When was the first US showing of Magical Mystery Tour and when did you first see it ?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Glenn Christense, Oct 10, 2012.

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  1. Scooterpiety

    Scooterpiety Current operator of the Freedonia peanut stand

    I didn't see the complete film until 1981. It was one of the first videos I rented, a poor quality release on the Media (I think) label, I'm not sure if it was even an official release. I rented it along with the old Magnetic Video release of "Let It Be" which I hadn't seen since the original 1970 theatrical release. I found much of MMT boring and nearly unwatchable at the time, but now I love it and know it by heart. I remember it being shown several times on "Night Flight" on the USA Network during the summer of 1985, where it was edited a bit. I recall the race scene was missing, along with Victor Spinetti's scene with the cow. I think "Flying" was cut as well.
  2. R. Totale

    R. Totale The Voice of Reason

    Midnight movie in college, 1975 or 76. First film of the Bonzo Dog Band I ever saw, hilarious. The rest of it didn't make much of an impression.
  3. chicofishhead

    chicofishhead Forum Resident

    Chico, California
    Channel 26 in San Francisco aired it around 1979. I read it was gonna be on and stayed up late to watch and tape it, even though we couldn't really pick up that station in Sacramento. My beta tape captured mostly snow.

    I saw it at a theatre as part of a Beatles film fest a year or two after that.
  4. Glenn Christense

    Glenn Christense Foremost Beatles expert... on my block Thread Starter

    Well, In my original post I mentioned that I saw it on March 20th, 1969, but I goofed. I saw it on March 21st, 1969 so that's before your show but not before the Fillmore 1968 showing, if that information is actually correct.

    I'm assuming the Apple employee I've mentioned took the film from my show and brought it to yours then.
  5. stereoptic

    stereoptic Anaglyphic GORT Staff

    Go Advanced > Manage Attachments > Browse > (find file) > UPLOAD > Close window. That should do it.

    I've seen it a few times at midnight showings or record conventions. Usually a washed out print, boomy incoherent dialog, warbly soundtrack. The first time that I saw it was at the Music Hall in White Plains around 1975 or so along with a bunch of Popeye and Betty Boop cartoons. Pretty trippy selection as well!
  6. mr_mjb1960

    mr_mjb1960 I'm a Tarrytowner 'Til I die!

    Er,the Music Hall is in Tarrytown,not White Plains..I know,being a native of Tarrytown! It's on Main Street,BTW.
  7. Glenn Christense

    Glenn Christense Foremost Beatles expert... on my block Thread Starter

    Oops. I misread your post. Sorry. If you saw it at the end of February 1969 or the first week of March 1969, yours was a couple weeks ahead of mine.

    Edit: I just found these ads online for Aug 11th, 1968 at the Fillmore East, so..so far that's the first showing in the US, although these ads don't actually list a year.
    Did anyone here attend one of the showings at the Fillmore ?
  8. babyblue

    babyblue Forum Resident

    Pacific NW
    I first saw MMT in 1976 at a Beatle fan convention. In the late 1960s I remember seeing ads for showings at local collages though.
  9. O Don Piano

    O Don Piano Forum Resident

    I first saw Magical Mystery Tour on 1977 at the Rialto Theater in South Pasadena.
    (30 years before I actually moved here! The Rialto is still here, though closed down, unused and decrepit unfortunately. It's one of those 1 screen theaters that used to show great old films. I digress- sorry) It was part of a 4-hour Beatles spectacular, featuring lots of footage I'd never seen before- which are commonplace today. Bad prints of Washington Coliseum, Shea, Tokyo, Hey Jude, Mod Odyssey, etc etc. It was exceptionally exciting to see this stuff at the time.

    I was very surprised that the movie did not really follow the 24 page book on the LP sleeve. And I didn't know that the side 2 songs weren't in the movie even though the sleeve delineates "words to all the show songs"! I thought it was weird and hard to follow. You have to understand it was only 10 years from the release, and was never really shown in the USA. We didn't have 45 years between to reassess the 'value' of it. We Beatles fans were just happy to finally see it!
  10. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    An "art house" theater called the Biograph in Georgetown ran it over my winter break at the end of 1980. I remember my fellow Beatle-obsessive friend Billy and I schlepped out way into town on the Metrobus to see it. I think my Dad picked us up - he worked in town back then - and took us home. I remember we stopped at Springfield Mall and I bought "All Things Must Pass" for the first time! :love:

    That was the much more impressive Beatle product of the day. I honestly don't remember what I thought of "MMT" when I saw it at the age of 13. Given how into the Beatles I was back then, I probably liked it, but I really can't remember.

    Back then it was so rare to be able to see film footage of the Beatles. Home video hadn't taken off yet, so any screening somewhere was a huge treat...
  11. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    day of release for me...
  12. RockWizard

    RockWizard Forum Resident

    The "washed out awful sounding mess" reminded me of the midnight movie showings of Zeppelin's The Song Remains The Same. The movies were shown at the Robert E. Lee Theater and they had a grocery store next door. People would go in the store, get a few 6 packs and get pissed drunk while waiting in line before the movie started.

    The print - WELL worn and shown. The movie would show, and some idiot was always screaming - *crank it up*. You could see more "white" showing on the screen. About 1/3 in, the print bubbled up and exploded leaving the screen white. Lights came up and a green haze was above us.:D Me - I was looking around to see if cops would storm the place and throw all our a$$es in jail. Ah......the days of midnight movies!:laugh:
  13. billdcat

    billdcat Well-Known Member

    I have never seen MMT on the big screen.
    But in the 1980's, early days of Video rentals ,
    I rented a "semi-bootleg" escape, ERR, release on Media Video (I think).

    Washed out print with fair sound as I recall.
    Interesting, but not the group's finest hour, by any means.
  14. dbacon

    dbacon Forum Resident

    I saw it in the mid 70's at a small art house theater in Marin County, CA (north of San Francisco). It was on a double bill with W.C. Fields shorts (really).
  15. John Carsell

    John Carsell Forum Resident

    Northwest Illinois
    I was there too! :D

    I was 16 around that time late '73 and yes the print of the film did look bad. I'd forgotten about that bad lobby poster. :laugh:
  16. bhazen

    bhazen Fab Fourever

    Newcastle, WA
    I have no recollection of seeing Magical Mystery Tour early on, so therefore I must have done. :D

    I still have a VHS tape that I recorded 20 years ago or something, off of A&E, Nickelodeon or one of those; terrible picture, scenes missing* and muffled sound. Always thought it ironic that side one of my favourite album ever was the soundtrack to the Beatles' only real stumble as a creative enterprise. (IMO, of course; although on the DVD commentary track, even McCartney doesn't sound all that enamoured of the film anymore.)

    *...and I finally got to see those scenes on the new DVD!
  17. stereoptic

    stereoptic Anaglyphic GORT Staff

    Yes, that is correct. The Music Hall is still very active and presenting many fantastic shows. What was the name of the theater at the intersection of Main and Mamaroneck in White Plains?
  18. paulisdead

    paulisdead fast and bulbous

    Since you mentioned other countries, I thought I'd repost this from the other MMT thread. Interesting that GTV9 in Australia turned it down for being "too expensive"!!!

    I'm surprised NBC turned it down. At least they could have shown it in colour in the states.
  19. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Lawrenceville, NJ
    Saw it at a Beatles convention in Philly in the late 70s
  20. Scooterpiety

    Scooterpiety Current operator of the Freedonia peanut stand

    I saaw it on the big screen a few years after I first saw it on video, in 1983 or '84 at the Bagdad Theater in Portland. They showed it along with several Beatles promo films (the first time I had seen most of them) and some clips and trailers from all of the other Beatles films. Most of the prints were mediocre to bad.
  21. carrolls

    carrolls Forum Resident

    Our national broadcaster RTE showed it in the early 80s one Saturday as a triple bill with Yellow Submarine & Let It Be.
  22. drmark7

    drmark7 Forum Resident

    My Two Cents Worth! January 1975

    In the wake of the new DVD release, I recently exchanged emails with a friend:

    We can say we lived to tell about this: (Now over THIRTY-SEVEN YEARS AGO!!!)

    SUN 01/05/75- M= Saw MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR with friend at Lancaster Cinema. (in Lancaster, Ohio.) Price was either .50 or .75 cents! This weekend, afternoon show at 1pm, was more or less advertised as a "kiddie matinee." At 14 years old, I didn't realize at the time how unusual or rare this showing of MMT was.

    Can't recall picture or sound quality to save my life. I was just glad to finally be seeing it! The theater we saw it in was one of the first "twin" cinemas in our area and in 2002- was gutted to be turned into a DOLLAR STORE!

    Friend replied:
    My 20 min. Super 8mm sound film "digest" version of MYSTERY TOUR from Niles Films was always a crowd pleaser. I recall being severely stoned once watching Blue Jay Way.

    Sad to see that LC is now a DOLLAR STORE!----- memories of JAWS, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, WestWorld, THE SEVEN-UPS, PINK FLOYD The Movie (Live at Pompeii), ELECTRAGLIDE IN BLUE and so many, many others that I viewed there.

    Addendum: I recall a few years after this, that a local PBS station, WOUB in Athens, Ohio, broadcast a HUGE Beatles marathon, c.1980 or so. Showing every piece of Beatles film they could get their hands on. Including MMT and an interesting animated item, BRAVERMANS CONDENSED CREAM OF BEATLES SOUP, that I had seen years earlier in a high school, "Mass Media" class in 16mm. Same friend from above had one of the first VHS recorders on the block and recorded it all. Somewhere along the lines, I inherited those tapes... Must check archives...
  23. psubliminal

    psubliminal Forum Resident

    Westland, MI
    August 11, 1968 was a Sunday, FWIW.

    I first saw MMT in Jan or Feb '75 at some Metro Detroit Mall's Midnight Movies. I don't remember anything about the print or sound quality because we used to get stoned before these showings. I saw Floyd's "Pompeii" and a bunch of other movies there around this time period, too.
  24. chicofishhead

    chicofishhead Forum Resident

    Chico, California
    I found an ad for a 1985 TV showing in Sacramento where it was hyped as the U.S. broadcast premiere

    Attached Files:

  25. johnny q

    johnny q Forum Resident

    Bergen County, NJ
    I was born late......I saw it for the first time in the late 70s....it may have been that triple feature someone mentioned in an earlier post.
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