Hollywood Theatre

237 W. 51st Street,
New York, NY 10019

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Showing 1 - 25 of 102 comments

vindanpar on June 29, 2017 at 4:45 am

The sale of Broadway’s most beautiful theater was criminal. Nederlander probably pocketed a fortune with the sale and with all the tax breaks he was getting from the city for his theaters he should have been thrown right into jail for stealing taxpayers money.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on January 8, 2016 at 6:39 am

The Hollywood became the Warner Theatre on August 15th, 1947, with the much anticipated film version of the long-running stage play, “Life With Father.” Advertising included a proclamation signed by NYC Mayor William O'Dwyer that “It is no more than fitting that the Broadway scene have a theatre bearing the name of the company so widely recognized for its great achievements in motion picture entertainment. Welcome, Warner Theatre!”

rivest266 on September 23, 2013 at 3:53 pm

April 22nd, grand opening ad uploaded here.

robboehm on August 26, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Mr. Paul Muni. That wasn’t too common.

Ron Carlson
Ron Carlson on November 13, 2011 at 1:54 pm

What an amazing theater. So nice to see it has been so well taken care of. A cinema treasure indeed!

robboehm on May 7, 2011 at 7:23 am

Closed as a theatre, Tinseltoes, per the discussion above. Remember the Katherine Hepburn story when she was going to do Coco? She noticed the construction across the street and said it would be a problem with the noise for the Wednesday matinee. She was particularly concerned about the number “Gabrielle” and was reported to have arranged for construction work to be shut down during that number. And so, each matinee, just as the intro to the piece began, a hush came over the building site. Kate the Great, indeed!

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 2, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Apparently “Meet John Doe” could justify opening at both the Rivoli AND the Hollywood.

View link

Cinemalover on April 25, 2010 at 6:35 pm

Thought that maybe it was an old theater by it’s looks while visiting New York City for the weekend. Who knew it was till now haha. Neat to see that it was but, sadly still not around.

seymourcox on July 31, 2009 at 3:29 pm

LIFE 1956 lobby view,
View link

JGKlein on July 15, 2009 at 10:38 pm

Read the excellent Wikipedia article about the Mark Hellinger Theatre: View link

Bway on May 21, 2009 at 10:43 am

Is this theater still a church?

ALpineJ on October 10, 2008 at 5:53 pm

I have a picture of the theatre from 1930, with Kismet showing on the marquee. In case anyone cares, the large sign actually says “Warner Bros Hollywood”.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 15, 2008 at 11:01 am

I have a mystery theatre I need help with. I posted on this pages only due to the proximity.
In Paramount Week ads for 1922 and 1923 they show a Central Theatre located on 9th Avenue and 52nd street.
In a January 1927 NYT ad for the Russian film “Tales of 1000 Nights” it shows as showing at the 52nd Street theatre, west of Broadway.
I have an address of 306 west 52nd street for this theatre although I cannot trace where it came from. I found a Palm Garden Theatre running stage shows at that address although IBDB.COM does not have an address for the Palm Garden nor the 52nd Street theatre.
Any ideas?

edblank on June 23, 2008 at 12:19 pm

Warren, Your post (about the Hollywood/Mark Hellinger) AND my post in response to yours turned up on both “blogs” – the one for the theater in Dormont/Pittsburgh and the one you intended on West 51st Street in NYC. Interesting electronic glitch.

edblank on June 23, 2008 at 12:15 pm

Warren, Excellent post, but it does not apply to the Hollywood in the Pittsburgh suburban boro of Dormont. I believe you intended to assign your remarks to the Mark Hellinger Theatre in New York, just around the corner from Broadway.

edblank on May 27, 2008 at 9:13 pm

When that church first took over the Mark Hellinger, I thought: “This won’t last long. It’s only because the ranks of incoming Broadway musicals are a little lean right now. It’ll change back before the lease even expires.” Can that church thrive at such a pricey location?

Darrel Wood
Darrel Wood on May 1, 2008 at 6:01 pm

Perhaps some new “categories”…….
Changed into a church (or other not-so-performing arts but not gutted) could be, for example, “converted” or something like that.
Something else could be used for when it’s been turned into retail or office, but not torn down—“gutted” might be appropriate. It would differentiate from a theater that is “closed” and just sitting there empty.

Bway on May 1, 2008 at 4:27 pm

I agree that that policy is a little curious, as not only are these former theaters that are churches very much open to the public, they are also in most circumstances very intact from the theater days, right down to the seats! Sometimes even the original organ functions. I don’t see why church theaters are labeled as “closed” as opposed to “open”, as most, in very little effort could be made a theater again. I can totally understand theaters like the old Meserole in Brooklyn, while intact, is used for retail, and all the seating was ripped out, as well as other alterations labled as closed. However, theaters like the Valencia, this one, and many of the intact with right down to the theater seating probably should be listed as “open”.
It’s a curious policy, however, it appears to be consistent, as I believe all the church theaters are labeled as “closed” if they don’t show movies or live.

kencmcintyre on April 1, 2008 at 9:08 pm

Here is a November 1942 ad from the NYT:

bruceanthony on November 17, 2007 at 9:30 am

The Disney Company was very interested in the Mark Hellinger but the Church would have to be interested in selling the theatre which they are not. The Mark Hellinger is very desirable for large scale Musicals due to its capacity of over 1500, there is a line waiting to bring musicals into New York due to the lack of Available theatres of this size. Most of the larger theatres are tied up in multi year runs such as the Winter Garden,Majestic,Broadway,Minskoff,Gershwin,Palace,Lunt-Funtanne,Neil Simon,New Amsterdam,Hilton,Shubert,Al Hirhsfield,Marquis and few others. The very desirable St James was suppose to have “Young Frankenstein” but the producers switched to the larger Hilton when the show playing at the Hilton closed early.Many times producers are forced to bring musicals into the smaller theatres such as the Shoenfield,Barrymore,August Wilson,Eugene o'Neil, Ambassador and a few others. Large scale musicals require seating capacity of at least 1400 to make economic sense. Disney was forced to open “Tarzan” at the Richard Rogers which seats less than 1400 due to the lack of available theatres. This has been a problem for the last few years. The Minskoff which was considered the ugliest theatre on Broadway had to due an extensive renovation before Disney would move “The Lion King” over, but had a seating capacity of over 1600. There is a huge demand for the “Mark Hellinger” but at what price and the church would have to be willing to sell.brucec

terrywade on November 17, 2007 at 8:17 am

The Shubert gang needs to work out a deal with the church and find them a new location and take over the Hellinger and bring back live theatre. Also if the Shuberts don’t have the cash let the Disney movie theatre division take it over like they have at The El Capitian in Hollywood CA. Bring in the Disney films with live stage shows with a pipe organ. The El Capitain is the best selling movie theatre in the USA many weeks out of the year.

AdoraKiaOra on November 17, 2007 at 12:24 am

I think everything should be done to encourage people on here to visit the Hellinger. It truly is a rare but beautiful palace in the middle of NY. I never miss a visit when im over from the UK.

bruceanthony on November 16, 2007 at 9:22 pm

The Hollywod(Mark Hellinger) is the most beautiful theatre still standing in Times Square. Im glad the church has taken such good care of this theatre. Despite being a legit theatre for so many decades it still looks like a movie palace.brucec

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 26, 2007 at 10:44 am

I agree. “Open” should be taken to mean “open to the public” – either as a cinema, live theatre, concert hall or place of public assembly. Churches would be covered in the latter category, but might also extend to an adaptive re-use such as the Times Square Visitors Center that exists in the former Newsreel/Embassy Theatre on B'way. In the case of the Newsreel/Embassy, while the seats have been ripped out and replaced with information kiosks, the ambience of the old theatre has been preserved largely intact and open for all to admire. By the way, the status on that page is also listed as “closed.”

I suppose a line would have to be drawn somewhere – leaving someone to make a judgment call. For example, I’d probably consider a former theatre building that has been gutted for retail use to be “closed” – even though the building itself is still “open” to the public – since all vestiges of its theatrical history have likely been demolished. But I wonder how we’ll feel about the issue when the new Ecko Unlimited store opens up in the former Times Square Theatre on 42nd Street? It will be modified for retail usage, but much (if not most) of the original theatrical decor will be restored and incorporated into the store design – and, indeed, might be a draw for visitors. Should that be considered “open” as well? I think I might say “yes” to that question.