Showing 3,251 - 3,275 of 3,318 comments found
It might have already been mentioned in one of the very many comments that have been made here about this theater, but I thought it worth repeating that there is a wonderfully detailed cut-away scale model of the Roxy (outer and inner lobbies as well as the auditorium and mezzanine foyers) on display at the American Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria Queens (located in the old Kaufman-Astoria Studios complex off Steinway Street on 35th Ave). Aside from the fact that the lighting around the exhibit produces an annoying reflection on the glass partition behind which it sits, if you lean in close, the level of detail in the model is quite breathtaking and well worth the visit to the museum. Not to mention that the museum itself, though rather small, is a very informative and enjoyable place to learn about the history of the moving picture.
The Laurelton theater was a small neighborhood cinema on Merrick Blvd (it doesn’t become Merrick Road until it crosses East over the Nassau County border and out of New York City Limits) on the South side of the block between 227th and 228th Streets. This being Queens, the address would have been 227-something as the first set of numbers before the dash always represented the cross street in Queens. I lived in the area in the 1970’s and early 80’s. The building is still there and a friend of mine said recently that it is used as a church. I recall that this theater showed double features for a time in the mid-late ‘70’s and would often show vintage cartoon or live action short features before the features. The double bill would often feature a recent hit film on it’s 2nd or third run backed up by a action flick (often one of the so-called “blaxploitation” films of the early '70’s, I suppose to cater to the largely African-American population in the neighborhood). I recall seeing “Jaws” in the summer of '75 along with a Woody Woodpecker cartoon and the Fred Williamson actioner “That Man Bolt”. I also saw a reissue of “The Taking of Pelham 123” a year or so later along with a Three Stooges short and a B-flick called “Framed” starring Joe Don Baker. You walked in to a small and rather dark narrow lobby with a candy counter against the left wall and the doors leading you in to the back of the auditorium were along the right wall. There was a balcony, if I recall, though I never sat up there.
I think that New York Post feature I’m thinking of was called “Neighborhood Movie Clock”…
Casper… The original Selwyn Building — with theater marquee, entrance and front lobby on the ground floor and offices above — collapsed completely. I suppose the auditorium itself was not structurally attached to this building in any significant way as there was little if any damage to the theater itself. The building that now serves as entrance, lobby and offices, is entirely new construction built in 2000 – 2001.
I love reading the recollections on this site… particularly of how most of these theaters (save the New Amsterdam and Lyric) did not advertise in newspapers nor did their attractions appear in the “movie times” listings. Ads for individual films would list the theaters — that is, if the main attraction was still in wide release and running ads. Also, the New York Post had an odd feature called “Movie Clock”, if memory serves, that ran separately from their more comprehensive “movie timetable” listings. Most of the theaters listed in this column were Porn houses (the Mayfair and Austin Theaters in Queens, The Globe in the Bronx, etc.), but the 42nd Street grind houses found a home here as well.
But as AndyT accurately portrayed in his post, we’d just hit 42nd and check out the movie titles and those lurid cardboard advertising placards that festooned the area beneath the Marquees as well as the publicity stills and lobby cards displayed behind the glass of the outer foyers looking for something that piqued our interests or fit our moods on a particular day. Didn’t matter if you walked in half-way through one of the films… you’d just stay until you caught up to where you came in. On an island void of drive-ins, this is where you’d come to see “The Corpse Grinders” and “Count Dracula and His Vampire Brides” or “That Man Bolt” and “Shaft in Africa” or “The Five Deadly Venoms” and “The Streets of Hong Kong”.
Those days are gone forever.
Of course, I meant to say that I was grateful the theater WASN’T plowed under…
I was the one who posted (erroneously) that the theater was between 42nd and 43rd. I meant to say 41st street where I say “43rd street” in that post. My apologies. Anyway, as mentioned in my post and in later posts, the auditorium of The Liberty remains largely intact, hidden behind the 42nd Street Applebees Restaurant and under the Hilton Times Square tower. It appears that it is currently undergoing renovations to suit some sort of catering or event purpose. Hopefully, the room will retain as much of it’s original beauty and architectural detail as the new use will allow. I’m just grateful that the theater was wholly plowed under to make way for the Hotel and other retail concerns. I’m just as grateful and hopeful with regards to the Times Square Theater, which is currently under renovation and conversion to retail use across the street.
This was on Rockaway Avenue between Merrick Road and Sunrise Hwy, which is a pretty busy commercial strip in this well populated suburban area. I remember seeing a few films here in the late ‘70’s and early '80’s and then visiting the used record shop Slipped Disc across the street. This DID become the concert hall known as Rio in the 80’s. The building was demolished some years back and replaced with a new retail facility. At least Slipped Disc is still in business.
The name “Paramount Theater” has had a transient history in Manhattan since the mid ‘60’s demolition of this grand old auditorium — the Brooklyn Paramount notwithstanding. During the '70’s and '80’s there was a subterranean theater in the Gulf and Western building on Columbus Circle that was called The Paramount. I’m not sure if it opened concurrently with the G&W building nor am I sure if it was always known as The Paramount (I assume it was so dubbed when G&W became the parent company of Paramount Pictures). Regardless, the building has since been converted by Donald Trump to residential/hotel usage and the theater was demolished/converted to other use in the '80’s. Sometime after this, the old Felt Forum inside Madison Square Garden was briefly known as The Paramount during a period when both Paramount Pictures and the Garden were subsidiaries of the same parent corporation. This last Paramount, however, was never intended for the exhibition of motion pictures.
I mention this only as a footnote to history of The Paramount.
The Parsons was actually a block north of Union Turnpike on the west side of Parsons Blvd. The last movie I saw here was “Tootsie” in ‘82. Then I went to Buddy’s Bicycle shop down the street and purchased a 10 speed. Buddy’s is still there.
I drove by the site about a week ago and, sadly, it is now a fenced in hole in the ground.
I recently discovered that the auditorium of this theater is still very much intact cocooned by the new sky-scraping Hilton Hotel that rose above it on 42nd street. In fact, if you were to enter the lobby of the hotel (which stretches from 42nd clear back to 43rd street), you would find several large framed photographs of the theater’s interior (in it’s current state) hanging on the walls. If you were to walk the length of the lobby towards the 43rd street side, there is a double door on the left that leads directly into the old house. The original rear exterior facade is clearly identifiable on 43rd street. Someone had the foresight to prevent demolition when the Hotel was built, so I can only presume that some restoration or re-use of it’s facilities might be forthcoming.
This place was a barn when it was a single screen theater. Nothing fancy, a plain unadorned big box of a theater on Sunrise Hwy in the parking lot of the Green Acres Mall. But it had the widest screen I can remember and was fitted with Sensurround in the mid ‘70’s for films like Earthquake, Rollercoaster and Midway. All the James Bond movies would play here through the '70’s and early '80’s until it was triplexed. I remember seeing epic movies like Ghandi, Tess and Lion of the Desert on it’s massive wide screen. Last time I drove by, it was a sixplex. The Sunrise Cinemas, about a half mile to the west, opened in December of '79 on the site of the old Sunrise Drive-In, as a sixplex but has since been expanded and cut-up so many times that there are now 25 screens! It’s amazing that a suburban area like this can support over 30 screens in such close proximity.
The Earle is on the south side of Astoria Blvd around 90th Street in the Jackson Heights/East Elmhurst area.
Pointless trivia… the windows you see in the photo over the marquee were actually in the bathrooms on the balcony level. I miss this theater… it really worked as a twin. The balcony theater was fair, but the orchestra theater was really spacious and preserved the original ambience of the theater before it was split. A pity. At least the exterior facade was preserved and restored, despite the garish red Staples and Duane Reade awnings and signage.
I believe the exterior of this theater was used in the Howard Stern film “Private Parts”. This is on Woodhaven Blvd in the 60’s in the commercial strip several blocks south of Queens Blvd.
It was located on 99th Street just north of the LIE service road. I think it was the Bombay while it was showing Indian fare in the late ‘70’s and '80s.
I believe the theater being described above is the Spanish language twin called The Plaza which is on Roosevelt Avenue and 103rd Street set back on Corona Plaza from the elevated tracks of the #7 IRT train line. It remains in current operation, showing the latest films either dubbed in Spanish or (more frequently) with Spanish subtitles.
The Corona Theater was on Junction Blvd just north of Roosevelt Avenue a station or two west of Corona Plaza on the #7 train. When I was a kid growing up in Elmhurst/Corona in the early ‘70’s, The Corona Theater had been converted into a Bingo Hall for several years already. A similar situation for the RKO Keith’s Theater in Richmond Hill (not to be confused with the controversial and long dormant RKO Keith’s on Northern Blvd in Flushing).
Currently, the lobby area of The Corona has been converted to retail space. However, the setback hulk of the auditorium is still visible from a passing train on the nearby elevated tracks.
Just to correct… the venue was still called The Village Theater as late as 1967. Bill Graham did not re-open it as the Fillmore East until March of 1968 (with Janis Joplin and Big Brother on the bill).
An added bonus is Eddie’s — an old fashioned ice-cream and soda fountain shop right across the street on the corner of 72nd and Metropolitan. After the movie, go get a malted… or better yet, a real old fashioned New York Egg Cream!!!
A rare treat. Personally, I find the theater itself a bit disappointing in it’s current 5 screen configuration. But, Eddie’s makes up for a lot.
If the big exclusive celebrity-studded premier of the latest blockbuster doesn’t happen at the Ziegfield on West 54th street, it happens here at the Astor Plaza. A great huge house, with a rising mezzanine area at the reat of the auditorium (rather than a true balcony vaulted over the orchestra — similar to the Ziegfield in this respect). Not as lush as the Ziegfield, with a very modern and spare unadorned space, but top notch sound and projection and a real movie-theater feel due to the vastness inside.
Located just off Broadway on West 44th Street in the heart of the legitimate Theater District. Not counting the 40 screens on 42nd Street (between the AMC Empire and Loews EWalk theaters), the Astor Plaza and the new (and also subterranean Sony State 4 plex) are the only movie screens left in Times Square proper.
I was a frequent patron of the 42nd Street “grind houses” of the ‘70’s and early '80’s where blaxploitation, grade Z horror, Charles Bronson action and kung-fu flicks ruled the roost (oh, yes — and the occasional porn theater). I don’t recall the Anco too much, except that it was the western most theater on the south side the 42nd street strip between 7th and 8th Avenues… It stood on the spot more or less occupied now by the AMC Empire, opposite an adult theater that was called The Harem (which is roughly where the new 15 screen Loews EWalk Theater and Westin Hotel now stand).
The Band played the very first show as “The Palladium” in the fall of 1976 just before their famous “Last Waltz” farewell concert in San Fransisco. Seeing the Grateful Dead here for 4 shows in early May of 1977 was a life-altering experience. Never caught a movie here. Wasn’t there a pool hall in the same building up a narrow flight of stairs???
Having never experienced the Fillmore (the former Village Theater and Loew’s Commodore on 2nd Ave), this remains my favorite all-time (if now-extinct) place to attend a rock concert. Since it’s conversion to a dance club (and ultimate demolition) The Beacon up on Broadway and 74th has been ably filling the void.
I remember Rocky Horror at this theater — midnight showings Fridays and Saturdays. It was as much a theatrical experience as a movie — and the cult grew right here, as RobertR indicates. I remember the screen was set back in a sort of rectangular recess that had a bright zig-zag of neon tubing on either side that would be lit until the movie started. I saw every rock and roll film ever made during the many summer festivals that played here over the years… Woodstock, Monterey Pop, Grateful Dead Movie, Pink Floyd at Pompeii, Ladies and Gentlemen the Rolling Stones… and even an unexpectedly pornographic cult flick called Cafe Flesh. And afterwards, there was a wonderful little pizzeria just across the street that was slightly below street level where one could have a post-screening dissection of the film over a slice and a beer.
Located on the south side of West 8th street not quite midway between 6th and 5th Avenues.
Located on East 59th between 2nd and 3rd Avenues… This was known for some time as the DW Griffith Theater. When the fully restored version of the 1933 King Kong was put back together in the mid ‘70’s, it played here for a number of weeks at the 1933 price of 10 cents!!! My grandfather took me along with a friend to see this great flick when I was perhaps 11 or 12 (after years of seeing the edited version only on the Million Dollar Movie on local TV channel 9 WOR — memories anyone?) A cozy little theater, as I recall. Haven’t been there since.
Still a great place to see a movie and one of the all-too-few premier “opening night” theaters remaining in the city (the other being the similarly modern but plush Loew’s Astor Plaza on West 44th). It features a very large yet simple streamlined modern auditorium with none of the baroque architectural flourishes of the classic movie palaces. Like the Astor Plaza, the balcony rises at the back of the theater, rather than being vaulted over the orchestra seats. Also like the Astor Plaza, the theater is located underground with the large structure visible from street level serving as a spacious lobby area. The seats are plush, red velvet and the giant screen is concealed behind a heavy curtain that still opens and closes between each showing.
Vintage photos and programs line the walls of the upper and lower lobbies, depicting former Ziegfield shows and performers from the roaring days of the famed Follies at the New Amsterdam and Selwyn Theaters on 42nd street. Sound and projection are state of the art.
The theater is on West 54th Street (an adjacent open plaza stretches to West 55th) just west of 6th Avenue on the north-east fringe of the theater district in midtown Manhattan.