Movie Magic at the State Theatre
To coincide with Universal Pictures’ 100th Anniversary, Sydney’s State Theatre will be screening some of their most iconic films over July and August.
June 8 marked the 100th anniversary of Universal Pictures, with 1912 the year the company was founded. Originally starting out as a small movie studio, it stands today as one of the most formidable production and distribution entities in the movie biz.
To celebrate 100 years of Universal Pictures, some of the studio's finest and most celebrated films including To Kill A Mockingbird, Jaws, ET: The Extra-Terrestrial and Out of Africa will screen in Sydney's beautiful State Theatre across four Sunday afternoons this July and August.
"The State Theatre in Market Street is Sydney's biggest and most prestigious picture palace from the golden era of Hollywood film production and we are delighted to be working with Universal and giving the public another opportunity to view these important releases," says Peter Cody, General Manager of Film & Entertainment Content for AHL, one of Australia's top entertainment and leisure companies.
The films chosen reflect all aspects of Universal's broad range of production and will be shown in top-notch condition. Film consultant to the AHL-owned Event Cinemas, Paul Brennan, describes the digitally restored films as "unblemished, digitally restored, digitally projected, rock steady, unscratched and fish tank clear" so audience members will certainly not be disappointed.
Brennan is hoping the screenings will attract both film buffs who know the originals well, as well as entice younger audiences who may never have heard of or experienced these films in the cinema context. "We're expecting people who have seen films at the State Theatre who would like their children or teenagers to have the same kind of classic heritage cinema experience," he says. "There's a whole generation of kids that have grown up with multiplexes and don't know that once upon a time we used to go to cinemas like the State Theatre, which was originally built as a cinema. We're very fortunate that it's still running."
Brennan is hoping the screenings will signal a rediscovery of the State Theatre as a "gorgeous movie theatre to watch gorgeous films" while giving audience members the chance to rediscover Universal Pictures' classics. "These films that we have listed are honourable in their intent to showcase humanities and romance and the wonder of children and education," he enthuses.
Along with the aforementioned classics, also set to screen is Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, starring Australian Rod Taylor, and introducing Tippi Hedren, as well as fear and paranoia of an imminent bird attack. The 1930s horror classics, Dracula and Frankenstein, both relevant in their time as allegories of the economic circumstances surrounding the Great Depression, will also thrill audiences.
Lewis Milestone's landmark war film, All Quiet on the Western Front, which harrowingly revealed the extreme physical and mental stress on German soldiers during the First World War, is also on the bill; while Buck Privates, the major wartime musical and the first film starring Abbott and Costello, is a war film of a completely different nature.
Coinciding with Universal's 100th anniversary is the release of Jaws on Blu-ray.
For the full list of Universal films screening at the State Theatre and to purchase tickets, head here.