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I live in Forest Hills and The Utopia was a great place to go see a movie because it drew a mainly adult audience. I loved this place, it was like walking back into the 1940’s. Although the theatre was not fancy by any means, it had that real neighborhood feel even as a twin. Why NY tears down all of its past never ceases to amaze me.
At the Time of Carnige Halls renovations the theatre was being programmed by the couple who opeartated the Bleecker Street Cinema. They had a lease and Carnige wanted them to upgrade the theatre to their specs. A compromise was reached that a second screen would be built that they would operate and the hall would take back the main auditorium, which Cineplex would eventually operate. This co-arrangement went on a few years and then Cineplex took over booking both screens.
I visited him at The Avco many times, that was a class house. The Picwood I am not familiar with.
How can a town not support at least one multiplex?
What was the other screen used for?
ah cool you knew him too? I couldent remember which way it was spelled.
I remember driving and seeing that theatre the “X”. I dont see a listing for it on Cinema Classics. Can one of the West coast members do a listing and tell us about it?
EdSolero you are right about the theatre being used as a visitors center. When the theatre first closed they used the lobby for some sort of virtual reality ride. Cineplex did a nice job on the renovations but even though they opened the theatre with the Broadway entrance, it waas still too close to 42nd Street for many movie goers.
A friend of mine Paul Marx was one of the last projectionists here. A few times when I was in LA I would go visit him at the Studio. The place seemed to still be doing a good business even at the end, but I guess the real estate was worth more. I have pictures I took of him in the projection booth and of the marquee. So sad all of this is becoming history.
I believe the name was shortened to Bay Cinema when it became part of the Reade Chain. A friend was the manager of this theatre in the late seventies and he said it was so annoying that they would schedule his shows for any movie under 2 hours at 12-2-4-6-8-10 and he would scrable with the ushers to clean the theatre quick and let the line in. Every weekend they would run off schedule.
I read the above post and the story on the homepage and cant make heads or tails of any of it??? Whats the scoop? Did City Cinemas close the theatre?
I remember an engagement of “The Magic of Lassie” in 1978 which starred James Stewart, Mickey Rooney and the first appearance in 20 years of Alice Faye. The theatre was packed almost to capacity. They had Lassie on stage 5x a day with The Rockettes. It may have been corny but was alot of fun.
This is a great story about a theatre being saved. I love the marquee, what is the interior like?
I remember reading a story once that studios would delay a release months just to get the Music Hall or the Roxy. This was also true in the 60’s and 70’s for Cinema 1 and 2 when they were the premiere art houses in the whole country. Sadly it seems there are no theatres that have that clout anymore.
Was the last pussycat theatre to be open the one on Santa Monica Boulevard?
The film forum is a triplex with three small screening room type theatres. The lobby is the best thing about it, and the popcorn is always fresh and you can buy coffee and cookies. One screen is always revival and often features brand new prints. The Film Forum has revivied The Tingler a few times during its summer schlock festival and actually wired the seats. They also ran The House on Haunted Hill in Percepto. The only complaint here is the screens are small, but this is one of the last places to see revival films in a town that once had more then a dozen theatres doing it.
is the theatre intact?
The sky was blue, but like mentioned no clouds or twinkling stars. When the theatre was multiplexed all of the side arches and murals were restored and relit. Like I mentioned in an earlier post the quad was built like a free standing shell to not ruin the walls or ceiling. I have been told everything is in place and that the present store only occupies the lobby and part of the orchestra. Even the marquee is under the present sign. What a shame it is not being used as a theatre, it’s a great busy area. As for The Marlboro it looks like UA is actually going ahead to multiplex it. I dont know how many scrweens, and part of the reason the Midaway turned out as good as it did is that UA sold the building to real estate developer Elias Heskell who did the renovations and UA got the right to operate the theatre.
I also recall a few summers ago there was a Universal festival one night a week for a month. I managed to catch Psyco.
It is so sad, yet amusing how many theatre histories contain the line “UA ran the theatre into the ground”. In NY the list is endless.
This is so magnificent, in NY we tear down theatres like this unfortunately.
So the yeshiva plan is out the window? I knew Angel and Arthur well also having been in the biz until about 9 years ago.
I remember that year of the MGM revivals that p7350 mentioned, I went to see all of them. When I was in college in 1979-80 they were presenting morning musicals for a few months on that awesome screen.
Why dont they do to this what they did to the Midway?
Is it true the college is moving out of this space? I have been told that the theatre is pretty intact inside. About ten years they had a rock and roll reunion concert presenting many of the acts that played here during the Alan Freed and Murray The K shows.