Urgent! Help Needed to Renovate Historic Times Square Movie Theater

posted by CatherineR on February 6, 2006 at 5:01 am

I am passionately and energetically pursuing my dream to renovate an historic Times Square movie theater – once called the DeMille – and convert it into an Off-Broadway/Independent Film four-theater complex.

I am looking for additional investors (I have a strong business plan, over 3 million raised already and lots of experience building theaters) and/or theater or independent film companies who would like 10 years of free rent for office space, storage space and theater use in exchange for capital upfront for the buildout fund.

This is an amazing, beautiful building and I would hate to see it turned into a theme restaurent or an electronics palace! If you have any ideas about funding and would like more information, a business plan, or a tour, please call me at 212 921-7862 or e-mail me at

Thanks! Catherine Russell

Comments (12)

LuisV
LuisV on February 6, 2006 at 5:37 am

Which theater is this. There is no listing on this website for the DeMille.

chconnol
chconnol on February 6, 2006 at 5:41 am

It’s listed on Cinematreasures as the Embassy 2,3,4 which is what the DeMille/Mayfair was last known as.

woody
woody on February 6, 2006 at 6:16 am

heres a recent image of the exterior

View link

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on February 6, 2006 at 11:45 am

Oh my God. Times Square does not need another multiplex live or film. Please restore it to its historic theatrical use as a single theater. Otherwise you have another theatrical complex that is a dime a dozen in New York.
Please restore it as it was when it was the Demille one of New York’s great movie theaters. It will be the only one left in midtown Manhattan.

LuisV
LuisV on February 6, 2006 at 1:36 pm

We’re not the ones putting our money where our mouth is. This theater has been vacant for years and no one has stepped forward with an idea for this space. If Catherine has a business plan for adaptive reuse of this space which preserves most(if not necessarily all) of its beauty, then we should support her. I think the job done with the Waverly’s transformation into the IFC is spectacular. Go on Catherine!!!!!

allanb
allanb on February 6, 2006 at 2:00 pm

I remember the interior as rather plain, long but narrow in relation to its length. The only film I distinctly recall seeing there was “Goldfinger.” Remodeling to open it as a single theatre is what is needed, and I think legitimate theatre would be best, with removal of the ugly stores in what used to be the entrance (Mayfair days) to create an inviting entrance. Multi-plexing is not an answer to improving a rather blighted block on Seventh Avenue.

JSA
JSA on February 6, 2006 at 2:54 pm

I echo the sentiments expressed by Vincent and allanb: New York â€" or any other city in the US for that matter â€" does not need another multiplex. The city will be well served if this theatre is restored to its original condition, as much as economically and technically possible. A restored De Mille could not only showcase the latest independent films, but also host revivals of restored classics in their original formats, i.e. CinemaScope, Super Panavison, etc. In addition, may I also suggest that serious consideration be given to adding 3-strip Cinerama projection capability, as an integral part of the restoration. I am a resident of the Los Angeles area, and I do business frequently in Seattle. Both cities have Cinerama theatres, which in addition to running regular fare, 3-strip Cinerama films are successfully shown. It’s not fair that we in the West Coast have all the fun!

Catherine: I commend you for taking this very first important step towards a noble cause. Restoring, preserving and enhancing our nation’s cultural artifacts deserve praise, encouragement and support. Regardless of the final outcome, I only wish success for the project.

Regards and best of luck,

JSA

Andres
Andres on February 6, 2006 at 5:16 pm

Please, please, do what JSA from LA suggests. Bring back Cinerama to NYC, where it debuted 1952. If I had the money I would write you a check right now. All the best, Andrés.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 7, 2006 at 4:06 am

Catherine: Thanks so much for your efforts to save the DeMille from destruction. Is there a way to preserve the large-screen main theater intact, and construct the other three smaller independent film theaters around it? I believe this is how Arclight Cinemas saved the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. The DeMille could potentially become to New York what the Egyptian Theater is to Los Angeles.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 7, 2006 at 12:56 pm

JSA put it beautifully. His comments express exactly my sentiments on the issue. Please consider the single-screen widescreen showcase New York needs so desperately, but, regardless, best wishes and good luck!

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on February 8, 2006 at 6:32 am

Get in touch with the American Cinemateque in Hollywood. See if they would be interested in a New York outpost. Contact Scorsese and Di Niro. Anybody with money who loves wide screen films. We’ve all been saying this for years. Its a great opportunity for somebody like you who has the capital! The great american film museum that for once is not a screening room!
New York you can do it!

BobFurmanek
BobFurmanek on February 8, 2006 at 8:16 am

In an earlier discussion on the Mayfair/DeMille/Embassy 2,3,4 – didn’t somebody suggest contacting Bruce Goldstein and Donald Trump?

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