I have fond memories of summer kiddie matinees in the late 60s, at the old Villa Theatre in Salt Lake (now Adibs Rug Gallery).

Just a theatre full of kids and popcorn and movies.  I don’t recall my parents ever being there – could you even imagine that these days? Did you do this as a kid?

I can’t remember most of the movies we saw, but there was one that has always stood out in my mind.   Although I knew it had something to do with Captain Nemo, I couldn’t recall it’s name.  It never showed up as a late night tv movie, and if ever I described the movie and asked anyone if they’d seen it, I’d get blank stares.

Why was it so memorable?  It was an undersea adventure.  I remember vivid scenes of fish and coral – and people wearing beautiful blues and purples in an underwater city of gold.  And a sea monster and submarines. Something about it captivated my imagination as a youth and so over the years I’ve searched google using all sorts of name/word combinations trying to figure out what it was, to no avail.

Well, last night I happened to do a search again – and I FOUND IT! And, would you believe that it was also YESTERDAY that someone posted the entire movie on YouTube???   I couldn’t believe it….   and yes, I actually watched the whole thing – and it made me smile  (though I was not thrilled when Captain Nemo broke off a piece of coral, explaining how they used it for building/decorating the city…. Kristin will understand.) What a trip down memory lane.  I love YouTube.

I give to you, Captain Nemo and the Underwater City (1969 trailer)

When I first posted this, the entire movie was available to view (in segments) on YouTube. It has since been removed, so if you want to see it you’re going to have to buy it online at Amazon.

(10) Comments   


Chris on July 15th, 2008 at 5:28 pm

We used to live within walking distance of The Villa, I loved it, it definitely had an old time Hollywood movie going feel to it. So sad to see it full of rugs now, oh well…at least they didn’t tear the whole thing down.
I’ll watch your movie tonight when kids are in bed, thanks for posting it!

Allison on July 15th, 2008 at 6:27 pm

I’m glad someone stepped in and figured out a way to use the building, rather than tearing it down – but was definitely sad to see it close as a theatre. Saw lots of movies there – including a midnight “short film” festival that was great fun.

The best thing about the Villa Theatre these days is that it is almost next door to my favorite bakery – Glaus. Best french pastries on the planet. Well, at least in Utah. I’ve never been to France, so I imagine I could find a bakerly there whose pastries would compare favorably : )

Robert on July 15th, 2008 at 6:56 pm

In Coeur d’ Alene, the theater was called The Wilma. It was on Sherman Ave, which was the main road through town. We went there gobs of times. I remember going with a friend in 6th grade to see Pippi Longstocking. In Jr. High, I went with friends to see Smokey and the Bandit. And once when my dad and brothers were out of town, my mom and I were alone so we went there one night to see a scarey movie called ‘Grizzly.’ Bet you can’t guess what that was about. I tell you, I didn’t want to go camping for some time afterwards.

When I was stationed in Spain, someone wrote to tell me the Wilma had burned down. When I got back, the store next to it was still there, Hudson’s Hamburgers… But the space where the Wilma had been was now a lawn, and it looked Sooooooo small.

I remember that it was so dark inside, and the walls were dark red and green. There was a balconey too that only opened if the bottom part filled up. The night my mom and I watched a grizzly bear eat a dozen campers we sat up there and it was just magical to me for some reason.

Years later they built two multiplex theaters north towards Hayden Lake (closer to where we had moved), with many many more theaters. But they just never had the magic feel the Wilma had….

There is a theater in Manhattan however, that does have that feel. It’s in Chelsea in the sort of gay district, and while they do show mainline movies there, they also show all the better gay films. That is where I first saw Brokeback Mountain, and there was a loooonnnng line. But it had the big glass window out front with the ticket person inside like the old theathers had…. it just had an old feel and I liked that..

Robert on July 15th, 2008 at 7:00 pm

Oh I just remember I saw Chitty Chitty Bang Bang there back in the 60s and what a thrill that was… LOL..

Kaylyn on July 15th, 2008 at 7:34 pm

I can’t believe you haven’t read the book thief yet! It is amazing. By far my favorite book of all time! It starts off a little slow, but I promise if you keep reading you will not be disappointed. I don’t want to give away too much, but in a nut shell…. it’s about a little girl growing up in Nazi Germany who moves in with a foster family and learns how to read. She loves to read so much, but her family cannot afford to buy her books, so she steals them from book burnings, and other various places. It goes through a bunch of small side stories about her friends and the holocaust. You learn a lot about the reign of Hitler, and at the same time you follow this little girl through an amazing journey. The best part of the whole thing is the narrator. I’m not going to give that part away though, its better if you discover who it is by reading the book. Please read it and let me know what you think….I’m curious to hear your thoughts on it. Make that your next book in line. =)

Kathleen on July 15th, 2008 at 9:56 pm

The Villa theatre was the first theatre that my late husband took me to. We double dated with his friends and they actually had a camera with them. I have a photograph of Tim and I in the lobby of the Villa, I have red hair in a sixties style and am wearing a vivid striped sixties mini dress! I now live very close to the theatre and I’m so glad it was not torn down or remodelled into an eye sore.

Kathleen on July 15th, 2008 at 9:59 pm

Sorry, I just read my post and saw that I had used the English spelling of theater. I should not post when I’m drinking red wine!

Allison on July 15th, 2008 at 10:02 pm

Actually, the Villa spelled it theatre themselves! It’s one of the things I appreciated about it 🙂

J'Neil on July 18th, 2008 at 8:14 pm

I think it’s pretty interesting that the machine spit out gold… I wonder if the researched that. If we could build a machine like that, could it actually produce gold? But, it was all together interesting… I liked that the next video was a response to the one you were watching – it made it easier to find the next one, because you didn’t have to look for it! Did you realize that that movie is 39 years old?

irene on August 13th, 2008 at 8:44 am

As I recall…….. the reason we didn’t go to the movies at the Villa with you, is that they were for KIDS. IT was a nice day for parents to have some free time :o) Wouldn’t be safe today.

Post a Comment
Providing your email address is not necessary, however, after your first post, when you do enter your email address, your comments will post immediately rather than wait for moderation. Don't worry, your email address will not be posted anywhere.
Email: (hidden)