History, Legacy & Showmanship

The Musical Goldmine of ’69: Remembering “Paint Your Wagon” on its 50th Anniversary

October 15, 2019 - 9:36 am   |   by
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Paint Your Wagon is remembered as a standalone oddity in the careers of Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood.” — Matthew Kennedy, author of Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Paint Your Wagon, the Oscar-nominated cinematic interpretation of the Lerner and Loewe stage musical which starred Lee Marvin (Cat Ballou, Point Blank), Clint Eastwood (Dirty Harry, Unforgiven) and Jean Seberg (Pendulum, Airport).

Paint Your Wagon — directed by Joshua Logan (South Pacific, Camelot) and which also featured Harve Presnell (The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Fargo) and Ray Walston (My Favorite Martian, Fast Times at Ridgemont High) — opened 50 years ago this month. For the occasion, The Bits features an historical reference listing of the film’s major-market roadshow engagements and a Q&A with film historian Matthew Kennedy, who discusses the film’s virtues, shortcomings and legacy. [Read on here...]

THE ROADSHOW ENGAGEMENTS

What follows, for historical record and nostalgia, is a chronological reference listing of the North American first run “hard ticket” roadshow engagements of Paint Your Wagon. These were special long-running, showcase presentations in major cities prior to the film being exhibited as a general release, and they featured advanced admission pricing, reserved seating, an overture/intermission/entr’acte/exit music, and an average of only ten scheduled screenings per week. Souvenir program booklet were sold, as well.

Out of the hundreds of films released during 1969, Paint Your Wagon was among only seven given the deluxe roadshow treatment.

Many of the roadshow presentations of Paint Your Wagon were presented in 70-millimeter (blown up from anamorphic 35-millimeter) and offered a superior projection and sound experience. All of the film’s roadshow presentations are believed to have been presented with stereophonic sound (4-track for 35mm and 6-track for 70mm).

The engagements cited here represent only a fraction of the thousands of total bookings throughout the many cycles of distribution over the course of the film’s release. As well, this work does not include any general, international or re-release engagements. The duration of the cited engagements, measured in weeks, is provided to give the reader a sense of the movie’s success (or failure).

The film’s anniversary offers an opportunity to namedrop some famous and once-glorious cinemas, to provide some nostalgia for those who saw the film during this phase of its original release, and to reflect on how the film industry has evolved the manner in which event and prestige films are exhibited.

Paint Your Wagon (70 mm frame)

 

Opening date YYYY-MM-DD … City — Cinema (duration in weeks)

  • 1969-10-15 … New York, NY — State 2 (16)
  • 1969-10-22 … Los Angeles, CA — Cinerama Dome (35)
  • 1969-10-29 … Atlanta, GA — Tara (20)
  • 1969-10-29 … Boston, MA — Circle (14)
  • 1969-10-29 … Chicago (Oak Brook), IL — Cinema 150 (20)
  • 1969-10-29 … Dallas, TX — Wilshire (35)
  • 1969-10-29 … Denver, CO — Cooper (48)
  • 1969-10-29 … Fort Worth, TX — Village Opera House (20)
  • 1969-10-29 … Houston, TX — Gaylynn (19)
  • 1969-10-29 … New Orleans, LA — Cinerama (18)
  • 1969-10-29 … Philadelphia, PA — Randolph (13)
  • 1969-10-29 … Portland, OR — Paramount (30)
  • 1969-10-29 … San Francisco, CA — St. Francis (20)
  • 1969-10-29 … Washington, DC — Apex (16)
  • 1969-10-30 … Montreal, QC — Alouette (11)
  • 1969-10-30 … Toronto, ON — University (19)
  • 1969-10-30 … Vancouver, BC — Stanley (34)
  • 1969-11-05 … Buffalo, NY — Colvin (9)
  • 1969-11-05 … Cincinnati, OH — Carousel (12)
  • 1969-11-05 … Detroit, MI — Madison (13)
  • 1969-11-05 … Hartford (Newington), CT — Newington II (12)
  • 1969-11-05 … Milwaukee, WI — Wisconsin 1 (13)
  • 1969-11-05 … Minneapolis (St. Louis Park), MN — Cooper (19)
  • 1969-11-05 … New Haven (Orange), CT — Showcase 1 (19)
  • 1969-11-05 … Oklahoma City, OK — Quail Twin 1 (32)
  • 1969-11-05 … Ottawa, ON — Nelson (10)
  • 1969-11-05 … Pittsburgh, PA — Squirrel Hill (14)
  • 1969-11-05 … Rochester (Henrietta), NY — Towne 1 (12)
  • 1969-11-05 … Seattle, WA — Music Box (20)
  • 1969-11-05 … Toledo, OH — Showcase 1 (28)
  • 1969-11-11 … Salt Lake City (South Salt Lake), UT — Century 22 (33)
  • 1969-11-12 … Cleveland (South Euclid), OH — Fox Cedar-Center (11)
  • 1969-11-12 … Columbus, OH — Eastland (22)
  • 1969-11-12 … Dayton (Trotwood), OH — Salem Mall (15)
  • 1969-11-12 … Des Moines, IA — River Hills (24)
  • 1969-11-12 … Indianapolis, IN — Eastwood (18)
  • 1969-11-12 … Kansas City, MO — Capri (26)
  • 1969-11-12 … Louisville, KY — Showcase 1 (12)
  • 1969-11-12 … Omaha, NE — Indian Hills (28)
  • 1969-11-12 … Sacramento, CA — Century 21 (37)
  • 1969-11-12 … St. Louis, MO — Cinerama (16)
  • paintyourwagon newspaper ad1969-11-20 … Baltimore, MD — Town (9)
  • 1969-12-17 … Miami (Bay Harbor Islands), FL — Bay Harbor (14)
  • 1969-12-17 … Richmond, VA — Willow Lawn (13)
  • 1969-12-18 … Honolulu, HI — Queen (10)
  • 1969-12-18 … Orlando, FL — Beacham (9)
  • 1969-12-19 … Albany (Colonie), NY — Fox Colonie (8+)
  • 1969-12-19 … St. Petersburg, FL — Gateway Mall (14)
  • 1969-12-19 … Syracuse, NY — Genesee (13)
  • 1969-12-23 … Austin, TX — Americana (10)
  • 1969-12-25 … Akron (Cuyahoga Falls), OH — Falls (8)
  • 1969-12-25 … Albuquerque, NM — Sunshine (12)
  • 1969-12-25 … Calgary, AB — Calgary Place 2 (19)
  • 1969-12-25 … Charlotte, NC — Carolina (11)
  • 1969-12-25 … Edmonton, AB — Garneau (16)
  • 1969-12-25 … Jacksonville, FL — Florida (11)
  • 1969-12-25 … Knoxville, TN — Park (10)
  • 1969-12-25 … London, ON — Park (6)
  • 1969-12-25 … Lubbock, TX — Winchester (13)
  • 1969-12-25 … Memphis, TN — Memphian (22)
  • 1969-12-25 … Nashville, TN — Belle Meade (13)
  • 1969-12-25 … Norfolk, VA — Garden (8+)
  • 1969-12-25 … Phoenix, AZ — Cine Capri (29)
  • 1969-12-25 … Providence, RI — Elmwood (8+)
  • 1969-12-25 … San Antonio, TX — Fox Twin 2 (13)
  • 1969-12-25 … San Diego, CA — Cinema 21 (39)
  • 1969-12-25 … Tulsa, OK — Fox (8+)
  • 1969-12-25 … Wichita, KS — Sunset (14)
  • 1969-12-25 … Windsor, ON — Park (6)
  • 1969-12-25 … Winnipeg, MB — Gaiety (8)
  • 1970-01-15 … Montreal, QC — Kent (m/o from Alouette, 2 [13])
  • 1970-01-28 … Birmingham, AL — Eastwood Mall (8+)
  • 1970-01-28 … Springfield (West Springfield), MA — Showcase 1 (11)
  • 1970-01-28 … Syosset, NY — Syosset (8+)
  • 1970-01-28 … Upper Montclair, NJ — Bellevue (8)
  • 1970-01-28 … Worcester, MA — Showcase 1 (8+)
  • 1970-02-04 … Corpus Christi, TX — Deux Cine II (6)
  • 1970-02-04 … Little Rock, AR — Cinema 150 (7)
  • 1970-02-04 … Tucson, AZ — El Dorado (13)
  • 1970-02-10 … San Jose, CA — Century 23 (56)
  • 1970-02-11 … Moline (Milan), IL — Showcase 1 (14)
  • 1970-02-12 … Greenville, SC — Astro II (6)
  • 1970-02-20 … Raleigh, NC — Colony (8+)
  • 1970-03-11 … Toronto, ON — Nortown (m/o from University, 5 [24])
  • 1970-03-17 … Pleasant Hill, CA — Century 21 (21)
  • 1970-03-24 … Las Vegas, NV — Boulevard (12)
  • 1970-04-29 … Des Moines, IA — Riviera (m/o from River Hills, 5 [29])
  • 1970-08-14 … Oakland, CA — Century 21 (19)

Paint Your Wagon roadshow program

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