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  1. #1

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    "Lady and the Tramp" at the El Capitan - Feb. 2 - 14, 2006

    In case anyone's interested, just a note that "Lady and the Tramp" in an "all-new digitally restored with enhanced picture and sound" version will be shown at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood from Feb. 2 - 14, 2006.

    On opening night, February 2, 7pm, there will be a panel discussion presumably before the film), though there is no indication of who will be on the panel.

    General admission and reserved VIP tickets are available.

    We went to a showing last year of "Cinderella" and really enjoyed it, so we're definitely going to this.

    Here's the El Capitan website (http://disney.go.com/disneypictures/el_capitan/index.html), from which you can order tickets.

  2. #2

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    Re: "Lady and the Tramp" at the El Capitan - Feb. 2 - 14, 2006

    I wish they would just screen a good print from the orginal restored negative rather than these digitally enhanced creations. Cinderella really spooked me on the big screen with her flat pumped up digital monkeyshines. These "enhancements" have gone way too far, though kids won't know the difference in their proper enjoyment of these classic films in a theatre.

  3. #3

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    I actually thought both "Cinderella" and "Bambi" were beautiful in their digitally restored versions.

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    We had a great time last night. I got to Hollywood and Highland at about 6:20 and met up with a friend who had already arrived. The Mann Chinese was hosting the premiere of Harrison Ford's new movie "Firewall", so there were people lined up on the street to see the celebrities arrive on the red carpet. On the second level of Hollywood and Highland by the back of Build-A-Bear is an area where you can see the red carpet quite well from an elevated standpoint, so we stood there with other people for a while to see if we could see anyone, but we never actually saw anyone we recognized, and then it was time to head across the street. We went to the Soda Fountain to ask what time they'd be closing that night because we were wanting to go in and browse at the store after the show. The CM at the door informed us that they were open until 10pm. We were talking about the food selections at the Soda Fountain, and I made a comment about the grilled cheese and hot dog that were on the menu, and the CM mentioned that they were actually serving spaghetti. No way! She showed us the special insert menu related to "Lady and the Tramp", and sure enough, spaghetti! We knew we had to go back after the show.

    We went inside the theatre, and as we entered, we were handed a piece of paper with the itinerary for the evening, and they were also handing out a sheet of four Valentine's Day cards themed to the 50th anniversary of "Lady and the Tramp". The cards are so pretty, and I'm presuming they'll be giving them out at all showings. In the lobby, they had an accordionist and a mandolin player. How cool, and what a nice touch! (My husband noted later that the mandolin player was the identical twin of a certain former Billy Hiller who we've of late seen performing in Downtown Disney.) We went upstairs, picked up our popcorn and drink (and ran into my husband doing the same thing), and then we all made our way to our favorite balcony seats.

    Everything got under way shortly after 7pm. The Master of Ceremonies was John Canemaker, and he introduced a number of dignitaries who were in the audience this evening, including Alice Davis (though we were a bit perturbed that she was introduced only as Marc Davis' wife with no mention of her own numerous accomplishments). He then introduced the panelists: Theo Gluck, Richard Sherman, Stan Freberg and Andreas Deja. They discussed the digital restoration of the film, and Richard Sherman talked about Peggy Lee's involvement in the film. They then showed a clip of Peggy Lee singing "He's a Tramp" in the recording studio, with the Mello Men backing her. Stan Freberg then talked about his association with Walt Disney and how he came about creating the voice of the beaver and Walt's contribution to the beaver's whistling affectation, and he even gave a demonstration. Andreas then showed a number of concept drawings and character drawings. They then showed a clip that was billed as a deleted scene in which the dogs fantasize about what it would be like if the roles were reversed and they were in charge of the humans.

    After the panel discussion, we got to the regular part of the show, which will be featured before each screening of the film. First was a showing of the short film "Puppy Love", a Valentine's Day color short with Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and Fifi. Then there's a live stage appearance by Mickey and Minnie themselves. Then the movie was shown.

    By the time everything was done, it was about 9:30, so we headed next door (passing Tony Baxter on our way in). We were seated at a table and then I had a chance to better peruse the special insert menu. In addition to a fresh fruit bowl, a chili cheese dog and a tuna salad sandwich, the themed additions to the menu were spaghetti with meatballs (Celebrate "Lady and the Tramp" with a plate of our home-style whole wheat spaghetti, served with a rich tomato sauce and tasty meatballs. adult plate - $7.25; child plate - $5.25) and the Sweetheart Sundae (Inspired by the greatest love story ever animated, Walt Disney's "Lady and the Tramp", we present "The Sweetheart Sundae". This special sundae features generous scoops of Dewar's vanilla and strawberry ice creams smothered in our homemade strawberry sauce and a dollop of marshmallow. Topped with dreamy whipped cream, Valentine's Day sprinkles, and two luscious red cherries. Enjoy the Sundae and keep the bowl! $8.75) We didn't get a good look at the keepsake bowl, but it's not like the other ones that have been featured which are themed specifically to a film. It looked like a red bowl with hearts on it.

    All three of us of course ordered the spaghetti. While we were waiting for our food, our friend and I decided to do some shopping in the store. They have a number of new merchandise themed to "Lady and the Tramp", including a set of plush connected by a string of spaghetti. The plush are in the "mangy" style that I'm not particularly fond of. They also have a salt and pepper set and a heart-shaped picture frame and a jersey shirt with a picture of Lady and Tramp and the words "first romance". That was a very popular shirt as I saw many people in line to purchase one. We got in line to make our various purchases and then went back to the table.

    Our food didn't arrive for some time after that. Our server was very nice, but service in my experience at the Soda Fountain is often slow because the kitchen area is so small. When we eventually got our food, the spaghetti was ok (the wheat version was different than I'm used to), and we enjoyed our meal. They were no longer allowing people into the Soda Fountain/store, but the retail section remained open as long as there were people inside. In talking to our server and another CM at the end of our meal, we learned that this was the first night they'd started serving the special menu, and with some staffing and logistical issues that hadn't been worked out beforehand, there were some challenges. We noted that on this evening, there was only one screening of the film, whereas on subsequent nights, there would be multiple screenings and a lot more people, so they were preparing themselves for an onslaught since the spaghetti addition proved to be a popular item. For anyone who decides to visit either before or after a film, make sure you allow plenty of extra time, and be armed with patience. The CM also said that they normally close at 9pm but that they were expecting to stay open later for the run of this film.

    It was a great night all around, and we definitely expect to attend any more of these sessions that are held at the El Capitan.

  5. #5

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    Re: "Lady and the Tramp" at the El Capitan - Feb. 2 - 14, 2006

    I loved seeing the classic Disney animated films on the big screen when I was a child in the 1980s; unfortunately, it was the last cycle of these films in theaters. My two younger sisters have only seen them on video.

    In the late 1990s, Technicolor brought back its legendary dye-transfer process. The prints looked spectacular, but the process was horribly underused and un-advertised (they don't really benefit too many modern movies the way they are photographed), and it was discontinued. Disney could have made new prints of the classics this way, but they didn't. And to see "The Lion King" in IMAX, we had to go out of town to Hampton Roads, Virginia (we were on vacation in the North Carolina/Southern Virginia coast anyway).

    I'd love to see more theatrical reissues of the old Disney films (and any really good non-recent film), but I hate most movie theaters today with a passion. They charge a fortune to get in (they have to because film distributors take 90% of the gross regardless of a film's performance), and what do they show before the movie? TV commercials! That's why I seldom go to new movies (the movies themselves also don't interest me much).

    In the 1950s, Hollywood attempted to get people away from TV with stuff like widescreen, stereophonic sound, and 3-D. You used to experience movies in those days, from what I hear, and from what I have seen at the occasional film festival.

    I live in North Carolina where the only non-recent film I've seen here in a theater lately is "Can't Stop the Music," as part of a cult movie festival that included a bunch of other horror films. I've been to some great theaters in Silver Spring, MD (on the DC metro), Los Angeles, and Bradford, England where they show classic movies with optimum presentation. Of course, I'll be moving to Richmond, VA this summer, where I doubt they have anything better than here.

    If you can't bring people into the theaters for new movies, you certainly won't be able to do it for old ones. And most people won't go on vacation just to see a movie.

  6. #6

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    Re: "Lady and the Tramp" at the El Capitan - Feb. 2 - 14, 2006

    First was a showing of the short film "Puppy Love", a Valentine's Day color short with Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and Fifi.
    This was a colorized version of a black and white short.

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