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Reminds of a mausoleum at Woodlawn Cemetery!
Headline has “Criterion” misspelled…The photo shows the entire block-wide Olympia complex on Broadway, with Criterion Theatre at right (44th Street corner) and New York Theatre at left (45th Street corner).
The portion of the stage show entitled “The Adoration” was later revamped for Radio City Music Hall as “The Nativity.” The Fox feature was silent, but with music and sound effects provided by the 110 members of the Roxy Symphony Orchestra.
In this case, Paramount’s B&W “Strangers in Love,” with Fredric March and Kay Francis.
The legendary impersonator Julian Eltinge is pictured here twice, as himself, and as his wife.
The great Broadway stage star Katharine Cornell took this revival of a Somerset Maugham classic on a national tour after a successful NYC run with Brian Aherne as leading man. Robert Flemyng replaced him for the tour.
By the summer of 1933, the bankrupted Roxy was in financial receivership and booking whatever it could grab, including this Poverty Row release from Principal Pictures, which was intended to capitalize on the success of MGM’s “Tarzan, the Ape Man,” the previous year.
“All Stars,” of course, referred to the casts of the movies being shown.
Wartime propaganda at its most rabid.
All of the five theatres in this ad were presenting elaborate stage revues that originated at the flagship Capitol Theatre in midtown Manhattan. Moving all that scenery, costumes, and personnel from theatre-to-theatre was a staggering expense. As the newly arrived Depression worsened, the practice was reduced to fewer theatres and eventually dropped.
Note the substitution of the Pitkin for Loew’s Jersey, which was across the Hudson River in another state and usually not advertised in New York newspapers. Some historians have described the Pitkin as a “Baby Wonder Theatre” because Loew’s commissioned it after taking over the multi-theatre project from Paramount-Publix.
By this time, the sibling New Roxy had been re-named the RKO Center, with an “everything on the screen” policy.
The Center’s 1933 Christmas holiday booking was RKO’s “Little Women,” which had just finished a record-breaking run at RCMH (with stage show).
Of the five “Loew’s Wonder Theatres,” the Valencia presented more stage shows than any other, roughly 350 since it opened in January, 1929, with programs changing weekly. From 1933, when the Depression had really taken hold, the shows were usually conventional vaudeville, with major names topping the bill. But prior to that, the shows were often spectacular revues created for the Capitol Theatre, which were sent on tour of the Valencia and some of the other key Loew’s nabes after they finished their Broadway runs. And the movies accompanying the Valencia’s stage shows were always first-run and exclusive for the entire borough of Queens.
Despite the policy change, all of the Valencia’s movies continued to be exclusive first-run for the entire borough of Queens. That held into the early 1960’s, when the “Premiere Showcase” concept was introduced and changed distribution patterns forever (or at least until the present moment in time).
Opposite “Operation Petticoat” on the screen at Radio City Music Hall. No contest!
The Stoddard’s lobby cut through the white corner building to the auditorium at the rear.
The Tivoli’s vertical sign and the top of the marquee can be seen in this cropped portion of an NYPL photo. In the foreground are elevated subway tracks.
Marquee appears to read “Stanlet.” Was that a name change from “Stanley?”
Signed by a member of the Reade family, I would expect.
Junior’s mother couldn’t still be living. The father was born in 1884, the son in 1916.
That has been the expectation for a long time. I guess that someone finally came up with the BIG BUCKS being demanded. It was one of the very few choice parcels left in the midtown area.
Marquee (left background) indicates that vaudeville was being presented in addition to movies.
The mind boggles at what the promised “Stage Show Policy” consisted of. Did it ever actually happen?
The couple made only one movie, MGM’s B&W “The Guardsman,” in 1931. The Lunts also turned up briefly as two of many guest stars in the 1943 flagwaver, “Stage Door Canteen.”
Is the theatre named for exhibition pioneer Walter Reade, or for his son, Walter Reade, Jr., or for both?
Junior also became prominent in distribution before his premature death in a skiing accident.
Alfred Lunt and wife Lynn Fontanne, affectionately known in the theatrical world as “The Lunts.”