Tuesday, April 28, 2015

This Theatre and You

An interesting old short I don't think I've ever mentioned before is This Theatre and You, which you can catch tomorrow morning at about 9:35 AM, or following Gentlemen's Agreement (7:30 AM, 118 min). This is a propaganda piece, made for the theaters in small touwns (which would probably just be beginning to face the new threat of television, since this was made in 1948), is designed to show all the good things local theaters do for the community. Not just showing movies, but being part of charity drives and hosting other public functions. Two-thirds of a century later, this one is hilariously dated, and it's tough to imagine any theater like this today. Heck, I wonder if there were theaters like this in small towns back at the time the short was made. It's one that really ought to be run as part of a double bill with The Case Against the 20%Federal Admissions Tax on Motion Picture Theaters. Both are fun historical documents, but not very good filmmaking.

Speaking of those charity drives, there's another short coming up tomorrow morning that's worthy of mention: Lineup For Today: Ted Williams and Friend, at 11:41 AM, following The Tender Trap (9:45 AM, 111 min). This one has Ted Williams trying to get people to donate to the Jimmy Fund, a charity that raised money for research into pediatric cancers, something that would have been an even more terrifying prospect back in the 1950s than it is today, not that you want any children to be diagnosed with cancer. It's a bit surprising that Ted Williams has a friend, since the general history has it that he had a rather crusty relationship with the media. But then, the friend is Bing Crosby.

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