Comments from Jeffrey1955

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Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 commented about RKO Keith's Theatre on Dec 1, 2006 at 4:16 pm

Every asbestos abatement project I have ever seen has the entire building, or section of the building, completely enclosed and sealed off in plastic, so as not to risk release of asbestos fibers into the air. The material being removed is transported through enclosed chutes. This building does not appear to have any of the required safeguards for an asbestos removal project, and the fact that a door is left open and anyone can wander inside — where there are no enclosures evident — seems to confirm that asbestos is not what is being removed (even if that’s what the building permit claims).

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 commented about Elmwood Theatre on Nov 29, 2006 at 11:06 am

How can the Rock Church take advantage of tax credits? They’re a church — they don’t pay any taxes.

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 commented about RKO Keith's Theatre on Nov 28, 2006 at 5:07 pm

“I wonder… had I my camera with me, would I have found the nerve to proceed a bit further and try to snake my way into the Grand Foyer?"
Maybe if it was a FLASH camera…and you had a flashlight as well…and a cell phone…

So let this be a lesson to everybody! Never travel without a camera, flashlight and cell phone. Oh, and a miner’s helmet. And work gloves and boots. And maybe some power tools, in case you get locked in.

Hey, but seriously, Ed, that took guts.

Now, the question: Why the work lights? What the heck are they doing in there? Did that look like asbestos abatement? Or are they simply stripping everything that could have value?

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 commented about Fair Theatre on Nov 28, 2006 at 5:19 am

I went to a porn theater, and a debate on smoking broke out.
(This isn’t really a variation on “I went to a boxing match, and a hockey game broke out” but … well, I guess you had to be there. Carry on.)

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 commented about Fair Theatre on Nov 26, 2006 at 4:41 pm

“As the bus starts to turn left off the blvd. get off"
I assume flip-flops meant to say get off at the next stop — otherwise this could be pretty dangerous.
(And yes, I DO always have to be a smartass.)

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 commented about RKO Keith's Theatre on Nov 22, 2006 at 5:54 am

That Daily News photo (or “foto” as they used to call them) clearly shows that, at least in the 1940s, the front sign on the marquee said “RKO FLUSHING”. This should clear up some of the discussion we had back on June 12 regarding the RKO FLUSHING sign painted on the side of the building, and confirm that the theater should get that as another AKA designation.

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 commented about Ridgefield Playhouse on Nov 20, 2006 at 3:06 am

According to an article in today’s Danbury News-Times, the Ridgefield Library has plans to expand that will include demolishing the Webster Bank building — which was, of course, the original Ridgefield Playhouse, though that fact is not mentioned in the story.
View link

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 commented about Elmwood Theatre on Oct 31, 2006 at 6:05 pm

Oy.

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 commented about Loews Lefrak on Oct 27, 2006 at 3:16 pm

I am not sure what store is there now. However, the Cue address is completely wrong, because all the numbers in Lefrak City on the Horace Harding side begin with “90s” numbers, such as 97-, for the streets that would intersect if there were any. And even on 99th St. where the theater actually was, the number could not have been 56- anything, because it was located between 57th and 60th Avenues.

To get an idea of how far off that rendering is, go to GoogleMaps and search for Lefrak City Cleaners. If you switch to the Hybrid map format and zoom in on 99th St., you can see a very clear satellite photo showing exactly where the former theater was located. What appears like a parking lot along 99th is actually the roof of the shopping center, with rooftop parking. Where the parking stops is the wall of the theater, which rose above the rest of the roof. The auditorium can be seen raised and perpendicular to the rest of the building, but you’ll note that there is no parking on the south end of the shopping center, as was shown in the drawing; nor is the theater practically at the corner, as was shown in the drawing.

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 commented about Loews Lefrak on Oct 27, 2006 at 9:50 am

Lost Memory, that link is SO cool! What a great article, with photos that really bring me back. But I’ve got to tell you, that artist’s rendering is even further from reality than most artist’s renderings of new buildings — it looks like something dreamed up by Bruce McCall, if any of you remember him from National Lampoon. Besides the fact that it makes Lefrak City look like a collection of office buildings (there was one, built later — at the opposite end of the complex) it makes the theater look a heck of a lot larger than it really was, and makes it appear like it was right on the corner, which it wasn’t. I love the little ant-sized cars, however.

Oh, and Warren, check out the discussion of where the theater was located, especailly my second post of Dec. 2, 2005, above.

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 commented about Loews Lefrak on Oct 27, 2006 at 5:15 am

Warren, they got that address wrong. Horace Harding Expressway is the alternate name for the LIE — actually, the service road is Horace Harding Blvd. All the stores in the shopping center where the theater was located would have 99th Street addresses. It’s possible they wanted to give more exposure to the Expressway as a way of finding the theater, but the address is physically impossible, since it references 56th Avenue, which runs parallel to Horace Harding. The address was probably 56-16 99th Street. (I lived at the opposite end of Lefrak City on the west side of Junction Blvd., which is the equivalent of 95th St., and the address was 57-10 Junction Blvd., so the even number and one block south location sound about right.)

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 commented about Calumet Theatre on Oct 21, 2006 at 7:21 pm

I’m not even from Indiana and never heard of the Calumet theater, but through one of those website glitches I’ve wound up receiving update notices for this page. So I looked at the photo linked to at the top, and what I can’t understand is why the name Calumet Theater is only in movable letters on the marquee! What happened to the theater’s sign?

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 commented about Fair Theatre on Oct 16, 2006 at 4:02 am

To each his own!

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 commented about Movies at Jefferson Valley on Oct 16, 2006 at 3:49 am

Mall’s movie blackout to end

By BRIAN J. HOWARD
THE JOURNAL NEWS
(Original publication: October 15, 2006)

YORKTOWN – Two months after Regal Entertainment Group closed its eight-screen multiplex, the movies are coming back to the Jefferson Valley Mall.

Mall officials have confirmed an announcement by Trademark Cinemas of Lake Mary, Fla., that the fledgling theater chain will make Jefferson Valley its second location. The news was first reported on Trademark’s Web site, though rumors of the theater’s return have swirled for days.

“I’m glad they’re bringing the movie theater back to the mall,” said Victor “Duff” Tirado of Cortlandt, 26, co-manager of Journeys, a clothing store. “It’s good for the mall, and it brings business in, especially on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with the kids. Even if they have no intention to shop, they still end up in these stores.”

Mahopac High School junior Gina Schmansky, 16, would see a movie every other weekend before the Jefferson Valley theater closed. The Carmel multiplex is kind of small, Schmansky said, and Cortlandt harder to reach.

For young people who can’t drive and have few other entertainment options, the mall provides a chance to meet friends, shop and grab a bite to eat, in addition to the films, she said.

“I think we should have something to do when we’re at the mall,” Schmansky said. “It keeps kids out of trouble.”

Trademark Cinemas, a discount theater operator that incorporated earlier this year, lists four locations at its Web site, but Jefferson Valley and two others in Georgia are listed as opening this fall. Efforts to reach the company were unsuccessful.

In August, Regal Entertainment Group, which also operates the United Artist Cortlandt Stadium a few miles away, closed the United Artists multiplex that operated at the mall for 20 years, leaving Yorktown with no big-screen entertainment for the first time in decades. Regal called it “an underperforming theater” at the time.

“It has definitely affected the amount of traffic that comes into the mall, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights,” said Lisa Quist of Montrose, who owns the Valley Deli at the mall.

Quist said she and other tenants understood why the theater closed. Regal’s lease was up, and it made little sense to operate two locations so close to each other. But rumors that a furniture store would replace it put many on edge, she said.

“We all wanted to know what was going in its place,” said Quist. “We were all very concerned, but I do feel the mall turned it around very quickly.”

Yorktown Councilman Nicholas Bianco, who lives nearby, said he learned of the theater plans from a former employee who has applied for a job with the new operator.

Bianco said he’d heard that the new theater would open in two weeks and offer discount tickets.

“If it’s true, I think it’s a great thing that we get a moviehouse back in town,” Bianco said.

Trademark’s Web site states that it specializes in neighborhood theaters that “deliver a great movie experience at lower prices than the major national chains.”

The Lake Mary, Fla., location lists current releases, including “All the King’s Men,” “The Departed” and “Jackass Number Two.” The $7 ticket price is discounted to $4.50 for seniors and children.

Copyright 2006 The Journal News, a Gannett Co. Inc. newspaper serving Westchester, Rockland and Putnam Counties in New York.

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 commented about Pelham Picture House on Oct 16, 2006 at 3:44 am

Isabella Rossellini shows film at Pelham film fest

By CANDICE FERRETTE
THE JOURNAL NEWS
(Original publication: October 15, 2006)

PELHAM – Isabella Rossellini spoke about the importance of independent film last night before screening her own short film at the Italian film festival hosted by Pelham Picture House last night.

“There’s very little money that goes into films for the purpose of making art,” said the Italian model and actress, while sitting in the crowd. “I feel we need more examples of cinema as culture rather than cinema as commerce.”

Rossellini was the special guest at the sixth annual Italian Film Festival. The sold-out event has in the past been hosted at venues throughout the county, promoting Italian culture and recognizing the contributions Italians have made in the film industry.

Last night, Rossellini introduced “My Father is 100 Years Old,” a short film honoring her late father, director Roberto Rossellini, in observance of the centenary of his birth. The film is a witty representation of her father and his belief in cinema as a moral art. Rossellini plays nearly every role in the film including Federico Fellini, Alfred Hitchcock and her mother, Ingrid Bergman. Her father appears in the film as an oversized belly.

The night also included a screening of Roberto Rossellini’s 1950 film “The Flower’s of St. Francis” – about the life of St. Francis of Assisi – a film not typically shown at many big-screen venues.

“There aren’t too many events like this in Westchester,” said Steve DiNardo, 24, of Eastchester, who attended the event with his mother, Nancy. “I’ve always had an interest in film and a passion for my culture, so it was a no-brainer to come to this thing tonight.”

DiNardo is among the audience the Pelham Picture House hopes to attract. The historic movie theater, run by a nonprofit group, has opened the venue as The Picture House Regional Film Center. The group, which raised funds just in time to save the structure from demolition, plans to renovate it into a state-of-the-art film center to show independent, arthouse and foreign films in the lower Westchester market.

Lea Emery, executive director of the film center, says this event is just a taste of what’s to come.

“What we’re doing here tonight is bringing people to the theater who might not otherwise come and establishing the programming for the future,” Emery said.

The renovation plans include art deco details and the latest projection and sound technology to host a variety of film festivals in the future. On Thursday night, the Picture House will host the premiere screening of “Running With Scissors” with special guest Joseph Cross, a Pelham resident and the young lead in the film.

For now, the annual Italian film festival has signed on.

“We believe we’ve found a home here at the Picture House. In the past, we’ve been a lot like our Italian immigrant ancestors wandering throughout the county searching for a place to show our films,” said John Calvelli, chairman of the Italian Film Festival, which was started by County Executive Andy Spano. “Who better than Isabella Rossellini to inaugurate our presence here?”

Copyright 2006 The Journal News, a Gannett Co. Inc. newspaper serving Westchester, Rockland and Putnam Counties in New York.

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 commented about Fair Theatre on Oct 15, 2006 at 7:27 pm

I simply have to ask this: why in the world would anyone who has a computer need (or want) to go to a theater to watch porn, when there is an almost infinite amount available online? Is it for the “atmosphere”?

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 commented about Polk Theater on Oct 15, 2006 at 4:48 pm

Warren, do you simply have the world’s largest private collection of old newspapers? I certainly hope you’re not actually cutting them up!

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 commented about RKO Keith's Theatre on Sep 26, 2006 at 3:48 pm

KenRaniere, while your idea for a tour of the RKO Keith’s would, I’m sure, be immensely popular, one would have to assume that the liability issues alone would be colossal. And since the owners have consistently kept the place locked up tight in recent years (and, as you’ll see if you read through the posts, many people have been chomping at the bit to get even a glimpse of the interior, although one person claimed to have had access in 1999 — scroll through to the incredible account posted by Ed Baxter on Feb. 27, 2005) I have no doubt it would be impossible to get permission for a group to go in. But, as you say, we can dream.

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 commented about RKO Keith's Theatre on Sep 26, 2006 at 8:18 am

Ken, thanks for that truly eloquent, beautiful and evocative description of the Keith’s lobby experience. And though I assume you meant to say “wrecking” and not “wreaking,” I prefer to look at it as a Freudian slip, because that ball would certainly be wreaking chaos on all of our psyches.

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 commented about Drake Theatre on Sep 25, 2006 at 9:34 am

Dang, that should have said Community, not Cumminty. This isn’t letting me scroll to check anything.

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 commented about Drake Theatre on Sep 25, 2006 at 9:32 am

That’s an interesting question, but a cursory search indicates that the name Rego Park was already in use by the 1920s:

From the history of the Resurrection Assumption Church, http://www.rachurch.org/history.htm

In 1925, Rego Park was, simply, a nameless stretch of country where, approximately, ten farmers -most of them of the old German and Dutch stock — raised truck vegetables which they sold in Manhattan. Sixty-third Drive was a cow path — none of the present streets existed — and the farmhouses had neither gas nor electricity. The Rego Construction Company had purchased three farms, which comprised approximately forty-five acres. The name “Rego Park” was adopted to mean “Real Good” – a description of the quality of the homes they intended to build. This farmland was bounded [triangularly] by 63rd Drive, the Long Island Railroad, and a line of about 200 feet east of Eliot Avenue. Many of our “pioneer” parishioners were the proud purchasers of these homes when they were completed.

Meanwhile, Rego Park was springing up like an adolescent youth. The cornerstone of P.S. 139 was laid in 1928, and the school was opened in 1930. Next, the Lutheran Church of Our Saviour was opened in 1931. Noticeably, 63rd Drive also appeared to be shaping up. Families were rapidly moving into this lovely and convenient section of Queens and so, in keeping pace with this development, his Excellency, Bishop Thomas Molloy addressed the spiritual needs of his people. Therefore, in 1926, Rev. Francis Scullin was appointed to found a parish in what was, then, the outlying section of St. Bartholomew’s Church in Elmhurst. There were many problems facing Father Scullin [and his parishioners] foremost, of course, was finding the most suitable location to build a church that would serve all the people. A temporary church was constructed by the parishioners on 55th Avenue in Elmhurst. It was called the Church of the Ascension of Elmhurst. Over the years, improvements have been made to this very “homelike, and "peaceful” church. The probable date of the first Mass was February 28, 1926. … The first wedding took place on June 19, 1926. The groom was George Renhardt and his bride, Eleanor Coddington. Father Scullin “officiated” at their marriage.For the convenience of many parishioners, arrangements were made to schedule the Sunday Mass celebration in the Rego Park Community Club House, on 62nd Avenue.

Thus there was already a Rego Park Cumminty Club House in 1926. Also, note that the 63rd Drive-Rego Park station of the IND subway was so designated when it opened on Dec. 31, 1936.

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 commented about RKO Keith's Theatre on Sep 13, 2006 at 7:26 am

Suggest you amend your above summary introduction to include, “Currently, a development plan seems to have been adopted that would restore portions of the damaged landmarked areas — primarily the lobby — enclose them in glass, and construct a high-rise mixed use condo tower above the site.”

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 commented about Elmwood Theatre on Sep 11, 2006 at 3:49 pm

That IS an amazing photo, Warren! Is the peaked house at left one that was actually demolished for Macy’s, or is it the one that stayed put because the woman who owned it wouldn’t sell (causing the “notch” in the round building that still exists). That house was eventually demolished years later, but which one is it in this photo?

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 commented about RKO Keith's Theatre on Sep 11, 2006 at 3:44 pm

“…at least we have their original blueprints, in case the opportunity arrises one day to build them again."
Gee, Dave, I didn’t think smoking was permitted in the library — especially whatever it was YOU were smoking! ;–)

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 commented about Fair Theatre on Sep 10, 2006 at 4:19 pm

Have they really fixed up the marquee more since the last photos you linked to, or were these simply taken in brighter daylight?