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Friday, June 10, 2016

Sci Fi Saturday A Day Early Again: A Special Screening of 1951's Sci Fi Masterpiece The Day The Earth Stood Still

Near my home in Jersey City is a really wonderful vintage landmark.  The gorgeous Loew's Jersey  Theatre.  . Originally opened in 1929 it has the over the top deco styling that was the standard for theatres at that time.






My favorite part is the display of discard items they found on the floor during the renovation.  Old candy boxes, train tokens, cigarette cartons, grocery lists and such.  




The Loewes also has an organ! The old fashioned kind that rises up out of the theatre floor.










The Loewes closed its doors in 1986.  It was saved from demoltion by the group the Friends of the Loewes who have worked since the late 1990s to restore the theatre and keep it open as a cultural centre.  The theatre hosts concerts, conventions and weddings.   Best of all, in my opinion, is that they screen classic movies a few times a year, and every June they feature films in my favorite genre, Science Fiction.  This past weekend I got a special treat when they screened two of my vintage sci-fi favorites.  1951's The Day The Earth Stood Still and the 1902 Georges Melies silent short A Trip to The Moon,  the first science fiction film ever made.







I wore my Girl in A Whirl rocket skirt which was pretty perfect for the event.  




The Day The Earth Stood Still is a notable film for its strong anti war message that reflected the Cold War anxiety of the time.  Unlike many other films of the time the alien in The Day The Earth Stood Still, Klaatu, is a good guy concerned about  escalating violence.  He comes to Earth to warn humanity that they have a choice they can join other planets in inter-stellar peace or they can continue down their current violent path and soon "this  Earth of yours will be a burned out cinder."   The film also has an interestingly stark  look, despite the over the top poster.   Honestly I prefer the visuals in this film to most special effects laden modern science-fiction.






I think the studio was a bit confused about how to market a "smart" sic-fi film.  Hence the poster that seems to be for a different movie.  This scene of actress Patricia Neal, a brunette, being carried by Gort the robot:




became this on the poster:



A blonde in a red evening gown who never appears int the film.  What must Patricia Neal have thought?

The Day The Earth Stood Still was remade in 2008 but such things are best forgotten.



The other film screened,  Melies A Trip Too The Moon,  is only about 13 minutes long, but has many pioneering camera techniques.  It really is an interesting piece of film history.




What is your favorite retro sci-fi film?








15 comments:

  1. The Day the Earth Stood Still was the first classic science fiction film I ever saw and I one of the best in my opinion.

    As a teen I used to get up at 6am especially to watch the original Flash Gordon telly series which I thought was beyond fabulous! xx

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    1. Forgot to say, that building is incredible!

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  2. That theater is beautiful! Thank goodness it was preserved!

    Great post, loved refreshing my memory of that movie!

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  3. Mom remembers that place. Love the feeling of sitting in those theatres and looking up
    Lily & Edward

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  4. Thank goodness for groups that step in to preserve lovely old historic buildings from heathans.

    The original The Day the Earth Stood Still is a classic to me. Strong messsage well produced. The poster is a hoot.

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  5. Wow, that's such a beautiful theater. The decor inside is so gorgeous! I've never seen the movie but looks interesting. I don't think Patricia Neal was very happy about the poster, haha.

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  6. What a fun event and a super cool venue. I love when old theaters show vintage movies.

    Perfect skirt too!

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  7. That theatre is absolutely magnificent! I must stop by there when I visit my dad's side of the family in Jersey City.
    Also, what a fabulous movie that is. I will definitely have to revisit that one of these days. Cheers x

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  8. What a fun event and a super cool venue. I love when old theaters show vintage movies.

    Perfect skirt too!

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  9. Oh, that theatre is gorgeous, and I am so loving your wonderful skirt. That movie is a true sf classic and the poster is a classic too! xxx

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  10. Gorgeous theatre, so happy it's still there.

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  11. That's great that there is a group working to preserve the theater. I love movie palaces, too. And your skirt is AMAZING!

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  12. That looks like so much fun. Of course, I love the skirt. That is such a good movie, too!

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  13. That theater is stunning! I just love it when old public buildings make a point to celebrate their own history with artifacts/mementos like the ones that you shared with us here. Agreed, perfect skirt to wear to see a sci-fi classic like The Day the World Stood still. You look fabulous!

    xoxo ♥ Jessica

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  14. Such a gorgeous theater! That is so great that they were able to save it! Old theaters are the best! I'm so glad that there are still some out there. I love seeing the pics of the stuff they found during renovation! That's so fun that they kept it and display it! I love The Day The Earth Stood Still! I never thought about how different the poster is from the movie! Such a fun observation! I guess I've never seen the poster or just took it for granted that that's how they liked to market old 1950's sci fi! ;)What a treat to see this movie in such a gorgeous theater! You picked just the right outfit! <3

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