Fillmore East Theatre question

posted by Simon Overton on December 19, 2007 at 10:45 am

Last night, I went to our local ‘flea pit’ and saw an excellent film, “August Rush”, -the story of an incredibly talented young musician.

There were several fascinating scenes filmed inside a very derelict Fillmore East Theater where Robin Williams is a kind of Fagin; street kids live there when not performing musical treats on the streets of NYC.

I do not see a CT New York listing for Filmore East Theatre and wonder if this historic looking palace was for real or just another clever studio set?

Comments (10)

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 19, 2007 at 11:40 am

The Fillmore East is listed on CT under the name [ur/theaters/527/]Loew’s Commodore[/url] – as this was the name under which it last operated as a cinema. The exteriors for AUGUST RUSH utilized a different theatre’s facade located in the Bronx (the name of that location eludes me at the moment). A CT member posted an image of that Bronx theatre dressed up for the movie shoot.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 19, 2007 at 11:41 am

Lost, you beat me to it… and didn’t screw up the html!!!

William
William on December 19, 2007 at 11:47 am

Simon, Sometimes during a search on the site you will have to select the previous name on that screen and it may come up with a theatre.

RayKaufman
RayKaufman on December 19, 2007 at 11:48 am

Chances are 99.98% that the interior shots were done on a sound stage or that the theatre used was different from the Fillmore in New York. The nature of film making requires the company to be able to control the environment completely. That includes sound, lighting, sets, etc. Then too, they could have “dressed down” their set, otherwise known as aging. The Warner Grand in San Pedro has seen countless shoots, from period pieces to contemporary. It’s portrayed east coast theatres, neighborhood palaces, opera houses, New York Broadway houses and once, even in a ‘made-for-TV’ film, was standing in as Radio City Music Hall in one of two movies-of-the-week for the bio of Liberace. The tales that could be told about that shoot. Whew.

fmbeall
fmbeall on December 19, 2007 at 12:49 pm

Orlando Lopez, New York Director of The Theatre Historical Society of America in their NewsFlash identified this theatre as the Olympic Theatre Concert Hall in the Bronx on Propect Ave. Their is a CT listing under that name. He said the interiors and exteriors are both of that theatre, but the marquee was added by computer graphics.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 19, 2007 at 1:26 pm

Chances had to be 100% that the interior was shot either on a soundstage or at some other old theatre – the auditorium of the original Fillmore East was demolished a number of years back. However, the Second Avenue facade – in which the theatre’s tunnel-like entry foyer and upstairs offices were located – survives, sans marquee. A bank branch occupies the former foyer/lobby space. I guess it was easier for the filmmakers to use the Olympic Theatre Concert Hall as a stand-in for the old place since the building still has a marquee that could be fitted with the old Fillmore logo? Otherwise, the facade of the Olympic looks nothing like the old Fillmore/Commodore. I assume CGI completed the illusion.

Here’s an image of the Olympic dressed up as the Fillmore. Fred Beall, you’ll note that the marquee design was physically constructed on location and not via CGI. Here’s a vintage view of the real Fillmore East to compare.

123Herby
123Herby on December 22, 2007 at 12:08 am

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TLSLOEWS
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