June 1991 marked the premiere of THE ROCKETEER at the El Capitan Theatre
in Los Angeles (see below). The Joe
film brings Stevens' characters and those invented specifically for the film to life. Bill
star. Johnston's feature films include Honey I Shrunk the
Kids, Jumanji, October Sky and Jurassic Park III.
They published an article detailing the making the the film's effects
Cinefex is a first class publication and is highly recommended!
- Ennis House
Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and located in Los Angeles, has
been used many times as a film location.
- Griffith Park
Overlooking los Angeles, the observatory grounds were used, in part, for the film's closing confrontations.
- John Mattos
Who designed that fabulous movie poster --the immensely talented
El Capitan Premiere
Special thanks to Timothy Moy <firstname.lastname@example.org> for sharing
his experience --
Seeing "The Rocketeer" at the El Capitan is probably my fondest
movie-going memory. Here's what I remember:
The El Capitan is almost right across Hollywood Boulevard from
the famous (formerly Grauman's) Chinese Theater, where all those
handprints and footprints are preserved in cement, right in
the heart of the Walk of Fame. It's one of the most celebrated
spots of that celebrated street.
In 1991, we had been living in L.A. for about a year, and I
remember reading that Disney had spent a huge amount of money
to restore the El Capitan to its 1930-era glory; the idea was
to make this Disney's flagship premier theater in southern California.
Boy, did they do a job. The interior, from the lobby right on
into the theater, had been re-done in almost over-the-top art
deco splendor. My wife remarked that it felt like we were inside
a building made of solid gold.
The seats were lavish, the screen was huge and framed by enormous
scarlet draperies. When the lights dimmed, we were treated to
a surprise: A live song and dance number with chorus girls dressed
in 1930s-style usherette costumes, singing and dancing to a song
called (if I remember correctly), "Meet Me Down at the El Capitan."
It was a hoot, and put the entire crowd into the perfect mood
for this movie and this theater.
Then, the curtain opened. Yes, there was a curtain on the screen;
or rather, there were about four layers of curtains, which opened
in sequence. The lights went all the way down, there was a preview
(but I can't remember what for - "The Lion King"?), and the black
screen opened into those first frames of "The Rocketeer" as Cliff's
crew is sliding open the hangar doors to roll out the GeeBee.
The movie was great, and was all the better for seeing in that
theater and with that crowd. It was a very Hollywood crowd, which
loved all of The Rocketeer's inside jokes about the movie industry
(they were howling when Neville Sinclair, as the Laughing Bandit,
takes that chandelier swing to the table and the dumb blond issues
that terrible reading of her line, "Oh my prince, that you would
drink from my lips as deeply!"). I found hilarious the captured
Nazi film and animation of the rocket-troopers conquering America;
it was a perfect knock-off of the animation that Disney itself
did for Frank Capra in the "Why We Fight" series during World
War II. Griffith Observatory, Howard Hughes's Spruce Goose, and
the "Hollywoodland" sign all got laughs as prominent local icons,
past and present.
All in all, I found it to be a perfect (and probably
irreproducible) combination of movie and theater. "The Rocketeer"
felt like it belonged on _that_ screen. It was a marvelous experience.
20th Anniversary Screening