Further to Scoop's insightful 2001 post yesterday here's more about the Hatchetts Club and Project SWORD connection to 2001 A Space Odyssey.
Stanley Kubrick's seminal film had its World Premiere on April 2nd 1968 at the Uptown Thearte, Washington DC in the USA.
On April 4th 1968 it opened at New York's Loews Capitol.
Cinemas put up displays to draw in the crowds like this one in New Jersey.
Ushers dressed in space-age uniforms like these in Seattle.
The film premiered in the UK 50 years ago today on the 10th May 1968 at the Casino Thearte, Old Compton Street, London. It followed in Finland and Holland on 20th September and 3rd October respectively that same year. The film was promoted in LIFE magazine.
The film opened throughout the rest of the UK in mid-May 1968.
It may have also played in other CINERAMA-type cinemas throughout London including those along Piccadilly, although this is supposition on my part.
At 67 Piccadilly, Hatchetts Playground nightclub opened earlier in the year. With guests like Shirley Bassey and Barbara Windsor it was THE place to be in swinging London. Capturing the futuristic mood of the time, Hatchetts' waitresses wore space-age uniforms too.
The foil-like uniforms were a noticeable feature of the nightclub's opening party.
They were also worn for the launch of 2001 A Space Odyssey. Looking at this photograph I recognise cinema seats. Whether this was in Hatchetts itself I haven't been able to find out. The 2001 brochure remains a mystery for me too. Its completely different to the 1968 press kit.
At the same time Century 21 Toys were making links with the movie.
In particular, Project SWORD toys, which were displayed at Hatchetts by three of those silvery playground waitresses.
Looking through the above photographs, I think the SWORD girls above were these three Hatchetts girls pictured below. I have been unable to find out their names. The middle girl appears in the 2001 A Space Odyssey brochure event photograph above.
I have been unable to find any further references to Project SWORD toys displays in nightclubs, cinemas or toy stores as suggested by the articles above. There was a proposed Project SWORD promotional and bus ticket campaign planned for November 1968 but it is not known if this was linked to the 2001 A Space Odyssey campaign.
If you would like to look at more photographs of Hatchetts then please go to this huge archive by Jonathan Marks, who's father owned the club. I have written to Jonathan to inform him of the link to Century 21.
Jonathan's page also mentions one other notable event at Hatchetts, the use of the club as a disco setting in the opening titles of the 1960's cult horror flick Scream and Scream Again. Starring Vincent Price, the scene featured pop group Amen Corner. You can see a clip here using Hatchetts' dancefloor:
Fortunately for us Project SWORD toys survived the ravages of time but sadly, Hatchetts Playground didn't. Here is a clip on You Tube of what it looks like now.
If you have any more information about the links between Century 21 Toys, Hatchetts and 2001 A Space Odyssey I would love to hear from you.
This article was inspired by some initial internet searches by Bill Wotan Bulloch.
My grateful thanks to these online sources: Jonathan Marks imgur site, Incinerama.com, visual memory.co.uk, quadbod.co.uk, cineramahistory.com, cinemaretro.com, ww1.hdnux.com, You Tube, Voices of East Anglia, Bill Bulloch, imdb, wikipedia.