Comments from Al Alvarez

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Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Lido East on May 31, 2006 at 1:26 pm

Ed, I thought the Pussycat was the Trans-Lux 49th Street. Were the Pussycat and Grand Pussycat separate theatres? Was the Cine Lido perhaps the Pussycat 2?

I think the Lido East became a Chinese Restaurant and may still be that.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Strand Theatre on May 29, 2006 at 10:01 pm

Fight films and live feeds made money but not worth the trouble. The crowds were rowdy and violent and often tore the place apart, especially when the signal failed. Brooklyn theatres had a particularly tough time with staff abuse and shootings.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about New World Stages on May 28, 2006 at 5:52 am

This theatre name needs to be changed.

http://www.dodgerstages.com/

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Empire Cinema on May 28, 2006 at 12:10 am

Give us a break. Odeon holds more premieres because they have more seats. Every single distributor knows the presenatation is far superior at the Empire.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Avenue Playhouse on May 26, 2006 at 11:35 pm

It appears it remained the Irish for a little over year until it reverted back to the Miami, most likely the result of the war disrupting the Irish economy and. It then ran silent films for a while as well.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about New Amsterdam Theatre on May 26, 2006 at 11:26 pm

I have read that 42nd street theatres in the seventies grossed as much as the rest of Manhattan put together. Based on the concept of an economy of businesses that pays its own way, these crap houses with their exploitation, sexploitation and blaxploitation certainly appeared to accomplish an economic success model. No matter what one feels about crack whores, the Shuberts, crooked politicians, pimps, Disney, the police, male hustlers, the Brandts or Popeye’s Chicken – 42nd Street may have been the first true experiment in undisturbed capitalism. It should have been preserved and studied.

For the Hollywood version, see IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, not ILSA, SHE WOLF OF THE SS.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about 777 Theatre on May 26, 2006 at 6:43 am

Ed, I found a December 9, 1972 NY Times articles announcing a raid on the San Francisco Adult Movies at the basement of 1531 Broadway, between 45th and 46th, former premises of Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Could this have been the Frisco again in 1982?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Avenue Playhouse on May 26, 2006 at 3:28 am

Sorry Warren, I thought you were saying 1938 was too EARLY for Ireland. I re-read the NY Times article and it does say that the Miami will show only Irish films when renamed the Irish Theatre, the first being ROSE OF TRALEE.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about New Victory Theatre on May 25, 2006 at 10:13 pm

Ed, The FRISCO and NIGHT SHIFT TWIN in the Movie Clock above are two Manhattan porn houses I had never heard of before 3/10/82 .

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about AMC Loews Fresh Meadows 7 on May 25, 2006 at 1:30 pm

LOL.

Ok here are some Meadows stories to help put all this nastiness behind us and start some new nastiness.

Ed Bernhardt, bless his heart, a Mr. Magoo style driver, once drove (literally) into the local bank.

On my arrival in QUEENS, I asked Ed if the typical New Yorker read the New York Times. Ed responded that the “typical New Yorker could not read” and I should “stop assuming ANYONE read the New York Times”.

Ed also taught me that Arabs can never anti-semetic as they are all semites.

On the opening weeks of the Cineplex Odeon Meadows, a sold out showing of THE PRESIDIO was moved from a 400 plus screen to a 200 plus screen after construction workers removed the projector while finishing ceiling drywall without telling anyone. Refunds and anger ensued.

On THX certification day, the post office heater kicked in and the whole building shook for five minutes. We failed the test.

A hot water/cold water problem caused steaming toilets and urinals for the first few weeks, a fact that perplexed locals. Oddly enough, a basement crank flushes every toilet and urinal in the building, an oddly satifying act of power for me at the time.

Although we had several 306 projectionists, only two, Sal Mancuso and Randy knew what they were doing. Randy was arrested on site one night accused of stealing an Oscar by the widow of a Manhattan retiree who won it for a 1940’s film that won in all four major categories. (look that one up!)

The cinema received hate mail for NOT showing THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST.

Some man called nightly for over a year to tell us he had a red bow on his head.

One Sunday night four men armed with shotguns came in the front door and robbed the manager’s office while holding customers at gun-point in the lobby.

THE BLOB remake was a big hit here.

Once I went into the projection booth and could not find the projectionist. I closed a roof door that was creating a draft and went back to call the Union. They sent a replacement several hours later. The next day I found out the projectionist had wondered on to the roof for sun bathing a fallen asleep. He was fired.

Staff who caught a Yamuka wearing young man masterbating in the auditorium while watching WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT? asked him to leave the theatre. To our dismay, he walked out screaming “My parents won’t let me do it at home either!”.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about New Amsterdam Theatre on May 25, 2006 at 12:40 pm

I remember STEEL as one of those “so bad, it is good” films. It is the story of construction workers putting up a high rise and fighting all kinds of silly problems, personal or otherwise. The soundtrack treated the climax as if it was a ROCKY type triumph with a lot of whoppin' and hollerin'. A real redneck saga from the “who cares?” genre.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Audubon Theatre on May 25, 2006 at 12:22 pm

Could this have been the TAPIA in the late sixties?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about AMC Loews Fresh Meadows 7 on May 25, 2006 at 9:07 am

Wow! I didn’t realise I had started this. I looked up Queens, New York on Cinema Treasures. Fresh Meadows wasn’t there. That was my point.

Former manager Ed Bernardt once jumped the erxpressway rail with his car and landed on a snow mound on the boulevard across from the theatre. He wasn’t hurt but maybe we have the address wrong.

I managed this place for over a year and this is first time I have heard of it not being in Queens or on the Boulevard. My letterhead did not say Fresh Meadows or Expressway in the address line.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theater on May 25, 2006 at 2:23 am

In the mid seventies, once the downtown houses turned to soft core and blaxploitation, a bus ride to Miracle Mile provided access to the Coral, Gables, Miracle and eventually the Cinematheque. The nearby Twin Gables and Trail provided other choices. When the Coral and Gables went, the Miracle split into two and then four screens. The Twin Gables became the Gables Triple and the whole neighborhood soon settled for the Miracle Center Multiplex outside the Gables. That short-lived latter complex was so daunting even the parking lot was a challenge, so steep my Toyota fell backwards and threw me out every time I tried to get in. Nowadays locals make due with the AMC Sunset Place, a new stadium seated improved version of the Bakery Center, Riviera and Sunset. Alas, the city of Coral Gables has no movie theatres to keep the little shops on Miracle Mile alive at night.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Jean Renoir Cinema on May 24, 2006 at 2:05 pm

THis site has a photo and some history as the Gate (162 Second Avenue)

View link

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about AMC Loews Fresh Meadows 7 on May 23, 2006 at 10:46 pm

This theatre should be listed as located in Queens.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 23, 2006 at 10:28 pm

This is now listed twice.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Tower Theater on May 22, 2006 at 10:07 pm

The Tower opened in the late twenties and was given the art deco treatment when it became a Wometco house in the early thirties.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Avenue Playhouse on May 21, 2006 at 8:06 am

www.imdb.com

ROSE OF TRAILEE 21 October, 1938 release in NY as showed in Variety and the NY Times at the Irish Theatre.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Avenue Playhouse on May 21, 2006 at 6:58 am

Known as the Irish Theatre for the brief run of the film version of ROSE OF TRALEE in 1938, the first film made in Ireland.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about 5th Avenue Cinema on May 12, 2006 at 8:38 am

It was showing movies from at least November, 1926, starting with a re-release of THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI followed by the first run of MIKAEL (AKA, Chained, The Invert) a German gay drama about aging painter Rodin, his male model and the woman who gets in their way. (Only the village would accept THAT plot line in 1926!)

This was the 5th Avenue Playhouse while the Proctor house on 28th Street operated as the 5th Avenue Theatre.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Odeon Leicester Square on May 11, 2006 at 11:55 am

This website posts upcoming movie premieres in Leicester Square.

http://www.heartoflondon.info/

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about National Theatre & Roosevelt Theatre on May 11, 2006 at 8:49 am

LM, it’s the same place. It was the National Winter Garden Burlesque, then the Ibsen, then the Rosoevelt Little as a cinema then back to National for Yiddish Vaudeville.

111 East Houston works fine as an address.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Colony Theatre on May 11, 2006 at 6:31 am

In the sixties, the Colony was home to THE SOUND OF MUSIC on road show release. On it’s first anniversary, the managers sent the local critic an anniversary cake marking one year since he had written his scathing review of the film.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about New Europe Theatre on May 10, 2006 at 12:26 pm

Advertised as the 78th Street Playhouse for the run of RESERVE ON FURLOUGH in April 1932.