Thursday, October 16, 2014

Neil Patrick Harris to Host 2015 Oscars


Yesterday it was announce Neil Patrick Harris will be the host of the 2015 Academy Awards!

As you, faithful readers, might remember I mentioned 2 weeks ago in my review of Gone Girl my desire to see more of him.

"If I had one complaint it would be that we don't get nearly enough Neil Patrick Harris (Though he does have a fully naked scene, did I just bury the lead?). Even in this very serious role he is spectacular. But as with any book you can't film every word. So we get what we get of Neil Patrick Harris and will just have to hope that this role gets him more work in bigger parts in things to come."

You ask and you shall receive.

I do love Neil Patrick Harris. Calling him a triple threat is an understatement. He's stupendous on all fronts as far as I can tell. Maybe he doesn't floss or something but otherwise... perfection.

Neil has hosted the Tonys once and the Emmys twice. Neil has won five Emmys and received the Tony last year for his performance in Hedwig and The Angry Inch. All of this just to say which do you think he'll get first the EGOT (winning Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony) for his performances or be the first person to host all four shows. Personally I think he should host everything from here on out.

Prepare yourself for some great Oscar watching this year people. Who cares what anyone is wearing or what films get nominated. What do you think Neil will do????





Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Historic El Capitan Theatre Tour @elcapitanthtre #MyDayInLA

Interior of  El Capitan Theatre Hollywood 

Beginning October 10th the historic El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Blvd is providing Disney Movie Palace & Backstage tours, including front of house, back stage and even below stage. These great old movie houses have so many amazing stories to tell. This is a great addition to our LA tours.

El Capitan Theatre door frame at entrance. Now that's a door JAM
The tour begins giving you details about the original theatre which ran plays. Location, location, location, was the mantra of actors who worked at the El Capitan in those days, as the Masonic Temple members next door often attended plays and their roles included Louis B Mayer and other big wigs in Hollywood. Landing a part in a play at The El Capitan could be your first step to a studio contract. Legendary stars Clark Gable, Buster Keaton, Mary Pickford, Joan Fontaine, Henry Fonda and Will Rogers have all graced the El Capitan stage.

El Capitan Theatre ceiling decoration

Built in 1926 by Charles Toberman and Sid Grauman, the second of their three exotically themed theatres the others being Graumans (now TCL) Chinese Theatre and The Egypatian, all on Hollywood Blvd. Toberman often called "The Father of Hollywood" played a role in developing over 30 buildings in the heart of Hollywood, including the Roosevelt Hotel and the Hollywood Masonic Temple (now the El Capitan Entertainment Centre, home to ABC's late night talk show, JimmyKimmel Live!).

El Capitan Theatre Wall of Fame
The theatre continued running plays until 1941 when Orson Wells was looking for an independent theatre to have the premiere for Citizen Kane. After the premiere they decided to switch to film and after a 9 month renovation reopen in 1942 as the Hollywood Paramount. The theatre owners had boarded over the original East Indian inspired decor and replace it with Art Modern, which is more or less how it stayed as it changed hands multiple times over the next 45+ years.

El Capitan Theatre Replica Light Fixtures

In 1989 Walt Disney Company and Pacific Theatres launched a major renovation, returning the theatre to it's original glory. They were able to restore much of the original interior that still existed behind the boarding, everything else they reconstructed from photographs. They were able to match paint colors exactly by scraping the existing paint and matching it with microscopes! After 2 years the El Capitan reopened in 1991 with the premiere of The Rocketeer.

El Capitan Theatre Down Stairs Lounge all original. Used for displays and after parties
Times and Prices

30 minute tour is $15 and begins at 8:30am. This includes a history of Hollywood and the El Capitan, full access behind-the-scenes of the theatre, including the Sherman Brothers Star Dressing Room, named for the composers of such Disney songs as “A Spoonful of Sugar” and “It’s a Small World,” an opportunity to take a photo with the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ, and a full viewing of the curtain show.
15 minute express tour runs throughout the day and is $5. This includes the history of the theatre, a visit to the Wall of Fame, and a tour of the lobby areas.

For more information, details and options, visit the El Capitan Theatre Box Office, call 1-800-Disney6, or check the El Capitan Tour Website.

El Capitan Theatre organ

I believe the El Capitan Theatre is the only theatre on Hollywood Blvd with an organ. This one was original to a 1920s Fox theatre in San Francisco. It is the top of the line with all the bells and whistles as they say. It rises from the floor before screenings and is played beautifully. I hope to one day see a silent film in the El Capitan Theatre accompanied by it.

El Capitan Theatre organ's original Fox seal

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Halloween at Disneyland #HalloweenTime @Disneyland


If you are looking to really kick up your Halloween fun Disneyland is ready to serve you. My family was invited to visit this weekend and it was spectacular as always!

As soon as you get off the tram you're treated with Halloween decorations galore. Once you enter Main Street you are greeted by the giant Mickey Pumpkin pictured above. My family couldn't wait to get on rides so we made a bee line for Space Mountain which is spookified by Ghost Galaxy. As if being on a roller coaster in the dark isn't freaky enough they've added howling ghouls.

Of course, the Haunted Mansion is scary all year round but come Halloween Jack Skellington and his friends from the film Nightmare Before Christmas invade and give it their own special touch. This treat works double duty as it conveniently encompasses both Christmas and Halloween.



Be sure to make it to the Halloween Carnival in Big Thunder Ranch (in Frontierland). There are jugglers, magicians, and even a fortune teller on the Jamboree Stage. You'll find fun for the whole family with characters in Halloween costumes, Mickey’s Mask-Parade, amazing pumpkin carving demonstrations, carnival-style games and activities, Halloween merchandise, and yummy treats!



Here's Disney's list of all the special treats and surprises for the Halloween season.

Enjoy seasonal attractions and special activities during Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort. Celebrate the season with the Haunted Mansion Holiday, brought to you by Jack Skellington, from Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, and the residents of Halloween Town. Escape the clutches of freaky phantasms as you are launched to a haunted section of the universe on Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy. Drop in for ghostly encounters and hair-raising thrills at The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Take a spooky stroll down Main Street, U.S.A., which is transformed into a Pumpkin Festival with hundreds of hand-carved pumpkins on display—and no two alike. Meet some Disney villains as they are conjured up in a sideshow tent at the Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch in Frontierland. Create Halloween crafts and enjoy some not-so-spooky activities for kids at Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch. Plus, watch pumpkin carvers and meet some of your favorite Disney Characters in their Halloween costumes. Observe Dia de los Muertos with a traditional skeleton display in Frontierland. Show off your monster moves on the dance floor at the Mad T Party at Disney California Adventure Park, where you can dance the night away, chill out in the lounge or just take in the scene. Discover the thrills and chills of the Disneyland Resort on the Disney’s Happiest Haunts Tour that takes you on lively adventures through both parks.

There really is something for everyone.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

TCM Letter Writing Campaign #DontTouchTCM #TCMParty @TCM



Yesterday Will McKinley's blog, Cinematically Insane posted about the imminent lay offs at Turner Broadcasting. Fresh off our high of the announcement of the TCM Classic Film Festival dates it put fear in every TCM loving heart. TCM is a family to us and we can't imagine a single person is expendable.

Because of that feeling many of us have decided to post open letters to our blogs as well as send them to Turner Headquarters in Atlanta. I would encourage you to do so as well. Their address is:

Turner Broadcasting
One CNN Center 
Atlanta, Georgia 30303

UPDATE

We are being advised to direct letters to:

John Martin, CEO
Turner Broadcasting
One Time Warner Center
New York, NY 10019-8016

Please use this address if you haven't already mailed your letter

If you have a blog or facebook please post your letters too or copy and paste mine, whatever you want and use the #DontTouchTCM

Without further ado here is my plea to the powers that be at Turner to leave TCM in tact.

To Whom It May Concern,

As a long time TCM viewer I am extremely concerned about the recently reported lay offs. TCM has an unheard of audience of loyal viewers, with the possible exception of PBS. Similarly TCM's programming is both entertaining and educational, to the point they won a Peabody award last year. Also like PBS, TCM is good for the whole family. Finally like PBS it fills a need in television that is not filled elsewhere and must be protected.

Host Ben Mankiewicz has stated that TCM has a fan base like no other. It's not just one show we love it is the entire channel. What makes us this loyal is the commercial free films, the educational documentaries, the beautiful memorials and mini bio short, the intros telling us about the films,their social media interactions, and the amazing face to face events, including Road To Hollywood, the film festival and the cruise. All of these are executed so masterfully.

I beg you not to remove one of these talented people who have created classic film programming, documentaries, and events that keep these films alive. TCM's level of excellence promotes, not only film education but film preservation. It is everyone one of TCM's employees who have earned it's viewers fierce loyalty and created a channel that is unparalleled.

Thank you for your consideration,

Elise Crane Derby

Proud TCM devotee









Monday, October 6, 2014

Twin Peaks Season 3 coming to Showtime in 2016 #TwinPeaks @Sho_Network



The internet is all a"twitter" about the just announced third season of Twin Peaks coming to Showtime in 2016. It will be a limited series with just nine episodes.The scripts will all be written by David Lynch and Mark Frost and all the episodes will be directed by Lynch. WOO HOO!



While few details are publicly known I think Kyle Maclachlan's tweet makes it pretty clear he will be involved.




If, like me, you were a huge fan of the series when it originally aired but haven't seen it since, not to worry Showtime says they'll be reairing the original two seasons before the premiere of these new nine episodes.

In case you doubt my original fan status I'm including pictures of me and a friend outside of Seattle visiting some of the exteriors of the show. These were taken a few years after the show was, sadly, cancelled.

Waterfall in opening credit of Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks Coffee Shop for a damn fine cup o Joe

Sorry for the quality. These are from a time before digital cameras!

Finally, for the holidays, here is Twin Peaks' The 12 Days of Christmas. There were at least 2 Christmas' where this would actually be played (relentlessly) on all alternative radio stations.