THE 1960s — A Casino poster from the summer of 1969 shows the featured attractions for a week and a half. Click on poster to see larger view.

Note how there's still a new movie billed every other day, with two shows a night. Note that all the movies are advertised as being Technicolor.

The big change for movies came just months before, in November 1968, when the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) instituted the movie ratings system. Before 1965, cities or states could have public rating boards which could determine if films were suitable for public display. A Supreme Court ruling that year said rating boards could only approve a film — they had no power to ban them. The MPAA system is voluntary — however, most theaters won't show unrated films, and the major studios have agreed to submit all titles for rating before they are released.

"Romeo and Juliet" wasn't an American film, so no rating when it came out in 1968. There is a bit of nudity in the original version; it was re-edited to earn a PG-13 rating in 1973.)

Note on this poster that the Bob Hope/Jackie Gleason comedy "How To Commit Marriage" is rated "M." This rating, for mature audiences, was only used between 1969 and 1971. The MPAA found that the "M" rating was viewed by audiences as more adult than its intended meaning, which was to signify films inappropriate for some children. "M" was changed to "GP" in 1971, (for General audiences, Parental guidance suggested), before films were re-rated to the now familiar PG, PG-13 or R.

In 1969: Richard M. Nixon is sworn in as president. The Vietnam War is raging, with anti-war protests continue around the country. The Beatles give their last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records in London, and John Lennon records "Give Peace a Chance." The Apollo space program lands the first man on the moon. (Four men will have stepped on the lunar surface by the year's end.) The Woodstock music festival is held in upstate New York. The Cold War continues. The Best Picture Oscar of 1969 goes to "Midnight Cowboy."

THE 1970s