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I can confirm that it opened on May 22, 1981 with THE FAN, BUSTIN' LOOSE and OUTLAND. They may have received a temporary permit made official in January.
I think that 34th Street Theatre was near Macys and I have some signs of it being opening 1949-1950. It tracks where Wendy’s is now.
241 East 34th Street is the 1963 Walter Reade house which was Head Office when I worked for Cineplex Odeon.
The part of town is confusing enough but I found yet another Yorkville on 96th and Third playing German films in 1933-1934.
The address for this theatre is 238 East 34th Street. The address listed above is for the 34th Street East across the street.
That seems about right, Ken. There is a venue on 176th and St. Nicholas that shows up in the NY Times as playing movies but then switches to boxing matches in the early 40’s when the US enters the war. It can’t be this theatres since Loews 175th Street was open and showing films during this same period. It is possible that the St. Nicholas Palace had boxing events while the “Annex” or “Garden” continued with movies and concerts. By all indications this seems to have been a very active section of Manhattan at least until after the war or whenever the Major Deegan cut-off the Bronx. There was skating rinks, bowling and concerts nightly along with the movies, fights, music halls and plays.
Make that St. Nicholas…
Is United Palace (above) a theatre name? Also, does anyone know about a Palace Theatre and annex on St. Nichol showing movies from around 1918-1922?
This advertised in the NY Times in the early thirties as the LENOX LITTLE THEATRE.
I think I finally figured this street out:
239 East 59th Street
1969 – Cine Malibu
1976 – D.W. Griffith
1989 – 59th Street East
2004 – ImaginAsian
220 East 59th Street
1969 – Avco Embassy/Pacific East
1970 – 59th St Twin-1/59th Street Twin-2
1977 – EastWorld/ 59th Street East
1979 – Manhattan-1/ Manhattan-2
211 East 59th Street
1970 – Lido East
As far as I can tell this location only ran one film, MALE MAGAZINE, in the late sixties for a few weeks and even that appears to have been a gimmick at turning gay porn loops into performance art. The Fortune should probably be delisted here.
The Eros 2 was indeed a separate theatre and it did later become the Venus.
This theatre has received a real beating in the posts here and as I recall, they are not undeserved.
…but no one has mentioned that it did open with Fellini’s 8 ½, first-run. How many theatres can lay claim to that?
Great to hear that, Warren!
Gerald, I recently tried adding the Ambassador and it was not posted either. Does anyone know the reason why a theatre that ran movies for over six years and brought foregn language classics like CHILDREN OF PARADISE to New York does not rate but the Winter Garden, Henry Miller, Bijou, and Drury Lane do?
I see a lot of moaning about the loss of this great theatre but not a single mention of the Criterion this one replaced. I would appear it was demolished in June 1935 (along with the Loews New York)in order to make this Criterion happen. The new one was open by September 1936. How was such a speedy construction of this mammoth building possible?
The old Criterion ran the first western blockbuster, THE COVERED WAGON and Oscar winner WINGS for over a year each. It also had the New York premiere of HELL’S ANGELS. Does anyone have more info on the OLD Criterion so it can get posted?
The 1934 Film Daily seat count is 1671.
LM, it appears the Brooklyn Amphion was a major theatre since the nineteenth century with Manhattan dated talent making an appearance before leaving town. I found several NY Times stories about the shows but no mention of movies. The Williamsburg location assured the eventual tilt towards Yiddish Vaudeville and it seems it was a major drawing card.
In one story, when the femele lead failed to show up for a performance, the manager cancelled the show and refuse to pay the troupe. They promptly beat him up. You don’t need an address to figure that was Brooklyn. My Film Daily shows it was closed by 1934.
The Manhattan Amphion is more illusive.
Yes Ken. I live near Vauxhall and to NY often as I consider it home.
Thank you, Ken. This is one of the most obscure NY theatres I have encountered so far. It appears in my 1934 Film Daily (as Ampion) and an obituary for owner William Yoost. (He died in Miami Beach, like all hard working New Yorkers deserved to in 1940.)
The obit does confirm that all his theatres were in Manhattan. (Chelsea, Circle, Royal, 34th Street, Chaloner, and REGENT!)
By the way the 1934 address is 614 Ninth Avenue, as above, and to make matters even more convoluted, the Brooklyn Amphion was really off ninth street, not Division.
Are you based in London?
There appears to be an error in the introduction to this theatre. It did not premiere LONESOME COWBOYS. 55th Street Playhouse and the Warhol GARRICK in the Village did.
I think the confusion comes from the another nearby theatre, the Henry Miller owned HUDSON on 44th Street. In 1967 that theatre premiered Andy Warhol’s MY HUSTLER, I- A MAN and BIKE BOY.
Aside from gay porn, the Henry Miller’s life as a cinema consisted of two upscale long runs. LA DOLCE VITA and LES LIAISONS DANGEROUSES.
From the NY Times:
The Lincoln Art opened in July 1964 as an outlet for Joseph E. Levine’s Emabssy Pictures. Levine also owned the Festival at the time.
Opening night patrons in to see CARTOUCHE! received portraits of Abraham Lincoln. Seat count was placed at 571.
Construction: William Ely Kohn (architect?)
Color schemes- green and black in the looby, red and black in the auditorium
Interior decor by Yale R. Burge, Inc.
General contractor: Lasberg, Inc.
Focal points include large prints of Lincoln at the White House and at his inaugural parade.
“The opening of the new Lincoln Art theatre technically may be listed as historic. The intimate showcase is the newest to grace a mid-manhattan already bristling with new or fairly new miniature film palaces.”
That photo really tells a story, Warren. I wonder if the Cameo faced a similar scenario during the cold war?
Open in 1927, this was one of the first ever fulltime arthouses. This place was specialising in Far East martial arts films (think Kurosawa, not Bruce Lee) from 1965 until 1969 when it switched policy for Andy Warhol’s LONESOME COWBOYS. The success of that film sealed its fate and like many other Manhattan arthouses, it switched to increasing graphic sex films, this one eventually specialising in gay product and then gay grind porn.
In 1929 it premiered Abel Ganceâ€™s NAPOLEON which received bad reviews in its abridged form and was replaced a week later with a re-release of THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI.
In 1930 it opened TWO HEARTS IN WALTZ TIME a German film and the first foreign language film subtitled for U.S. release. The novelty paid off and the film ran for a year. In March 1931, during that run the theatre was renamed Europa, a name it kept until late 1933 when it started to also show more mainstream films.
In 1952 it premiered Jacques Tati classic JOUR DE FETE, 1956 Felliniâ€™s I VITELLONI, in 1957 John Fordâ€™s THE RISING OF THE MOON, in 1958 Kim Stanleyâ€™s THE GODDESS, in 1961 the Russian DON QUIXOTE (MGM Soviet cultural exchange).
The theatre was notorious for poor projection and was often featured in the press as an example of the lost art of quality of cinema presentation. Sound familiar?
(Cinema Treasures did not invent that particular bitch-fest hobby of attacking projectionists, union or otherwise, which dates back to the silent era.)
The trajectory of the 55th Street Playhousesâ€™ life certainly started in the head and ended in the groin.
I saw Pasolini’s SALO, 100 DAYS OF SODOM at the Arcadia, the most offensive movie I have seen to date, and was shocked the place wasn’t getting closed down.
The Grove Cinema (Intermedia) on Virginia Street was first in the tiny arthouse cycle and it then moved around the corner to Grand operated by the Fabulous Flying Fendleman Brothers.
The Cinematheque (Merry Go Round, Alcazar, Absinthe House ) followed, operated by Nat Chediak.
Of course, the Wometco Mayfair, Parkway and Sunset predated all these as Florida’s premier arthouses.
I have now entered the Absinthe House.
Also known as the Cinecitta in 1939-1940 (NY times Sept 23, 1939) and the Cameo Art in the early seventies.
If you look at previous posts, Ron3853 has already covered this 70’s era which included periods with no film at all. The Music Hall got caught between it’s own wholesome image and a slew of bad family films. (I mean wild, sexy 1972 and The Hall is showing a Bob Hope movie!)
There is no excuse for the bad shows unless, as Vincent suggests, the Rockefeller group was trying to justify killing the formula in order to renegotiate better terms with talent agencies.
As you may see from my previous posts, I am not personally fond of the shows or the venue as a cinema, but I love this building.