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The Worldwide lost money from the day it opened to the day it closed and was the source of much grief within Cineplex Odeon. The lack of a replacement cinema at the former RKO Warner Twin site lead Cineplex Odeon to sign this loser deal which was about one block off way from the action.
Twin one projection (the old balcony) shot over the ceiling of twin two creating a fuzzy picture. The air conditioning and heat never really worked correctly, at least as a twin.
The entrance cove was a haven for the homeless until we were allowed to gate the front at the request of local residents. The place had a lot of character and was great arthouse even though Cineplex booked both this and the Waverly as mainstream.
LImovies, I was a regional manager for Cineplex Odeon. When were you there?
Does anyone you have any memories of the other Wometco house across the street, The Normandy? I saw SILENT MOVIE there in the seventies and it hosted the World Premiere of Jackie Mason’s THE STOOLIE.
Gerald, my point is that the Apollo, unlike any other New York arthouse, ALWAYS stressed the sex angle of its films even when there was none. Only the Apollo sold a war drama like BEFORE HIM ALL ROME TREMBLED as “earthy sexuality in great abundance”. It is common knowledge that foreign film distributors often used sex angles to entice American audiences to see them but these quotes rarely used on first-run and the Apollo used them weekly.
Forty second street theatres had a tradition of making promises of sex in films that did not deliver. My point is that the Apollo was the first to blatantly do this and probably invented the concept.
THE BICYCLE THIEF indeed was censored by the city of New York (trouble with the scene of the boy urinating in the street)and had many problems at the World 49th. BITTER RICE, OPEN CITY and THE IMMORAL MR. TEAS also had censorship probelms at the World 49. It is because of this that DEEP THROAT gained credibility as something to be protected by the first amendment. New Yorkers knew that the World 49 had faced this nonsense before.
The Apollo was eclipsed by more blatant sex films in later years but for proof that arthouse lead to porn you need look no further than the booking history of the World 49th and, of course, the selling of the films of Brigitte Bardot. The World 49 had nowhere to go after hard core.
Jerry Lewis Cinemas certainly helped spread porn to middle America. The franchise owners were losing their shirts with family films and switched to porn usually with DEEP THROAT. I do not deny the Apollo was a great house (I was never lucky enough to see it) but I think it should be duly noted, along with the World 49, for its important place in the history of film sexploitation marketing. I can assure you CHILDREN OF PARADISE, a fine film no doubt, did not exude sex appeal before or after its Apollo run.
Here are some samples of Apollo ad copy from the early 1948 New York Times.
CHILDREN OF PARADISE
â€œExudes sex appeal!â€
â€œViolence and plain sexiness!â€
â€œ A tale of illicit loveâ€
â€œA study of sex and sadismâ€
â€œStrips down to the bare factsâ€
Each one was accompanied by a drawing of a young lady in a low cut blouse. Yes, that MUST HAVE BEEN art the Apollo was selling!
Let’s not fool ourselves. The Apollo took the best of the then current crop of foreign of European film and turned them into sexploitation material. They did not revive films unless they had sex value.
I am not devualing the Apollo. I love sexploitation. But let’s not play stupid history games. The Apollo was the grandad of porn.
I know there is a lot of nostagia surrounding this theatre and it is indeed an impressive building but have you ever watched a movie here?
I saw THE SUNSHINE BOYS, the World Premire of THE ABYSS, and several other screenings in this barn. The acoustics and screen presentation can best be described as appalling. Long live the MUSIC HALL, but for movies give me the megaplex. Without the tacky live shows (camels on ice!)it is rather amazing this place is still standing.
To compare the real palaces around the US to this freak hall is not fair. Movies should never have played here and audiences made that clear. There, I’ve finally said it.
After many years as a listed building (even the battleship gray exterior was untouchable) this appears to have been demolished and replaced by an awkward glass fronted gym.
The Art Greenwich had poor presentation as a twin and was home to rats the size of cats. One particular rat (named Ben by theatre staff)had gray hair and used to sit on its hind legs and eat popcorn at the stand, sometimes on busy nights.
The basement boiler was a nightmare of disrepair causing several winter closings. The Art Greenwich had a lot a personality but was truly past its sell-by date.
The Gables had dressing rooms upstairs and a proper stage. It was always upstaged by the smaller but more modern Coral down the road, In spite of a tiny lobby and several run down years, it survived the adding of the Twin Gables (actually located on the Miami side) to serve the affluent Coral Gables market.
In it’s last years it was also home to the ABC Florida State Theatres South Florida offices, later becoming a Plitt Theatres.
The Gables hosted the exclusive South Florida run of STAR WARS in Christmas 1977 when the movie just wouldn’t go away that year.
Some of these megaplexes may lack personality and feel like train depots but let’s face it, they have saved the exhibition industry by giving the distributors a showcase for their DVD product. In many cases the presentation is superior to the old palaces. Anyone who has sat through a movie at Radio City Music Hall can tell you what an inadequate experience that really is compared to those new Loews with wall to wall screens and Digital sound. Credit goes to Kinepolis and Cineplex, not AMC.
Hey Chad. AMC rewrites history every few years and everyone repeats it.
AMC also claims the first twin in 1963 “in a suburban mall”. Mind you there were several twins already operating by 1960 in remote places like Manhattan.
The Eaton and several other cinemas had more screens but did they have “stadium seating”?
Well, Kinepolis Cinemas in Europe certainly had stadium seating and over 14 screens years before AMC copied that first one.
This once glorious roadshow Cinerama house was also the premiere showing of DEEP THROAT in Florida. Details of how that happened are outlined in the documentary INSIDE DEEP THROAT by the hilarious couple who made it happen. Although the Sheridan is never mentioned by name, locals who remember the era know that everything said in the documentary is true.
As a kid I saw KRAKATOA EAST OF JAVA, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF and 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY here. SONG OF NORWAY, MAN OF LA MANCHA, and GOODBYE MR, CHIPS (the musical)could be seen here usually preceded by a meal at the excellent nearby Forge Restaurant
I think the Rio was designed to keep the riff-raff out of the Flagler Street houses, much like 42nd street did in New York. The movie titles were sometimes so old you could also find them in the TV Guide.
The Olympia is a true palace. As a kid I would just stare at the walls and the ceiling when the movie got boring. I often went in at 11:00am and came out after dark having seen the same film over and over again. A smuggled in hoagie from the nearby Woolworths provided a meal.
This was the downtown home of most Disney and Doris Day films, the only ones I could get into. I often asked strangers to accompany me to R rated films and they willingly obliged in that more innocent age. I saw WILD IN THE STREETS, THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY, and BONNIE AND CLYDE this way.
The floating clouds and cool air conditioning made me a cinema buff for life. In the early 70’s the Miami Police shut down the 3-D soft core porn flick THE STEWARDESSES and arrested manager Jimmy Barnett.
For more information on Downtown Miami cinemas and Jimmy Barnett check out a documentary by University of Miami professor Corky Irick called A FEW THINGS I KNOW ABOUT MIAMI. It can be found at the Coral Gables public library on VHS.
I saw NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and several single projector Cinerama films here as a kid. As a black action house in the early 70’s the ABC Florida had a riot during a showing of THE BUS IS COMING that was quite sensationalized in the local news.
The interior was quite modern compared to the other downtown theatres. The Swedish cashier did not understand the M rating and kept chasing me away from the box office. Years later I became her manager at the Shores Theatre and we laughed about it.
Aside from almost being closed down by the city of Coral Gables for showing films such as WOODSTOCK and LAST TANGO IN PARIS, the Coral also hosted the exclusive premieres of Disney films such as THE LOVE BUG and BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS as well as foreign language classics such as DEATH IN VENICE, FELLINI SATYRICON and CRIES AND WHISPERS.
I snuck into the roadshow run of LAST TANGO IN PARIS while still under age by having my older brother buy my ticket a week in advance.
I can still remember the new car smell of the vinyl seat backs of the Bay Harbor when our school took us from Little Havana to the Bay Harbor to see OLIVER!. Years later I took a first date there to see the x-rated FLESH GORDON and she did not speak to me for days.
This was a deluxe Loews roadshow house for many years before Wometco quaded it and one of the nicest theatres in the Miami area. The Bay Harbor often played day and date with the ABC Coral in Coral Gables or the Wometco Dadeland Twins with long runs of THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT, BILLY JACK, and NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA.
I have seen some record books that showed the Metropolitan as a department store prior to becoming a cinema in the late teens. They were taken away from a “cinema historian” who visted my office in the late nineties and then disappeared with them.
The Stanley was advertised as showing films in the New York Times as early as 1916 but started it’s steady life as New York’s premiere Russian cinema in 1941, showing propaganda war films and musicals that hailed the Germans as the enemy even before that was a popular sentiment at the New York Times. Once the US entered the war, the Stanley, always politcal, added anti-Japanese films such as RAVAGED EARTH to its mix of Marxist musicals and war documentaries.
By 1956, at the height of the communist witch hunt, the Stanley disappeared from the movie pages of the New York Times, a likely casualty of the anti-Soviet climate.
The manager with the dog was industry veteran Edward Bernhardt. Ed was a German raised in Palestine (Israel). I worked with him in the nineties at the Meadows when he carried photos of his deceased pooch Charlie in his wallet and showed them regularly.
Ed started as a projectionist in Israel before immigrating to New York where he had a long career with MGM, RKO Century and innevitably, Cineplex Odeon. Months before passing away he famously stated: “I have lived long enough to have seen the fall of Communism, the Berlin Wall, and Pee Wee Herman. That is enough for one lifetime.”
For many of us, Ed IS the Meadows.
This was the home of I AM CURIOUS (YELLOW) in the late sixties, a film the Miami Herald refused advertising for. It ran here for several months and then moved to the North Miami by which time the Herald agrred to allow a one inch by one column ad with the title and the X rating. It was operated by Brandt who also ran the Cinema, PLaza Art, Beach and Lincoln at the time.
This theatre was open from 1933 to 1968. A previous theatre at this location dates back to 1919 with the same name.
Alex, I lived next to the an erly from 1990 to 1996 while working for Cineplex Odeon in an apartment owned by them. Larry would most definitely be the best source (if you can find him) as he worked there for years before and after was the site caretaker for Clearview the last time I saw him, but I can help if you have any questions. The Waverly is the CD cover of the 2001 FUN LOVING CRIMINALS CD and I often run into the marquee shots in London where it is often used in ads for some odd reason!!!
This theatre dates back to early 1900’s as a Vaudeville house and has an extensive back stage area with dressing rooms and floors for talent agent offices. As a Loews house it was first outside Manhattan run for major films and included a stage show until the mid-fifties. In the late eighties it was taken over by Cineplex Odeon after being closed for a few years and split into four screens. Plaster walls in the lobby cover water features and mirrors that were NOT destroyed during the remodel. Cost of heating and cooling the extensive building and neighborhood violence lead to closing in the nineties when it failed to draw from nearby Brooklyn Heights.