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A look at the Albany Theater through the years, part 2: The great Batman promo of 1966

Albany Batman January 1966 a

Former Albany Theater manager Jack Tillmany offers this great reminiscence about the Batman promotion at the movie house in 1966 that was tied in not to the wildly popular TV show that debuted that year, but to the reissue of the black-and-white 1940s movie serial issued during the war:

In late 1965 Columbia Pictures had tremendous success with the re-release of their 1943, 15 episode serial, Batman and Robin, selling it as a “High Camp Folk Orgy” (love that 60s vernacular!). In San Francisco it played to turn away crowds, week after week, at the Presidio, and I convinced Foster to play it at the Albany. Since it was my idea, I had to promote it for all it was worth, and had two of my employees dress up as Batman and Robin, and drive around Berkeley in the Batmobile, which was actually a 1959 black Chevrolet convertible, which belonged to one of them, and couldn’t have been more perfect. They had a ball, and we sold out just about every performance night after night, for several weeks.

Unfortunately, Tillmany adds that he can’t remember who the two employees were who got to portray the Dynamic Duo.
The promotion and serial screening arrived in Albany in January 1966, the same month the TV show hit the air.

More photos of Batman and Robin’s appearance at the Albany Theater are below (click for larger views), along with video of the opening sequence of the 1943 serial.

Albany Batman January 1966 b

Albany Batman January 1966 c

Albany Batman January 1966 d

Albany Batman January 1966 e

Albany Batman January 1966 f

Chris Treadway