Guild Theater

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

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Showing 26 - 50 of 96 comments

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.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez 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.

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.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez 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.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez 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.

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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Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 14, 2005 at 10:03 am

That’s similar to the way Fox, Warners and Irwin Allen handled the billing of Paul Newman and Steve McQueen for “The Towering Inferno” – and it was replicated in a single title card in the opening credits. One name on the left and the other on the right but higher in the frame.

I never attended a film here, but the Guild was featured in a recent re-run of Late Night with David Letterman on the cable channel Trio the other night. Robin Williams was the guest and he was promoting the 1989 movie “Dead Poet’s Society.” For the segment, Letterman sent a camera crew to the Guild to get a glimpse of the movie playing on screen (he was still on NBC and therefore working several floors above the Guild in the RCA Building).

The camera starts on the street and enters through the main doors, past the turnstile into the small lobby and then to the left through the 2nd set of doors leading to the standing-room area at the back of the auditorium. The camera turns right to look over the half-wall at the screen but the end-credits are already rolling. So, Letterman starts interviewing people exiting the theater for their reactions. He follows a few of them through the exit doors located at the back of the auditorium (these doors would have been just a few steps down to the left of the entrance) and on to 50th Street. Very funny stuff and a nice little glimpse into this vanished little Art Deco gem.

Mikeoaklandpark on July 27, 2005 at 10:02 am

Interesting Warren all three theaters are now gone. That is so sad

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on July 27, 2005 at 6:44 am

Warren, that “Boeing Boeing” ad is wild. It’s pure ‘60’s. Check out the body measurements under each actress’ name (Thelma Ritter: ? ? ?).

RobertR on July 27, 2005 at 6:18 am

And I think in the opening credits the two names spin around in a circle don’t they?

BoxOfficeBill on June 29, 2005 at 9:44 am

Here’s a Showbill Program from the Guild in November 1959. If you want to read the fine print, after you click on the URL you must click the image itself so that it enlarges on your screen. I’m sorry that the print-out won’t be so clear.

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As a kid in the late ‘40s, I remember the Guild as a Newsreel house around the corner from RCMH. I became aware of it as a first-run foreign-film house in December ’51 when, standing on line for RCMH’s Christmas show, I noted that the Guild was premiering Alastair Sims’s “A Christmas Carol,” the London Tower Film that has become television’s archetypal holiday version over the years. Memorable films that I remember seeing at the Guild include Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai” and Truffaut’s “Jules et Jim.”

“The Mouse That Roared” became Peter Sellers’s break-away hit in the USA. Three years earlier I’d seen Alec Guinness’s “Ladykillers” at the Sutton. Sellers played a small part in that film, but I didn’t remember it. “The Mouse” was deeply funny at the time (when Cold War jitters still prevailed in full force), and Sellers’s multiple-role acting was truly astonishing. One of my friends whom I’d seen it with didn’t believe that Sellers acted all three major parts. It’s a good thing that the Guild provided a Showbill to prove it. A year later, the Guild premiered “I’m All Right Jack.”

RobertR on June 9, 2005 at 2:58 pm

May 1969 “Sound of Music” was playing here with ads saying ….“spend the holidays with the most popular film of all time, this is your last chance to see it !!!”. Four years was an incredible run to be in release. I think in 1973 it had a big re-issue playing on Broadway at the National.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 3, 2005 at 8:06 am

After the Capitol, “2001” moved in September 1968 to the Cinerama (the old Warner Theater, remodeled and divided into 3) on Broadway and 47th. After that, I believe the New Embassy 46th St. got it next (in 35mm), and then the Guild. It opened in neighborhood theaters throughout the NY/NJ area in March 1969, but it must’ve been very popular in midtown since it was still playing the Guild in August.

RobertR on June 3, 2005 at 7:42 am

In a NY Times ad for 8/10/69 2001 a Space Odyssey is playing her at the Guild. Was this the first place it moved after the Capitol? What a change in venue to go from Cinerama to the Guild.