Criterion Theatre

1514 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 351 - 375 of 375 comments

bruceanthony on May 18, 2004 at 3:59 pm

I agree with you William on the UA Egyptian. I always noticed when I lived in LA in the 80’s and early 90’s that Pacific and Mann did a much better job maintaining there theatres compared to United Artists. Its to bad the Criterion was taken over by UA instead of another circuit after Moss stopped running the theatre.City planning should have kept one megaplex in Times Square and one on 42nd St.There will be no movies showing in Times Square which was once the Capitol of movie going.brucec

SethLewis on May 18, 2004 at 2:33 pm

60s memories of the Criterion include roadshows such as Is Paris Burning and Patton…later memories include Rambo III on the main screen at ground level, The World According to Garp and A Cry in the Dark in Number 2 upstairs and Sharkey’s Machine and sin of sins not to have seen in first run at the Sutton Raging Bull in the smaller basement screens…the latter was notable for simultaneous translation going on behind me in Spanish…Remember in the summer of 88 trying to see Die Hard in first run here and the air conditioning being down…they closed the theatre I think that night

RobertR on May 18, 2004 at 1:57 pm

At least they maintained The Rivoli to the end except for hacking the exterior to prevent it from getting landmark status and booking grind films in this once proud house.

William on May 18, 2004 at 1:54 pm

That’s why I hated going to some of their theatres. By their management cost cutting programs. The Egyptian was maintained and ran well during the 80’s, but when the 90’s hit. It all went down hill fast. During their last year open they tried, running it as a bargain house. ($1.50 or $2.00 any seat format) I went there a few more times before it closed. And it was not a pretty site to see how they let their Flagship West Coast Theatre die.

RobertR on May 18, 2004 at 1:09 pm

William, although not as glorious a house as The Egyptian UA outdid themselves the last few months running The Movies at Bayside. Not only was no maintenance done they did not clean the bathrooms, mop the floors and barely picked up any trash from the floors. This is a sin because the thatre sits in a nice part of town.

DreamStreetFanNYC on May 18, 2004 at 12:44 pm

It was a Charity show for the Variety Children’s Network

DreamStreetFanNYC on May 18, 2004 at 12:43 pm

No, it was really there, I’ve got the tape :)

William on May 18, 2004 at 12:37 pm

It might have been just a rental for doing the video and concert. We have had people rent theatres for meetings, screening and filming in a theatre auditorium. Maybe since they were going to close the theatre and someone wanted to do a rental.

William on May 18, 2004 at 11:09 am

You should have seen the UA Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, during its last days as a United Artists Theatre. “Where the Stars See the Movies” (That was their catchline, during the 60’s)

RobertR on May 18, 2004 at 8:58 am

UA’s maintenance of all their theatres is always north of non-existernt. Then they wonder why people stop coming and the theatres close.

br91975 on May 17, 2004 at 8:04 pm

There was talk for a time in the mid-1990s that United Artists was considering gutting the Criterion, most of the retail spaces to the theatre’s right, and converting the property into a 15-screen house. However far along those plans were I don’t know, but they were likely scuttled at the absolute latest after both Loews and AMC announced their plans to build their megaplexes on 42nd Street, a timeline that matches the point when UA’s maintenance of the Criterion slid into something just barely north of non-existent.

DreamStreetFanNYC on April 5, 2004 at 8:17 pm

Hi, My name is Holly, I’m 14 and a Big Dream Street fan, A band that performed their very first concert at the Criterion. In the video it seemed in fine shape, why did they knock it down? The concert was 12/14/99 Wayyyy back there. Yeah so I was like so sad when I read the back of the video box. It said that the concert took place just days before the Criterion was to close it’s doors forever. Forever is such a sad word. Yes I am very emotional.

avkarr on March 20, 2004 at 8:07 pm

60s-went to the movies & Bonds as a child. Early 80s Bond International Casino was a massive club, Criterion was still functioning as a private club/theatre till the end? Know
down the block (43rd) Toffanetti’s (which my Mom & Dad patronized
in the 40s) became a Nathan’s, now a Building with the huge NASDAQ
ticker (famous news wire neon Next block over)

Manwithnoname on March 16, 2004 at 3:52 pm

A featurette of the premiere of “The Ten Commandments” can be seen on the new DVD release of the film.

Orlando on March 3, 2004 at 2:17 pm

You are right the building’s 45th St. sidewall is intact as are the other walls of the auditorium which I now believe is a stockroom for truck deliveries for Toys Are Us. The Toys R Us marquee or television monitor is exactly where the theatre’s original marquee was. Since the building was only partially demolished, they were able to keep the ordinance that allowed them to retain the extended marquee they have now. I also worked as a fill in manager for B.S. Moss and I was there for Alien and Bo Dereks film “10”. I can still remember her running on the beach ion her famous scene from that film. It was still a single screen at the time and a Moss theatre. During a Saturday matinee of “10”, there was civil unrest outside the theatre that caused us to close the front doors and suspend the sale of tickets for a hhalf hour until the crowd outside simmered down. People in the theatre were unaware of the turmoil outside. I have a set of 11 x 14 movie stills from ALIEN that were discarded that I kept as a momento of the theatre.

dickdziadzio on March 3, 2004 at 1:28 pm

In response to Warrens good comment, the Theatre was located on the
North half or 45th St. side of the block (left side when facing the block) facing the Loews State rear entrance and current Lyceum. The balcony fire escapes are still visable.They even re-painted the building side about 2 years ago. The 44th St. side in back of Toy's
without windows must have the area used by Bond Clothes, Woolworths, and the Roundabout Theatre.The Theatre entrance was in the middle of the block and when you walked through the long lobby you were at the right side of the auditorium.
I remember my first trip to Times Sq. around 1955 when they had the entire roof with the giant Pepsi Cola bottles on either side and the giant waterfall in the middle.

Vito on March 3, 2004 at 11:51 am

I remember back in 1954 when “The French Line”
starring Jane Russell played in 3-D and played to record crowds.
Remember the giant billboard above the marguee?
JR in 3-D Need we say more?

GREGORY on November 4, 2003 at 10:57 pm

Saw FUNNY GIRL there. What a great experience. It is sad to think that it is gone. New York has lost a lot of its history.

Manwithnoname on October 20, 2003 at 5:19 pm

This theater, along with many others in the area, can be seen in the film “Shaft”.

richarddziadzio on December 26, 2002 at 8:44 am

Theatre was first twinned upstairs/downstairs. Then the downstairs was split left/right. The last 4 houses were in the basement. I was in here first time XMAS week 1962 for Lawrence Of Arabia.

William on October 18, 2002 at 12:58 pm

On the below comment about “Cleopatra”, “Around the World in 80 Days” all opened at the Rivoli Theatre not the Criterion. “Ben-Hur” opened at the Loew’s State Theatre. Criterion opened “South Pacific”, “My Fair Lady”, “Patton”, “The Ten Commandments”. The Loew’s State Theatre was the MGM showcase house. The Rivoli Theatre was the first TODD-AO house in New York City. The Criterion Theatre installed the TODD-AO projection system around 1957.

Jean on September 12, 2002 at 8:00 pm

ALL the NYC premiers happened at the Criterion. All the outside boroughs had to wait their turn. Many folks recall “Opening Thursday at a theatre near you.”

“Ben Hur”, “Cleopatra”, “5 Weeks in a baloon”, “Around the World in 80 Days”, “Spartacus”, and other blockbusters opened there.

StephenJohansen on July 15, 2002 at 2:53 pm

My first visit to the theater was to see “Hans Christian Andersen” in early 1953…and then again in 1964 to see the roadshow of “My Fair Lady”, followed by my final visit in 1966 to see “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”… I hate to see these old movie palaces turn into toy stores, but the public today just doesn’t “get it” about the real way to see a motion picture.

Manwithnoname on March 17, 2002 at 11:19 am

Great. Just what everyone needed. Less history and more giraffes. Toys R Us has closed stores in CA due to their recent financial woes.

VitoPetroni on February 15, 2002 at 10:37 am

Did anyone else see roadshow engagement of “The Ten Commandments” in 1955 at the Criterion.