The young girls of Le Sacre, original costumes and stage set, 1913
Tomorrow, May 29th, 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the premiere performance of Igor Stravinsky's Le Sacre du printemps, known more commonly by it's English title the Rite of Spring. There has already been much ballyhoo about the centennial and this entry may very well seem like another bit of carpetbagging (not unlike my Gatsby post of a few weeks ago), but the Rite is a fairly significant piece of music to me personally. Like many, I first heard it in a movie theater courtesy of Walt Disney's Fantasia. My Aunt Marianne took myself and my younger cousin Paul to see either the 1977 or 1982 theatrical run at the Cinema 21 in San Diego, California. Now Cinema 21 was not any run of mill movie theater: it was a single-screen 1,000-seat temple to modernity and one of the reasons I can't take today's multiplexes seriously. At the time of it's 1963 construction by Statewide Theaters it was the only movie house in the country set up to screen films in 35mm, 70mm, Cinerama, AND Cinema-scope. No small achievement. Even 15 years after it's opening it made an impression - certainly to a young boy such as myself. The experience obviously has stayed with me, reinforced over the years by countless visits to Disneyland capped off with what we called the dinosaur train: the Primeval World attraction.
Promotional postcard, Cinema 21, San Diego, California, 1963
Walt Disney and Igor Stravinsky, Los Angeles, California, 1939