The whole thang part one
Blax Chart Hits
WAS THERE & I SAW THE WHOLE THANG PART ONE
Ankhamen from Saint Louis, Missouri
I was there & I saw the whole thing ... in
relation to the birth & death of the so-called Blaxploitation Movie Experience
in the late 60's & early 70's ... produced by Hollywood, U.S.A.
Between the years of 1969-1973 I worked as an usher in the largest motion
picture theater in Saint Louis, Missouri. The FOX THEATER also bragged
that it was the second largest of its kind in the world.
The FOX was very popular. It was enormous,too, with its three floors of
reclining, crushed velour seats. It was also old-world with its elaborately
ornate, gold, columns, friezes, trrim, & hidden catacombs above the balcony
& behind the huge silver screen & under the motorized lift which raised
& lowered a huge pipe organ leftover from the days of the silent movies
that played during movie intermissions & behind the huge Broadway-styled,
Anyway ... from my perspective I think 'Sweet Sweetback's Badaaasss Song'
was truly the very first 'blaxploitation movie', even though, after touring
www.blaxploitation.com I have discovered that 'Cotton Comes To Harlem'
chronologically was released one year earlier in 1970 (us: hmm... we'll
have to look that up again sometime) but in the achives of my mind I always
remembered that we saw 'Sweet Sweetback' first ... in Saint Louis & 'Cotton
Comes To Harlem' later after the release of 'Shaft'
*********HOW YOU READ?***************STAND BY********MORE************
As an usher working 12 hour shifts from 12:00p.m. to 12:00a.m. for $1.90
an hour I rate the three biggest & most profound blaxploitation movies
3.THE MACK & ACROSS 110th STREET
In my humble opinion these movies had the most long-lasting & most profound
effects on the Black American Diaspora...simply because they "BLEW NIGGAS'
Black people had never seen anything like that on the big screen before.
In these four movies one can experience the entire length & breadth of
the black underworld...at that time. These movies were a fairly accurate,
albeit glamorized, reflection of the "The Life"... the hidden world of
pimps, players, hustlers all over the country.
One of the most amazing things about this experience is that blacks in
Saint Louis, New York, Chicago, Detroit, Philly, B-Mo, D.C., L.A., K.C.,
Memphis, Miami, New Orleans, Atlanta, & etc. realized they knew the same
thing. It was an amazing revelation for the time period!
I discovered this phenomena when I enlisted in the United States Army
(to avoid the Draft) & began meeting brothers form around the country.
All the hip cat studs saw the same movie & instantly have a common frame
of reference for communications ... no matter which part of the country
you were from.
Before the so-called Blaxploitation explosion hit the theaters it was
comon practice for the FOX to show two full-length features, two different
cartooons, & feature Stan Kan On The Organ for the whopping admission
of $.50. During those days one could stay in the movies all day long for
the one admission paid & many boys & girls did because if was an outstanding
place to meet members of the opposite sex.
I remember it costing $.75 to see Sweetback as a double feature but when
Shaft came out it cost $1.50 &
by the time I left to go to Vietnam in 1973, the price was a whopping
$3.00 for all day & one cartoon!!!!!!!
B-movies like 'The Man With Two Heads' always, always came as all day
double features. The worst the movie the more goodies (like T-Shirts,
posters, buttons) that came along. For a big premeire the stars made a
personal, cameo appearance at the FOX ... such as Thalmus Rasalala, Tamara
Dobson, William Marshall. Now let me tell you about the Big Three (really
NEXT: BLOW MY
Ankhamen from Saint Louis, Missouri
We would like
to thank Anpu and the Mothership
falettin us publish the whole thang here...
Stay tuned for the next parts...
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