Monday, 29 August 2011


When I was a kid in the 1970's, I couldn't wait to get my hands on our local paper every Saturday. I'd tear though the thin edition of The Guardian to find the movie ads, specifically the matinees we kids could take in without adult accompaniment. More often than not, I'd come across something lurid, something that I couldn't wait to see. It was a win-win situation; my parents, and the parents of some of my friends, were happy to get rid of us for a couple of hours (or more if it were a double bill) for only a buck, plus 35 cents for popcorn topped with real butter that actually tasted like butter.

One of the great things about these matinees was that the films the Capitol Theatre (then the Prince Edward Cinemas and The Charlottetown Cinemas) would screen seemed to be selected at random, and frequently they were "inappropriate" for kids. It was these inappropriate movies that I'd hope to find advertised in the Saturday movie listings, and usually I found them. The other kids could keep their family movies; I wanted Scream and Scream Again and Frankenstein's Bloody Terror! And that's what I got.

A few short years later I was in Junior High, and my friend Mike Prokopec and I started clipping all the ads from the movies we'd see. We'd glue them into scribblers that are now long gone. Feeling nostalgic for these collections, I started visiting Charlottetown's Public Archives where I could access microfische copies of The Guardian and have photocopies of the ads made.

What follows here are scans of these movie ads beginning back in 1974 when I was in Grade 4. I saw each of the screenings advertised below, save one. The Prince Edward Cinemas ad for The Exorcist advertised a screening I desperately wanted to attend, but was forbidden to by my father (a good call). My inability to see this movie fueled my obsession with it that wouldn't be consummated until a couple of years later, as documented here. The ad for that fateful drive-in screening of The Exorcist is included here as well.

As my friend Darrin Dunsford said after I sent him some of these scans: "They brought back all the same excited feeling that I used to get checking out the movie listings, but don't much any more. And that "ONE SHOW ONLY" (Towering Inferno)... That made the movie seem all the more special and eventful. Now, when there's only 1 showing per evening, I immediately think "Oh great, another over-long, indulgent windbag of a movie where the editor can't do his job". When did I become so jaded???"

Please note: The scans for Earthquake, Munsters Go Home and The Fury are hard to make out, but I've included them for posterity. Click on images to enlarge.


Ryan Clark said...

VERY cool, Dave! I love these!!

Unknown said...

I remember many of these ads. Thank you for posting them. Please post more if you have any.