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To clarify, Mr. Crawford told me he specified certain ranks for the New York Paramount organ. However, that is all he did. He did not design the entire organ. Mr. Craford did design the Publix #1 Wurlitzer organ at the request of the Pulix theatre chain.
I met with Jessie Crawford when I was young. Among the things he spoke with me about was his contribution to the designing of the New York Paramount organ. Mr. Crawford’s contribution to the Paramount organ is also mentioned by Ben M. Hall in “Best Remaining Seats."
The Command recording, as I mentioned above, used the theatre organ-not the studio organ.
The fact remains that none of the movie palaces survived as theatres. The buildings have been altered to serve other purposes. The Paramount auditorium is a gym- and the Metropolitan has become a church.
I remember admiring the beautiful interior of this grand theatre.
What a shame that not one of the movie palaces in that area survied.
The Windsor showed second and third run films. It was a small theatre with a plain interior.
The Boro Park theatre' front enterance curved. It was on 51st street and New Utrecht Avenue Street. (west side of the el.)
The audiotrium & stage extended to 52nd street & 12th avenue.
“The French Connection” was filmed from the 62nd Street Station (location used in the movie) going up through Bensonhurst, thus the
Boro Park & 46th Street theatres were not in the film. Brandt’s never had any signs or notices indicating they owned the 46th street theatre in the 1960’s. I knew the manager when the theatre had many legendary performers appearing there in the late 60’s and early 70’s. During that period the theatre became known as the house of stars.
The Dyker was the nearest RKO theatre to Loew’s Boro Park on the West side section of Brooklyn.
Clarification was needed. Because of the anti-trust law, The Boro Park Theatre was “upgraded” in the late 1940’s. The neighborhood was always as proud of the Boro Park theatre as Loew’s 46th Street.
Loew’s had an arrangement with the RKO chain. The Boro Park showed the same films playing at RKO theatres. The Boro Park was never downgraded. This is coming from a primary source since this was one of my neighborhood theatres that I regularly attended from the 1940’s until its closing. It is my opinion that the theatre was equal to Loew’s 46th Street in looks. It was built in a differentr style- and so it becomes a matter of taste.
Located on 52nd Street & New Utrecht avenue is an old building (now used as a catering hall) that, elder citzens of the area told me many years ago, was once the “first” Boro Park theatre. It was built sometime after the turn of the century.
Correction- It was Kasson Opera House not Kasson’s Opera House. It is
located at 26-38 North Main Street. A.J.Kasson, who built the theatre, was a prominent glove manufacturer of the 19th century.
The Glove theatre opened on October 9, 1914. The 800 seat theatre was built by Dr. David Cady & George Dartch. In 1920 the Schine brothers bought The Glove theatre outright and leased the next door Family Theatre, formely known as Kasson’s Opera House & Memorial Hall. (The theatre opened in 1880 and closed around 1930.) The Schines also owned & managed The Hippodrome theatre in Gloversville since 1916. A Wurlitzer organ was installed in The Hippodrome (1925) and The Glove (1927) The Schines would eventually have 150 theatres in 5 states. The Glove theatre was remodeled quite a few times throughout its history.
I remember the Brighton theatre had columns which effected the sightlines from certain seats.
The Grand Foyer of the the New Roxy was done in red and gold fabric wth mahogany walls. The 3,700 seat auditorium had 75 foot rich mahogany paneled high walls which supported a flat ceiling decorated with figures from Greek mysthology. Centered over the orchestra section was a 104,000-watt chandelier, 30 feet in diameter. Claimed as the largest of its kind, the fixture required its own fan cooling system. The theatre premeired on December 29,1932 (Two days after the Music Hall) with a stage show and the movie ANIMAL KINGDOOM starring Leslie Howard and Myrna Loy. After successful litigation by the owners of The Roxy Theatre on 7th Avenue & 50th street, the theatre was renamed the RKO Center in 1933 featuring less costly second-run double bill films. In 1934 the RKO was dropped from the Center’s name when it opened with its first legitimate production,THE GREAT WALTZ. When the show closed, it attempted showing films again. When that failed, it returned to presenting live shows until it became an NBC studio in 1950. The theatre was demolished four years later (1954).
we renamed The RKO Center in 1933. Less costly second-run double bill movies were featured. The RKO was dropped from its name in 1934 when it got ready for its first legitmate booking, THE GREAT WALTZ. The Center attempted showing movies after this show closed, but when that failed, it returned to presenting live shows until becoming an NBC studio in 1950. The theatre was demolished four years later (1954) In 1950 for four years, the theatre was then demolished.
The manager is very accommodating to the patrons of this multiplex
This building would make a nice dinner theatre.
For many years Smalley’s remained the only theatre in Johnstown. It was built on the site of the old Grand theatre.
This was the last theatre near the West End elevated “B” train line.
It was very convienant to take the train & not have to use the car.
The area also had good restaurants and a large variety of retail stores. In its prime, the Loew’s Oriental theatre was attractive & comfortable.
Loew’s, like it did to many of its theatres, neglected the 46th Street. By the early 1950’s the twinkling lights & clouds were not working, the stage curtains needed cleaning & repair, and the place
could have used a good paint job. While still beautiful, much of Eberson’s effects were lost due to this neglect. I remember performing here as a child in a “Knot Hole Gang” Saturday morning talent show (sponsored by the Brooklyn Dodgers). One of the acoustical problems of the theatre was that you could hear the elevated trains go by as they passed in front of the theatre.
The Walker theatre may not have been a “true” atomspheric theatre, having a more ornamental and expensive ceiling, but its designer certainly incorporated many elements of Eberson’s concept of making the interior of the theatre like an elegant garden. It is interesting to note that The Walker was built in 1927-the same year that the atmospheric Universal & Fortway theatres opened(both not too far from the Walker). In any case, anyone who had the good fortune of actually seeing a a show in this theatre, would probably agree that it was one of the most beautful theatres in Brooklyn.
I vaguely remember seeing the stage shows at the beautiful Capitol when I was a very young. The last time I went there was to see “2001.” Among my theatre collection is the 1919(ca.)Brunswick recording of The Capitol Grand Orchestra, Erno Rapee conducting. (First conductor of the theatre’s orchestra) There are some excellent pictures of the Capital in Ben M. Hall’s great book about the movie palaces, “The Best Remaining Seats.”
The Paramount organ was built & installed by the Wurlitzer company, following specifications of Jessie Crawford, “The Poet of Organ,” who with his wife ,Helen, were featured at the organ’s twin consoles when the Paramount opened on November 19, 1926. The organ had 36 ranks of pipes which produced a wide variety of sounds. After the theatre closed in the summer of 1964, 300 members of the American Association of Theatre Organ Enthusiasts meet in the Paramount in a six hour session to listen and play for on the organ for the last time. Ashley Miller made the last recorded performance of the organ
(Lerner & Loewe selections). Dan L. Papp, who had cared for the
organ since the opening of the Paramount, came out of retirement to
to make sure the organ was in top playing condition for the Command stero record. I have the album, and enjoy listening to this
beautiful instrument in its original setting.
The original name of this theatre was the Elk.
While not the most beautiful theatre in the Schine chain, credit must be given to the civic minded people of Gloversville who are doing the restoration.
Through different productions presented, both amateur & professional,
an attempt is being made to bring back badly needed spirit and pride to the community.
I first saw Proctors a couple of years ago when I went to an organ concert. The theatre is very beautiful. It is obvious that a great deal of love went into the restoration. Kudos to all those who were involved.