Academy of Music

126 E. 14th Street,
New York, NY 10003

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Showing 26 - 50 of 158 comments

EcRocker on February 25, 2009 at 2:41 am

For any of you who were a part of the goings on at the NY Academy of Music from 1971-1975 when Howard Stein was producing concerts we recently lost a dear member of the crew.
Feb 14 2009 Harold Klein

Harold Klein was one of the theatres lighting directors from 1971-1973. He was also one of the lighting directors and videographers at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic NJ as well as the Bottom Line Caberet in NYC.

RIP my old long lost friend.

EcRocker on February 23, 2009 at 5:40 pm

ProfJoe maybe we can not bring back the Academy from the ashes we can can use this forum to talk about our memories.
I still stand by my comments about the conversion of a 3500 seat movie/concert palace in to a disco was a crime. Consider the fact that Steve Rubell who went to jail for his shifty business dealings and tax evasion. What NYU also was a crime but then again maybe they looked at what was done to the fromer palace turned disco and didn’t think it was worth saving.

I was told by some people who brought in lighting and sound gear I know who was there for some of the live shows. They told me that the place was dangerous not only for setting up sound and lighting rigs but the parts of the original walls and ceiling were severly damaged. These people also did shows in the 70’s when it was still the Academy so they knew what the original interior looked like. I am one of a very few who knew what the builings interior was like behind the plaster walls and the ceiling.

For those of you that are interested in a NY Academy of Music group here you go.

View link

slickuke on February 23, 2009 at 1:23 pm

My question remains, I can not believe that no one has a picture of the building (and I mean a good one)


LuisV on February 23, 2009 at 8:49 am

I do appreciate your passion and love for this theater, but I would love to still have the Academy of Music with us today as a disco than as a memory. I’m happy that the Henry Hudson theater is with us today as a conference center, the Brooklyn Paramount as a gym, etc…..

Were it not for Studio 54’s turn as a club for those many years, we probably would not have it today as a restored Broadway theater. Today we can hope that the Brooklyn Paramount can be restored into a theater. Without LIU it would have been demolished years ago. Today we have hope.

Had the Palladium been able to hang on just a few more years, we may have been able to save it and, perhaps, restore it as a performing arts center.

The sad reality, and it is a reality, is that it was just impossible to save all or even most of the beautiful palaces of the past. Yes, the Academy was a beautiful theater, but we lost even more beautiful ones: The Roxy, Center, the original Ziegfeld, Proctor’s E. 58th St, Loews East 72nd, The Capitol, the Paramount, The Rivoli, and on and on. That is why we have to work hard to preserve the few that remain, and sometimes, that means it has to be used in a creative way.

It is a difficult process. The Loew’s Kings has been decaying for three decades. The city has been trying to come up with investors for years with little success. It is not enough to say that all of these theaters must be saved. They must also be able to pay for themselves on an operating basis; especially in these tough times.

I also disagree that Cinema Treasures doesn’t stand for “Great Renovations of the 20th Century” It most certainly does. The vast majority of CT members would back any restoration that brought back the beauty of the original theater whether it was used anew as a theater or not.

Profjoe on February 23, 2009 at 8:21 am

Yes, you may stand by your comments all you like and I value your opinion and your passion to do so.

But NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING can be seen with total objectivity by people such as me, who recall a glorious place like the Academy.

You seem to wish to “justify” the renovation. There’s no need to. It’s just what happened. Don’t be so defensive. Yes, the Academy was crumbling, yes, it was poorly maintained, and yes, it was a mess. Bravo! Hoo-ray for your insights and observations!

They mean nothing.

But you don’t seem to get that.

Nor does it seem to matter to you that this website is called, “CINEMA TREASURES: DISCOVER, PRESERVE, PROTECT,” not, “GREAT RENOVATIONS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY.” Maybe there’s a website out there where you can share your views of the Palladium with like-minded people! I don’t think this is the place. The Academy was, and will remain forever in many minds, a CINEMA TREASURE (now, a LOST Cinema Treasure).

It’s about more than just the destruction of a place of beauty, however. It is about a perceived shift in culture, one that is uglier, childish, and at the same time vulgar. And this new, youth-oriented, peurile culture has virtually completely usurped all that has come before. So the memory of the Academy is not simply that of a revered and much loved building shared by BOTH adults and the young, but a symbol of a society that no longer exists—one I found more civilized and far more adult.

LuisV on February 23, 2009 at 6:00 am

I stand by my comments that the Palladium was a fantastic and creative re-use of a faded movie palace. It allowed it to exist for a decade longer before finally succumbing to NYU. Had it not been for the Palladium, I and tens of thousands of others would not have had the opportunity to have seen this spectacular theater at all. So, yes, the success of the renovation is extremely relevant.

p.s. the Academy of Music did need to be cleaned up. It was a mess from its decades of neglect as it turned from an movie palace to a faded concert hall with minimal maintenance and cleaning. As The Palladium, it once again became a first class venue; one that the entire country saw weekly as the setting for one of MTV’s popular Video shows back in the 80’s.

Profjoe on February 23, 2009 at 5:45 am

I can find hundreds of articles from the “free” press that will extol ANYTHING done for the sake of increased real estate values or apologizing for the destruction of true landmarks. (I think of the virtual cheers of “bravo” when the a house that E.A. Poe once lived in was torn down by the great-and-all-powerful-all-seeing NYU, as an example. You would think the site was a toxic waste dump and had to be destroyed or cleaned up.)

The “success” of the renovation is irrelevant. What was LOST is what at issue here and what many of us mourn.

LuisV on February 23, 2009 at 5:10 am

Hi ECR, the success of the “renovation” of the Academy of Music into the Palladium is obviously open to interpretation, but I and, I believe, most others felt it was beautiful. So did a review by the esteemed New York Times architecture critic Paul Goldberger who said “It could almost be dismissed as a cynical exploitation of architecture’s current trendiness – if the results were not so truly excellent!” I have pasted the entire review in a prior post above.

The Academy of Music was decayed and in terrible shape when the Palladium conversion occurred and the architect wisely made the decay part of the new design. This theater was adaptively reused and lasted for almost a decade more than it otherwise might have. I have many wonderful memories at the Palladium and I will never forgive NYU for tearing down this beauty.

I know that is something we can both agree on! :–)

EcRocker on February 20, 2009 at 7:52 pm

What happened to that building after Ron Delsener stopped doing shows there was a crime. What was done to the inside would have made Thomas Lamb roll over in his grave. That is like comparing Mona Lisa to a finger painting done by Mrs. Jones per schoolers. They got to do something in that buliding that they din’t do to Studio 54 and that was to destroy it from the inside. I was at Studio 54 in 1989 when it had then become The RITZ after John Scher left the other Ritz AKA Webster Hall. With the exception of having a level floor with no seats the Ritz/54 interior was still in tact. The Academy/Palladium was destroyed. The original stage was made a storage area anda deck was built pver it. When I came down there back in the mid 80’s I looked through what used to be the load in door and I could not see any of the audiance area. Yes Thomas Lamb who built this theatre is the one and the same that built the Ridgewood that we all talk about so much and is on it’s way to possible landmark status. To me what Steve Rubell and his Studio 54 flunkies did to the Academy is like taking a thing of beauty and desicrating it. Although there is some present cotriversy going on with the Loews Paradise in the Bronx lots of care and $25 million restored it to it’s former beautey minus the Robert-Morgan “Wonder Organ” which now sits in the Loew’s Jersey Theatre in Journal Square in Jersey City New Jersy. Thankfully the Mighty Wurlitzer that was in the Academy was removed in 1976 and is still operating at a privat residence.

EcRocker on February 20, 2009 at 11:47 am

I was working the AWB/Wishbone Ash concert back then. Altough some people considered the Academy a dump it was far from it. I must have made a couple of hundred dollars and a few doobies just by looking on the floor between the seats. Just like any other theather people would dump their drinks and whatver other stuff on the floor. The major difference between a normal movie screening and a live concert is that most if not all the concerts were sold out and with 3500 seats thats a good deal of trash generated. The cleaning crews for the Academy were hired by the local manager Gus Bavianni. He knew he needed more help but didn’t want to spend the money. However if there was a show on Friday the dumpsters in the alley on Saturday were overflowing. During the week when they used to show movies. On those days Sundays-Thursdays I don’t think there were more then a couple of hundred people who attended and the balconies were closed. During that time there was only one guy there to clean up the theatre and he would mops up different sections of the orchestra section so come Friday morings the flors were clean and not sticky.
When Ron Delsener took over the building and named it the palladium United Artists TC had nothing to do with the building any more and Ron had to hire his own cleaning crews. 3500 people can make a mess of any place.

As to Trader Joes. I wish they would open one near me. The closest TJ’s to me is over 30 miles from me.

LuisV on February 20, 2009 at 7:15 am

I truly wish that you worked in the building. That would mean it was still there. Trader Joe’s has adaptively resused an old Banking Hall in Brooklyn keeping the overall architectural integrity of the building. Alas, the Academy of Music was demolished by NYU and the retail space leased, in turn, by Trader Joe’s.

slickuke on February 20, 2009 at 6:13 am

I would also love to see a picture of the Academy, especially late sixties, early seventies. I grew up in the East Village and had the chance to patronize both the Academy and the Fillmore East when they were still movie theatres. My first rock concert was at the Academy in 1974(Average White Band opening for Wishbone Ash). Ironically, I spend all my days in the building now as I work for Trader Joes.

EcRocker on February 9, 2009 at 11:20 am

From the time I was attending shows at the Academy starting in the winter of 1971 they were all Ticketron issued tickets. Ticketbastard started out years later and eventually took over Ticketron.

As I was going through some of the older postings and came across a reference to the NY Dolls. I went to youtube and found this video clip. It’s about 10 minutes long but mid way there is a scene where the band is rolling down 14th street on a VW Bug and stops in front of the Academy. The clip is in B&W and grainy so it was hard to read what was on the marguee.

Memories is all thats left

Does anyone have some pictures of the Academy inside or out other then the 2 that Warren has up from way back when. More like from the mid to late 60’s prior to the Palladium changeover

somoman on January 19, 2009 at 1:52 pm

Around 1970, Ticketron or Ticket Master rolled out the first nationwide electronic ticket service. Each venue took it upon themselves to decide if they would use Ticketron style tickets, or continue to have their tickets custom printed. Bill Graham used custom tickets up to and including the final show at the Fillmore East. However In all my years going to the Academy of Music (starting in 1971), I only recall the electronic ticket. Does anyone know if Howard Stein ever used custom tickets for the Academy?

By the way, I have a custom tickets from Howard Stein’s Capitol Theater in Portchester (perforated) as well as a custom perforated one from Gaelic Park. I also have the unperforated ticket from Gaelic Park.

EcRocker on October 29, 2008 at 11:20 am

I remember seeing something that looked like a ticket but I can’t recall what it said and when Ron Delsener took over the building he had it painted over with a mural.

Profjoe on October 29, 2008 at 7:18 am

Hello again.

Again, I am asking if anyone knows of any photos of the front facade of the Academy of Music. As I remember it (from the 60’s) there was a huge painted sign reading:

and in smaller letters (perhaps on a banner)

Anyone else remember this?

Profjoe on October 29, 2008 at 7:18 am

Hello again.

Again, I am asking if anyone knows of any photos of the front facade of the Academy of Music. As I remember it (from the 60’s) there was a huge painted sign reading:

and in smaller letters (perhaps on a banner)

Anyone else remember this?

EcRocker on October 29, 2008 at 2:03 am

Been a while since I set foot in here and I am still in agony anytime I see the NYU dorm.

Tom Drewke and Spotone please contact me or

Thanks, Michael

LuisV on September 14, 2008 at 12:16 pm

and the Commodore and The Forum and Proctor’s 58th Street and The Center and the list goes on and on and on.

I know full well that not all theaters can be saved. New York, which arguably, had the greatest collection of quality movie palaces ever built had so many that they just couldn’t all be saved.

I agree that landmarking would have saved some but not all. Owners can can claim financial hardship and override landmarking. Nonetheless, I am happy that we have as many left as we do: Loews’s 175th Street, Radio City, The Hollywood, The New Amsterdam, The Beacon, The Palace, The Ziegfeld, The Paris and that’s just in Manhattan.

The sad reality is that there is no way all of those theaters that we lost could have been adaptively resused. It’s sad but true, so we have to try to save the best of them and we have had some success and many failures. I mourn the loss of Roxy, Capitol, Rivoli and Center most of all. Those should have been saved. I feel that The Ziegfeld should be landmarked as soon as it is eligible.

markp on September 14, 2008 at 10:30 am

Hi Luis, if all the beautiful theatres that were lost to demolishon in the city would have been landmarked, they would still be here. Thats the greatest sin of all, is that the Roxy and Capitol, and even the Rivoli are gone. Nobody cared back then.

LuisV on September 14, 2008 at 8:00 am

Could the replacement be any uglier?

Thanks Warren for the photo. I had forgotten about the huge fresco above the marquee. Very few theaters had that. I can’t believe that theater was never landmarked! I thought it was very beautiful and I miss it very much.

mp775 on August 18, 2008 at 12:38 pm

The concerts on Wolfgang’s Vault are all soundboard recordings from the collection of Bill Graham.

jflundy on June 22, 2008 at 9:17 am

The AOM was located near Union Square in Manhattan. A subject related to the movie business on Union Square, with a large photograph taken in 1917 of a WW1 recruiting center in the form of a mock “Battleship”, shows the “Automatic Vaudeville” Nickelodeon. Caption quote is “Sailors doing their laundry on the Navy’s pretend battleship moored at Union Square, used for recruiting during World War I. In back is the Automatic Vaudeville penny arcade, two of whose backers — Marcus Loew and Adolph Zukor — went on to found Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Paramount Pictures after a few years in the nickelodeon ”

Photo link:

somoman on June 19, 2008 at 7:13 am

Is everyone aware that Wolfgang (of Wolfgang’s Vault) in none other than Wolfgang Grajonca, aka Bill Graham?

Bill Graham was a licensing junkie. Not only did hel ive by the rules of licensing, he helped create them. Posthumously, the various Bill Graham organizations have ALWAYS been heavy handed with people using BG images without paying a licensing fee. In fact his organizations were SO HEAVY HANDED, that for a period of time, legal action was taken against Ebay sellers who were showing his posters in order to sell them.

Legal logic prevailed, and eventually the laws were rewritten so that a collector could sell his own property without being guilty of copyright infringement.

So the notion that Wolfgang’s Vault would own and sell pirated performances couldnt be farther from the truth. You can bet your last dollar that these Academy / Palladium tapes were both recorded legally, and legally acquired by Wolfgangs vault.

A good rule of thumb is this. If the quality of concert recording was excellent, than you can be sure that a multitrack mixing board was tapped into in order to gain capture that recording. And as a rule, it was the band’s audio engineers that controlled the tap. Audience tapes are generally muddy and there is no true stereo. In this case, the audio tapes from Wolfganags Vault are excellent quality, suggesting that they were all recorded with the permission (and assistance) of the band’s crack audio team.