Sunday, August 21, 2016

The author/writer of “At The Matinee” returns to college (Final Semester)

After a brief hiatus, "At The Matinee" is back!

No, this is not me.  This is Groucho Marx, as
Professsor Quincy Wagstaff in the 1932 Marx Brothers
comedy, "Horse Feathers."
This upcoming Mon., Aug. 24, your mild-mannered blog creator/writer of “At The Matinee" and "Silver Screen Reflections" will return to Hood College for the final semester.

A suggestion for Hood’s “Blockbuster Movie Showcase” series (future film showcases)

It would be a great idea to blend in a mix of vintage cult and definitive classic features, to complement the college’s “Blockbuster Movie Series.”  The management of this blog would guarantee that one screening of a vintage film on campus would be entertaining to all fellow students of Hood that enjoy cinema entertainment.

In conclusion, the addition of cult/classic cinema flicks to Hood’s “Blockbuster Movie Showcase” would be a great stress reliever from all of the chaos of schoolwork.  It would be a fun and exciting experience!

A message to all fellow friends of the Matinee (who are returning to Hood or any other college)

To my fellow friends of the Matinee (who are returning to Hood or any other college)- Let’s make this semester an exciting one!  Be on the lookout for future cult/classic cinema posts during the semester!

Yours truly,

Chris Hamby


Monday, May 30, 2016

Classic & Cult Cinema Favorites return to Gettysburg’s Majestic Theater

A Re-Post from my other classic cinema blog, "Silver Screen Reflections."

Fans of classic and cult cinema in the area will be excited about another vintage film series that will return to the Gettysburg area.

Gettysburg College’s Majestic Theater re-introduces their summer classic/cult film series

The historic Majestic Theater in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania will be bringing back a series of vintage and cult motion pictures for the summer.  The theater’s “2016 Summer Classic Movies” series will be presented every Wednesday evening* at 7:30 p.m., beginning on June 1 and will end  on Aug. 24.  The ticket price for each movie is $6 per person.

Each film presentation will have a special introduction by Jeffrey Gabel, area movie buff and founding executive director of The Majestic.  In addition to the screening of films, a special raffle prize giveaway will also occur.

List of classic and cult movie greats that will be shown at The Majestic throughout the summer:

June 1: “Brigadoon” (1954), directed by Vincente Minnelli, featuring Gene Kelly, Cyd Charisse, Van Johnson and Elaine Stewart.  MGM screen adaptation of the Lerner and Lowe Broadway musical (presented in its original CinemaScope aspect ratio and in AnscoColor).

June 8: “The Palm Beach Story” (1942), Written and directed by Preston Sturges, featuring Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea, William Demarest, Mary Astor and Rudy Vallee.

June 15: “Back to the Future” (1985) directed by Robert Zemeckis, featuring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Caroline Rea, Wendie Jo Sperber, Crispin Glover and Thomas F. Wilson.  Winner of an Academy Award for Best Special Effects Sound Editing (Charles L. Campbell and Robert Rutledge).

June 22: “The Prince and the Pauper” (1937), directed by William Keighley, featuring Errol Flynn, Claude Rains, Phyllis Barry, Barton MacLane and Henry Stephenson.

1943 Warner Bros. trade ad for "This Is The Army."
June 29: “This Is the Army” (1943), directed by Michael Curtiz, featuring Irving Berlin, Ronald Reagan, Joan Leslie, George Murphy, Kate Smith, George Tobias, Dolores Costello, Una Merkel, Alan Hale and Charles Butterworth.  Based on Irving Berlin’s musical, Winner of an Academy Award for Best Score (Leo F. Forbstein and Ray Heindorf).

July 6: “Jaws” (1975), directed by Steven Spielberg, featuring Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider, Lorraine Gary and Robert Shaw.  Winner of three Academy Awards, including Best Sound (Robert L. Hoyt, John R. Carter, Roger Herman, Jr., Earl Madery), Original Score (John Williams) and Best Film Editing (Verna Fields).  Recognized as one of the first major “summer blockbuster” films.

July 13: “High Noon” (1952), directed by Fred Zinnemann, featuring Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Lloyd Bridges, Lon Chaney, Jr.; Lee Van Cleef, Henry Morgan and Jack Elam.  Winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Actor (Cooper), Best Score (Dimitri Tiomkin), Best Song (“Do Not Forsake Me,” written by Tiomkin and Ned Washington, sung by Tex Ritter) and Best Editing (Harry Gerstad and Elmo Williams).

*July 20: No film is scheduled for that evening, music group “St. Paul & The Broken Bones” will appear on the Majestic stage.

July 27: “Harvey” (1950), directed by Henry Koster, featuring James Stewart, Josephine Hull, Peggy Dow and Charles Drake.  Hull won the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Aug. 3: “Goldfinger” (1964), directed by Guy Hamilton, featuring Sean Connery, Gert Fröbe, Honor Blackman, Shirley Eaton and Burt Kwouk.  Winner of an Academy Award for Best Sound Effects (Norman Wantsall).  The third film in the 007 franchise, based off of Ian Fleming’s seventh novel in the James Bond series.

Aug. 10: “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” (1982), directed by Nicolas Meyer, featuring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, Ricardo Montalban and Paul Winfield.  Perfect for fellow Trekkies and fans of science fiction.

Aug. 17: “Goodbye, Mr. Chips” (1939), directed by Sam Wood, featuring Robert Donat, Greer Garson, Paul Henreid (then known as Paul Von Hernried) and John Mills.  Donat won the Academy Award for Best Actor.

Aug. 23 (Finale): “The Band Wagon” (1953), directed by Vincente Minnelli, featuring Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Oscar Levant, Nanette Fabray and Jack Buchannan.  The iconic song “That’s Entertainment” was introduced in this classic cinema musical and was later used as the title for the popular MGM retrospective trilogy series, “That’s Entertainment!” (1974, 1976 and 1994).

A perfect opportunity to see classic/cult films on the big screen

The Majestic’s summer classic/cult movie series has something for everyone, from Hollywood classics to iconic cult feature films.  So kick back, relax and enjoy a classic film in one of the “grandest small-town theaters in America.”  You won’t be disappointed!

Gettysburg College’s Majestic Theater (Jennifer and David LeVan Performing Arts Center)

25 Carlisle St.

Gettysburg, PA 17325


Wednesday Nights at 7:30 p.m. from June 1-Aug. 24 (excluding July 20)*

Price: $6 per person (Tickets can only be purchased in person at the theater)

Friday, April 15, 2016

1958 RCA “Living Stereo” Promotional Film (A brief post)

A re-post from "Silver Screen Reflections."

In honor of tomorrow’s “Record Store Day” event, here is this 1958 RCA promotional film on “Living Stereo,” produced by The Jam Handy Organization (and is available at the Internet Archive).

Even though this film is not available in stereo (this film has a monaural soundtrack) , this was a demonstration film sent to company dealers and distributors to promote the firm’s then-current line of stereophonic “Victrola” consoles, LP albums and 45 RPM stereo discs.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Television Corner: Bill Patschak to appear on "Jeopardy!"

A fellow alum from Walkersville High School will make his way as a contestant onto another one of the nation’s most popular television game shows.  

Bill Patschak, a familiar face to the trivia circuit in the Frederick area, will be one of three contestants on “Jeopardy!” His appearance on the Alex Trebek-hosted trivia game show was taped earlier in the year.  This will be Patschak’s second national game show television appearance.

Patschak was one of many contestant hopefuls chosen by the producers of the show, by completing the scheduled “Jeopardy!” online contestant test.

Before “Jeopardy!”

Patschak is no stranger to television game shows.  In Jan. 2013, he made his national television game show debut on the syndicated version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” with then-host Meredith Vieira.  His fellow friends in the local trivia circuit have also appeared on the aforementioned game show, Chad Bartholomew in Aug. 2012 and David Gould in Nov. 2012.

Patschak was mentioned in an article on local trivia night tournaments in the Nov. 2015 edition of Frederick Magazine.

Watch “Jeopardy!” with contestant Bill Patschak

Be sure to watch Bill Patschak’s appearance on “Jeopardy!”  It will air this Wed. at 7:30 p.m. on WJLA-TV 7 (in the Washington, D.C. /Frederick, Maryland area).

Thursday, February 18, 2016

75 Years of "The Maltese Falcon" (1941)

A re-post from my other classic film blog, "Silver Screen Reflections."

Sam Spade.  Brigid O’Shaughnessy.  Miles Archer.  Joel Cairo.  Kasper Gutman.  Lieutenant Dundy and Detective Pullhouse.  The “MacGuffin.”  “The stuff that dreams are made of.”

The 75th anniversary revival screening of “The Maltese Falcon” (1941)

1941 Warner Bros. trade ad for "The Maltese Falcon,"
featuring Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor.
Fans of classic cinema and film noir are in for a real treat, as this year will mark the 75th anniversary of John Huston’s 1941 screen adaptation of “The Maltese Falcon.”

Turner Classic Movies, in conjunction with Warner Bros. Pictures and NCM Fathom Events will showcase the film in select cinema venues from coast-to-coast for one day only on Sunday, Feb. 21 and Wednesday, Feb. 24.  “The Maltese Falcon” will be shown at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (Eastern) on that day.  A special pre-recorded introduction by TCM host Ben Mankiewicz will be shown before the film.

With an all-star cast, featuring Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet, Ward Bond and Barton MacLane, John Huston’s film adaptation of Dashiell Hammett’s novel is one of the definitive classics of the silver screen.

Earlier adaptations of Hammett’s novel for the silver screen

Before Huston’s landmark film was released, Warners made two film adaptations of Dashiell Hammett’s novel.  The first screen adaptation of “The Maltese Falcon” was released as a pre-code feature in 1931, featuring Ricardo Cortez and Bebe Daniels.

Five years later, the studio produced a lesser-known light comedic adaptation with Bette Davis and Warren William, under the title of “Satan Met a Lady.”

A comedic version of “The Maltese Falcon” 

In addition to the three motion picture adaptations of Hammett’s novel, a comedic spoof of “The Maltese Falcon” was produced by George Segal and Ray Stark in 1975, under the title of “The Black Bird.”  Directed by David Giler, the film featured Segal (who also played the lead role of Sam Spade Jr.), Stéphane Audran, Lionel Stander, Elisha Cook Jr. and Vic Tayback.

Why you should watch “The Maltese Falcon” (1941)

If you’re going to see it on the big screen on Feb. 21 (or the upcoming TCM broadcast on Feb. 19), “The Maltese Falcon” is one of the definitive film noir classics.  You will not be disappointed by 100 minutes of suspense and intrigue.  Highly recommended!

Matinee Alert: “The Maltese Falcon” will not be shown in the Frederick area

SIDEBAR: Yet once again, the Frederick area will miss out on the revival screening of “The Maltese Falcon” (according to the NCM Fathom list of cinema venues from coast-to-coast that will be showing the film).

“The Maltese Falcon” (75th Anniversary Screening), presented by Turner Classic Movies, Warner Bros. and NCM Fathom Events

Sunday, Feb. 21 and Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Eastern in select theaters from coast-to-coast

List of cinema venues that are showing “The Maltese Falcon” from coast-to-coast (via NCM Fathom Events)

The Maltese Falcon” will be shown two days before the 75th anniversary screening on Turner Classic Movies, beginning on Friday, Feb. 19 at 11 a.m. Eastern.  

Take the "Matinee Poll:" Do you think the Frederick area will miss out on the revival screening of "The Maltese Falcon" (even though it was shown in the Frederick area 75 years ago)?

Friday, February 12, 2016

Cancellation of the Majestic Theater's special screening of "Casablanca" (1942)

A recent change has been made to an upcoming major classic film screening at the Majestic Theater in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

The Feb. 13 revival screening of the 1942 classic, “Casablanca,” with special guest Robert Osborne (of Turner Classic Movies) has been cancelled.  According to a recent press release from the theater, Osborne informed the management of the Majestic that he is in the hospital and is undergoing treatment for pneumonia.

Osborne, a noted film critic and longtime TCM host (since the network’s launch in 1994), was originally slated to make a special guest appearance on stage at the Majestic, before the cinema’s screening of “Casablanca” (alongside Jeffrey W. Gabel, founding executive director of the theater). The cinema is honoring ticket refunds.

The writer of “At the Matinee” and “Silver Screen Reflections” wishes Robert Osborne a speedy recovery and is hopeful that he will reschedule his appearance at the Majestic in the near future.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Weinberg Center to ring in the New Year with classic Marx Brothers films

1935 ad for the Tivoli Cinema, showcasing the
Marx Brothers film "A Night At The Opera."
(The Frederick News-Post/Randall Family LLC/
Newspaper Archive)

PROLOGUE: This was originally written as part of a group multimedia blog project in my Online Journalism class at Hood College (with two fellow “friends of the Matinee”).  Enjoy!  

Groucho, Chico, Harpo and Zeppo’s zany antics.  Margaret Dumont’s deadpan reaction to Groucho’s wisecracks.  “Hooray for Captain Spaulding.”  “Hail, Hail Freedonia.”

Fans of slapstick and classic comedy in the Frederick area may start the New Year by treating themselves to an afternoon of iconic comedy classics at the Weinberg Center for the Arts.

The theater will showcase a double dose of films featuring the Marx Brothers on the afternoon of Sunday, Jan. 10 at 2 p.m., as part of the Weinberg’s “Cinema Classic Series.”

The first film that will be shown in the Marx Brothers double feature event will be the 1935 film, “A Night at the Opera,” directed by Sam Wood.  This was the brothers’ first film for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, alongside Margaret Dumont and Kitty Carlisle.

Vintage Tivoli memorabilia booth, inside the lobby
of the Weinberg Center for the Arts. Photo: Chris Hamby.
Then, the Weinberg will showcase the 1933 motion picture, “Duck Soup,” directed by Leo McCarey. “Duck Soup” was the brothers’ last film for Paramount Pictures, featuring Dumont and the “fourth” Marx brother, Zeppo Marx.

This would be Zeppo’s last film with his brothers, as he later pursued a successful career as a talent agent.  According to “A&E Biography,” he also worked as a successful inventor, notably helping the Allied effort during World War II on developing special clamping devices for secure transportation of atomic bombs on the “Enola Gay.”

Out of all the Marxes’ comedies, both “A Night at the Opera” and “Duck Soup” have been considered the best out of the Marxes’ film career, according to the movie guide, “VideoHound’s Golden Movie Retriever.”

The two films were shown at Frederick’s crown jewel theater, when it was known as the Tivoli cinema during their general release years.  Both Marx Brothers films were made by two different studios, and the theater was owned by rival studio Warner Bros. Pictures, which owned the Tivoli from the late 1920s until 1948.

Interior of the Weinberg Center (former Tivoli) stage with
movie screen.  Photo: Chris Hamby
John Healey, executive theater director of the Weinberg Center for the Arts, said that the upcoming Marx Brothers double-feature screening of “A Night at the Opera” and “Duck Soup” is important to the theater’s motion picture heritage.

“Film is a very large part of the history of the Weinberg Center,” Healey said.

Jef Cliber, box office manager of the Weinberg Center, said that he was delighted that the two Marx Brothers films would make their return to the big screen.

“It’s nice to see some of those older films make a return to us,” Cliber said.  “There was enough of a demand for us to create another niche where there are different kinds of films.”

Katherine Orloff, an assistant professor of journalism at Hood College, said that the timeless humor of the Marx Brothers would be a great way to kick off the New Year.

“What better way to start 2016 with laughter and happiness,” Orloff said. “Laughter is the best medicine.”

The cost of admission for the Marx Brothers double feature screening at the Weinberg Center is $7 for adults and $5 for children, students, senior citizens, Frederick city employees and members of the military.

Marx Brothers Double Feature Screening: “A Night at the Opera” (1935)/”Duck Soup” (1933)

Jan. 10 at 2 p.m.

Weinberg Center for the Arts

20 W. Patrick St.

Frederick, MD 21701