Once Upon a Dream — Throwback Thursday

A week ago (the 9th), I had the unique experience of seeing the Disney animated version of Sleeping Beauty (1959) on the big screen!  What a treat!

I was poking around facebook (as you do…) and noticed around 3 pm that the El Capitan Theatre would be playing it that evening.  The El Capitan Theatre is an old-style movie theater in Hollywood (along the Walk of Fame, across from where they hold the Oscars, etc, aren’t we fancy) and owned by Disney.

Flashy lights! Sparkly LED screens!  This is the marquee above the front entrance of the El Capitan.

Flashy lights! Sparkly LED screens! This is the marquee above the front entrance of the El Capitan.

They play exclusively Disney films there, and between runs of shows, they invite people to vote on facebook to choose an old movie to replay for one night only — Throwback Thursday.  (They just were playing Frozen, and now it’s on to sing-along Mary Poppins!)

Back in September 2008, they played it for a few days but I was unable to go.  Bummer.  I wasn’t going to lose my chance!  Sleeping Beauty is one of my favorite Disney movie I’ve come to love as an adult.  The art style is so detailed and incredible, it’s mindboggling to think of all the time spent on it.  Sleeping Beauty was the first (and one of the few) that they made in 70 mm — all the backgrounds were painted individually.  Eyvind Earle was the head designer, and did AMAZING work.

Background art by Eyvind Earle, from theartofsleepingbeauty.tumblr.com.

I love the soundtrack — it’s all from the Tchaikovsky ballet “Sleeping Beauty” (which I just had the fortune to see around my birthday this past year, what a treat!)  so it’s quite beautiful.  And, okay, I love Prince Philip and his voice actor’s singing.

“Father, you’re living in the past!  This is the 14th century!”

Love the old style poster!

Love the old style poster!

So, being determined to see it, and realizing it was too late for anyone to really respond to facebook and say they wanted to come, I bought myself a ticket and headed down to Hollywood and Highland to be at the theater early to poke around.  So glad I did!

Rob Richards, resident organist, playing before the show.

Rob Richards, resident organist, playing before the show.

Before every show, they have a live organist playing Disney music for a good 30 minutes beforehand!  His name is Rob Richards, and it’s an old pipe organ from a theater in San Francisco.  So awesome.  …I totally didn’t realize I asked him and another staff member if there were any costumes or props on display in the basement — they usually do a rotation of stuff every so often.  lol.  Good job, self.

I love pipe organ music — I’m probably in the minority though.  Check it out!  This clip is of the well-known song “Once Upon a Dream” as he’s finishing his set.  Sorry for the less than stellar quality and interference — people wouldn’t shut up, and my camera is old and sad. :(

It was really fun watching the movie for the first time on the big screen — everything was enormous,  the music was great, and it’s such a different experience getting to see it with a full audience.  There were lots of laughs about the small jokes, and it was cute to hear the little kids go GASP when Maleficent did something wicked.  (You know you’re in a herd of fans when they CLAP when the villain comes on screen for the first time…)

My next challenge is to get a better camera, borrow a tripod, and camp out to take pictures of the theater when there are less people inside.  Onward!

So many fancy details!

So many fancy details! This is one of the balcony areas on the second level.

Alright, sound off!  What’s your favorite Disney movie(s)?  Do you like seeing them on the big screen, or at home?  Would you ever go  to an event like this, Disney movie or other type?

2 thoughts on “Once Upon a Dream — Throwback Thursday

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