Singin’ in the Rain on the Big Screen: Fans React

On July 12, 2012, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), Fathom Events, and a helluva lot of Americans celebrated the 60th anniversary of Singin’ in the Rain (1952) together in cinemas around the country.

While a few audience members reported “feed issues” (Fathom beams its events over satellite) and sold-out theaters, the majority of the feedback via social media and the like was overwhelmingly positive. In fact, even those who experienced digital interruptions or were turned away at the box office seemed okay with the situation, somehow just knowing that Singin’ in the Rain was playing widely in cinemas was enough.

We’ve asked fans of Gene Kelly and Singin’ in the Rain to weigh in on their experience, and they have. We’ve also culled some of our favorite tweets, Facebook statuses, and message-board entries below. Also, if you were there or were, sadly, turned away, please feel free to share your thoughts on the event in the comments section.

No Fast-Forward Button in Sight

Tonight my family saw Singin’ in the Rain on the big screen. It opened with TCM’s Robert Osborne giving context to the movie and interviewing Debbie Reynolds. What a treat she is!

We enjoyed the familiar songs and jokes, but seeing it larger and brighter gave new meaning to scenes that I, frankly, fast forward through. I like the “hoofing,” as Reynolds called it but I find the soundstage dance sequences tedious.

But experiencing those scenes in this way — big, bright and spectacular — conveyed to me the message that Kelly may have wished to impart: there is joy and artistry, color and drama in dance. And perhaps it can be seen in a way that does more than further the plot. I don’t think I ever would have “gotten it” had I not seen it on a screen bigger than 27 inches.

Seeing the details was delightful — from Gene Kelly’s profile to Donald O’Connor light blue eyes to the eye-popping costumes. It’s hard to think of the ‘20s being “bright,” but this was the ‘20s through the prism of the ‘50s. I wish more of the oldies could visit us at our local theatres. — Julia Pheifer

Tears Ten Seconds In

You know you’re about to see something special when you tear up during the opening credits.

What a joy to be able to see Singin’ In The Rain on the big screen. Everything about this film — from the costumes to the music to the hypnotic dancing of Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor — remains as gorgeous and charming as ever. I challenge anyone to watch this movie and leave without a smile on their face and the desire to tap dance all the way home….rain or shine. — Dayna Johnson

Every Sequin, Every Bead

On my way to the movie theatre, it was pouring outside. What a great way to start off a screening of Singin’ in the Rain!  As I looked around before the lights dimmed, I was (pleasantly) surprised at the variety of people in attendance: young, old, men, women, children. And the theatre was mostly full.

I have seen Singin’ in the Rain close to 20 different times, and this was my favorite viewing by far. There was not a time during the movie  I wasn’t smiling, and I even got chills throughout. The (pre-movie) interview with Debbie Reynolds, Robert Osborne, Donald O’Connor, Cyd Charisse, and Gene’s third wife featured things we’ve all heard before about making of the movie and, you know, those “Debbie stories.” Still, it was a nice precursor to the event.

Onto the movie… First, the colors seemed more vibrant and brought out the backgrounds, costumes, and actors’ features. Boy, did Gene’s eyes and smile look phenomenal! As well, I could see every sequin or bead on on the costumes. The dance numbers would have to be my favorite part of seeing Singin’ in the Rain on the big screen; seeing every detail and preciseness of the dance, performance, and choreography was nothing short of spectacular for me.

Finally, the audience I was a part of was great. It was nice to be able to laugh and cheer amongst others who have just as much love for this amazing masterpiece as I do. This was a chance of a lifetime to see one of my favorite movies and Kelly’s most memorable performance on the big screen! — Brianna Wielbruda

Musical Chairs

I asked several people if they wanted to go with me to Singin’ in the Rain, and everyone turned me down. Judging from their reactions, I feared there was no longer the interest that this film deserves. I went off to the theater alone. I was prepared to argue that even though I was the only one there, they could not cancel the showing!

I arrived about 20 minutes early and was surprised to see a line at the box office. When I walked into the theater, it was over half filled with people of all ages, 5 years old to seniors. Soon the theater was completely filled with people scrambling for seats. Employees even had to bring in extra chairs, and several children sat in the aisles.

During the filming there was much laughter and clapping — all at the appropriate times.  At the end, people stood and cheered, whistled, and clapped. It was so thrilling that I had tears streaming down my face as I left.  Gene Kelly certainly lives on.  I will never forget the response to him from the multi-generational audience.  — Jane Fore

Gene’s (et al) Still Got It

I went to see Singin’ in the Rain on the big screen tonight. Wonderful! The audience clapped after every number. I saw two little girls about 6 and 7 years old as I was leaving the theater and asked them, “Did you like the movie?” “We loved it!” they said. Then, in the parking lot I saw and heard two teenage girls skipping and singing the title song as I was making my way to the car. Joyful entertainment! — DebraGene

I saw it 60 years ago today, the opening-day matinee at Shea’s Buffalo in downtown Buffalo, NY. Loved it then. Loved it now. — Brian Hawks

I went to the movies Thursday evening — a rare event because I’ve become disenchanted with the experience. But that changed when I sat among a sold out crowd of young and old at Movies 10 in Newport, Delaware. The packed house hadn’t come to watch the latest Batman movie or Ice Age or Spiderman. It was 1952’s Singin In The Rain, starring Gene Kelly, Donald O’Conner and Debbie Reynolds. It was refreshing to hear the amount of laughter at every comical moment as well as the cheering and applause that followed each dance number and the closing credits — all this in response to a movie most of the audience had already seen on television. It had been a long time since I left a movie theatre and felt the experience was worth the ticket price. — Author22

Singin’ in the Rain on Twitter

There were hundreds and hundreds of tweets regarding this release of Singin’ in the Rain, so many in fact, we couldn’t keep up with all of them. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Singin’ in the Rain turns 60 years old today, and it has lost absolutely none of its movie magic. — Jake_Indiana
  • Singin’ in the Rain on the big screen was simply magical. The best part? The little kid in the audience cracking up during “Make ‘Em Laugh.” — UnpluggedCrazy
  • #SinginInTheRain Full house! 60 years later, Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds still packing them in! #TCM — HollywoodLegacy
  • When the titular number kicked in, I thought of my grandma, and all the times we watched #SinginInTheRain together. I miss you, gramma. — J_Chlebus
  • When Lina said, “Darn tootin’ she [lost her job] – I arranged it!” girl behind me cried indignantly, “Bitch!!” and I totally lost it. #LOL — eliz8726
  • Singin in the Rain makes me want to drop my panties — Alexxithymic
  • Singin’ in the Rain on the big screen w/ mom & grandma. 3 generations of enjoyment from one film. — PerspProsp
  • As we are leaving theater last night, I noticed a blind guy in the back row. THAT is the power of these movies. #SinginInTheRain — joelrwilliams1
  • At the end a woman yelled “Now show an American in Paris!” — SShavelson
  • I smiled the entire movie. My heart hurts from an overdose of perfection. #SinginInTheRain #GeneKelly — GaeliLove

And we’ll leave you with these two tweets…and the photos to back them up.

  • I thought I was the ultimate #GeneKelly fan, this guy takes the cake! — TravelBareFeet
  • The cosplayers at Singin’ in the Rain are my favorite people. — Jess_Plummer

 A Few Words from Greensboro, NC

Joel Williams shares a few thoughts on his Singin’ in the Rain experience. Like most theaters Thursday night, it seems (mine included), his was packed.

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  • Patty Grove

    I originally wasn’t going to make the 3 ½ hour drive to see SITR in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, but I knew I’d regret it otherwise. The matinee crowd was a very nice mix of people, even some young men.

    While the jokes seemed funnier (like the “make love to a bush” scene) it was the dancing that popped out at you. I didn’t pay all that much attention before to Donald O’Connor climbing those walls: now I can see why he was in bed for days afterwards. I always saw the mastery beyond the comedy in “Moses Supposes,” but oh my, the power in Gene’s legs as he leapt off that chair. I secretly hoped he’d land on my lap.

    However, the special effects were too good during the title track because my eyes got all watery (and that was just during the TCM part!) I still get chills thinking about that spin with the umbrella and the leap into the puddle he makes near the end, right into movie history. It was wonderful to share this experience and applaud with other fans. I’m sure we were the only drivers during rush hour on 494 with smiles on their faces.

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