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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.
Greg and Keith moved back together (I was part of the packing commitee in LeFrak)and Keith was living in and running a Drive-In in Tacoma, the last time we spoke around 1998.
It was the location that made them highly coveted. As theatres they were never special but did have good 70mm presentations. It is amazing how many little Manhattan houses had 70mm capabilities.
The Baronet/Coronet never ran roadshows but often ran exclusive engagements in 70mm. It was used to establish films as important rather than as a showcase for pre-sold expensive films. This was where you discovered MIDNIGHT COWBOY and M.A.S.H, not HELLO, DOLLY!.
Thanks for this Joe, I agree that this is aggravating and important. I have recently seen AMC alter this subject to say “the first purpose built twin theatre in a suburban shopping center” which is a dubious honor, but could be true.
In my book, the rooftop gardens and annex houses open in the 1910’s in Manhattan were the first twins.
By the way, I believe both Stan Durwood (AMC) and Henry Plitt (PLITT) were the first American paratrooper to land in Europe during WWII. I guess they used the same PR agency.
It was not coincidence but it was not the cause either. All the major chains were in financial crisis and up for sale. Cineplex Odeon had a cash infusion from Universal Pictures as that studio had faith that Garth Drabinsky’s multiplex concept would help save the business. Through their financial backing to took over RKO and Walter Reade within months.
Most of the Times Square properties, including the RKO Warner Twin were already sold. Cineplex Odeon actually saved several theatres that were on the verge of being demolished and extended their lives.
Cineplex Odeon added real butter, fixed structures, added faux- marble to every flat surface, added art-deco touches, raised all prices to record highs and made everything first-run. New Yorkers bitched and moaned as they made those old houses some of the highest grossing in history and Garth a folk hero in Hollywood. Loews scrabbled behind trying to keep up until Sony did the same for them. City Cinemas, made up of left over Cineplex disposal sites, was hardly registering.
It took ten years for everyone to notice that the profits just weren’t there since the leases were so bad.
That “porn theatre” you mention is listed here as the Rialto.
Irv, you have mentioned two of my all-time favorite films!
LAST SUMMER was a big hit in the late 60’s when almost every film was bombing, and Hollywood’s only menage a trois featuring John-Boy. Allegedly Barbara Hershey realised during the production that she was the reincarnation of a seagull and after much soul searching temporarily changed her name to Barbara Seagull. Ah, the 60’s!
THE SWIMMER is still the ultimate male menopause movie. Ok, not a very competitive genre, I know, but a great film nonetheless.
This from the New York Times August 21, 1971.
EAST VILLAGE THEATRE TO SHOW OLD MUSICAL FILMS EXCLUSIVELY
A refurbished playhouse in the East Village is about to offer something new in vintage screen fare. Starting tomorrow, Theatre 80 St. Marks will become what may be the only showcase ever devoted entirely to movie musicals.
The opening bill …is Jerome Kern’s SUNNY (1930)… and LOOK FOR THE SILVER LINING (1949)…
The 199 seat theatre, whose longest previous tenant was the show YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN, will charge $2.50 admission for the double bills…
At the theatre there will be some other reminders of the past- resplendently attired ushers, a lobby decorated with movie memorabilia and free penny candy.
LADY IN THE DARK and ANYTHING GOES start August 26.
The Boulevard was operated as a soft-core porn location by Wometco in its later years. Admission included a handiwipe.(!!!)
Hardbop, they are all there but on the dates they opened.
Wally, I think you are describing the Eastside Cinema 3rd Avenue and 55th Street.
Louis, it was always porno, gay on one screen, straight on the other.
I agree with longislandmovies. Cineplex Odeon helped theatres that were falling apart stay open for years by spending big money remodelling and keeping them up. The Kingsway had a rough going in it’s last few years because it was always being groomed for demolition and replacement by a purpose built multiplex, a event that never occured.
Although I have no particular love for Garth Drabinsky. He gave a new lease on life to the Metropolitan, Kenmore, Fortway, Alpine, Metro Twin, Regency, Olympia, Carnegie Hall, Waverly, Art Greenwich, Manhattan Twin, and Warner (Rialto) just when they were past their sell-by date and when no other chains were investing in non-multiplex buildings.
This was not the way Drive-Ins in Florida were air conditioned. Next to your speaker there was a an air tube (similar to what you use to put air into your tires)which you brought into your car and then closed all the windows. Closed windows are important at Florida Drive-Ins due to mosquitos and flying palmetto bugs (large winged cockroaches).
Thank you Lost Memory. Looks like we have another mystery theatre if the ebay shot is really a Manhattan location.
Is this the old Houston Hippodrome?
Louis, perhaps if I jog your memory you may be able to make entries for the VILLAGE, APOLLO (North & South), MIAMI LAKES, and HIALEAH MALL.
George, those addresses seem fine but Miami Dade Downtown Campus was open in 1973 and I took courses in annex buildings around the still open Rio Theatre in 75-76, so they did concur. The Capitol was closed sometime in the fifties.
I have a couple of photos on my cell phone of the construction site with some signs of the semi-covered facade peaking out. If you want me to text these please send me your phone number at
I don’t doubt the Rio may have been the Dixie but the Capitol (WTVJ) was closed way before the Rio which operated well into the 70’s and was closer to Flagler Street near and Miami Dade Junior College.
The Cinema was playing live Yiddish Vaudeville well after the concept had died elsewhere. As a nightclub it is a grand venue, well worth a visit.
I believe the Plaza Art was indeed a bank and returned to being a bank after it closed. Woody, your photo above looks like the Plaza Art.
The Paramount ended it’s life as the Pussycat. Linda Lovelace performed “live” here before deciding porn was a mistake. What she did on stage remains a mystery to me.
The Sutton was already open in 1934. It became a major first run “sure seater” art house in 1947 with Powell & Pressburger’s I KNOW WHERE I’M GOING and for several years specialised in British imports.
By my records of continuous runs in Manhattan, I agree DEEP THROAT/DEVIL IN MISS JONES is probably the record holder but due to the nature of the films and the way they were advertised, this is difficult to prove. There is also THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW at midnight at the 8th Avenue Playhouse to contend with if that counts.
Here are other lonest runs saw I show them:
THE RED SHOES (1948) 2 years, 4 weeks â€"BIJOU
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (1956) 1 year, 51 weeks â€" RIVOLI
OPEN CITY (1946) 1 year, 49 weeks – WORLD 49
THE BIG PARADE (1926) 1 year, 43 weeks â€" ASTOR
THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965) 1 year, 41 weeks â€" RIVOLI
LILI (1953) 1 year, 40 weeks â€" 52nd ON LEXINGTON
THIS IS CINERAMA (1952) 1 year 36 weeks â€" WARNER
(Moved over after 35 weeks at the BROADWAY)
MY FAIR LADY (1964) 1 year, 34 weeks â€" CRITERION
SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD (1956) 1 year 25 weeks â€" WARNER
WEST SIDE STORY (1961) 1 year 25 weeks – RIVOLI