kitparkerfilms

Plan 9 from Wade Williams

Posted on: March 17, 2018

 

“I just turned 9 years old, and from the moment the film “Flight to Mars” (1951) opened with the reddish background and two men looking through a telescope…I was hooked.”

 

 

 

flight to mars

 

 

 

Wade turned his love of science fiction movies, into a repository of fan favorites – “Invaders from Mars,” “Plan 9 from Outer Space” and so many others — as well as a successful business.

 

In a previous blog I referred to him as a vintage sci-fi movie impresario, exhibitor, director and producer, but he’s also an old friend, “since Christ was a child,” to steal a typical Wade one-liner.    

 

In 2015 I visited Wade in his hometown of Kansas City MO. He was a gracious host, making made sure I had plenty of authentic K.C. barbeque. His second-story office was filled with authentic movie props, primarily from gold-standard 1950s sci-fi movies. Below it, a 100 seat theatre adjacent to a vast personal film collection; it looked like the Library of Congress…row after row of 35mm prints of classic movies as far as you could see.   We talked about all-things-movies for nearly an entire memorable weekend. Learned facts I never knew, like he originally wanted to be an actor. Wade’s a very interesting guy with an incredible memory; I’ll never forget that weekend.

 

Wade’s passion for 50s science fiction movies would make a great book, if only he would write one. Nevertheless, thanks to producer and interviewer, Joshua Murphy, you can hear much of Wade’s story in a “19-reel” condensed version by simply sitting down in your easy chair and listen to Murphy’s interview with Wade on YouTube. It consists of two 90+ minute segments. Listen to half-now, or drain your iPad battery and eat the whole box of chocolates in one sitting – that’s what I did. 

 

Part 1:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wQVUfvoDfQ&t=34s

 

Part 2:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytSkLXWeK4g

 

We also got on the subject of the Oscars. Here’s what he had to say:

 

“I have watched the Academy Awards yearly since the 1950’s They were fun shows when all the stars were on their best behavior. The films were inspiring, entertaining, thought provoking, and the music was delightful.

 

That was April 3rd 1978 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, I was lucky to have been there at the 50th Golden Anniversary of OSCAR.   A lot has changed in 40 years.

 

I was seated in the Orchestra Row Y Seat 28 next to my date, actress and friend, Osa Massen of “Rocketship XM” fame. Osa was a longtime member of the Academy and on the foreign film nominating committee.

 

The Red Carpet was there 40 years ago but not as wide. We were packed “bumper to bumper” so to speak. The crowd moved along slowly and scores of ushers were seating people at a record pace. The line pushed back for an instant and everyone stumbled back a foot or so, and I stepped on the instep of the woman in line behind me. I turned around to apologize and was looking into the face of Barbara Stanwyck. She said “don’t worry, no damage done “.

 

Fans along and outside the barricades were yelling at the stars. One woman kept yelling “Michael, Michael, Michael.” She was yelling at me. I shook my head, no. She said, “You are Michael Caine!” That was a new one.

 

So many stars were there that night:

 

Bob Hope was the MC and some of the presenters were Fred Astaire, Bette Davis, Olivia De Havilland, Kirk Douglas, Farrah Fawcett, Joan Fontaine, Greer Garson, Janet Gaynor, William Holden, Steve McQueen, Barbara Stanwyck, Natalie Wood, Raquel Welch, King Vidor, Olivia Newton-John and Mickey Mouse. Added to that were r2d2, Mark Hamill, c3po, and John Travolta.

 

Debbie Reynolds, Jane Powell, Aretha Franklin, Sammy Davis Jr and Debbie Boone entertained in the musical department.

 

Films like “Star Wars” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” had many nominations along with “Annie Hall,” “Turning Point,” “Julia” and “Goodbye Girl,”

 

Best Actress Nominations – Anne Bancroft, Diane Keaton, Shirley MacLaine, Marsha Mason and Jane Fonda.

 

Best Actors – Woody Allen, Richard Burton, Richard Dreyfuss, Marcello Mastroianni, and John Travolta

 

Best Picture – “Annie Hall,” “Goodbye Girl,” “Julia,” “The Turning Point,” “Star Wars.”

 

Don’t ask me who won in all the categories I can’t remember. Google it!”

 

http://www.wadewilliamscollection.com

 

 

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1 Response to "Plan 9 from Wade Williams"

Good Memoir! Thanks, Kit!

xo/j

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