Intermission

Open, general discussion of classic sound-era films, personalities and history.
Connoisseur
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:21 pm
Location: Germany

Intermission

Unread post by Connoisseur » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:53 am

Just have seen "Dunkirk" - in a cinema in Malta. Something happened what I have not experienced in my 60+ years of visiting cinemas. There was an intermission - to show advertising clips for Pepsi and other products. When leaving, I asked the question if that was owed to the length of the movie (it is actually not that long). I was told they do it always. Now, as viewing movie in cinemas has lost its attraction, I do not go there too frequently, seeing movies, old and new, using a beamer at home. So I might have missed a new trend??? Has anybody else experienced the same thing?

User avatar
Mike Gebert
Site Admin
Posts: 6165
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:23 pm
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Intermission

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:54 am

Americans would riot.

No, they'd just use it as an excuse to check their phones.
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir

User avatar
drednm
Posts: 7651
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:41 pm
Location: Belgrade Lakes, ME

Re: Intermission

Unread post by drednm » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:59 am

Mike Gebert wrote:Americans would riot.

No, they'd just use it as an excuse to check their phones.
You mean they don't check their phone DURING the movie?
Ed Lorusso
Writer/Historian
-------------
https://wordpress.com/view/silentroomdo ... dpress.com" target="_blank

earlytalkiebuffRob
Posts: 3471
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:53 am

Re: Intermission

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:27 pm

Over thirty years ago I visited the Odeon Southsea (England) to see PSYCHO 2, on a friend's recommendation. About half way through the film there was a break, presumably for ads. I was a bit taken aback, although it was actually quite convenient (excuse the pun) as I was needing the gent's at the time. I think it was the last show I attended there as the cinema closed not long after and was sadly demolished a few years later.

User avatar
Mike Gebert
Site Admin
Posts: 6165
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:23 pm
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Intermission

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:35 pm

Actually, when I saw Dunkirk— mostly packed house, first day, 70mm— the guy next to me did start to futz with his phone. I wasn't having any of that— we didn't beat Hitler to put up with cell phones at WWII movies— and I gave the guy a scoldy "Put that away!" He then muttered something about being a doctor. I didn't believe it, but about ten minutes later he departed entirely, so maybe he really did get the call. Sorry if you can't go to a movie, doc, but still— there's no turnin' back from this, son.
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir

Connoisseur
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:21 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Intermission

Unread post by Connoisseur » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:30 pm

Well, Dunkirk showed - doctors and others - that history has its turning points. Even most of the Germans would not like to see a different ending today. For me, however, the good news is that the Malta phenomenon seems to be a single one. Otherwise I would be completely reduced to watching movies at home...

User avatar
maliejandra
Posts: 476
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:32 pm
Contact:

Re: Intermission

Unread post by maliejandra » Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:49 am

There is an intermission for every film shown at the Ohio Theatre summer movie series because it is authentic to the time period when the theater was originally open. I actually kind of hate it though. It disrupts the flow of the movie.

BixB
Posts: 329
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:59 am
Location: Cincinnati

Re: Intermission

Unread post by BixB » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:00 am

maliejandra wrote:There is an intermission for every film shown at the Ohio Theatre summer movie series because it is authentic to the time period when the theater was originally open. I actually kind of hate it though. It disrupts the flow of the movie.
True but the intermission was supposed to happen between films on a double feature, not stop one movie cold in the middle. I really hate that too.
Joe Busam

User avatar
silentfilm
Moderator
Posts: 9491
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:31 pm
Location: Dallas, TX USA
Contact:

Re: Intermission

Unread post by silentfilm » Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:37 am

Some long films famously had intermissions, like 2001: A Space Oddessy and Gone With the Wind.

User avatar
Jim Roots
Posts: 2953
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 2:45 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: Intermission

Unread post by Jim Roots » Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:27 pm

silentfilm wrote:Some long films famously had intermissions, like 2001: A Space Oddessy and Gone With the Wind.
And The Great Escape, Around the World In Eighty Days, Ben-Hur...

Jim

User avatar
Brooksie
Posts: 2860
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:41 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon via Sydney, Australia
Contact:

Re: Intermission

Unread post by Brooksie » Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:37 pm

From what I understand, Australia held on to intermissions for longer than other countries. I clearly remember intermissions when I was a young child, especially at the larger city cinemas, when you had to go in to the city to watch certain films that never came to the suburbs. I'm pretty saw I saw E.T: The Extra Terrestrial with one. Gandhi (1982) certainly had one. Aside from the length of the film, it was no doubt a throwback to the roadshow era, when having an interval indicated prestige (and probably helped cover the added cost of exhibition by funnelling you towards the concession stand).

R Michael Pyle
Posts: 1749
Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 1:10 pm

Re: Intermission

Unread post by R Michael Pyle » Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:38 pm

Add "Lawrence of Arabia" and, believe it or not, I remember an intermission in 1962 for "The Music Man", besides.

earlytalkiebuffRob
Posts: 3471
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:53 am

Re: Intermission

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:42 pm

Mike Gebert wrote:Actually, when I saw Dunkirk— mostly packed house, first day, 70mm— the guy next to me did start to futz with his phone. I wasn't having any of that— we didn't beat Hitler to put up with cell phones at WWII movies— and I gave the guy a scoldy "Put that away!" He then muttered something about being a doctor. I didn't believe it, but about ten minutes later he departed entirely, so maybe he really did get the call. Sorry if you can't go to a movie, doc, but still— there's no turnin' back from this, son.
If your calling does require you to be on call, then the thing to do is have your phone on vibrate and make sure you're sitting where a speedy exit won't cause annoyance. Or better still, stay at home - then if you're watching something you can see the rest later.

earlytalkiebuffRob
Posts: 3471
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:53 am

Re: Intermission

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:47 pm

BixB wrote:
maliejandra wrote:There is an intermission for every film shown at the Ohio Theatre summer movie series because it is authentic to the time period when the theater was originally open. I actually kind of hate it though. It disrupts the flow of the movie.
True but the intermission was supposed to happen between films on a double feature, not stop one movie cold in the middle. I really hate that too.
With a very long movie, one will otherwise get distracted when folk go to the loo, and don't forget projectionists and musicians have bladders, too, and are surely entitled to have a break and a glass of something refreshing. Was surprised when TITANIC (the 1997 one) rumbled on without a break. Good job I hadn't had a drink before the show!

wingate
Posts: 280
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:06 am

Re: Intermission

Unread post by wingate » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:56 pm

In the UK this lasted for a few years in thé sixties.Particularly with war films,Longest Day,Guns of Navarone,the great escape etc.

BixB
Posts: 329
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:59 am
Location: Cincinnati

Re: Intermission

Unread post by BixB » Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:27 pm

It's one thing to have an Intermission where one was planned, SOUND OF MUSIC, for example but not a feature that doesn't warrant one. I remember seeing THE PALM BEACH STORY at the Ohio and they stopped the film cold at a reel change to accommodate the intermission.
Joe Busam

User avatar
radiotelefonia
Posts: 2216
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:00 pm

Re: Intermission

Unread post by radiotelefonia » Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:53 pm

When Fernando Martín Peña and the late Fabio Manes exhibited one film in 16mm in a presentation that I attended, they stated that there was going to be an intermission at the midpoint because they had only one projector and needed to change the reel.

:mrgreen:

ClayKing
Posts: 192
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:35 am
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: Intermission

Unread post by ClayKing » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:40 pm

Most of the longer-length films in the early 'sixties that were shown in road show versions had planned intermissions with an "intermission" title card within the film. I remember seeing in Manhattan the roadshow presentations of Spartacus, Cleopatra, El Cid, Fall of the Roman Empire, et al, and they all had intermissions (and many of the title cards have been retained in video release). When the films would subsequently go into general release in neighborhood theaters the films would generally be shortened and often the intermission eliminated to accommodate more screenings during the day.

As to the days of double features, I only recall the programming running continuously, with coming attraction trailers sandwiched between the two features.

I don't recall "Great Escape" having an intermission, although I didn't see it on its original theatrical release.
-Rich

moviepas
Posts: 1064
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:51 am

Re: Intermission

Unread post by moviepas » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:59 am

For those of you who buy the Roadshow Blu Ray of Krakatoa will be pleased they have left the Intermission/Interval off along with the Overture and Exit music.

User avatar
maliejandra
Posts: 476
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:32 pm
Contact:

Re: Intermission

Unread post by maliejandra » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:59 am

earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:With a very long movie, one will otherwise get distracted when folk go to the loo, and don't forget projectionists and musicians have bladders, too, and are surely entitled to have a break and a glass of something refreshing. Was surprised when TITANIC (the 1997 one) rumbled on without a break. Good job I hadn't had a drink before the show!
I've never seen it run in a theater with an intermission (and I've seen it 4 times on the big screen), but I do remember watching it on VHS and having to switch tapes right after the captain says, "I believe you may get your headlines Mr. Ismay."

User avatar
odinthor
Posts: 576
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:16 pm
Location: Southern California
Contact:

Re: Intermission

Unread post by odinthor » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:00 pm

Jim Roots wrote:
silentfilm wrote:Some long films famously had intermissions, like 2001: A Space Oddessy and Gone With the Wind.
And The Great Escape, Around the World In Eighty Days, Ben-Hur...

Jim
And It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World. They handled the intermission very cleverly in the premiere engagement (I don't know if in regular engagements they did this at all) at the Cinerama Dome: During the break, while everyone was up getting their Raisinettes or whatever, the building's building-wide sound system (as opposed to just the auditorium proper) would issue intermittent spoken "bulletins" from the police in the movie, as if the police were radioing each other to share info, that so-and-so character in the movie was doing this, or these characters were doing that. It fascinated me. The whole experience at that premiere was exhilarating, and the way the intermission was handled enriched the show.
_____
"She confessed subsequently to Cottard that she found me remarkably enthusiastic; he replied that I was too emotional, that I needed sedatives, and that I ought to take up knitting." —Marcel Proust (Cities of the Plain).

User avatar
oldposterho
Posts: 618
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:05 am
Contact:

Re: Intermission

Unread post by oldposterho » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:57 pm

Monty Python and the Holy Grail also has an "intermission." I've seen theaters both take it as real and blow right through it, so I'm not sure what the original intent was. Possibly for those territories where they needed to feed their møøse.

User avatar
Mike Gebert
Site Admin
Posts: 6165
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:23 pm
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Intermission

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:59 pm

Seeing 2001 in 70mm at the Music Box here, they used the intermission—which comes surprisingly late; if you know the film you might guess that it comes between the discovery of the monolith on the moon and the Jupiter mission, but it actually comes right after Hal has read their lips learning that they plan to disconnect him, which is at least 90 of its 140 min. into the film.
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir

User avatar
Robert W
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:12 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Intermission

Unread post by Robert W » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:00 pm

oldposterho wrote:Monty Python and the Holy Grail also has an "intermission." I've seen theaters both take it as real and blow right through it, so I'm not sure what the original intent was. Possibly for those territories where they needed to feed their møøse.

There is no question the 'intermission' in Monty Python And The Holy Grail' is a joke, as the feature itself barely runs 90 min, and the intermission card comes up at the most totally inappropriate place to put an intermission ( in the middle of a huge battle screen, if I recall )

User avatar
Mike Gebert
Site Admin
Posts: 6165
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:23 pm
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Intermission

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:12 am

So I was trying to think what the last regular U.S. release to feature an intermission was. The last one I can think of was Kenneth Branagh's 4-hour Hamlet from 1996, so over 20 years ago. Now they just make the movie shorter for theaters and put the long version out on home video.
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir

User avatar
Jim Roots
Posts: 2953
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 2:45 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: Intermission

Unread post by Jim Roots » Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:55 am

Mike Gebert wrote:So I was trying to think what the last regular U.S. release to feature an intermission was. The last one I can think of was Kenneth Branagh's 4-hour Hamlet from 1996, so over 20 years ago. Now they just make the movie shorter for theaters and put the long version out on home video.
Really? Two hours and forty minutes is the shorter version of these things? Oy...

Jim

User avatar
silentfilm
Moderator
Posts: 9491
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:31 pm
Location: Dallas, TX USA
Contact:

Re: Intermission

Unread post by silentfilm » Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:30 am

Birth of a Nation (1915) had an intermission (to give the orchestra a break as well as signal the second half of the story.) The Civil War movie Gods and Generals (2003) also had one.

The recent film The Hateful Eight (2015) also had one: http://www.showbiz411.com/2015/12/01/ta ... rformances

I could have sworn that Tess (1979) had one too, but it is not listed on the Wikipedia page.

User avatar
Smari1989
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:14 am
Location: Norway

Re: Intermission

Unread post by Smari1989 » Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:11 pm

In some countries (such as, of all places, Iceland) intermissions with commercials at movie theatres have "always" been a thing, and audiences take it for granted. However, as someone who's not accustomed to it (and I never need to refill any snacks, I rarely eat snacks at movies anyway) I'd find it a real nuisance. Thankfully, it hasn't happened where I live yet.

User avatar
Donald Binks
Posts: 3172
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:08 am
Location: Somewhere, over the rainbow

Re: Intermission

Unread post by Donald Binks » Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:37 pm

Well in Oz, there was always an "interval" (intermission) at every picture show. Usually the "first half" was taken up with the newsreel and shorts. During interval, the organ came up (if the cinema had one). Probably round about the 1950's, the organ solo would be "hijacked" in that advertising slides would be flashed on the screen whilst the organist was peddling away. As the decades progressed, this advertising gradually grew more intrusive until it has reached the stage now where the interval has disappeared altogether and the old "first half" has just become an excuse for non-stop advertising.

What has surprised me is that no-one has ever complained! Everybody cheerfully pays out money to see pictures and then they all sit through dozens of advertisements!

(If a picture was a long one, like the indigestion picture "Gone With the Wind" - then it would be advertised as "occupying the whole programme")
Regards from
Donald Binks

"So, she said: "Elly, it's no use letting Lou have the sherry glasses..."She won't appreciate them,
she won't polish them..."You know what she's like." So I said:..."

Post Reply