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"Carousel" and Shirley Jones at the Aero Friday, August 2

"Carousel" will be playing, in a 35mm print, at the Aero on Friday, August 2. The film played its first run engagement at the Chinese in 1956.  The signage across the forecourt arch had been initially installed for the first Cinemascope feature "The Robe" in 1953.

Here we see it redone for "Carousel" with a "55" added below the Cinemascope neon at the bottom.  The photo is from the Los Angeles Public Library collection. Cinemascope 55 was, as the name suggests, a Fox experiment photographing on a wider than normal film stock to give greater definition to those scope images that were then being shown on larger and larger screens.

Mike Todd had commissioned new cameras and a 65mm format, also in 1955, for his TODD-AO process. And he had new 35/70mm projectors designed to run the 70mm release prints (5mm wider than the negatives to allow room for magnetic sountracks on the side).

Fox's answer was a custom 55mm film stock for photography but reduction prints to 35mm for exhibition. Thus at the Chinese the print was identical to a standard Cinemascope print. With, as you see advertised at the bottom of the sign, "marvelous new hi-fi stereophonic sound" -- which meant 4 magnetic stripes on the film.  Cinemascope 55 didn't last long. Fox eventually got on the 70mm bandwagon for its premiere releases as more theatres got equipped to show that format.

Shirley Jones will be at the Aero signing books at 6:30. Film at 7:30. Discussion with Ms. Jones, following.  As you can see on the sign, the film, directed by Henry King from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, also stars Gordon McRae.  See the Aero Theatre schedule for the full list of upcoming events. There's alsoa separate page about the August 2 "Carousel" screening.

See more views of the Chinese signage over the years on our Grauman's Chinese street views web page.  And on the Wilshire Theatres site, there's a page about the Aero Theatre.

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