or two...

^I thought that would've been more of a Weinstein idea than QT's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ View Post
Just yesterday I caught Lethal Weapon on Encore and saw The Lost Boys written on a marquee in the background.

I'm sure that was made up specifically for the shot since it's WB property...Especially with that tagline.

For awhile there, Big-studio movies would only show their movies for scenes that took place in video stores or near a theater.

Check out the video store scenes in Lost Boys. NOTHING but WB titles on the racks! Same with The Fisher King and all the Columbia titles in the video store that Jeff Bridges works at.
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Old 05-01-12, 12:32 AM   #14
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Re: Real Theatre Marquees in films

Love this thread! I haven't seen some of these movies in a long time
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Old 05-01-12, 04:21 AM   #15
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Re: Real Theatre Marquees in films

Taxi Driver has a bunch.
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Old 05-01-12, 11:10 AM   #16
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Re: Real Theatre Marquees in films

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Originally Posted by riotinmyskull View Post
i read them every time i see one...here's one that comes to mind:

Side note, I just cut Sasha Jensen's hair last week.
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Old 05-01-12, 11:53 AM   #17
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Re: Real Theatre Marquees in films

Yes. I love spotting them in films. Many great examples have already been given; there's a lot out there.
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Old 05-01-12, 12:19 PM   #18
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Re: Real Theatre Marquees in films

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ View Post
Just yesterday I caught Lethal Weapon on Encore and saw The Lost Boys written on a marquee in the background.

Is that the Wiltern? I didn't know it was ever a movie theater. Today it just has live shows.

EDIT: Checked Wikipedia. It has never been a movie theater. They simply put that up instead of having it say whatever show was really showing there the day of filming. And as Mono Kane says, they made sure it was a Warner Bros property. They were pretty strategic too. Lethal Weapon came out in March 1987 and Lost Boys followed in July 1987. So they were promoting an upcoming film. I wonder if there was a Lost Boys trailer on the head of every Lethal Weapon print.

Last edited by Mabuse; 05-01-12 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 05-01-12, 12:51 PM   #19
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Re: Real Theatre Marquees in films

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Same with The Fisher King and all the Columbia titles in the video store that Jeff Bridges works at.
Have noticed that a lot in movies that have scenes in video stores- except The Fisher King also had some Vivid Video boxes as well since porn was part of the plot. Vivid got a "special thanks" in the end credits. (Should there be another thread about movies with video stores in them? That'd be kind of interesting.)
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Old 05-01-12, 01:10 PM   #20
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Re: Real Theatre Marquees in films

It's been a while but if I'm not mistaken, in American Gigolo there's a poster for The Warriors hanging in front of a movie theatre.
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Old 05-01-12, 01:13 PM   #21
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Re: Real Theatre Marquees in films

Yep.

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Old 05-01-12, 01:33 PM   #22
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Re: Real Theatre Marquees in films

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Originally Posted by riotinmyskull View Post
i read them every time i see one...here's one that comes to mind:

The last time I went to where this marquee is, it said "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock." Been so many damn years since the Americana was around though. I loved that theater, it held about 500 and was 1 screen. They rotated different films throughout the day during the summers.


Here's what it looks like today. I'm glad they at least kept the marquee.

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Old 05-01-12, 03:38 PM   #23
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Re: Real Theatre Marquees in films

RE: The Lost Boys marquee in Lethal Weapon...

Director Richard Donner was a producer on The Lost Boys, as well both being WB productions, as was mentioned.
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Old 05-01-12, 04:04 PM   #24
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Re: Real Theatre Marquees in films

Idiocracy
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Old 05-10-12, 12:41 AM   #25
Mondo Kane
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Re: Real Theatre Marquees in films

From Eyes of a Stanger (1981):

^How's that for a double-feature?!? (In case you can't make out the poster on the right, it's Being There)
Although that could be a 2-Screen theater...The very first movie-theater I ever went to was one of those.

From the short-film, Times Store Trick

Quite odd to see prestigious stuff like Bullitt playing at The Anco. I've heard/read that The Anco soon became the most vile & dangerous theater on 42nd Street.
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