Comments from Al Alvarez

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Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Sutton Theater on Jul 9, 2006 at 3:17 pm

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.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Rivoli Theatre on Jul 9, 2006 at 6:31 am

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

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Palm Springs Twin One & Two on Jul 6, 2006 at 7:16 am

This was a Wometco house which was twinned in the seventies. It often played with the ABC Florida State run so it could include the Disney product that did so well in Hialeah. When ABC took over the Chris McGuire Village down the street, a battle for the Disney and James Bond films began culminating in both theatres opening THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN day and date.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Essex Theatre on Jul 6, 2006 at 7:11 am

This was a Wometco house in the sixties and seventies.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Rex Art Theatre on Jul 6, 2006 at 7:11 am

I believe this was once the Wometco Rosetta.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about AMC Empire 25 on Jul 2, 2006 at 9:38 am

I have been to this location three times in the past week and the presentation and audiences were all good experiences. The concession stand and other staff members were excellent although I saw no sign of a manager.

That blinking red light must must be night vision CCTV and it is truly distracting. The bathrooms just need a good thorough cleaning. Daily staff appear to be doing a good job.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Henry Miller's Theatre on Jun 26, 2006 at 1:32 pm

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but there is no sign of this theatre anymore and it is now a construction site. Am I naive in thinking the facade was removed and will be returned reburbished?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Coronet 1 & 2 on Jun 22, 2006 at 1:58 am

During my years with Cineplex Odeon there were always outrageously high offers for this property. The only reason the theatres lasted as long as they did was a combination of the First & 62nd multiplex not opening well and filmmakers still insisting on opening on this block even after the Upper West Side replaced the Upper East Side as the primary Manhattan run. This, like the Cinema 1, II & III are casualties of highly coveted real estate and really nothing more sinister than that.

Those of you who in the industry during the 60’s and 70’s may remember that national releases were delayed just waiting for an opening on this block.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Capitol Theatre on Jun 21, 2006 at 3:38 pm

George, I think you are correct and the Capitol at 322 NW 14th street was the early seventies incarnation of the Harlem, reopened by Wometco as the Capitol. Both of these locations are in what is now known as Overtown but WTVJ and the original Capitol were indeed at 310 North Miami Avenue. A separate entry will be needed for the Harlem.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Henry Miller's Theatre on Jun 21, 2006 at 7:28 am

Ed, according to the Hudson entries (/theaters/2971/) the Henry Miller was left with just the facade. I suspect some confusion with these two as both are reported as having been called Avon-at-the-Hudson and I suspect the interiors were altered between them at some stage.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Coronet 1 & 2 on Jun 20, 2006 at 11:20 am

Note that TRIBUTE was produced by Garth Drabinsky, already making an appearance at the Baronet/Coronet’s life before their fateful run-in with Cineplex Odeon!!

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Apollo Theatre on Jun 19, 2006 at 4:55 pm

The only hookers in STREET OF SHADOWS (a wartime spy thriller) are in this ad. That lampost and hooker were recycled by the Apollo for many of its releases and were not part of this film’s ad campaign which consisted of a male headshot and a fully covered frilly dressed female dancer.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Alpine Theatre on Jun 18, 2006 at 2:17 am

Cinema Village

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Kings Cinema on Jun 15, 2006 at 7:11 am

I hate to see any theatre or club being held responsible for sexual behaviour, much less accused of leading to the spread of AIDS. People do things, not buildings, and the people having sex in these places had no idea of the risks involved anyway. I would imagine the late hour 42nd street grind houses such as the New Amsterdam would be more honest targets for tolerating this behaviour than later mini-porn houses such as this one. Weren’t Nicklodeons similarly stimatized for all kinds of anti-social behaviour?

Having said that, in my opinion, the role places like the Kings serve on this board is that of a historical link that shows what people were up to at a certain time and place.

When articles written by 20 year old journalists quote that in mid-1982 New Yorkers were watching E.T. they might also honestly mention that several thousand New Yorkers were also engaging in sex with strangers at over two dozen Times Square movie theatres found on this site but otherwise buried by history.

As someone mentioned before, possibly KenRoe, who would bother listing these very special “treasures” if we don’t?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Kings Cinema on Jun 12, 2006 at 4:06 pm

In 1967 as the 50th Street Cinema it showed Avant Garde films starting with the Shirley Clark Documentary PORTRAIT OF JASON.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Lido East on Jun 8, 2006 at 4:14 pm


I can confirm PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES was advertised at 200 W 48th street on June13, 1980 (NYT) so I guess it did go legit at least for a while. Did PUMP BOYS really run that long?

I don’t have show a Kitty Kat but I recall a cinema upstairs from the West Side Twin that showed porn when the West Side was still showing Disney. Was that the Ramrod/Pussycat2/Kitty Kat?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Lido East on Jun 8, 2006 at 11:00 am

Marylyn Chamber’s INSATIABLE? Well, I didn’t know you were going to bring up the classics, Ed.

Here is how I see it:

121 W 48 BELMONT
121 W 48 CINEMA 48
194 W 48 48th St MUSIC HALL
200 W 48 CINE LIDO
217 W 48 48TH STREET
247 W 48 CARUSO (Hindenberg)
153 W 49 WORLD 49th ST. (Westminster) (Embassy 49)
210 W 49 RAMROD (Mini)
210 W 49 PUSSYCAT 2
215 W 49 CINE ROMA (Ambassador)
235 W 49 CINEMA 49
1607 BROADWAY EMBASSY 49th (T-L 49)

I realise some of these sequences may have changed over the years.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about AMC Empire 25 on Jun 8, 2006 at 1:51 am

That gadget with the blinking red light sounds like a night vision goggle. When a bootleg DVD is traced to a particular theatre, the goggles and bag searches can help track cam corder pirates on new movies.

I don’t think we can hold AMC Empire responsible for Times Square audiences but their staff behaviour and absence of duty managers is indeed often unforgivable.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Lido East on Jun 1, 2006 at 1:19 am

I show the Cine Lido at 200 West 48th which I believe to have been the Latin Quarter prior to becoming this. Perhaps it later became the Pussycat or the name moved along. The Trans-Lux 49, (1607 Broadway) was the one I thought was the Pussycat.

I also suspect the Pussycat 2 may have been the Ramrod and even more surprised to find that, oddly, I care.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Lido East on May 31, 2006 at 4:26 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 30, 2006 at 1:01 am

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 8:52 am

This theatre name needs to be changed.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Cineworld Cinema - at the Empire Theatre on May 28, 2006 at 3:10 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 27, 2006 at 2:35 am

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 27, 2006 at 2:26 am

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.