American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre Presents...
Making Movie History for 80 Years!

Click Here To Print a November Schedule!
Series compiled by Jeff Joseph/Sabucat Productions and Dennis Bartok.
Special Thanks to: Ken Kramer/THE CLIP JOINT; Quentin Tarantino and Julie McLean; Paul Ginsburg/UNIVERSAL DISTRIBUTION; Laura Tunberg, John Kirk and Latanya Taylor/MGM-UA; Adam Gershwin and Mark Trent Goldberg/The George Gershwin Trust; the Samuel Goldwyn Co.; Anne Goodman/CRITERION PICTURES; Cathye Clark/PARAMOUNT REPERTORY; Michael Schlesinger/COLUMBIA PICTURES REPERTORY.
Tickets available 30 days in advance. Tickets are $8 general admission unless noted otherwise.
Sold out programs will be indicated here if sold out 24 hours in advance of screening date.
SCHEDULE (by series)
SCHEDULE (by date)
24-Hour Information: 323.466.FILM
Contact Us
The American Cinematheque is a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization.
The Film Programs of the American Cinematheque are presented at the magnificently renovated, historic 1922 Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. Located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.
Photo Credit: Randall Michelson. Detail of Egyptian Theatre Ceiling.

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<<< Nov. 29 - Dec. 8, 2002 >>>

Dimensions In Sound: A Celebration of 4-Track Magnetic Stereo In Film!

Presented in association with Sabucat Productions

With the arrival of CinemaScope in the early 1950’s, audiences received a double bonus, one they may not have fully recognized: the introduction of glorious 4-track Stereophonic Sound in film, equalling (if not often surpassing) the widescreen images on display. From lavish musical productions like PORGY & BESS, THE KING AND I and CAROUSEL, to fantastic adventures like JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH, to intense dramas like EAST OF EDEN and REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, studio composers and arrangers leapt at the incredible vistas opened up by true stereo sound – a process that involved coating four distinct magnetic "stripes" on a 35 mm. print to create right, left, center and surround channels in the theatre.

4-track mag (as it’s known) wasn’t the first stereo sound system in film – Warner Bros. and Disney had briefly flirted with 3-track stereo in the early 1940’s, and Cinerama had featured multi-channel stereo sound a year before the arrival of Cinemascope. But these early systems never caught on like 4-track mag (or its bigger brother, 6-track stereo in 70 mm.). At its best, 4-track gave composers like Bernard Herrmann, Elmer Bernstein, Leonard Rosenman, Lerner & Lowe and others a fabulously rich, multi-colored pallette of sound dimensions to work with. From the early 1950’s to the late 1970’s, hundreds of Hollywood features were released in 4-track stereo. The inherent fragility of the process (the delicate magnetic stripes tended to damage or wear out quickly), and the introduction of Dolby optical stereo with STAR WARS in 1977 spelled the end for 4-track mag by the early 1980’s, with Brian De Palma’s SCARFACE being one of the last Hollywood features released in the process.

This series is a very rare opportunity to see original, 4-track magnetic stereo prints of a number of classic and overlooked films – including unique, full-length versions of PORGY & BESS, PAINT YOUR WAGON, PEPE and others!!


Friday, November 29 – 7:30 PM

Original 4-Track Stereo Technicolor Print – Complete Version!!

PORGY & BESS, 1959, George Gershwin Trust/Samuel Goldwyn Co./MGM-UA, 138 min. Director Otto Preminger’s sumptuous film adaptation of the classic George Gershwin musical stars Sidney Poitier and the heavenly Dorothy Dandridge as starcrossed lovers on Catfish Row, surrounded by a phenomenal supporting cast including Sammy Davis Jr., Pearl Bailey, Brock Peters and Diahann Carroll. Four-track stereo sound was never used to better effect than in PORGY & BESS, seen here in an original Technicolor print of the incredibly rare, full-length version, featuring the complete score with "Summertime," "It Ain’t Necessarily So," "I Got Plenty Of Nothin’" and other songs. Discussion following with actor Brock Peters, Hope Preminger (Mrs. Otto Preminger), Ingo Preminger and other guests, moderated by film historian Foster Hirsch (schedules permitting).


Saturday, November 30 – 4:00 PM

Ultra-Rare 35 mm. Stereo Print!!

JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH, 1959, 20th Century Fox, 132 min. Dir. Henry Levin. Along with Richard Fleischer’s 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, this is one of the finest versions of a Jules Verne novel ever filmed, with James Mason beautifully cast as an obsessive Scottish geology professor who descends into the depths of the Earth with eager student Pat Boone, alluring widow Arlene Dahl, and sinister nemesis Thayer David. The dazzling underground crystal caves and mushroom forests are among the most delightful Hollywood creations of the 1950’s. Produced and co-written by Charles Brackett (Billy Wilder’s longtime partner), with a terrific stereo score by the maestro Bernard Herrmann. Rarely revived since its original release, this screening features an ultra-rare 4-track mag stereo print from England!


Saturday, November 30 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature – Actress Carol Channing In Person!!

THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, 1967, Universal, 138 min. Dir. George Roy Hill. In this charming musical, the irresistible Julie Andrews stars as Millie, a newly arrived, self-styled "flapper" determined to make it on her own in 1920’s New York City. She spends her days plotting to marry her boss (John Gavin) and Charlestons the nights away with pals Jimmy (James Fox) and Miss Dorothy (Mary Tyler Moore). A weekend visit to "Jazz Baby" and widowed millionairess Carol Channing’s estate turns Millie’s love life upside down. And when things can’t get much worse, Millie and Ms. Dorothy find themselves in the clutches of a white slavery ring headed by their housemistress (Beatrice Lillie)! With Jack Soo and Pat Morita. Featuring costumes by Jean Louis and a lovely, Academy Award-winning Elmer Bernstein score -- heard here in glorious 4-track stereo!! Now a Tony Award-Winning Broadway play.

SWEET CHARITY, 1969, Universal, 133 min. Legendary choreographer/director Bob Fosse helmed this high-octane musical adapation of Federico Fellini’s classic NIGHTS OF CABIRIA, starring Shirley MacLaine as a lovable dance-hall girl who falls into screen idol Ricardo Montalban’s dream world for one magical night – then is forced to return to her hard-luck life the next day. Co-starring Sammy Davis Jr., Chita Rivera, John McMartin. Discussion between films with THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE actress Carol Channing (schedule permitting). Ms. Channing will also be signing copies of her new book in the Theatre lobby at 6:45 PM.

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Friday, December 6 – 7:15 PM

Actor Steven Bauer In-Person!!

SCARFACE, 1983, Universal, 170 min. Director Brian De Palma and screenwriter Oliver Stone reinvented Howard Hawks’ classic gangster saga from the ground up, moving it to early 1980’s Miami during the mushrooming coke trade in the wake of Cuba’s Mariel boatlift. Al Pacino is stupendously larger-than-life as twisted Tony Montana, a two-bit Little Ceasar who almost singlehandedly creates anarchy in the Miami underworld, destroying not only himself but everyone around him. Opulent, stylishly shocking, and boasting a disco-flavored Giorgio Moroder score that in 4-track mag will literally knocks your socks off! With Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Robert Loggia. Discussion following with actor Steven Bauer (schedule permitting).


Saturday, December 7 – 5:00 PM

Ultra-Rare Roadshow Version in Technicolor!!

PAINT YOUR WAGON, 1969, Paramount, 166 min. Dir. Joshua Logan. Colorful, much-underrated film version of the hit Lerner & Loewe Broadway musical about gold miners in 1840’s California, starring the great Lee Marvin as a hilariously salty miner who forms a very unusual three-way partnership with greenhorn Clint Eastwood and feisty Jean Seberg. Lovely stereo score featuring some of L&L’s best songs, including "They Call The Wind Mariah, "Wand’rin’ Star" and "I Talk To The Trees" (sung by Clint!). Co-starring Ray Walston, Harve Presnell. This is the original roadshow version of the film, not seen in theaters in over 30 years!


Saturday, December 7 – 9:00 PM

Original 4-track Stereo Technicolor Print!!

THE CONQUEROR, 1956, Universal, 111 min. Dir. Dick Powell. Only in Hollywood: the great John Wayne delivers one of his most over-the-top performances as Mongol leader Genghis Khan, opposite sultry Susan Hayward as (you guessed it) a full-blooded Tartar princess!! With its buxom harem dancers, swooning Oriental score (by Victor Young) and riotous dialogue, THE CONQUEROR is the absolute height of 1950’s Hollywood exotica. In a strange post-script, THE CONQUEROR became infamous for the early, cancer-related deaths of many of its key players (much of the film was shot on location in the desert near the U.S. atomic testing sites).

Preceded by the rare Atomic Era short, "Survival City," 1955, 20th Century Fox, approx. 20 min. Dir. Anthony Muto. Hands down, one of the most surreal and alarming pieces of propaganda we’ve EVER seen, "Survival City" shows the positive, human side of nuclear warfare: Dad and Son get to build a bomb shelter together, while two female mannequins enjoy a risqué nap in bed. And then mushroom clouds blossom in stupendous Cinemascope and four-track stereo sound. Must be seen to be believed!


Sunday, December 8 – 2:30 PM

Special Added Attraction – Free Screening!

"4-Track Magnetic Stereo and Cinemascope Demonstration Film" 1953, 20th Century Fox, approx. 90 min. This incredibly rare, 5-reel film was produced in 1953 by 20th Century Fox to sell theatre owners on the then-brand new technologies of 4-track mag stereo and Cinemascope projection. Hosted by legendary Fox studio head Darryl F. Zanuck, the film features clips from several of the first Cinemascope and stereo productions being made at the studio in the early 1950’s. Please note that this, the only surviving print, is extremely faded; because of its rarity, we’re including it here as a free event. Tickets available on a first come, first served basis.


Sunday, December 8 – 5:00 PM

Rare Roadshow Version in Technicolor!!

PEPE, 1960, Columbia, 195 min. Dir. George Sidney. The story of rodeo clown Cantinflas hoping to hit the big time with his prize stallion is really just an excuse for this comedic mindbender of a Hollywood parade of stars that makes the number of cameos in AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS look downright stingy! Shirley Jones, Kim Novak, Maurice Chevalier, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Judy Garland, Janet Leigh, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Tony Curtis, Ernie Kovacs and Edward G. Robinson are just a few of the luminous greats appearing in this rarely-seen extravaganza, with music by Johnny Green. This is the original roadshow version of the film, in beautiful dye-transfer Technicolor and 4-track stereo! Plus, the short "The Miracle of Stereophonic Sound," 1954, 20th Century Fox, approx. 20 min.

Actor (PEPE) Carlos Rivas will introduce the screening.