The film was indeed released in a roadshow, reserved seat format- I asked for my birthday to see it, and my beloved grandmother and I traveled from Huntington Station, Long Island, on the train, to Manhattan to check it out- We loved it, and ate at Schraffts afterward, before heading home, me clutching a souvenir program (regular in those roadshow days)- I treasure the memory (I saw SPARTACUS in similar circumstances)- Too bad that moments like these are no longer available...
ps I was 12 when I saw THE CARDINAL, and the worry was that it was too "adult" for me... How times change!
We come from the same place and time. I saw it during its first run in neighborhood theaters, after its roadshow engagement in Manhattan, at the Century's Green Acres in Valley Stream. There was an intermission, and a souvenir booklet was sold.
My date & I saw it at the old STARR theater on Knicherbocker Ave in Bklyn.
Wide screen but no stereo
on location with SUPERMAN I,& OTHER STARS