The movie Tower Heist was on HBO the other night. Without giving too much away, there was a crazy chase scene involving an elevator, with of course, the characters climbing through the hatch and riding up and down the shaft on the roof of the cab while holding the cables.
This triggered a thought… elevators have been of great assistance to movie makers for quite some time now in the cinema.
What better way to dramatically introduce a character to the audience than by having them appear as the elevator doors open and they stride through them walking directly toward the camera?
How many films have a scene where two characters have a conversation inside a lift while staring directly ahead at the doors as they travel? Or a man and a woman, romantically exchanging glances in a crowded lift?
There of course is the requisite action sequence involving the bad guy who is chasing a good guy, or a good guy who is chasing a bad guy, inside a tall building. The individual being targeted manages to dive into an elevator just as the doors close in front of their pursuer. Terminator 2 took this typical scene to a whole new level. Unfortunately, for our industry, another common plot device is having one or more characters become trapped inside the elevator.
Every once in a while we get an inquiry from a customer about a scissor gate for their residential elevator. The person usually brings it up with the comment, “you know, like the ones in all the old movies.”
We like the look of scissor gates, and we like old movies, too, but we will not sell a scissor gate to you. T.L. Shield & Associates is a company whose top priority is the safety of our customers, and scissor gates can be hazardous. People, especially children, can be tempted to stick their fingers inside the grates and get them pinched, or even worse, stuck. If a scissor gate is not closed properly it can get snagged on the landing, causing it to bend and buckle.
Remember now, in the “old days,” elevators were attended by operators, who were there to make sure nothing out of the ordinary happened. Shirley MacLaine portrayed a lift operator in the classic movie, The Apartment.
Two of my personal favorite elevator scenes come to mind. First is from the wild and crazy The Blues Brothers. Toward the end of the movie, Jake and Elwood are being chased by what seems to be the entire state of Illinois as they make their way to City Hall to pay off the lien on a boarding school for the poor. Inside the building, they duck into an elevator, and calmly listen to the Muzak while all the mayhem ensues around them. Brilliant.
The other is from the children’s movie, Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. At the end of the film, Willie takes Charlie and his Grandpa on a tour over their home town in the “Wonkavator,” a glass elevator that can travel in any direction. Even though the Wonkavator blasts through the roof of the factory to get airborne (this definitely won’t happen with our lifts), it is still the world’s greatest elevator!
T.L. Shield & Associates has been successfully installing conveyance products for over 25 years. We our proud of our well established ability and consistency in our industry. Please call us at 1-800-954-3887 for a free consultation.