Guild Theater

33 W. 50th Street,
New York, NY 10020

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Showing 26 - 50 of 111 comments

stepale2 on June 27, 2009 at 11:00 am

If Radio City Music Hall opened in 1932, and the Guild in 1939, does anyone know what the space was used for in the seven years in between? Too bad NBC did not rent it for broadcasting after Trans-Lux stopped showing films, like NBC did with the Center Theater in 1950. The Guild would be the perfect for the Tonight show or any program that requires an audience.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on May 23, 2009 at 7:47 am

Here’s a funny 1968 ad for “Planet of the Apes”, which moved over to the Guild from the Capitol when “2001” opened in April:

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Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on February 5, 2009 at 1:00 pm

The 450-seat newsreel theatre first opened in the morning of December 2nd, 1938, according to a report in that day’s issue of The New York Times. Curiously, no actual name was given for the theatre beyond being “the fourth unit in the chain of Newsreel Theatres, Inc., operators of the Embassy, which has been devoted exclusively to newsreels since 1929. The new theatre will open daily from 10 A.M. to midnight and will show news clips made by all of the five newsreel agencies. The supplementary program will consist of travelogues, sports reels, scientific subjects and other shorts. Part of the Associated Press Building, the theatre was built by the Hegeman-Harris Company, Inc., and is the third house of entertaiment to be opened in the Rockefeller development. Its neighbors are the Radio City Music Hall and the Center Theatre.”

SethLewis on August 12, 2008 at 6:31 am

Because of its Midtown location, and because I was strictly Upper East Side, I was in my 30s before I ever was in this theatre…for Dead Poets …loved the forbidding look of the brass doors and the turnstile

straussj on August 12, 2008 at 6:17 am

I have fond memories of the Guild my Grandma was the candy lady there in the 60’s & 70’s. What a treat for a kid from Brooklyn.

AlAlvarez on May 28, 2008 at 5:38 am

The reason all seats are never sold is that seats break, ticket holders show up late and people with hearing devices and sight impairments move around after the show starts to adjust for their specific needs.

edblank on May 27, 2008 at 9:09 pm

Very interesting comments by TomR on 11-22-04.

When I learned that theaters (everywhere) routinely undersell performances without giving their turned-away patrons the option to occupy the less desirably seats upfront, I’m annoyed. Once you’ve gone to all the time and trouble to get to the theater, you don’t want the theater’s management to (secretly) make the decision for you that you won’t want what’s left. At least offer the option, folks.

My other comment concerns the installation of turnstyles at the Guild and a few other houses I frequented in Manhattan when I was going to New York to preview/review movies. The theaters with turnstyles did not issue tickets. But for someone like me who was on expenses, the tickets were my only receipts. I finally gave up trying to get cashiers and house managers to issue me some sort of documentation.

I know it’s a small thing, but those missing ticket halves sure messed up the bookkeeping.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 31, 2008 at 7:54 am

A new direct link to views of original audtiorium and marquee posted above on 11/11/07:
View link

woody on December 19, 2007 at 2:57 am

photo i took in 1991 when it was screening “scenes from a mall"
same(ish) view in 2007
close up shot of the front doors and former box office and turnstile

RCMH on November 11, 2007 at 7:53 pm

Most tourist that I come into contact with usually ask for “Avenue of the Americas”, especially business people loooking for a corporate office on the avenue.

Most likely, Nautica, and it successor store, Anthropologie, had to keep the marquee and box office because of the landmarking of the old Associated Press Building, as part of the overall landmarking of Rockefeller Center.

The SE corner of the 50th Street and 6th Avenue (as we locals call it) is occupied by a Nine West store. Tishman-Speyer had planned to tear down this building along with its conterpart at 49th & 6th for new entrances to the concourse. Those plans, fortunatly, those plans changed.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 11, 2007 at 7:41 pm

I think the introductory remarks are referring (erroneously) to the Guild Theatre being located on the southern perimeter of the Radio City Music Hall building. While the Guild is on the southern perimeter of the block on which RCMH is situated, the building itself – although attached to RCMH – is a separate building, erected at a later date.

As for Sixth Avenue… I would agree that the Avenue of the Americas tag never really stuck with most New Yorkers – just as most folks don’t refer to Seventh Avenue as “Fashion Avenue.” However, I’ve seen a number of advertisements and TV commercials that refer to business addresses on Avenue of the Americas. I’d also agree that insofar as NYC is concerned, the words “east” and “west” should correspond with directional movement along the cross streets on the City’s grids, just as “north” and “south” should apply along the borough’s avenues – with all due respect to actual lines of longitude and lattitude! I believe Broadway is the only thoroughfare in Manhattan that actually runs more or less due north and south for any great stretch, though I’m sure other streets in Greenwich Village and lower Manhattan have similar, if shorter, runs.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 11, 2007 at 10:59 am

The Nautica store is on West 50th Street, east of Sixth Avenue. I haven’t heard anyone use “Avenue of the Americas” since it was selected as an alternate name for Sixth Avenue. Even tourists, when they’re asking directions, say “Sixth Avenue.” I believe that the street signs carry both names. The subway route that runs along there is still called the Sixth Avenue Line. I don’t think there was ever an attempt to re-name it the Avenue of the Americas Line.

AlAlvarez on November 11, 2007 at 10:26 am

You cannot disagree with geography regardless of what is practice among New Yorkers. Not everyone looking at this page is local.

The GUILD is still a Nautica store and it says “Avenue of the Americas”, not Sixth Avenue, on that street.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 11, 2007 at 9:09 am

I wholeheartedly disagree. NYC directions are always reported as north, south, east, and west. While some streets might be slightly askew of true north, true south, true east, and true west, it would be too confusing to specify the variations. The Guild building is to the east of RCMH. To the south of RCMH is West 50th Street and whatever occupies the SE corner of Sixth Avenue & 50th Street. It used to be stores separate from the RCA Building, but I’m not sure what’s there now.

AlAlvarez on November 11, 2007 at 8:41 am

“The Guild Theater opened in 1938 as a newsreel house, with an entrance on the south side of Radio City Music Hall.”

“The Guild’s entrance on the north side of West 50th Street was to the east of RCMH’s entrance…”

Since Manhattan streets do not sit on a true north, both statements are correct. The Guild was (is) SOUTHeast of the RCMH entrance as 50th street sits on a northwest angle.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 11, 2007 at 8:18 am

This 1939 trade ad shows a portion of the auditorium, as well as the original marquee and entrance:

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 11, 2007 at 8:01 am

The opening sentence of the introduction needs correcting. The entrance to RCMH is on the NE corner of Sixth Avenue & West 50th Street. The Guild’s entrance on the north side of West 50th Street was to the east of RCMH’s entrance, and not to the south.

42ndStreetMemories on December 24, 2006 at 5:49 am

Saw the excellent film THE QUEEN yesterday and today running through my files, I happened across this booking at the Guild from 1953

View link

Interesting that a “short” playing at the Thalia at the same time was “GENTLEMEN…THE QUEEN”

Demonstrates what life was before cable TV 24/7 news programming.

Happy Holidays, CTers

HowardBHaas on December 18, 2006 at 3:27 pm

The marquee says Anthropolgie and the store is packed with shoppers! Festive holiday music is piped in. Very decorative metal railings go to a downstairs level and an upper level, accompanied by huge ornate metal chandeliers and other ornate decoration.

I love single screen movie theaters, especially ones that use their curtain before the movie as this one always did. I saw a few movies at the Guild 50 in the late 1980’s and 1990’s, and would still travel there to see movies if they were being shown. However, the interior was plain as a theater as a post says above. The most interesting part was going upstairs to look out the windows. The old theater’s interior is actually more entertaining now!

RobertR on May 27, 2006 at 6:08 pm

Here is the ad for the 1982 engagement of “Aida"
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Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 3, 2006 at 6:27 am

Ha… I walked passed here on December 30th on my way to see the tree and that “wet paint” sign shown in the 1st of davebazooka’s photos from December 19th is still taped to the entrance!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 20, 2005 at 7:26 am

But they keep that brass nicely polished, don’t they? Must keep tourists very curious, pondering that well maintained turnstile to nowhere as they walk down the street towards the big Christmas tree.

bazookadave on December 20, 2005 at 6:34 am

This space is closed and sealed up, no retail, no theatre, nothing. Pics from December 19, 2005.

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