A minor point, but on my mind since yesterday.
This 1961 ad for Curse Of The Werewolf represents the first LA run. Note that there
are as many drive-ins as hard-tops playing the film (Los Angeles having been called the
"drive-in hotbed of the country" by mainstream Saturday Evening Post).
With ozoners' greater capacity for crowds (larger lots could accommodate from 1000 to well over 2000 cars), it's a safe bet that more people saw
Curse Of The Werewolf outdoors than in. Is this any way to watch a Hammer
horror classic, especially for a first time? It's how I came to initial viewings
of Brides Of Dracula and Curse Of Frankenstein, at our Starlight Drive-In.
Sound as rendered by then-speakers wastransistor radio lite. Here's where
movies needed captioning like they now have on DVD's. A reason so many LA outdoor
venues got Curse Of The Werewolf and like first-runs was formidable Pacific
Drive-In Theatres' chain, which operated over three dozen car parks for movie
watchers in the LA vicinity. Pacific power was such as to outbid hardtops for
newest product, giving them premiering privilege day-and-date with palaces
downtown and in Hollywood.
Pacific was spread all over LA plus surrounding environs to reach a far wider
patronage than indoor housing could hope to service. They were the ones who
pioneered Cinerama as a drive-in attractionand would end up owning Cinerama
negatives. The point of foregoing is just this: It seems to me we're better off
with DVD's (let alone streaming HD) of Werewolf than audiences in 1961, or over
interim since, could hope to be. What they got for a most part, at least in Los Angeles, was horns
tooting, crummy sound, headlights bleaching screens, and distraction from
corndogs or what went on in back seats. Just another instance of those Good Old
Days being maybe less idyllic than lots want to remember.