Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Quad

The picture above is of the Quad Cinemas, as it looked back in the 1970s. The Quad was located in the Makati Commercial Center in Manila, Philippines. This was one of two movie theaters in the Commercial Center. The other was the Rizal Theater, which was a beautiful theater but has since been torn down. Both of these were within walking distance of our house. I first saw "Jaws" crouched in an aisle of one of the Quad cinemas (the show was over sold), which was just as well since I could quickly find something to block my gaze if a particularly gruesome scene appeared. I am sure that I have forgotten most of the films we saw in this theater, but they ranged from "Sound of Music" (where the woman who was supposed to be staffing the ticket window was late, but they started the movie anyway, and Maria was already off the mountain by the time the ticketseller rushed, breathless into the booth and we dashed upstairs to the theater) to a Herbie film or two to "The Other Side of the Mountain." I'm pretty sure we saw "Capricorn One" here and "Damnation Alley," but I can't be sure.

The Rizal Theater was a little nicer [here's a link to a picture and someone's memories], and I recall that they actually installed "Sensurround" and so we saw "Battlestar Galactica" in the theater in Sensurround there (yes, it was also a TV show, but it showed in cinemas in Sensurround), and I think "Earthquake" too. I also remember seeing "Grease" here. I can't remember which theater showed "Saturday Night Fever," however.

Anyway, not sure if much, if anything, is left of the Quad Cinemas. I believe they were connected up with a massive mall the engulfed much of that end of the MCC, and may have been torn down amidst multiple renovations.

The photo above is courtesy of Emer “Boboy” Remulla, who had posted it to an alumni newsletter for the International School Manila. It's used with permission.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Rocket Ship Galileo

Following on the heels of my last post, I just got in the mail an absolutely beautiful copy of Robert Heinlein's Rocket Ship Galileo.

This was Heinlein's first published novel, and the first of his juveniles. It was published in 1947. This, technically, is a first edition, but a later printing (much later, like 1967!). It's in Scribner's Library Binding, but unusually it doesn't look like it was circulated in a library (no library markings, no card pocket, no signs of wear or handling). It's in wonderful condition. Check out the inner cover and how bright the colors are:

First printings of the first edition of this book [those actually printed in 1947] sell for $2,500+ easily (my copy was much much much much less, believe me). But I must say that if I had over two grand to spend on a book, it wouldn't be a Heinlein. But that's me.

Now, the trick is: how to read this thing without messing it up!