Sunday, June 26, 2022, at the United Palace in uptown Manhattan, Raiders of the Lost Ark played to a full movie house. BBQ Films set the stage of a 1936 premiere of a brand new serial adventure film about the mysteries and dangers of archeology. Guests were encouraged to dress in 1930's clothes, while pre-screening, actors dressed in vintage attire and posed with relic cars. Thematically, the theater had snakes positioned up the stair ways leading to the balcony seating and on the chairs on orchestra level. Because "Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?"
The two hour movie began at 1p.m., followed by a conversation between Lin-Manuel Miranda and the Director of the film, Steven Spielberg. The Miranda Family Fund, with the support from American Express, made the day's event free to the community.
BLACK PANTHER will screen September 18 and COCO is scheduled for October 16 to conclude the series of free screenings. The titles picked for screening were voted on by over 2,000 online voters.
"Built in 1930 as one of Loew's 'Wonder Theatres,' the United Palace was one of the region's premier vaudeville and movie houses. Designed by noted architect Thomas Lamb (Cort Theatre, Ziegfeld Theatre) with interiors by decorative specialist Harold Rambusch (Waldorf Astoria, Radio City Music Hall), it was described by The New York Times as "Byzantine-Romanesque-Indo-Hindu-Sino-Moorish-Persian-Eclectic-Rococo-Deco" and a "kitchen sink masterpiece." With more than 3,000 seats, it is still the fourth largest venue of its kind in Manhattan."
The after film conversation is available here. The recording starts about 5 minutes into their talk.
Here are a few photos from the Raiders of the Lost Ark screening.
Lin-Manuel Mirand and Steven Spielberg
Women in period wear posing in front a period car
Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?
Lin-Manuel Miranda and Steven Spielberg
Packed house at United Palace
Lin-Manuel Miranda (left back) and Steven Spielberg waving to the audience