Theater features 007 triple feature for Father’s Day

Promotional art for Father's Day 007 triple feature

Promotional art for Father’s Day 007 triple feature

A theater in eastern Pennsylvania has come up with an interesting way to spend Father’s Day — a James Bond triple feature, each with a different actor playing James Bond.

The Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, is having its Bonding With Dad Marathon on Sunday. The lineup consists of 1963’s From Russia With Love with Sean Connery, 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service with George Lazenby and 2006’s Casino Royale with Daniel Craig.

For older Bond fans in the area, it’s a one-day chance to relive the past when 007 double (and even triple) features were released between Bond film releases. That fell by the wayside for the most part after Bond films first appeared on television and then went to home video. Today, such double features occur as special events.

The Colonial Theatre first opened in 1903. “Real movie buffs know that the Colonial was featured in the 1958 science fiction classic, The Blob, starring Steve McQueen and filmed in and around Phoenixville,” according to the Colonial’s website.

The Bond three movies run from 12 noon until 7 p.m. Prices are $21 for adults, $16 for seniors and students and $11 for children under 13. Phoenixville is near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.


Memories of 007 double features

Elsewhere on this blog, Paul Baack shared his version of a poster for a double feature of Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. In this home video era, such a double bill won’t reach movie theaters, at least for a general release. But that poster got us to remembering about Bond double features of the past.

Combo Dr. No & FRWL U.S. 1 sheet 65
1965: With Goldinger a big hit and Thunderball on track for a Christmas release, United Artists rolls out a double bill of the first two 007 movies, Dr. No and From Russia With Love.

In some ways, the two films contain the tightest continuity of the series, at least until Quantum comes out in 2008 as a direct sequel to Casino Royale. Both films were helmed by Terence Young and there a few direct references in From Russia With Love to its predecessor film.

United Artists would again issue of double feature of the two movies in the early 1970s. By that time, prints were pretty beaten up.
Combo Dr. No & Goldfinger U.S. 1 sheet
1966: With no new Bond film coming out, UA comes out with a double bill of Goldfinger and Dr. No. The double feature trailer (seen as an extra on Goldfinger DVDs), includes other voice over actors “re-creating” the voices of the two Ian Fleming villains.

1968: Once again inbetween Bond movies, UA brings out a double bill of Thunderball and From Russia With Love. The trailer tells us this we can “buy two Bonds for the price of one.” Interestingly, even though From Russia With Love ranks among the best 007 movies by fans, it never gets to lead off a double feature.
Combo Thunderball & YOLT U.S. 1 sheet
1970: UA decides to issue of double feature of “the biggest Bonds of all,” namely You Only Live Twice and Thunderball. The studio will re-issue this double feature in the 1970s ahead of Thunderball’s debut on U.S. television in 1974.

1972: At drive-ins during the summer of 1972, a few months before 007’s debut on U.S. television, newspapers ads suggest that people “spend the night with James Bond!” A TRIPLE feature comes out of Dr. No, From Russia With Love and Goldfinger. Some of the prints are really beat up, including a Goldfinger print that cuts from the middle of the main titles to Bond observing Goldfinger cheating at cards.

1970s, probably 1972 or 1973: A first for UA — a Bond double feature with two different Bond actors, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, George Lazenby’s only 007 outing, and Diamonds Are Forever, Sean Connery’s last film for the official 007 series made by Eon Productions Ltd.
Combo U.K. LALD & TMWTGG quad
1975: With the 007 series in a bit of a hiatus (due to Harry Saltzman’s financial troubles and his exit from Eon), UA rolls out Roger Moore’s first two Bond movies, Live And Let Die and The Man With the Golden Gun. Except for television, this will be the last taste Bond fans will have until the summer of 1977, when The Spy Who Loved Me revives the film series.

If you have any memories of these double bills (or any we’ve overlooked), feel free to comment.