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Paramount Pictures

Seeing ‘The Ten Commandments’ for 90 cents

Seeing ‘The Ten Commandments’ for 90 cents

The 1956 film “The Ten Commandments” arrived at Lexington Street’s New Theatre with a flurry of publicity. Executives at Paramount Pictures announced that the city was among the first locales to screen the biblical blockbuster. The reserved-seat booking proved a solid hit here throughout the holiday season.

After the new year, theater management gave out discounted 90-cent passes to public and parochial school students. On the first Saturday morning after the passes were in circulation, Jan. 12, 1957, police found what they later estimated as 10,000 youngsters downtown. They wanted to see the parting of the Red Sea — and Charlton Heston as Moses,...