Wired For Sound…

This weekend I was back at the lovely Phoenix Cinema for another From The Archives screening, this time to celebrate this particular local’s 100th birthday on May 9th.

Every From The Archives follows a theme and as The Phoenix was the first cinema in the area to show a ‘talkie’ – The Singing Fool starring Al Jolson – in 1929, this afternoon’s theme was the advent of cinematic sound.

The first clip set the scene – a ‘trailer’ for The Jazz Singer. Not a trailer as you and I know them but rather an earnest young man describing and then cutting to footage of the film and the opening night itself. In that day and age, cinema goers were astonished – the man’s lips moved and his words came out! Extraordinary stuff when you put yourself in those shoes.

The second film was Walt Disney’s first foray into sound and his introduction of the world’s most famous mouse. I had read about Steamboat Willie a couple of years back as part of a biography on Disney – the movie is only 7 minutes long, but features Mickey and Minnie and big cheerful dose of that irrepressible Disney magic.

And then it was time for the main event, the completely joyous Singin’ in the Rain. For those of you who have been living under a rock (and shame on you if you have), the story revolves around the release of The Jazz Singer in 1927 and the scramble of the major studios and their leading men and ladies to survive the rise of the talking picture.

But it is the combination of wonderful music, show stopping routines and the chemistry of Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor that has you leaving the cinema humming ‘Good morning, good moooorning!’ and generally feeling that life is a pretty wonderful place to be.

And all of this for free.

Finally as part of the nod to 100 years of local cinema history, we had our photo taken in the auditorium before the show to be put in a time capsule for future generations to find. Just imagine what someone might think of us in 100 years’ time!

And since I have been to three Phoenix freebies now, I decided to put my money where my feel-good is and become a Friend.

It’s just a whole lot of unmitigated feel-good really.

The Happiest Friends On Earth…

So I was wondering how to write about our Disney extravaganaza – we squeezed so much into 3 days and managed to come back with almost 600 photos between us (god bless digital cameras eh?) and so many wonderful memories it’s actually quite hard to make ‘sense’ of them in the interesting, witty yet abridged manner befitting this ertswhile blog.

But really, the first thing that everyone said to us when we got back was ‘did you meet Mickey Mouse?’, ‘what about Donald Duck?’ and ‘say hi to Goofy for me’. So what better place to start than some of the new friends we made while we were there…

So first Donald himself was on hand at the Sante Fe Hotel, helping to keep the long check-in queue ‘in check’ (geddit? in check/check in…witty eh!) and giving every kid in the room – including us – the first of many ‘oooh it’s…’ experiences and gasps of joy of their visit…here are our gasps.

Meeting true Disney royalty with Mickey ‘n’ Minnie themselves…oh and Prince John too…

There were some shenanigans (that is hard to spell!) amongst the boys…

…and last but not least, a couple of cuties for the birthday girl…awwww!

Now that’s a birthday party people!!!!!

Stay tuned for more updates including It’s A Small World, the Tower of Terror and and Space Mountain…too cool…..