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Thanks guys. That makes perfect sense.
In May 1934 the Columbia was showing a move-over from the Mayfair of HITLER’S REIGN OF TERROR. Although it rarely showed films, they seems to have co-existed or there was another Columbia on 47th and Broadway.
Still here in London. I figured out who you are from your posts and told Steve, who sends his regards. If you write to me at
Just so this isn’t a strictly personal post, the Waverly marquee was used by a British movie website to promote itself two years ago. Imagine my shock at entering a London tube station to find a poster size photo of the Waverly marquee and the door to my previous “flat”. As they say here, “I was gobsmacked!”
Tell me about it. It was my home for seven years.
It’s thosee damn talkies. I told you they would never catch on!
LI, they took the little parking lot in the back and added to the building. They also took the stores next door and incorporated them and the upper floor loft apartment into a bar and a third screen. The end result is quiet good.
In a final testament to decency, the bar is still called the Waverly. Worth checking out!
Ed, Cineplex Odeon was concerned that their Chelsea nineplex was easily outgrossing the triple down the street. In an effort to equate the two in everyone’s eyes they decided to combine two of the screens at the triplex and make that location as good or better than the nineplex. They renamed it Chelsea West in the process and it has since hosted several films premieres including Woody Allen films.
The recommended industry sound level is FAR too loud for most multiplexes causing customer complaints and sound bleed to other screens. It is not uncommon for managers and projectionists to lower sound levels once the run gets going as a result. In some cases low dialogue scenes get lost in order to avoid clearing the house everytime the music swells to idiotic levels or something explodes on screen. A recent example of this bad mixing is SUPERMAN RETURNS, which goes back and forth for no apparent reason since the dramatic fluctuations cannot justify the dialogue spoken nor action scenes, though it does keep one awake when there is no real plot unfolding and no has anything interesting to say. The thing is better watched in mono. You may experience the same thing at home on DVD on some films where you keep having to raise and lower the sound.
A footnote on the now legendary BACKDRAFT story, reel change misses were daily events at the Ziegfeld. Only BACKDRAFT made international news because the wrong reel went on and Billy Baldwin had a fit in front of the press.
If you do a professional sound check, tie the curtain up, put in a new lamp and run a platter built-up show through on a dry run, chances are you will not get embarrassed by an incompetent projectionist or gremlins at a premiere. That (and my little story above) is how the Ziegfeld ended showing movies the way it does.
One upon a time there was a rare and lonely female projectionist at an imaginary Manhattan cinema with a bad back. She had trouble lifting the reels and demanded that the cinema install a platter so she could build the film up once and never ever have to pick up a reel again.
The boys at home office cried “poppy cock”!. The boys at the Union said “nonsence and stuff!”.
The rare and lonely female projectionist went to her lawyer and made sure that “reel to reel” was banished from the land forever and that the bad boys never again made it impossible to earn a living as long as technology was available and disability laws were there to protect her job.
The Waverly closed for twinning in mid September 1981 after HEAVY METAL and re-opened on October 30, 1981 with BODY HEAT and MOMMIE DEAREST plus a weekend midnight show of ERASERHEAD plus ASPARAGUS.
I would be Trainspotting if I didn’t have a job.
Ed, they had the 34th St East and, of course, the Baronet.
Ed, I show the Criterion was closed for about three weeks between the two runs.
Louis, Wometco was careful to only screen soft porn at the Boulevard Drive-In and Town (downtown) as their company charter did not allow any other. The films the Boulevard Drive-In showed in its last days would be rated R today and in some cases PG. They often promised more than they delivered. (Think Russ Meyer and nudist camp nudies). The theatres attracted straight couples, not lone males as XXX did.
The Boulevard screen faced the Interama swamp land so exposure to Biscayne Boulevard was not a problem. Other drive-ins had to install special screens where the inage faded with distance so as not to cause accidents on the expressways.
The handi-wipe, alas, was not urban legend. I remember how funny we thought it was when we got one, for the buttered popcorn, I presume.
The Paramount I remember had a huge screen and no columns in the auditorium so if that photo above is the same theatre it must have been extensively remodelled by the sixties.
Hmmm. Hello, Tom.
You have a good heart.
Considering TALLADEGA NIGHTS is one of the biggest hits of the year I am sure Pacific is not even considering resorting to “classics” yet. I wish the Ziegfeld did not have to resort to bringing back TRON, but bless them for trying something.
One slight correction to the excellent post above. The General Cinema take over of Loews did not include the 167th Street Twin nor Bay Harbor, as those leases had a partner. The 163rd Street was a Wometco house at the time.
From what I can tell, theatres that spent a signficant life as anything other than cinemas will often not get listed. Hence the Ambassador, for example, a major Broadway foreign film house in the thirties, but now a playhouse, won’t rate. The Lunt-Fontaine does. Go figure!
I was also unable to place the Grove Cinema in Miami, a true treasure for anyone who lived there in the seventies.
You will find discussions on both those subjects elsewhere on this site but it looks like there were two Embassy 49’s, and the Frisco was the DEEP THROAT/MISS JONES record holder.
Look for him spelled “Kieth Kiehl”. I found several listings but I am not sure if they are him. There are also some articles regarding drive-ins in the Tacoma area dated as recent as 2004.
Hmmm. Shame that the X-rated swashbuckler genre didn’t take hold. ILSA, SHE WOLF OF THE SS might have had competition.
Ed, I will try and collect some more for information this. I was a theatre manager in Miami during this period and we certainly weren’t above showing the combo above at the twin while making sure the kiddies didn’t screen hop.
LOL. We are listening Ed! I have nothing to contribute except that it is gratifying to see such a wide and organised release of Spanish language films. I don’t that happens much today unless it is a crossover film from Almodovar or starring Gael Garcia Bernal.
I think we need some New Yoricans to help us out with the Bronx.
Twin Two was called the Penthouse from 1968 to 1976, Cinerama ll from 1976-1982 and Warner ll after that. The Orleans was splintered off into porn ghetto oblivion when the name changed in 1976.