Rare Musicals on TCM – March 2014

After last month’s “break” from rarities, with a focus on Oscar’s best, brightest, and, logically, most easily available, TCM’s interestingly obscure programming returns in March with a whole slew of rare musicals. This includes several of my remaining That’s Entertainment entries, so I’m very excited to check a few more off of my list thanks to my DVR. There are also a few easily acquired That’s Entertainment titles (Anchors Aweigh, Gigi, and so on) airing this month, if you’ve missed any of those and need to catch up.

The Los Angeles Theatre

Built in 1930, the Los Angeles Theatre was the last of the great, classic movie palaces constructed in LA’s Broadway theater district, which, at the time, boasted the highest concentration of movie theaters in the world. The area’s expansive growth reflected the public’s near insatiable demand for cinema throughout the early part of the 20th century, and afforded theatrical prominence to downtown LA before theaters like the Chinese, the Egyptian, and the Pantages began to shift moviegoing focus to Hollywood. In 1931, there were a dozen major movie theaters here within a six-block radius, with a combined seating capacity of 15,000.

Strait-Jacket (1964)

Strait-Jacket is a delightfully campy ’60s thriller starring the indomitable Joan Crawford, directed by B-movie legend William Castle, and written by Robert Bloch, whom you may know as the author of Psycho. With all those pedigrees in place, it’s no wonder that Strait-Jacket is a classic of Grand Guignol horror and a thoroughly enjoyable piece of high schlock.