Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre

707 7th Avenue,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 251 - 275 of 990 comments

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 6, 2012 at 8:15 am

Hey techman707… The depictions in those designer renderings don’t always match the reality of the final finished work. I think the only drawing that represents the DeMille is the one looking up at the chandeliers hanging from the ceiling oval. The rendering gives the appearance of a classical design for the lighting fixtures. The photos I’ve seen of the Famous Dave’s interior at the old DeMille reveal a much more garish looking interior with chandeliers of neon tubing spelling out the name of the establishment. Since it is a restaurant, the lighting is also very dark in these photos so it is difficult to make out fine details.

Here’s 1 image I was able to find and here is another and one more just for fun. Not quite what the rendering would lead you to believe, eh?

techman707 on January 6, 2012 at 7:04 am

I can’t say that I understand the drawing with the post “Concept Drawing for Renovation of Famous Dave Restaurant: Located in 47th st, Time Square, New York City”.

Is that supposed to be the DeMille with the balcony stripped out? As for the Liberty Theatre, I work there a few times and the WHOLE THEATRE was made of wood! Even the balconies. I would hate to see a fire in one of those places.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on January 5, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Let’s get some current photos posted here, quick!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 5, 2012 at 8:06 am

Appears the auditorium was more or less stripped down to be reused as a Famous Dave’s Bar-b-que restaurant. The full vaulted height of the auditorium space remains as does, reportedly, much of the streamlined ceiling decor from its DeMille days. Of course, brightly lit neon chandeliers have been added, which probably obscure a lot of what may remain of the theater. Famous Dave has just opened another location in the area within the space of the former Liberty Theatre on 42nd Street – although, due to Landmark protection, that transformation was done with much more respect and fidelity to the theater’s historic interior.

Here’s a link that offers the designer’s renderings of the transformed spaces for both this theater as well as the Liberty.

techman707 on October 8, 2011 at 1:44 pm

“Ramova7719-So what happened to the main audiotrium?”

That’s a good question. Better yet, what happened to the balcony, which was the majority of the theatre?

I posted a picture of the balcony.

Ramova7719 on October 8, 2011 at 8:10 am

So what happened to the main audiotrium?

techman707 on August 14, 2011 at 2:22 pm

To begin with, none of the theatres we’ve been discussing are as large as a theatre like the Roxy, which was on par with the size of Radio City. While I’m certainly happy that Radio City wasn’t demolished (as the Japanese who owned it for a while originally wanted to do), it certainly isn’t as beautiful as the Roxy or even any of the so called Wonder Theatres. It’s true that today because of the booking policies of the film companies and large multiplex theatres, it’s not possible to play a single picture for a few months in a large single anymore. That’s the reason I specifically said it would need to be done as a “non-profit”. The theatre would have to be able to draw people from all the boroughs. As I’ve previously said, if you want to see a small (relatively) version of the Roxy, take a look at the Beacon Theatre, it has recently been renovated….of course they DON’T run movies anymore.

bigjoe59 on August 14, 2011 at 12:44 pm

I have been reading the many posts about the preservation or not in NYC of grand old movie theaters. San Francisco is in the same boat. none
of the grand old movie theaters built as first run theaters during the golden age of such construction survive as movie theaters first run or revival. the Castro doesn’t quite fit the description since it was built from the get go as a second or third run neighborhood theater.

now in the discussion of the non-preservation of grand old movie houses the Roxy has often been brought up. when i started going into Manhattan on my own i was able to catch the Criterion,Loews State,DeMille,Warner, Rivoli and the Loews Capitol in their more or less original condition. the Roxy unfortunately was torn down June/July 1960? so i wasn’t able to see its wonders. to which a question for historians of the Roxy- when was it decided to tear down the theater? i can’t imagine is was decided on the weekend of the demolition. i’m guessing the decision was made years before.

also another point about the preservation or not of grand old movie theaters. the six Times Square movie theaters mentioned above as i knew them were large but the Roxy was as it was often described a cathedral. so isn’t the reason it and the also cathedral like Fox on Market St. in San Francisco were torn down wasn’t because no one liked the architecture or the projection and sound but because movie theaters that big by the late 50s had become point blank economically unviable as single screen movie theaters? i look forward to my fellow posters thoughts on the subject.

techman707 on August 13, 2011 at 6:44 pm

Astyanax, I was agreeing with you right up until you mentioned the Brooklyn Paramount. The Brooklyn Paramount is about as viable as the New York Paramount to EVER AGAIN be used as a movie theatre. If you could wind the clock back 50 years, those two theatres wouldn’t be usable as movie theatres again.

But I do agree about “most” of the theatres that are being used as churches, they “could” be converted back to theatres if they needed to be. A good case in point would be Loew’s Valencia in Jamaica (another Wonder Theatre). If they decided to give up on god, that would be MY CHOICE for a 70mm repertory theatre in Queens. Although I don’t know what condition the DeMille is in today, if they haven’t installed steel and made office floors out of the balcony, that balcony could be used as a PERFECT Imax theatre. They can keep the ground floor for whatever junk they want. If it’s not being used, it’s just wasted anyway.

Astyanax on August 13, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Be glad that many of the theatres have been converted into churches, many of which have been well maintained. Several years ago I attended a funeral in the Loew’s Bedford, which closed down as a movie theatre decades ago. The interior was well maintained and showed clear signs of its former grandeur. I have not seen the interiors of the Savoy or the Kameo both in Crown Heights, or the Albemarle on Flatbush Ave., but fortunately all three are still standing and serving a prime community function. Let’s not rule out the Brooklyn Parmount or the Loew’s Metropolitan.

techman707 on August 13, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Al, You’re right, the major chains CAN’T operate a repertory theatre. You should know even better than me why they can’t. But, I assure you that it CAN be done as a “non-profit” operation, just like it’s being done all around the country. The purpose of this type of theatre isn’t to make someone rich, it’s done to enable today’s generation an opportunity to see what a REAL theatre was like. The only REAL problem at this point is that ALL the good candidates have either been demolished or are churches. I was going to do myself (with a number of “friends of film”) before I become too sick to do anything. I was saving a pair of Norelco AAII 70mm projectors that I rebuilt down in Florida to use for the project. At this point, my wife will probably throw them into the garbage along with all my parts when I die. Fortunately, my film collection (what’s left of the Technicolor prints) I’m donating to the Museum of the Moving Image. I had replaced the film with nearly 500 DVDs and then started to replace the DVDs with Blu-rays as they became available. While I hate to say it, most of the Blu-rays look better than the film looked. I use a JVC RS35 D'ILA projector that easy compares with the DCI junk that the theatres have put in. I would sure hate to be an exhibitor when all those digital projectors start to need maintenance. Some theatres already need color calibration, which will be an ongoing problem. The days of running a 35mm projector into the ground for 30 years is OVER.

ED, Queens gets the short end of EVERYTHING….and it’s been even worse with Mayor Bloomers.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 13, 2011 at 12:55 pm

“Somewhere in NY they could have saved a couple of palaces for classics and 70mm repertory.”

Even with some public funding no major chain feels they can operate one at a profit.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 13, 2011 at 11:47 am

Hey William… Yup, I’m aware of it. Unfortunately, I only noticed it at a time when I was about to run out the door and didn’t have time to fix it then and there. Thanks for the reminder. I’ll try and delete the pics from the wrong theater and add them to the correct one sometime this weekend!

Fair point, techman. But I think in general, Queens gets the short end of the landmarking stick when compared to Manhattan and Brooklyn.

techman707 on August 12, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Ed, The RKO Keiths in Flushing was ruined many years ago. That theatre should have been landmarked while RKO was still operating it. At this point, we’re lucky that the lobby will even be saved. Having lived in Queens my whole life, there were only a few really nice theatres and now they’re all gone. But hey, why would I expect a Queens theatre to be saved when they haven’t been able to save any Broadway theatres.

William on August 12, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Ed did you know that you uploaded some pictures of the Broadway Theatre on the wrong Broadway Theatre? You put your pictures on the one at 1445 Broadway, not the one at 1681 Broadway.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 12, 2011 at 9:07 am

Techman, at least the Kings looks like it has a future. I think of the Kings and I get burned up because over in Queens, the RKO Keith’s site is being turned into another condominium project! All the politicians are tooting their horns about how this “iconic site” will finally be restored to glory, but in fact, only the magnificent lobby will be somewhat resurrected – with its southern wall removed so that passersby can stare in from the street through a proposed glass curtain wall on Northern Blvd. And what does this mean for the grand entrance foyer? Who knows? Brooklyn already has the BAM opera house, the BAM Harvey Theatre and now it gets the Kings back. Queens gets another overpriced housing project in a neighborhood already teeming with masses.

Sorry for the off-topic rant, by the way.

techman707 on August 12, 2011 at 8:33 am

Loews 175th Street (actually one of the “Wonder Theatres”) is OWNED by a church, like the Valencia in Jamaica. The Kings is a story that burns me up every time I think about it. The city and Flatbush Development Corp. allowed the Kings to be destroyed. Then, about a year ago the city was going to give 70 million to a developer who was going to allegedly put up 5 million. Talk about city corruption, come on Bloomers how could you have even allowed that story to get to the Times. As for the Paradise, I understand that it has been restored for “community use”, whatever that means. It certainly doesn’t mean movies.

With taxes in this city, nobody could afford to operate one of those theatres for movies (unless non-profit)without some kind of tax abatement.

Astyanax on August 12, 2011 at 6:34 am

There’s still hope for the Loew’s 175th St., and by a strectch, the Loew’s Kings. Too bad that that the renovation of the Prospect in the Bronx failed to attract an audience. Unsure what’s happening with the Loew’s Paradise.

techman707 on August 11, 2011 at 11:02 pm

“stopping any public funding for remodeling movie theatres back to legit use.”

There are already too many legit theatres in NY. I’m glad they didn’t use public money. They SHOULD use public money to SAVE some MOVIE theatres TO RUN MOVIES. Somewhere in NY they could have saved a couple of palaces for classics and 70mm repetory.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 11, 2011 at 8:39 am

Don’t forget the role the legit Broadway Theatre chains (Shubert, Nederlander, Jujamcyn) played in keeping competitors out by stopping any public funding for remodeling movie theatres back to legit use.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 11, 2011 at 8:24 am

Excellent point, Al. Doesn’t make me feel any better about it. But should I expect anything less from policital entities like the local CB’s and the LPC than that they shirk their responsibilities and/or ignore their charters only to satisfy the needs of a few wealthy real estate developers? Throw into that mix a few corrupt and powerful elected officals and the doom of these beloved strucutres has been more or less sealed.

techman707 on August 11, 2011 at 8:22 am

At least they kept one “iffy” area theatre in LA. They didn’t close the Chinese Theatre (despite the different owners over the years). I remember in the late 60’s and early 70’s when Hollywood Blvd. wasn’t the greatest place to be. Theatre like the Warner and Pantages sat closed because all the “action” was at places like Westwood Village, etc. But, they didn’t demolish EVERYTHING, which is why those theatres still exist to be used today. Even the Cinerama Dome wasn’t destroyed when they ADDED extra theatres. But here in NY….NOTHING!

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 11, 2011 at 7:52 am

I think the issue is property values and not just that LA was more conscientious of its architectural legacy than NY. Times Square, even at its nadir was valuable space. For example, the Beacon, a failure from day one, was spared because the neighborhood became ‘iffy’ for several decades. The same for Loews Kings and other borough palaces.

Hollywood Boulevard was not consistently the center of entertainment the way Times Square has been. Our NY theatre were victims of the success surrounding them.

techman707 on August 11, 2011 at 6:54 am

“….more cinema treasures out there are allowed to prosper in their original purpose. I’m a bit jealous of that.”

It doesn’t bode well for New York that all the movie palaces have either been butchered or demolished. I believe that in the end it’s going to finally destroy movie theatres as a viable business in general. Right now, if the film companies had their way, they would stream the movies directly to you house, bypassing theatrical exhibition altogether.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 11, 2011 at 5:32 am

Ok, so maybe I had young Mr Radcliffe in mind when I wrote that, but more generally speaking, more and more Broadway productions have resorted to gimmicky celebrity casting (with varying degrees of success – both financial and critical) to put more fannies in the seats – and extort higher prices while doing so. In any event, NY is about the cash-cow of legit theater. I’m sure LA is all about the money, too, but on that coast the money comes from Hollywood and more cinema treasures out there are allowed to prosper in their original purpose. I’m a bit jealous of that.