Still more lazy thoughts from this one…

TMT: 1969 – A Summer Odyssey

This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. Here’s a bit of nostalgic promotional hype associated with this one:

“Before ‘Star Wars’ There Was… And There Always Will Be…”


The Hollywood Pacific Theatre:




Summer 1969: This one was harder than the others in this series to nail down. Perhaps, it was because I was only 14-years old at the time (as the 60s were petering out) when I took in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. I certainly didn’t have my own wheels during the summer I transitioned from junior to senior high school — or a date to share this, for that matter. And I certainly don’t recall how the hell I got to Hollywood itself to see this one-of-kind and enjoyably stupefying sci-fi film.

Unquestionably, I appreciated the fact Stanley Kubrick’s movie looked simply stunning. This grand movie hall, which was (and still is) the Hollywood Pacific Theatre, had one of the largest screens around. During its reign, this film palace was one of the very few that could present the 3-strip Cinerama experience. No kidding. My then young teen mind became totally enthralled with the incomprehensible and irresistible film. Especially when it was beautifully presented on to that huge screen (projected from a Super Panavision 70 print).

I think I saw it three times total that summer, the two from its balcony. The first time being a cherished memory I only wanted to share with others my age. Few did. Still, it hit me that much. Years later, I’d pick up the They came from outer space : 12 classic science fiction tales that became major motion pictures book and read Arthur C. Clarke’s source story, The Sentinel. The film retained a significant pull on me, even as an adult. Just like it did for the late-Roger Ebert. Believe it or not, this film was booked at this theater for 80 weeks. Additional trivia:

“During the 1968-69 engagement of “2001: A Space Odyssey,” ownership of the Warner Hollywood Theatre changed hands from Stanley-Warner to Pacific Theatres, at which time the name of the venue was changed to the Hollywood Pacific.”

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

17 Responses to “TMT: 1969 – A Summer Odyssey”

  1. Ronan

    So often ‘incomprehensible’ and ‘irresistible’ are two adjectives that go hand in hand, attached to many classic movies. Are they irresistable because they’re incomprehensible? Maybe that’s thinking too much about it. Either way 2001 is a cool film. You could almost watch it with the dialogue turned off and there would be little difference 🙂


  2. Herbster

    Love these old theatres. This gave me a flash back. When my much older Brother lived in San Bruno we made a trip to the city, San Fran, to see the movie. Some giant movie house playing 2001 and Gone With the Wind, something for everybody, Mom and Dad to Gone, us younguns to the scifi. 1969 and this 15 year old was such a rube, off the farm to the big city, what a thrill.



  3. Rachel

    As a scifi fanatic it’s always been my big embarrassment that I don’t like 2001. I’ve tried to watch it three times and it’s just not happening (my Kubrik of choice is A Clockwork Orange) but that’s the way it goes sometimes. (It’s sort of like how I’m the biggest Ralph Fiennes mark but cannot stand The English Patient.)

    However, my personal enjoyment of 2001 does not in any way alter my enjoyment of this series. Keep ’em coming, my friend.

    (when can we have a Shibumi book club?:)


    • le0pard13

      No embarrassment or problem, Rachel. Films, like books, speak to each of us differently. A Clockwork Orange is a great one, but there are Kubrick fans who don’t like it. And don’t get me started on The English Patient! That one has, for me, too many Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot moments (a term I picked up from my recent SEAL Team Six read). IIRC, I think we could pick up our friend Naomi as a founding member for the I CANNOT STAND The English Patient movie club. Thanks very much for the comment :-).

      p.s., it’s great to hear that Shibumi is still picking up fans even decades later. Count me in.


  4. 2001 Space Odyssey | Hooverdog

    […] TMT: 1969 – A Summer Odyssey ( Share this:EmailPrintDiggFacebookRedditStumbleUpon Filed under Television – Movie Tagged 2001: A Space Odyssey, 2001:A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke, Greek, HAL 9000, Homer, Odyssey, space, Stanley Kubrick, Technology Comment (RSS)  |  Trackback  |  Permalink […]


  5. storiesbywilliams

    Tis an immortal classic, isn’t it? It’s one of the few movies that I felt was superior to the novel, though of course the movie preceded the novel in this case.


  6. TMT: Adapted Haunt | It Rains... You Get Wet

    […] This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. With our next duo post kicking in on our usual last day of the month, which is tomorrow, might as well recall the first time I viewed a collaboration from a pair of my favorite artists. A story from my preferred writer of the last few decades adapted to the big screen by a filmmaker who mesmerized me as teen as the 60s came to a close. […]


  7. This Is My Film | It Rains... You Get Wet

    […] A Space Odyssey – Not much of a challenge to pick the film that stated, “My then young teen mind became totally enthralled with the incomprehensible and irresistible film.” Must be said, if it wasn’t for this, Bullitt, Planet of the Apes, or Night of the […]



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