Movie Roadshows: A History and Filmography of Reserved-Seat Limited Showings, 1911–1973
McFarland, Dec 7, 2012 - 382 pages
This work examines a film distribution system paralleling the rise of early features and persisting until 1972, when Man of La Mancha was the final roadshow to require reserved seating. Synonymous with Hollywood’s star-studded premieres, roadshows were longer and cost more than regular features, making the experience similar to attending the legitimate theater. Roadshows, often epic in subject matter, played selected (usually only one) theaters in major urban centers until demand decreased. De rigueur by the 1960s were musical overtures, intermissions, entre’acte and exit music and souvenir programs for sale in the lobby. Throughout the text are recollections by people who attended roadshows, including actor John Kerr and actresses Barbara Eden and Ingrid Pitt. The focus is on roadshows released in the United States but an appendix identifies international roadshows and films forecast but not released as roadshows. Included are plots, contemporary critical reaction, premiere dates, production background, and methods of promotion—i.e., the ballyhoo.
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