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Encyclopedia > Roadshow theatrical release

The roadshow theatrical release (also commonly known as reserved seat engagement) is a practice whereas a film opens in a special limited number of theaters in large cities like Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco for a specific period of time before it spreads to nationwide release (also known as general release and wide release). Flag Seal Nickname: City of Angels Location Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates , Government State County California Los Angeles County Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) Geographical characteristics Area     City 1,290. ... NY redirects here. ... This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ... Wide release is a term in the American motion picture industry for a motion picture that is playing nationally (as opposed to a few theatres in cities such as New York and Los Angeles) and on thousands (rather than hundreds) of screens. ...


Unlike the common modern-day limited release, roadshow films were run only once or twice a day, and were shown to audiences who had had to reserve their seats and were given or able to purchase program books, as they did with live theater productions. Road show films were nearly always shown with an intermission either halfway or two-thirds of the way into the film. Most films shown in this format were movies that were two-and-a-half hours or longer in length, and admission prices were more expensive than those films shown as regular attractions. Many of the films given roadshow releases were subsequently distributed to regular theater houses, akin to the modern standard of the limited release. Limited release is a term in the American motion picture industry for a motion picture that is playing in a select few theaters across the country (typically in cities such as New York and Los Angeles). ... An intermission or interval is a break between two performances or sessions, in events such as a theatrical play, opera or musical concert. ...

Contents

History

Road shows from the Golden Age of Hollywood

The road show format has been used since the days of silent films, but it especially took hold between 1955 and 1972. Films shown in road show format before 1955 included the 1929 part-talkie version of Show Boat (based not on the stage musical but on Edna Ferber's original novel), the 1929 versions of The Desert Song and Rio Rita, Cecil B. DeMille's The Sign of the Cross (1932), and the classic films Gone with the Wind (1939), Fantasia (1940), and The Song of Bernadette (1943). Year 1955 (MCMLV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays the 1955 Gregorian calendar). ... Year 1929 (MCMXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Show Boat is a musical in two acts with music by Jerome Kern and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. One notable exception is the song Bill, which was originally written for Kern in 1918 by P. G. Wodehouse but reworked by Hammerstein for Show Boat, and two songs... The Desert Song was a notable 1926 operetta with music by Sigmund Romberg and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and Otto Harbach, respectively. ... Rio Rita is a 1929 RKO musical starring the comedy team of Wheeler & Woolsey. ... Cecil Blount DeMille (August 12, 1881 – January 21, 1959) was one of the most successful filmmakers during the first half of the 20th century. ... A 1932 film directed by Cecil B. DeMille, starring Claudette Colbert, Fredric March, Charles Laughton, and Elissa Landi. ... Gone with the Wind is a 1939 film adapted from Margaret Mitchells 1936 novel of the same name. ... Year 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Fantasia is a 1940 motion picture, produced by Walt Disney and first released on November 13, 1940 in the United States. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... DVD cover for the film The Song of Bernadette is a 1943 film which tells the story of Saint Bernadette Soubirous, who, from February to July 1858 in Lourdes, France, reported eighteen visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. ... Year 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1943 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Large-scale epic films would open in larger cities in an engagement much like a theatrical play or musical, with components such as an Overture, the First Act, the Intermission, the Entr'acte, the Second Act, and the Exit Music, and special reserved seat admission charges. (The Overture should not be confused with the Main Title Music. The Overture was always played before the beginning of the film, while the lights were still up and the curtains were still closed. As the lights dimmed, the Overture ended, the curtains opened, and the film began with its Main Title Music and opening credits.) An early example of this was 1939's Gone with the Wind. Running almost four hours in length, the film was divided into the above components, so that the film patron can experience the film as if they were seeing an actual play in a theater. The original theatrical release of Walt Disney's Fantasia , which never did contain an Overture, Intermission Music, or Exit Music, also was released this way, and was originally presented without on-screen credits to perpetuate a concert-going experience (the lobby program presented the film's credits). // Movie historians and film buffs often look back on the year 1939 as the greatest year in film history (see below: 1939 in film#Films released in 1939, for a list with over 20 classics). ... Gone with the Wind is a 1939 film adapted from Margaret Mitchells 1936 novel of the same name. ... For the company founded by Disney, see The Walt Disney Company. ... Fantasia is a 1940 motion picture, the third in the Disney animated features canon, which was a Walt Disney experiment in animation and music. ...


Road shows from the 1950s to the 1970s

During the 1950s and continuing through the 1970s, with the rise of television and the closing of some movie palaces, studios came up with ways to bring movie audiences back to theatres by making widescreen epics, again using the "roadshow" formula. As a result, there was an avalanche of roadshow films, among them Oklahoma! (1955), War and Peace (1956), Around the World in 80 Days (1956), The Ten Commandments (1956), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Ben-Hur (1959), El Cid (1961), King of Kings (1961), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Cleopatra (1963), My Fair Lady (1964), The Sound of Music (1965), Doctor Zhivago (1965), Camelot (1967), Fiddler on the Roof (1971), The Andromeda Strain (1971), The Towering Inferno (1974), and many others. Nearly all of these films were shown in six-track stereophonic sound, a then non-standard feature of motion pictures. Oklahoma! was the first musical play written by composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist/librettist Oscar Hammerstein II (see Rodgers and Hammerstein). ... War and Peace is the first film version of the novel War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. ... Around the World in Eighty Days is a 1956 adventure film made by the Michael Todd Company and released by United Artists. ... This article is about the 1956 film. ... The Bridge on the River Kwai is an Academy Award-winning 1957 World War II war film based on the novel Le Pont de la Rivière Kwaï by French writer Pierre Boulle. ... Ben-Hur is a 1959 epic film directed by William Wyler, and is the most popular live-action version of Lew Wallaces novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1880). ... El Cid is a 1961 historical epic film made by Samuel Bronston Productions in association with The Rank Organisation and released by Allied Artists. ... King of Kings is a 1961 American motion picture epic made by Samuel Bronston Productions and distributed by MGM. It is a retelling the story of Jesus from his birth to his crucifixion and Resurrection. ... Lawrence of Arabia is an award-winning 1962 film based on the life of T. E. Lawrence. ... Cleopatra is a 1963 film directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. ... My Fair Lady is an Academy Award-winning 1964 film adaptation of the stage musical, My Fair Lady, based in turn on the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. ... Rodgers and Hammersteins The Sound of Music is a 1965 film directed by Robert Wise and starring Julie Andrews in the lead role. ... Doctor Zhivago (Russian: Доктор Живаго) is a 1965 film directed by David Lean and loosely based on the famous novel of the same name by Boris Pasternak. ... Camelot is the 1967 film version of the successful musical of the same name. ... Fiddler on the Roof is the 1971 film version of the Broadway musical of the same name. ... This article is about the 1971 film. ... The Towering Inferno is a 1974 disaster movie adapted by Stirling Silliphant from the novels The Tower by Richard Martin Stern and The Glass Inferno by Thomas N. Scortia and Frank M. Robinson. ... Label for 2. ...


It was common practice in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, however, for studios to re-edit some of these epics for general release in order for theaters to book more showings a day and present the film at reduced "popular prices". Sometimes this was done to a successful film, but more often to one that had been a notable flop. As a result, some of these films have not been seen in their entirety since their first release, as the original edited footage is either missing or no longer exists. With the work of film preservation and restoration, such films as A Midsummer Night's Dream, Fantasia, For Whom the Bell Tolls, the 1948 version of Joan of Arc (with no overture, intermission, or exit music), Lawrence of Arabia, and Around the World in Eighty Days have been restored in recent years to match the filmmakers' original intent. However, several extremely popular long films, such as The Ten Commandments, have never been released in edited form. The film preservation, or film restoration, movement is an ongoing project among film historians, archivists, museums, and non-profit organizations to rescue decaying film stock and preserve the images which they contain. ... A Midsummer Nights Dream is a 1935 film directed by Max Reinhardt and William Dieterle, produced by Henry Blanke and adapted by Charles Kenyon and Mary C. McCall Jr. ... For Whom the Bell Tolls is a 1943 film based on the famous novel by Ernest Hemingway. ... The year 1948 in film involved some significant events. ... Joan of Arc is a 1948 film. ... Around the World in Eighty Days is a 1956 movie based on the novel of the same name by Jules Verne. ...


The rise of the limited release

The practice began dying out in the 1970s. Francis Ford Coppola's Oscar-winning epics The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather Part II (1974), for instance, were shown without intermissions despite their extreme length. Many films made in the various widescreen processes, such as Cinerama and Todd-AO, were given road show presentations. For over three decades, the last film release to officially receive a "roadshow/reserved seat engagement" was the 1972 film version of Man of La Mancha, although it was made to be shown without an intermission. The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979. ... Francis Ford Coppola (born April 7, 1939) is a five-time Academy Award winning American film director, producer, and screenwriter. ... The Godfather is a 1972 crime film based on the novel of the same name by Mario Puzo and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, with screenplay by Puzo and Coppola. ... The Godfather Part II is a 1974 motion picture directed by Francis Ford Coppola from a script he co-wrote with Mario Puzo. ... The inner box (green) is the format used in most pre-1952 films and pre-widescreen television. ... Cinerama is the trademarked name for a widescreen process which works by simultaneously projecting images from three synchronized 35 mm projectors onto a huge, deeply-curved screen, subtending 146° of arc, and for the corporation which was formed to market it. ... Todd-AO was a widescreen film format developed in the mid 1950s. ... Man of La Mancha is a 1972 film based on the Broadway musical Man of La Mancha by Dale Wasserman, with music by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion. ...


By the 1980s the practice had largely been abandoned, as the rise of the multiplex and competition from cable TV and home video began forcing changes in the nature of film industry. The 1984 film Amadeus, for example, although nearly three hours long, was not shown in a road show format, while 1982's Gandhi was. The latest film to be shown with an intermission was Gods and Generals, but it was not shown in a strict road show format - performances were not limited to two per day, and seats were not reserved. Amadeus is a 1984 film directed by Miloš Forman and based on the stage play Amadeus. ... Gandhi (1982) is a multi-award-winning biopic film about the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (often known as Mahatma Gandhi), who was leader of the nonviolent resistance movement against British colonial rule in India during the first half of the 20th century. ... For other uses, see Gods and Generals (disambiguation). ...


Today, a similar theatrical release practice of first premiering a film in larger cities is more common, mainly towards the end of the year, in order to qualify for film award consideration, including the Academy Awards. In many cases, such releases will have a better chance at being nominated for the Oscar. Such recent films that have gone the limited release route include 2004's Million Dollar Baby and The Aviator, as well as 2005's March of the Penguins, which eventually opened wide. Academy Award The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are the most prominent and most watched film awards ceremony in the world. ... Million Dollar Baby is an Academy Award winning 2004 dramatic film directed by Clint Eastwood. ... The Aviator is an Academy Award-winning 2004 biographical drama film, directed by Martin Scorsese, and based largely on the book Hughes by Richard Hack. ... March of the Penguins is an Academy Award-winning documentary film by Luc Jacquet, co-produced by Bonne Pioche and the National Geographic Society. ...


See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Roadshow theatrical release - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (446 words)
The original theatrical release of Disney's Fantasia also was released this way, but originally presented without main or end title credits to perpetuate a concert-going experience (a program was sold at the lobby that gave the movie goer more information on the film's content).
As a result, some of these films have not been seen in their entirety since their first release as the original edited footage is either missing or no longer exists.
Today, a similar theatrical release practice of first premiering a film in larger cities is being done, mainly towards the end of the year, in order to qualify for film award consideration, including the Academy Awards.
J. Scott Iverson's feature film: Roadshow! (1641 words)
Roadshows were one of the most popular summer pastimes within the Church and people to this day lament their demise.
The original Garden Park Ward roadshow, written by Jeri Jarvis and excerpted with her permission, fits perfectly with the fictional events in the lives of the main characters, operating within the Vietnam War era in Salt Lake City, circa 1965.
The Roadshow itself is a MONTAGE of performances at several different wards INTERCUT WITH the arrival of a military plane at Hill Field and the approach of a military vehicle.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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