Screen Play: The American Film Theatre

In 1973, print ads and direct-mail solicitations invited the public to become full-season top-tier theatre subscribers—at a movie theater near them. Producer and theatre champion Ely Landau’s brainstorm aimed to bring together the best of both worlds. He and his wife Edie recruited a world class company of movie and/or stage talent both in front of and behind the camera with the intent of presenting intact the texts of 14 plays, all newly conceived for the cinema. At each screening programs would be handed out, with intermissions for the longer works and limited runs and showtimes for each title. This was the American Film Theatre, which graced movie houses for two seasons, closing in 1975—but not before preserving a wealth of superb performances and in many instances providing the only filmed adaptations of great plays.

Past Screenings