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This little critic went to Loew's; this little critic went to Keith's. This little critic liked heavies; this little critic liked farce. And this little critic went wee wee wee wee into the office of the manager of the Majestio Theatre. This is what he found.
* * *
New York has a score of emporiums devoted to running off old films, and frankly calling them "revivals." Since Boston's Fine Arts theatre closed last spring, the Hub has had nothing congenerous to the Gotham galaxy; yet old movies can be seen here, too. The trouble is, Boston's entertainment entreprencur's keep trying to put something over on the moviegoers.
Two years ago, the Service News showed that a picture billed with seductive hoopla by the Gaiety Theatre on Washington Street was really just the old (1939) Elsa Maxwell hit, "Hotel For Women," a staid enough piece by even Watch and Ward standards. While its policy is less consistent and less, salacious, the Majestic Theatre, too, is currently deceiving its audiences, though it isn't trying to get away with anything.
Since last fall, when "Getting Gertie's Garter" alliteratively closed the Majestic's career as a first-run house, the theatre has been running re-issues. (Re-issues are brand new prints, with new sound-tracks, of old pictures). The change-over wasn't premeditated: strikes and allotment limitations in Hollywood forced an expedition into the files which exhumed films as much as ten years old--"Sylvia Scarlet." "Naughty Marietta," "Pot O' Gold," "Snow White," and the like.
A legitimate theatre in the Shubert chain until April, 1942, the Majestic now finds itself cleaning up on re-issues, which it exhibits at first-run admission prices from whose gross producer royalties don't have to be deducted. In fact, the Majestic, which embarked on its re-issue policy only on a temporary basis, is now seriously considering continuing the practice when first-run pictures are again available.
But the Majestic isn't a museum, which means that all pictures cannot be revived. Current attraction is "Meet John Doe," made by Warner Brothers in 1941 and starring Gary Cooper, Walter Brannan, Barbars Stanwyck, and James Gleason--an entertaining, if not profound, social-conscience picture that has none of the anachronisms in fashion and dialogue that bar many old pictures from the Majestic screen. jgt
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