Castro Theatre. Including the 20 minute intermission two thirds of the way through, it was a 4 hour experience. The widescreen image was crystal clear, & the lack of film jitter made it even more stunning. It was especially worth seeing on the big screen for scenes when we watch small figures emerge out of the vast desert. Peter O'Toole is ridiculously pretty, & Omar Sharif is a prince of a man. Seeing Alec Guinness made-up as a swarthy Arab did not make me feel good, though. The depiction of the Arab parliament in Damascas reminded me of the racist Congress scene in Birth of a Nation. Maurice Jarre's symphonic score, played by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, often seemed like 80% of the movie's impact.
There was a line when I arrived about 15 minutes prior to the evening show. I saw 2 families attend with their children. The Castro Theatre organist got into the spirit by opening his set with the Triumphal March from Aida. He closed with the main theme from the soundtrack, which the audience applauded. Both halves of the program began with an overture of the film's music, played while the house lights gradually dimmed.
§ Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
50th Anniversary restoration
director, David Lean