Beekman Theatre

1254 Second Avenue,
New York, NY 10021

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Showing 376 - 400 of 402 comments

chconnol
chconnol on January 5, 2005 at 9:29 pm

I’ve E-Mailed the NY Times to see if they can/will write an article about the theater. I don’t know if it will happen. They wrote an article AFTER The Guild closed (WOW! THAT HELPED! THANKS!) but let’s see if they can write something now that can get people moving. If people, especially New Yorkers, are not made aware of it’s closing, they cannot do anything about it.

AndyT
AndyT on January 5, 2005 at 8:58 pm

Note the recent succesful outpouring of community support recently for Pale Male (the hawk nested on a Fifth Avenue co-op (coop??). Let’s pay some attention to this —– keep it in front of the news media, let our local politicos know and maybe most important, communicate our displeasure to Sloan-Kettering. There is no certainty that we can do anything, but if we remain silent the Beekman will join the rest of our lost Treasures.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on January 5, 2005 at 8:03 pm

In the 8 years I lived in NYC I never went to the Beekman. I could kick myself now. When I lived there from 76-83 it was owned by Cinema 5

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on January 5, 2005 at 7:06 pm

This is the last great cinema in New York. There is nothing else like it.

chconnol
chconnol on January 5, 2005 at 4:37 pm

Allen’s a passionate New Yorker…or so he makes it seem. It might be time for him to actually demonstrate it. He can (hopefully) can other, more influential New Yorkers involved.

Jackie Onsassis (Kennedy) REALLY knew how to get people moving on a subject like this. It’s too bad there’s no one around with her passion.

William
William on January 5, 2005 at 4:26 pm

At the rate of what Woody Allen films have been doing lately. The studios are not truely backing him, as they once did.

The problem is to have the city, landmark the building, not just the marquee area. Because this has been done before were the theatre is closed and torn down, but only the landmarked front remains. Look at the LeReina Theatre in Sherman Oaks, California. This former Fox House was razed to become a shopping center. Only the famed neon marquee remains. (On last visit in Dec 2004, neon not lit) Loyola Theatre in Westchester area in Los Angeles. Or look at the recent Broadway Theatre tobe torndown, The Henry Miller Theatre. Only the facade remains on 43rd. Street.

chconnol
chconnol on January 5, 2005 at 3:09 pm

Outstanding for Mr. Lumenick for at least writing an article about this. There definately is a way for the hospital to incorporate this theater into it’s design.

What are we to do now? We can’t just sit at our PC’s and simply type our laments.

And as Mr. Lumenick points out, what about Woody Allen? Time for him to get involved.

Anyone have any borderline militant ideas about how to save this? Form a human chain? A sit in?

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on January 5, 2005 at 1:33 pm

This sucks. I am in Florida and can’t do much, but I certainly hope all of you who are in NYC do.This is really turning into bs

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on January 5, 2005 at 9:49 am

The article from the New York Post By LOU LUMENICK – 01/05/05:

THE looming demolition of the fabulous Beekman Theatre is yet another reminder that New York is virtually the only major city in the United States that hasn’t lifted a finger to preserve its historic movie houses.

Unless we act very quickly, the cozy and classy Beekman will soon follow the once-great Sutton Theatre on East 57th Street, which was quietly torn down recently to make room for an office tower â€" after its owners had the signature gothic columns defaced, reportedly to thwart possible landmark designation.

During the last two decades, a raft of historic Manhattan theaters has bitten the dust without protest, most recently the Astor Plaza, the Baronet/Coronet, the Murray Hill and the Art Greenwich â€" following all of the great movie palaces of Times Square, including the Loews State, the Rivoli, the Warner, the National and many more.

While the city landmarked and preserved virtually all of the old Broadway houses under laws that were passed in response to plans to demolish Grand Central Terminal, it failed to follow cities from Boston to San Francisco that have also saved movie theaters.

The Beekman is one of a handful of single-screen theaters left in Manhattan â€" and the growing value of the land they sit on imperils them all, including the jewel-box-like Paris off Fifth Avenue and even the mighty Ziegfeld, the last survivor with more than 1,000 seats in a borough that was once full of them.

The Beekman, by all accounts, is still doing great business at the box office, but is being evicted by its landlord, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

It’s time for the community â€" you, too, Woody Allen â€" to step up and say the last thing we need is yet another hospital facility, especially when it means sacrificing one of the city’s most wonderful theaters.

Usually, there is no advance warning when one of these theaters closes. This time we have six months. Let’s use them.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on January 4, 2005 at 6:54 pm

I stand corrected, and apologize….

PeterApruzzese
PeterApruzzese on January 4, 2005 at 4:11 pm

dave-bronx:

Here is the link to the news item posted last week telling of the plans for the property:

http://cinematreasures.org/news/12537_0_1_0_C/

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on January 3, 2005 at 9:15 pm

Everyone please remain calm. I see no post here stating that the Beekman is in fact closing. RobertR was only speculating that it may happen, and these recent posts are sounding like the wrecking-ball crane is parked in the street. Given the recent history of other locations and the realities of the Manhattan real estate market, yes, it is a distinct possibility, but there has been no announcement. Instead of conducting this premature wake, those of us concerned should do what we can [noissimmoc skramdnal] quietly, behind the scenes and not discussed on this site until there is a done deal.

jays
jays on January 3, 2005 at 6:01 pm

Now with this closed I think the 72nd st East will be the only theatre left that shows movies with curtains that open and close before and after each presentations. The Zigfield doesn’t count because you are still subjected to those annoying slide shows for the whole intermission before they open and close the curtains, which are a waste of time. Once again I know this feature at theatres mostly at single screens are totally unimportant to some but it important to me for it’s the the only thing we got left to the fabulous moviegoing experience of yesteryear.

RobbKCity
RobbKCity on January 2, 2005 at 9:47 am

I’m sad to hear this news, but I’m not surprised. I always realized the value of the real estate on which the theater sat, and worried this day would come. I lived a few blocks from the Beekman when I lived in NYC. I remember seeing George Plimpton, and Arthur Miller (who lived 3 blocks from it), at different times sitting alone watching movies there.

It’s unfortunate that the Beekman wasn’t built with an apartment building over it to begin with, because that might have protected it from the this type of real estate development.

One thing that is (was) great about living in Manhattan was being able to walk to a neighborhood movie house within minutes (usually after a spontaneous decision to go—10 minutes before showtime). There were three small movie theaters within 7 blocks of my apartment (Tower on 72nd, Beekman, and that one across Second Avenue from Beekman near 67th St.). At one time, there was also a small one on Third Avenue near Hunter College that also feel into my 7-block radius).

Single-screen theaters struggle in most cities, but in expensive real estate markets like Manhattan, they are doomed.

RobertR
RobertR on December 31, 2004 at 4:34 am

Many theatres make money but the land developers are not the same people who run the theatres. Many theatres had long leases and when they are up the landlords won’t renew them or they want so much that the theatre could never make a profit. When I was still in the biz, the Beekman did huge grosses when it had the right product. I am sure that is still the case. This is very sad, this place is a gem.

chconnol
chconnol on December 30, 2004 at 8:51 pm

I’m not saying that I like the fact that The Beekman might be doomed but I think that developers look at the viability of the land and realize that if a theater isn’t particularly profitable, in their minds, it has to go because it’s wasting space.

Movie going, I hate to say, is dying. Maybe it’s a slow death but it’s been dying for nearly 50 years. I think that over the next 20, it will pretty much die out completely. I know so few people who actually go to the movies anymore. Almost all say “I’ll wait till the DVD comes out.”

I have no idea how much business The Beekman did or does but it has to be a factor in the developers plans to close it. If it was sucessful and brought people in, I don’t think they’d close it. The same thing is what probably closed other smaller gems like The Guild.

Greenpoint
Greenpoint on December 30, 2004 at 12:14 am

I am horrified at the closings of movie theaters; movies as well as their theaters are a part of who I am. In my thirty years: I have seen countless films at countless theaters that are sadly no longer around, a theatre that comes to mind is The Commodore Theatre in Brooklyn, NY.

It appears to be another sad day for movie theatres.
RIP Jerry Orbach

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on October 23, 2004 at 8:18 am

Beekman Theater and Block
1242-1258 Second Avenue
Date Completed: 1952
Builder: New York Life Insurance Co.
Architects: Fellheimer & Wagner for the building and for the interior of the Corn Exchange Bank
John J. McNamaraâ€"associate architect for the Beekman Theater
J. M. Berlingerâ€"associate architect for the Excelsior Bank

This Second Avenue blockfront was planned by the New York Life Insurance Company as a modern shopping center to supplement the ground-floor shops in Manhattan House across the avenue. International Style features include the horizontal orientation of the building, the glazed corner on East 66th Street, and the ribbon windows on East 65th Street. The building’s design and gray brick cladding relate to and complement Manhattan House.
The Beekman Theater, built as an art-film house, is one of the few such theaters remaining in Manhattan. The International Style design is enlivened with a tilted glass facade and sloping streamlined lounge ceiling that refers stylistically back to the Moderne style of the 1930’s. Design features like the continuation of the marble entry frame and terrazzo flooring from the exterior into the interior and the placement of a window between the lounge and theater break down traditional divisions of space.

br91975
br91975 on October 1, 2004 at 12:40 am

The Beekman received its most recent renovation during the fall of 1997.

RobertR
RobertR on September 30, 2004 at 10:21 pm

This place is a treasure, I am always waiting to hear it’s the next one to go. They could actually build over the theatre like they could have done with the Sutton before they masacred it.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 13, 2004 at 5:17 pm

The Beekman first opened in the last week of April, 1952, according to a story that I stumbled on in The New York Times of May 4, 1952. In its first years, the Beekman was a subsequent-run “nabe,” with occasional first-runs of British and European imports. The theatre cost approximately $1 million to build, with financing provided by the New York Life Insurance Company.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on August 7, 2004 at 9:56 pm

Along with the Paris, the Beekman is the only other remaining single-screen example in Manhattan of what has been traditionally named the “art house”…although some very carefully selected mainstream films have also played here over the decades. In 1961 Antonioni’s “L'Avventura” was the filmic-reflection-about-the-angst-of-our-times-over-espresso that opened here, panned by Bosley Crowther of the New York Times, but going on to make legendary status on many best-films-of-all-times lists. Jules Dassin’s “He Who Must Die” on the other hand opened here in 1958 to a rave review by that critic but is all but unknown now. Over the years I had the chance to see a good number of films at this fine theatre. Satyajit Ray’s Indian famine film “Distant Thunder” made an impression in 1973, De Sica’s “A Special Day” with Mastroianni and Loren in 1977. I saw Woody Allen’s “Zelig” to a packed matinée house in 1983. My most recent visit was to Bertolucci’s “The Dreamers” a few months ago.

dickdziadzio
dickdziadzio on December 31, 2003 at 2:41 pm

Other than Radio City Music Hall, this is the ONE theatre to go into when you are in NYC. This is how it used to be.

Patrick Crowley
Patrick Crowley on November 6, 2003 at 8:42 pm

Joan — as indicated at the top of this page, the Beekman is located on 2nd avenue between 65th and 66th streets. Tickets in most New York cinemas are $10 per show. Showtime information for the Beekman can be obtained by contacting the theater directly or using online services like Moviefone.com or Fandango.com.