Still more lazy thoughts from this one…

TMT: Packed in the Rafters

This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. Two things brought me to this memory. First, since I am continuing my Versus AFI: 10 Top 10 arc, this time looking at the Gangster genre, it was only fitting I’d chronicle at least one of them in this series. Second, last week my colleague over at Fog’s Movie Reviews conducted a Great Debate about a couple of sibling films very close to my heart. So, it had to be this one.

“It made me think of what you once told me: “In five years the Corleone family will be completely legitimate.” That was seven years ago.”


The Hollywood Pacific Theatre:



December 28, 1974: this film relates to a number of things for the particular years then and now; up there on-screen with the family Corleone, and for me. I really can’t express to you how anticipated this, the first sequel to The Godfather, was during the early 70s. The expectations were so high, in trade papers and newspapers alike, when it was announced and as it was being filmed, moviegoers talked about it like they do today for things like The Avengers, Prometheus and The Dark Knight Rises – just without the internet. So much so that when it was released in December, the big showcase theaters in town screening it (in this case, the Hollywood Pacific) were selling out shows left and right.

Standing in a long ticket line, one that wrapped around the corner, was part of the price to be paid to see The Godfather Part II first run in such a venue. We, as in with the girl I was dating back then, did just that. Having seen the pioneering original gangster movie more than two years earlier was the precursor for all those attending that evening. What a difference two years made. I saw The Godfather at a drive-in with my last high school girlfriend the day after I graduated. This time, I was seated high up in the balcony of a prestigious, almost cathedral-like (and quite packed) Hollywood theater with the first girlfriend of my college days taking it all in. It wasn’t lost on me what changes had already taken place.

Those who’ve followed this series may spot the interconnections in this entry. The post on The Godfather was the one that I began the TMT series with. The young lady I took on the movie date to its sequel was the exact same person I took to see the film Chinatown earlier that same summer.

The entire TMT series can be found here. If you’re interested how it’s put together, click here.

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17 Responses to “TMT: Packed in the Rafters”

  1. Christine McCann

    To a view a movie in a theater such as that, I’d get there early just to ogle the interior of the theater. And viewing from the balcony? Of a Godfather film? Way cool!

    • le0pard13

      It was a lot of fun to be in this theatre and to catch such an anticipated film like this one. Many thanks, Christine.

  2. fogsmoviereviews

    First off, thanks for the steady stream of shout outs, I appreciate it a lot! :D

    I like this post, AND this idea. I’m still looking for a “Guest Blogger” piece for this month, would you have interest in doing something like this for a guest spot? I like to have the spots be more personal let people know you type stuff… Something like this would be perfect. U could even cannibalize your old posts if you want, I don’t care! :D

    Think it over let me know!

    Meanwhile, I love this idea, but it does make me a bit sad. My local theatre – the one I saw all the movies of my youth in, the site of my first date – is now a Petco.



    • le0pard13

      My pleasure, Fogs. I’ve sent you some email on the idea you’ve presented, too.

      A Petco? That must have been one Hell of a conversion ;-). Thanks, my friend.

  3. John DuMond

    Great movie, le0pard13. Sadly, I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing it on the big screen. Maybe someday it’ll get a re-release and I can experience it in all its widescreen glory.

    • le0pard13

      Yeah, if at all possible, I hope you can re-visit this one on the big screen. There are some movies that only get better when this happens, and when they’re great to begin with, well that’s pretty special. Thanks, John.

  4. The Focused Filmographer

    What an amazing theater! And I can only imagine what it must have been like to watch Godfather 2 (or almost any film for that matter) at the prestigious Hollywood Pacific Theater

    • le0pard13

      Yes, the Hollywood Pacific Theatre is a prestigious place, alright. Every so often, they still host events here. I hope to catch one there someday and revisit this grand movie palace. Thanks, T.

    • le0pard13

      Isn’t that an impressive one? This theatre certainly qualifies as a movie palace, Scott. Thanks for reading and comment.

  5. rtm

    Yet another cool looking theater and that entrance is way cool! And yes you are so lucky to be able to see classic movies on the big screen.

    • le0pard13

      I’ll rather be lucky than good any day of the week, especially when it comes to movies. Thanks so much, Ruth.

  6. Ronan Wright

    I’m part of the generation too young to have seen the Godfather movies first time round on the big screen and I’m yet to see them in the cinema. The Odeon theatre chain in the UK does a back in time thing where show old movies, I saw Jurassic Park a couple of years ago, so I hope they will show the Godfather some time. Mind you, my local indy cinema showed it recently so I can’t have wanted to see it that badly :-) Another in a great series Michael.

    • le0pard13

      The first two are great films in the series. So, too, is the less seen ‘The Godfather Saga’ that was a television film special that set the story of the first two films into chronological order, with new transitions and scenes cut from the films. Over here, AMC again recently showed this version and Coppola did an amazing job with it. Certainly, if you can catch it on the big screen, it remains a viewing experience well worth taking, my friend. Thank, Ronan.


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