In the 1960s, there were movie theaters all over San Francisco. Some of them were small neighborhood theaters. But others were built for blockbusters. One of the most popular films in history opened in San Francisco in October 1964. The film went on to win the Oscar for Best Motion Picture of 1964, awarded in April of 1965. What was the film? Here is a hint:
Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison starred in “My Fair Lady,” booked into the Coronet Theater on Geary Boulevard in San Francisco for one of the longest film runs at 50 weeks. The film won the Oscar in its category, and Rex Harrison was named Best Actor. But the Best Actress statue went to Julie Andrews for “Mary Poppins.” In fact, Hepburn was not even nominated.
The Coronet opened in 1949 with 1,350 loge-style seats. Because of the large seating capacity, a large screen and “stereophonic sound,” films such as “Oklahoma,” “Funny Girl,” “Camelot,” and “The Godfather” all got booked into the Coronet. In 1977, the first “Star Wars” movie opened there. By 1999, “Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace” was opening. Here is a clip of the Coronet then:
After a remodel in 1992, reducing the seating to 1,230, the theater was still struggling to attract enough moviegoers. The building was sold in 2000 to become an elder-care center. While the plans were being made, the theater was leased back to United Artists to continue showing films. The final film was shown in 2005:
The Oscars bring out the film trivia questions. So, based on the first clip at the top, can you name the actor who played Miss Doolittle’s suitor Freddie? He went on to become a favorite sleuth. The answer is in the clip below.