Fun photo for theatrical showing of the movie serial “Batman and Robin”

General goings on in the 1966 Batman World

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BiffPow
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Fun photo for theatrical showing of the movie serial “Batman and Robin”

Post by BiffPow »

Given the costumes and hairstyles of the ladies, I’m guessing this was a showing of the 1940s serial during the revived interest due to the TV show, but I’m sure there are plenty of experts on here who have seen it and know the story behind this photograph.
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AndyFish
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Re: Fun photo for theatrical showing of the movie serial “Batman and Robin”

Post by AndyFish »

It's actually the revival that happened in 1965, so before the show- all fifteen chapters of each of the serials were released as AN EVENING WITH BATMAN AND ROBIN-- initially folks thought it was only the '43 serial that got the binge treatment, but it was actually both of them depending on which area you were in. Here in Boston it played at the Brattle Theater in Cambridge with the Wilson serial and attracted huge crowds from the Harvard Campus. I heard Yale got the '49 serial.

The Batman costume looks very close to the Lowery suit. Emblem, belt and cowl are off a bit, but well done.

Part of the Promotion packet that shipped with the films suggested getting college kids to dress up as batman and robin at performances to promote the show.

The revival itself is thought to have begun in Chicago at the Playboy mansion when Hugh Hefner screened prints for his members.
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clavierankh
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Re: Fun photo for theatrical showing of the movie serial “Batman and Robin”

Post by clavierankh »

I remember going to see that as a ten year old in 1966. I enjoyed it but as 66 Batman was my only exposure to Batman it wasn't what I expected and the cliff hangers were lame.
BiffPow
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Re: Fun photo for theatrical showing of the movie serial “Batman and Robin”

Post by BiffPow »

Thanks for the info. Just looked like a fun time. We watched the 1966 Batman film and the animated film a few years ago at the Movie Tavern (now Marcus Theater) before the pandemic. One night only. Great fun on both occasions.

Wish some enterprising producer would make at least one “sequel” movie based on the 1966 Batman. They already referenced the Adam Batman in the Flash film. They could do it as another alternate universe movie. Come on, DC!
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Ben Bentley
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Re: Fun photo for theatrical showing of the movie serial “Batman and Robin”

Post by Ben Bentley »

This photo was taken in London, it’s still an operational movie theatre today on the corner of Frith St and Shaftesbury Ave in SoHo.
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BiffPow
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Re: Fun photo for theatrical showing of the movie serial “Batman and Robin”

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Wow! Great update, Ben!

Looks like it’s having difficulty, based on the appeal on the marquee. Those community theaters are fast becoming things of the past. Hope it’s still operational and gets “saved.”
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AndyFish
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Re: Fun photo for theatrical showing of the movie serial “Batman and Robin”

Post by AndyFish »

AndyFish wrote: Tue Feb 13, 2024 2:35 pm It's actually the revival that happened in 1965, so before the show- all fifteen chapters of each of the serials were released as AN EVENING WITH BATMAN AND ROBIN-- initially folks thought it was only the '43 serial that got the binge treatment, but it was actually both of them depending on which area you were in. Here in Boston it played at the Brattle Theater in Cambridge with the Wilson serial and attracted huge crowds from the Harvard Campus. I heard Yale got the '49 serial. I have my suspicions though-- Time Magazine Nov 26, 1965 which has an article about the revival only mentions Wilson and Croft. I'm wondering if the Lowery serial was released AFTER the TV show. If the revival was Nov 1965 and the show debuts and is a hit in January 1966 that's not a lot of time between the two.

The Batman costume looks very close to the Lowery suit. Emblem, belt and cowl are off a bit, but well done.

Part of the Promotion packet that shipped with the films suggested getting college kids to dress up as batman and robin at performances to promote the show.

The revival itself was thought to have begun in Chicago at the Playboy mansion when Hugh Hefner screened prints for his members, but the reality was it played at the Playboy Theater which was open to the public.
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Mr. Glee
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Re: Fun photo for theatrical showing of the movie serial “Batman and Robin”

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"The revival itself was thought to have begun in Chicago at the Playboy mansion when Hugh Hefner screened prints for his members, but the reality was it played at the Playboy Theater which was open to the public."

The Playboy Theater showings in Chicago seem to have begun in July of 1965. I know that run was a big success, but the Brattle Theater showings in Boston happened months before that. I suspect the idea that "Hugh Hefner started the Batman camp fad" is probably just an urban legend, despite what Bob Kane claimed in his autobiography decades after the fact.

I wonder if the Chicago bookings were actually inspired by the Brattle's successful revival, which did get some press at the time.
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Ben Bentley
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Re: Fun photo for theatrical showing of the movie serial “Batman and Robin”

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Mr. Glee wrote: Wed Feb 14, 2024 11:28 pm "The revival itself was thought to have begun in Chicago at the Playboy mansion when Hugh Hefner screened prints for his members, but the reality was it played at the Playboy Theater which was open to the public."

The Playboy Theater showings in Chicago seem to have begun in July of 1965. I know that run was a big success, but the Brattle Theater showings in Boston happened months before that. I suspect the idea that "Hugh Hefner started the Batman camp fad" is probably just an urban legend, despite what Bob Kane claimed in his autobiography decades after the fact.
Very interesting, I can't say i've ever paid attention or looked at dates for the Serial resurgence just prior to the show. So in that case the theatres replaying 43' and/or '49 becomes fortuitous happenstance as Dozier/Semple are already underway with getting the TV show on it's legs by that point in the summer.
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AndyFish
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Re: Fun photo for theatrical showing of the movie serial “Batman and Robin”

Post by AndyFish »

I spent a lot of time at the Brattle in Cambridge and came across a poster from July or August of '65 that had the Batman listing so Time calling it for Chicago has always seemed off.

I do think it's chicken and the egg time-- the revival absolutely came first-- no question-- but Dozier and crew have stated (as far as I remember) that they were not aware of it-- I find that a little hard to swallow because 1- the screen test costume is nearly identical to the serial costumes and 2- the whole cliffhanger ending thing IS serial related.

BUT the show lead to other serials like Captain Marvel and Captain America getting the same treatment. Stories are Captain Marvel didn't go over well because there wasn't enough to make fun of-- although J-Men Forever did a pretty good job of it in the 80s.
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SprangFan
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Re: Fun photo for theatrical showing of the movie serial “Batman and Robin”

Post by SprangFan »

I suspect the idea that "Hugh Hefner started the Batman camp fad" is probably just an urban legend, despite what Bob Kane claimed in his autobiography decades after the fact.
That's a shame since Bob Kane's version of history is usually so reliably accurate. ;)
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Mr. Glee
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Re: Fun photo for theatrical showing of the movie serial “Batman and Robin”

Post by Mr. Glee »

There was an article in the April 16 '65 edition of The Boston Globe about the Brattle's successful revival of the original Batman serial, "Cool It, Baby - Batman's Back," by William J. Fripp. According to Fripp, the theater was actually running one chapter at a time, in support of their regular repertory programming.

Per Fripp: "Old Batman is really camp around [Harvard] Square this spring, and his creaky resurrected 1940 serials are drawing the intelligentsia like wild ... except that Batman is pop, now, like Campbell Soup cans or late [night] TV horror shows ... An irresistible part of the campus scene - at least for this season." Fripp also quotes Brattle manager John Clary as saying that the audience reaction to the onscreen action was "approaching hysteria." Newspaper listings indicate that the serial was still running regularly at the Brattle into June of 1965.

William Dozier had definitely begun discussing the proposed Batman TV series with ABC executive Douglas Cramer by May of '65 at the latest. It would be interesting to know exactly when ABC had commissioned the market research that led them to Batman in the first place, and when ABC first took out an option on the property. (I'm guessing both of these things likely happened weeks or even months before the Boston Globe article was published.)
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