Showing 301 - 314 of 314 comments
Spent a lot of my puberty years here, in the early 60s. Watching foreign films and an occasional “risque” film like Russ Meyer’s Lorna. Seemed like it was dedicated to all Jean Paul Belmondo at times. Great stuff. Jerry from 42nd Street Memories
What year was that, Robert?
Saw my first rock concert here in the early 60s! It was still a great double-feature movie-house but for one night they had The Dave Clark 5 with The Kinks opening! Jerry from 42nd Street Memories
When I was growing up in Chelsea in the 50s, the Elgin showed only Spanish-Mexican films and American films dubbed in Spanish.
Jerry of 42nd Street Memories
Warren, were you there? I was talking to a friend yesterday from the old neighborhood and we were talking about The Terrace. Rest Rooms were in a basement with an art deco look. My dad & I came across a body down there once.
When did it close? Jerry
Here you go, JB. This was the line-up in the 50s/60s.
On the North side, going from West to East:
Selwyn (usually showed 1st run films a week after The Lyric),
Times Square (western re-releases)
Lyric (1st run double features)
Victory (re-releases, usually action or Bowery Boys. Great double features)
On the South Side, going East to West:
New Amsterdam (1st Run double features)
Harris (usually a week after the New Amsterdam)
Liberty (some new stuff, mostly re-releases)
Empire (great re-releases; creative bookings. Believe they went Kung Fu triple features)
Anco (more great re-releases, sometimes picked up shows after the Harris if they were popular….e.g., Night of the Living Dead)
Check out my site…www.42ndstreetmemories.com for a shot of The Deuce. Jerry
The old Empire of the 50s & 60s had some of the most creative programming on The Deuce. i saw my first Chaplin there, Tillie’s Punctured Romance on a double bill with a Francis the Talking Mule movie. Of course, like most of 42nd, the double bills were usually standard action fare. Double bills of films that had been on the bottom of the bill at first run theaters. Tarawa Beachhead, Timbuktu, The Marauders come to mind. Great escape for a 10 year old kid when the Times Square theater across the street had westerns that I’d already seen. The Deuce’s sub-run theaters didn’t advertise (kept the admissions low), so it was exciting to come up the subway steps and start to peruse the marquees. A kid in a candy shop. Jerry the K
The Liberty was situated between the Harris & The Empire. The Liberty of the 50s & 60s had some creative programming of double features. Of course, usually second run & re-released action fare. I remember seeing a lot of the old WB classics, Sea Hawk, Desperate Journey, Roaring 20s when they were re-released around 1957. Jerry the K
The Harris of the 50s & 60s would show fairly current double features, usually one week after they debuted at the New Amsterdam, which was its next-door neighbor. Jerry the K
In the 50s & 60s, the New Amsterdam & The Lyric on the north side of the street were the only two showing first-run fare (usually following their Broadway debuts). They would show the same double features as the RKO & Loew’s chains but at discounted prices. Beautiful, beautiful theater and I was delighted to see Lion King there, thirty years after my last visit. Jerry the K
The Victory of the 50s & 60s, pre-porn, had some of the most fun programming on the Deuce. They did show a lot of re-released Republic action films, especially the John Wayne ones (Sands of Iwo Jima, Wake of the Red Witch. I do recall a Bowery Boys double feature with a 3 Stooges short (unfortunately during the Joe Besser era.)One of the premier action film houses of the time. Jerry the K
The Times Square featured mostly western double features in the 50s & 60s. Usually a combination of two Audie Murphy films, or recent low budget “B” westerns with George Montgomery, Scott Brady, Rory Calhoun, etc. No John Wayne stuff here. The lobby was extremely small and they displayed movie heralds of coming attractions over the ticket taker. The theater was the center of the 5 on the North side of the street, situated between the Apollo and the Lyric. Jerry the K
The ANCO of the 50s & 60s would show a lot of creative re-released double bills, and like most of The Deuce specialized in action films. If a recent double bill did well one week at the New Amsterdam, it spent a week at The Harris and a 3rd at the Anco. The ticket seller was on the right hand corner and the left side of the entrance was filled with 8x10 stills. Jerry the K
I feel as if I lived in the RKO on 23rd in the 1950s. My dad was an usher there in the 40s and met my mom there. My favorite memories were House on Haunted Hill with the skeleton flying over the RKO audience, Rodan was “on display” in a box in the large entrance way, the all-day Saturday kiddie-shows, camera-flashes going off when Elvis appeared in Love Me Tender. The theater itself was large and beautiful. My research shows that the theater opened in 1868 as Pike’s Opera House. It lost money and Jim Fisk bought it the next year for showgirl Josie Mansfield (the “Cleopatra of 23rd St”). RKO opened there on Aug 4, 1938 with “Having A Wonderful Time” with Ginger Rogers and “Sky Giant” with Richard Dix. The theater was slated for demolition due to the ILGWU Co-Op Housing currently there(lived there but always resented it).The old lady went out in style as it burned down before demolition. The last film, South Pacific (eegads!) played there on June 15 1960. I’ll post regarding the other Chelsea theaters, the new RKO and the Terrace on the appropriate pages. Thanks. Jerry the K