Ultra Swank - Retro Adventures

It’s Intermission Time Folks!

Written by Chris Alm • February 16th, 2010

Anyone who has ever enjoyed a movie at a drive-in theater back in its heyday, knows that seeing the movie was just one part of the enjoyment. Families made the drive-in a weekend adventure, filled with food, laughter and goodies that dad picked up from the concession stand during the intermission.

These intermissions were mainly a product of a Chicago based company called Filmack Studios, that has been in business since 1919 and is still alive today. Other big companies include Alexander Film Company of Colorado Springs, Motion Picture Advertising of New Orleans, and National Screen Service’s Los Angeles studio which were responsible for all the Jay Ward-ish (Rocky & Bullwinkle etc) looking cartoons.

Usually, the standard procedure would to be to de-brand the beverages and treats seen in the short films so no manufacturer was favored over another. It also made production cheaper and in a way timeless, seeing that many of these intermission rolls were seen up until the late 1970s in many theaters. Animation was also preferred for these clips.

The intermission ran on a 5 or 10 minute reel and with every minute it would remind its patrons how long until the feature movie starts. Above is a example on one of these 10 minute intermissions circa 1960, styled to make it look like more authentic. Below are two more fine examples.

Which is your favorite intermission clip?

Image via DeviantArt

Chris Alm

Christopher founded Ultra Swank in 2005. Has a crush on mid-century graphic design, defunct airlines, Disneyland and the Century 21 Exposition. Is a collector of easy listening music from the 60s and 70s and a Swedish expat living in Barcelona, Spain.

Find out more about Chris Alm

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