Monday, February 1, 2016

The British Theatrical Releases of Snow White

The following is a list of the theatrical releases of Snow White in the United Kingdom. Slight discrepancies in the dates are sometimes found when searching through the various trade newspapers and movie year books from the period. Yet, we think this is a fairly accurate representation of when the general releases (and some of the special engagements) occurred.

  • 17 February 1938 - RKO. The media was given a trade show viewing at the Rialto Cinema, one week prior to the official premiere. Read in an earlier post why the British Board of Film Censors gave the movie an "A" rating and how the press helped move public opinion in most counties so the classification was changed to the child-friendly "U" rating.

  • 24 February 1938 - RKO. The London Premiere took place at the New Gallery cinema. The film ran here for eight months (24 February to 23 October 1938).

  • 12 March 1938 - RKO. Countrywide general release to the public.

  • Christmas/New Years 1938 - RKO. Snow White was revived for the holiday season. It screened at London's Marble Arch Pavilion with a run that lasted about one week. The first ad for this engagement appeared in the Times on 27 December 1938 and the last ad 7 January 1939. It also ran for a week, starting on 26 December at the Davis Theatre in Croydon, South London.

  • May 1939 - RKO. Another revival, this one at London's Stoll Theatre in the spring. The Times published a review on 29 May 1939.

  • December 1943 - RKO. The film was reissued at London's New Gallery in 1943, preceding both the UK and US general releases of 1944. The announcement was made as early as May '43 for "this fall". The Times published a review on 24 December 1943.

What's on in London magazine from 17 December 1943. An ad for Snow White's return to the New Gallery for Christmas 1943.

  • 3 April 1944 - RKO. Reissued for general release.

  • 18 December 1953 - RKO. The film was revived at London's Studio One theatre, Oxford Street, preceding--by several months--the 1954 Easter general release.

An image found in the 31 December 1953 Kine Weekly depicts the entrance to the Studio One, all decked out for the Christmas revival.

Images courtesy of the Richard Holliss Collection.

  • 12 April 1954 - RKO. Reissue.

  • 20 December 1964 - Walt Disney Productions. Reissue.

  • 24 December 1972 - Walt Disney Productions. Reissue.

  • 21 December 1980 - Walt Disney Productions. Reissue

  • 21 January 1982 - Walt Disney Productions. Reissue.

  • 14 July 1987 - Walt Disney Company via UK Film Distributors Ltd. 50th Anniversary one-day screening

  • 16 December 1987 - Walt Disney Company via UK Film Distributors Ltd. Reissue.

  • 21 February 1992 - Warner Brothers. Reissue.

  • 22 July 1994 - Buena Vista International (UK) Ltd. Last theatrical reissue before the film was released on home video later that year. (Opened early in Scotland on 1 July.)

The compilation of this list came about as a result of the generosity of several people. A special thank you goes to film historians Richard Holliss, Greg Philip, and JB Kaufman for their expert assistance and contributions. Additional thanks to Brian Sibley and Jim Korkis for their kind help as well.

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