1968: ‘2001 A Space Odyssey’ Premieres
While some people say Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 A Space Odyssey is a terribly boring film, others regard it as greatest and most influential films ever made. Nevertheless, the film premiered at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C. on this day in 1968. Starring Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood, the movie was inspired by Arthur C. Clarke’s short story, “The Sentinel.” It is a story that follows a trip to Jupiter with the computer HAL who has a mind of its own. Some critics thought that the film was darkly apocalyptic in its tone while others were able to the view the film with a sense of hope. Nominated for four Academy Awards (including Best Director, Best Story and Screenplay and Best Art Direction) it won for Best Special Visual Effects. In 2010, The Moving Arts Film Journal named the film the “greatest film of all time.”
1902: The First Permanent Movie Theater Opens
Though the date is up for debate, the common theory is that on this day in 1902 Tally’s Electric Theatre opened its doors for the first time in Los Angeles. Before then, movies where shown in miscellaneous empty locations. Initially, the theatre was open from 7:30-10:30 p.m. but matinee showings were added soon after. Ten years later, the theatre was the first to show a color film. Tickets prices were just ten cents.
1792: Keep the Change
The United States Mint was established on this day in 1792 when the Coinage Act was passed authorizing the $10 Eagle, $5 half-Eagle & 2.50 quarter-Eagle gold coins & silver dollar, ½ dollar, quarter, dime and half-dime.
1943: Chip and Dale are “Born”
Chip and Dale, the two curious rodents who frequently give Donald Duck a hard time, first appeared in in the short film, Private Pluto which was released on this day in 1943. The storyline entailed the pair wanting to store nuts inside a military base cannon. Not on Pluto’s watch! The chipmunks didn’t have any lines in the film, nor did they have names. It is believed that that Chip and Dale got their names after the furniture designer Thomas Chippendale. It would be three more years before the duo would make another big screen appearance in Squatter’s Rights alongside Pluto and Mickey Mouse. Between the two films, they received a makeover. According to Disney animators, the first iteration of the chipmunks didn’t distinguish the two. So, the animators gave Chip a black nose, smooth fur and a more serious personality. Dale was shown with a red nose, buck teeth and his fur was disheveled. The chipmunks didn’t meet Mr. Duck until their third outing, Chip an’ Dale in 1947 and they’ve had a rivalry ever since.
The chipmunks appeared in 23 film with three of them winning Academy Awards for Best Animated Short Film. Their last, Chips Ahoy, premiered on February 24, 1956. Chip and Dale appeared briefly in the 1983 short, Mickey’s Christmas Carol and the two starred in their own TV series, Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers which appeared on Disney channel and syndicated from March 1989 to November 1990. For the new show, the duo ran their own detective business, and the leads had a new wardrobe. Chip sported a fedora and bombers jacket while fun-loving Dale wore a Hawaiian shirt. Disney also produced a new live action/animated movie with the same title, but with a storyline that is closer to Who Framed Roger Rabbit than their old show.
1977: ‘Rumours’ Becomes #1
Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” album went to the number one spot on Billboard and stayed there for 31 weeks.
1800: His First Symphony
Ludwig van Beethoven lead the premiere of his First Symphony in Vienna on this day in 1800.
1956: Two Soap Operas Debut
It was on this day that CBS debuted the first two 30-minute long soap operas, As the World Turns and The Edge of Night.
- 1908: Buddy Ebsen (actor)
- 1939: Marvin Gaye (singer)
- 1941: Dr. Demento (radio host)
- 1947: Emmylou Harris (singer)
- 1949: Pamela Reed (actress)
- 1961: Christopher Meloni (actor)
- 1962: Clark Gregg (actor)
- 1977: Michael Fassbender (actor)
- 1988: Jesse Plemons (actor)
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.