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The signage is coming along. The backlighting on the sort of upside down “L” shaped sign at the corner of Merrick and Hempstead was abnormally bright before they affixed the lettering and logo! Also, I know I’ve been remiss in not uploading demolition pics of the old UA building I took a couple of years back, but I went on a European vacation shortly thereafter and then moved (still in Lynbrook, only about 6 blocks away) and haven’t yet been able to set up my office space and computer so I can easily go through and edit the pics! I’ll get there, robboehm!
Fantastic pic, with amazing detail when you zoom in on the full size and do a little panning and scanning. Thanks for sharing the find, David!
During that last renovation, they scrapped the original Seventh Ave facade entirely (marquee and office building above the entry foyer included) and incorporated it into the facade of the new high rise hotel that was constructed above and around the theater at the corner of W 47th. So, a recreation of the original marquee is probably not in the cards. It would actually look entirely incongruous with the rest of the facade, frankly.
Hmm. Looking at it again with the benefit of being able to pause and take a longer look, perhaps it isn’t the Empire after all.
I like the director’s cut, but I must say the original theatrical narration goes well with the film’s neo-Noir aesthetic.
Also wanted to say that I think the new AT&T iPhone 8 commercial – where the guy buys the new phone for his wife and also buys one on her behalf for himself – was filmed in the balcony area cafe of the Empire. You can see the auditorium dome and glimpses of the proscenium in the background. Sure looks like the Empire, anyway.
Just posted an image of an advertisement for the Lynbrook Airdrome for the week of August 16th, 1915. According to the item, the Airdrome could fit upwards of 1,000 patrons, and was covered with canvas and netting, presumably to protect against the insect population. It also notifies us that cushions were provided for all, and that admission (10 cents for adults and just a nickel for children) allowed for patrons to stay as long as they wished.
Just added a photo of Atlantic Ave circa 1932/33 that shows a glimpse of the Arcade Theatre marquee. This is the same pic I’ve seen in rotation on the display screens mounted inside the Lynbrook Deli.
I should hasten to add that I found this photo in the fine Arthur Mattson book, The History Of Lynbrook.
Saw this flick at the Rivoli in its entirety for the first time. Had previously tried to sneak in to the UA Lynbrook Quartet to see it (with tickets to the PG rated Rocky II), but we were rousted out by a savvy usher after only 20 minutes or so! They cared a lot less about enforcing MPAA restrictions in Times Square!
Great pics! Of course, having never been in the Roxy, I know nothing about the geography of the place, but seems to me the Roxy was a separate establishment from the peep place. And I think the grocery store is where the Frisco Gay Cinema/Tomcat/Rick Nelson had once operated. All part of that same building. Amazing how fluid and transient these storefront occupants were over the years. Just 4 or 5 years before or after these shots and the signage over each entrance might have been completely different.
This is very true. I think it is the same building. If you look at Ken Roe’s pic, there is a shallow architectural ledge above the signage and below the 2nd floor. Seems to me that it runs the length of the entire building, encompassing all of those storefronts. I could be wrong. I seem to recall one of those video peep show emporiums around that spot, and/or maybe a pizzeria or Greek fast food joint east of the Roxy and New Am. Would have been right about where the subway entrance came up.
Yes, Al. I remember seeing that Tomcat/Rick Nelson listing and even commented on it a few years ago. But I didn’t believe it was the site of the Roxy. There is a pic of the Frisco Gay Cinema in the photo section on that page and it appears to show the entrance too far east of the New Amsterdam – indeed they are separated by several storefronts. When Ken Roe added the photo, he offered that the Keystone Bookstore that operated out of a storefront right up against the New Amsterdam was to later become the Roxy. The photo is dated 1978. I seem to recall trying to leverage that information into a possible avenue of research on the Roxy, but it turned out to be a dead end at the time.
And thank you, Mike. It’s been a long while. Went to Europe last summer on vacation and then went through the sale and purchase of old and new residences shortly thereafter. Still not done unpacking – and haven’t set up my computer yet! Moved all of 6 blocks, but might as well have been 600 miles!
Al, one of the great many unfinished research items I wanted complete for this site was to trace down the history of that particular Roxy, located just one door east of the New Amsterdam. I don’t think I got very far in that endeavor.
The pic DavidZornig posted is of the Roxy Burlesk that operated between the Empire and the Anco in the 1970’s. I believe this location would later become the short lived Movie-Plex 42 that is listed elsewhere on Cinema Treasures. The marquee with Riot is the Empire’s.
Well… You can definitely change the status on this to demolished. All that remains standing as of this morning is the stage house structure. You can see the old proscenium opening, which is entirely obstructed by the cinder block wall they constructed for the screen they had added there some years back. I’ll be uploading a few pictures I took with my cell phone over the last week or two, showing a few stages of demolition. I’ll post back when the are all up.
Well, this was certainly the last Calderone theater still in operation. The Westbury auditorium was completely gutted to the bare brick walls and the lobby and storefronts were stripped down to the wooden framing members. That leaves the namesake Calderone in Franklin Ave in Hempstead as the sole physically intact (or as close as can be) survivor – or at least it will be once the Lynbrook is demolished.
I’m going to try to contact Lynbrook historian Arthur Mattson with the suggestion that he see if he can get permission to take photographs of any existing original interior decoration, once the false ceilings and partition walls are taken down, and before they are pounded to dust and forever lost. No interior photography or artistic renderings of the original lobby and auditorium appear to be extant. If he’s in the least bit interested, I figure he’d have sufficient prominence or clout with the village to be able to facilitate such an endeavor. Worth a shot.
First film I saw here was That’s Entertainment, followed soon thereafter by Earthquake! I was 9 years of age at the time, and going into the city for a movie or show was always a treat, and my parents (and extended adult family) were great about giving me those experiences on a fairly regular basis. I’m not 100% sure, but my dad may have also taken me here to see 2001, at one of tie mid to late ‘70’s engagements. The family also took in Fantasia here during that same era.
First time I ever be tired into Manhattan on my own, at age 14, was to see Hair at the Ziegfeld on St Patty’s day, 1979. And later that year, Apocalypse Now, which ran without any beginning or end credits – these were distributed in a souvenir handout given to patrons by the ticket taker. I still bemoan the loss of that item from my memorabilia. A few years later I remember coming in with some high school classmates to see Pink Floyd’s The Wall.
More recently – as in THIS century – I can remember seeing Chicago, The Producers, and the Bond reboot Casino Royale. Of course, among my favorite experiences here were the Classic series they ran during slow weeks. I caught Blade Runner, Close Encounters, and 2001 – those last two on the same day. Also Ben-Hur, and West Side Story.
I’m sure I’m forgetting a few titles, but I’ll certainly never forget the Ziegfeld, it’s friendly staff, nor its expert film presentation. She may not be a classic movie palace of the sort this site was designed to celebrate, but the not-so-old gal certainly went before her time and will be missed!
Photo added, to illustrate that development.
Just uploaded a pic of the theater I took yesterday morning, on the way to work. When I drove past again last night, the marquee was dark. I presume prep work for demolition will be starting any day, if it hasn’t already begun. Glass entrance doors had not yet been whitewashed as of last night. I wonder if I’d be able to persuade a worker to let me in when all the partitions and false ceilings are down, just to see if anything remains of the original interior design, before it’s all eradicated for good! Might be tough with my work schedule, to arrange for that, so if anyone else cares to try…
I was hoping for the same, theatrefan. The Village responded to worries about how the new ugly box will fit in with the architectural “charm” of Lynbrook by saying that the renderings seen thus far are only suggestions, and that the finished facade would have to meet with their approval. They also claimed that they will have considerable input on the final exterior design.
However, that really doesn’t offer much solace. If you take a look at the new Zwanger Peseri Radiology facility that recently opened on Sunrise Hwy, between Atlantic and Union, you’ll realize that the Village doesn’t give a good damn about a structure blending in with the rest of the local environs. I’d also point to the newer portion of the Lynbrook Public Library as contrasted with the original building to which it is appended.
Wrong Victoria. This is the Victoria in Times Square, not the Loew’s on 125th Street.
The Keith’s was triplexed by dividing the orchestra level in half right down the middle. The balcony was left intact with a false floor added in front of the first row railing to enclose the twinned orchestra level below and a screen hung from the top of the original proscenium. The balcony was definitely the auditorium of choice in those days, as it was massive and still had the majority of the theater’s architectural features and decor left intact.
As for comparing what is happening with theaters in Brooklyn to the fate of the Keith’s… Hasn’t Queens always received short shrift in matters of preservation???
I know this is late notice, but tonight, April 7th, at 8:30, WNYE-TV channel 25 will be airing an episode of their Blueprint NYC series devoted to the Loew’s Wonder Theaters. If you miss it, you may be able to watch the episode at their website after it has aired.