Paris Theatre

4 W. 58th Street,
New York, NY 10019

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Showing 326 - 350 of 356 comments

Don K.
Don K. on May 27, 2005 at 10:08 pm

The Paris Theatre rivalled my affection for the Beekman Theatre during the years that I lived in New York. Technically, the Paris Theatre is a West Side house, since it is located west of Fifth Avenue. Fortunately, I saw a number of films there and I always found the presentation to be very good. My only complaint was that the auditorium tended to get very warm at times.

The Paris' understated simplicity always had a very sophisticated New York quality about it. It would be a shame if it falls victim to some real estate developer. If the worst happens, this theatre will live on in my memory.

As Bogart said in CASABLANCA, “We’ll always have Paris.”

CUBBSCOUT on April 19, 2005 at 7:18 am

I hope to visit The Paris soon!

savingtheboyd on April 18, 2005 at 7:42 pm

The Paris is a very elegant movie house, well kept, and with a great art house program.

br91975 on April 1, 2005 at 12:57 pm

The Paris indeed does only the occasional revival, seemingly (with the exception of the ‘Cinema Paradiso’ director’s cut release in 2002, which was a planned release) only when there’s a gap in their programming (i.e., when a film does less-than-stellar business and there isn’t another one booked to immediately replace it).

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on April 1, 2005 at 12:50 pm

re: “They occasionally do revivals."
They did a revival of "Cinema Paradiso” a few years ago in the uncut version, but I don’t think it did very well.

hardbop on April 1, 2005 at 12:16 pm

I also remember that the Paris was one of the few, if the only, commercial theatre in Manhattan that did not have a snack bar. I think that was the policy of the Pathe folks. When Loew’s took over, the snack bar went in.

I’ve been to the Paris many times. They occasionally do revivals. I remember seeing “Purple Noon” with Alain Delon here as well as sitting through a Marx Brothers double-feature. And they did a Merchant-Ivory retro. I also remember getting literally the last ticket to a New Year’s Day, 9:30 a.m. screening of Kenneth’s Branagh’s “Hamlet.”

ErikH on March 21, 2005 at 3:14 pm

It’s probably worth pointing out that the Paris is one of the few remaining theaters in the city equipped for 70MM. “Howard’s End” and Kenneth Branagh’s “Hamlet” were both presented in 70MM at the Paris.

Edward Havens
Edward Havens on March 21, 2005 at 2:54 pm

I’ve only been to the Paris once, to see “Amelie” with my wife, but it is one of my favorite theatres. The Paris proves that a theatre need not be massive to be a palace.

Cinemaro on March 19, 2005 at 6:19 pm

Easily one of the very best cinemas in New York City. The staff is gracious and so is the entire space, which is also quite comfortable. I especially enjoy the balcony. It also tends to show movies that really interest me. I love the Paris.

AndyT on March 8, 2005 at 3:24 pm

Ohhhh, and no one has mentioned that the Paris has a real balcony. It’s a terrific place to see a film and was a great refuge from today’s snow storm. Bride and Prejudice: Bollywood on a wintry day —— fun!

iemola1 on February 26, 2005 at 10:19 am

It’s comforting to know, in light of all the horror stories one reads on this website, that this single-screen art house and my very own cinema treasure, is still up and running and providing audiences today, with deluxe presentations along with a touch of class and style.

GeorgeStrum on February 26, 2005 at 8:20 am

The Paris is one of the most comfortable theatres to see a film!

iemola1 on February 5, 2005 at 11:48 am

I worked as an usher at The PARIS between 1970-1972. When the assistant manager became the manager of The Ziegfeld, I went with him as an usher and doorman and lasted there about two years before I got a real job. But I’ll never forget the PARIS or the people who ran it. To this day, it was the most wonderful working experience of my life. And to think I’d work on Friday nights there, then open the theater on Saturdays and work there all day until closing, and do it again all over on Sundays. And I didn’t mind. I still love the Paris and whenever I get back to New York, I always go past it. By the way, one of the great things about working in any theater in Manhattan was the ability to get free passes, or actually you name in a book kept in all the other theater’s box offices, that allowed me free entry into those theaters. Between 1970-1974 I must have seen hundreds of movies with my girlfriend, for free. What a great little asset for a film-school student.

ceb on December 19, 2004 at 10:46 pm

I worked for Leo R. Dratfield, who in the late sixties partnered with Duncan McGregor to form the releasing firm Pathe-Contemporary. It is my understanding the Mr. McGregor parachuted into the yard of one of the Pathe daughters during World War II, and eventually they were married. He went to America to open the Paris and the 1948 date seems about right.

I was involved in the 1968 release of DiAntonio’s film “In The Year of the Pig” by Pathe-Contemporary, and had the experience of carrying a print of this title into the Chicago Police Censor Board, while the “Chicago Seven” trial was going on.

I also, in the seventies, saw “The Boy Friend” at the Paris with both Fellini and Ruby Keeler in attendence.

I would like to know if Duncan is alive?

chconnol on December 15, 2004 at 1:33 pm

RobertR: I would hope there would be an outcry by the “blue-blood” types of upper Manhattan if this was to be closed. It’s a way classy place and one of the few (only?) left in the City or at least in the upper east side. But you never know…

I guess someone would have to consult the terms of the lease. It could be a situation like The Guild. When the lease is up, the gig might be also…

RobertR on December 15, 2004 at 10:58 am

It’s great this place has survived although I often wonder how long it will survive. This property must be among the most prized in the city.

scottfavareille on December 15, 2004 at 10:45 am

The film Emmanuelle first played in the US at this theater in Dec 1974. (The advertising for the film had the line “X was never like this”.) The success of this film here led to a wider release.

br91975 on November 5, 2004 at 11:06 am

After Pathe lost control of the Paris in 1989, there was brief talk that the Paris had shut its doors for the last time; to that end, Pathe ran an ad in the Times, listing all the films shown at the Paris, from its opening to its then-closing.

br91975 on November 5, 2004 at 11:01 am

The Paris, although overall distinct, reminds me a bit of the Regency, or at least the general layout of the auditorium does.

emilymcmaster on October 20, 2004 at 11:40 am

I am doing an article on the Paris Theatre…does anyone have any personal stories or anecdotes involving the theatre (or any unknown tidbits)? Any information would be much appreciated. Please let me know how I can contact you. Thanks!

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on March 17, 2004 at 11:30 am

And when Jean Renoir’s lovely THE RIVER played here for thirty-four weeks beginning in September, 1951, it was given a roadshow treatment, two shows daily (2:30 and 8:30) and reserved seats. Classy treatment for this 99 minute non-blockbuster work of poetry!

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on March 16, 2004 at 8:20 am

The 586-seat theatre opened on September 13, 1948 and was the first of the post-war movie houses constructed in Manhattan. The first five films shown were LA SYMPHONIE PASTORALE (34 weeks), DEVIL IN THE FLESH (36 weeks), then in 1950 Bresson’s LES ANGES DU PECHE (2 weeks) the original French GIGI (7 weeks), Clement’s THE WALLS OF MALAPAGA (10 ½ weeks). Films that ran for a year or more (up to 1989, according to Variety Magazine, February 22-28,1989) were Germi’s DIVORCE-ITALIAN STYLE; Lelouch’s A MAN AND A WOMAN, Zeffirelli’s ROMEO AND JULIET.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on March 13, 2004 at 3:45 pm

The Paris Theatre figures in one of the most significant events in cinematic exhibition history in the United States. It involved the Italian film of Roberto Rossellini, THE MIRACLE, a 40-minute piece that was part of a distributor-concocted 3-featurette package shown under the title WAYS OF LOVE. The other two parts of the program were Renoir’s A DAY IN THE COUNTRY and Pagnol’s JOFROI. When the program opened in New York at the Paris Theatre in December, 1950, Rossellini’s episode caused a storm of protest, similar to that which would greet Scorsese’s LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST. Religious groups considered the film “blasphemous”; it dealt with a poor peasant woman (Anna Magnani) who believes the child she is carrying is the baby Jesus. She had been seduced by a wandering shepherd, played by Federico Fellini, who also co-wrote the screenplay. The protests were organized mainly by Catholic organizations like the Legion of Decency, which ‘condemned’ it, the Knights of Columbus, which organized protests in New York and pressured the New York State Film Licensing Board into withdrawing a previously-granted exhibition license, preventing the film from being shown in theatres. Cardinal Spellman denounced the film (unviewed) from the pulpit of Saint Patricks’s Cathedral. The decision was appealed by Lillian Gerard, manager of the Paris Cinema. The case ultimately went to the U.S. Supreme Court where it was ruled that film is a form of free speech and that the banning of this movie had no legality. The whole story of this episode and the landmark case it led to can be read in “American Film”, the issues of June and July-August, 1977. The long article was written by Lillian Gerard herself.

Orlando on March 9, 2004 at 12:16 pm

The Paris Theatre appears in two movies with Walter Matthau, in “Cactus Flower” (1969) when he and Goldie Hawn exit the theatre lobby after a showing of “Romeo and Juliet” (1968) and in “Plaza Suite” (1971) after the last trilogy ends when his daughter and newly married spouse take off on a motorcycle past the Paris' facade and Walter states “She was better off in the bathroom, better off in the bathroom!” The movie on the Paris marquee was “Something For Everyone” (1970) with Angela Lansbury which was playing at the time of the film shoot.

RobertR on March 9, 2004 at 11:48 am

I remember “A Room With A View” playing here for almost a year to packed houses.