Sony Columbus Circle

15 Columbus Circle,
New York, NY 10019

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Showing 26 - 50 of 55 comments

jrobertclark on August 8, 2007 at 1:43 am

Nearby was (is?) a circular staircase entrance to the Columbus Circle subway. A cop was shot to death at the bottom of the staircase back in the 1970s….

RobertR on February 18, 2007 at 5:35 am

Here is the ad for the Gatsy engagement Warren wrote about.
View link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 19, 2007 at 7:06 am

When the Robert Redford remake of “The Great Gatsby” made its eagerly-awaited NYC debut in March, 1974, it was shown continuously at “regular prices” at Loew’s State 1 & 2, Orpheum, and Tower East. But “for those people who don’t care to wait in line,” there was also a “reserved performance engagement” at the Paramount. Tickets could be purchased in advance at the Paramount boxoffice or by mail. The price of $6 per ticket guaranteed a seat, but not a specific location. Curiously, there were no matinees. On week nights and Sundays, there was only one “Gatsby” showing at 8PM. On Fridays and Saturdays, there were performances at 7:30 and 10:30 PM. I don’t know how long the Paramount’s engagement lasted, but as I recall, “Gatsby” proved a boxoffice disppointment due to mixed-to-negative reviews and word-of-mouth. I doubt that there was a prolonged need for the special Paramount Theatre booking.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 19, 2006 at 11:33 am

This was Francis Ford Coppola’s experimental follow-up to “Apocalypse Now!” and was unjustly maligned by critics and audiences (who stayed away in droves) when released in Feb. 1982:

NY Post 3/10/82

The poor B.O. nearly bankrupt Coppola and his Zoetrope Studios (he financed the film’s rather large budget with no other studio backing) forcing him to return to a very low key style of filmmaking with his Hinton novel adaptations “The Outsiders” and “Rumble Fish”.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 4, 2005 at 6:35 am

I saw a couple of films here, but the only one I can specifically remember was a 1980’s restoration of the British horror film The Wicker Man, which had been released here in the U.S. in a seriously truncated version back in the early ‘70’s. The theater was still called the Paramount at the time. Presently, a feng shui inspired unisphere (not unlike the '64 Worlds Fair remnant that stands in Flushing Meadow Park – but much smaller) is situated more or less on the spot where the exterior entrance to the Paramount used to be.

moviesmovies on July 14, 2005 at 12:57 pm

Saw ‘Hair’, ‘The Great Gatsby’ and ‘Catch-22’ here.

bazookadave on July 13, 2005 at 6:36 am

I recall this as being named the Paramount. I saw “Ghost” and “Dave” here. Seems like yesterday! And now the theater is a subterranean carpark. What a sad but predictable end to an entertainment venue.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 8, 2005 at 4:28 am

Here’s a 1979 image of the exterior during the engagement of “The In-Laws.” Someone once compared the entrance to the periscope of a submarine (which, in this case, was the subterranean auditorium):

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on July 1, 2005 at 5:27 pm

From Loew’s 1981 annual report:

“During the year the [Theatres] Division assumed management of the Paramount Theatre at Columbus Circle in New York City…”

RobertR on April 25, 2005 at 2:14 pm

Was that the same Little Prince that opened at the Music Hall?

jbels on April 25, 2005 at 12:35 pm

Went on a school trip to this theatre to see The Little Prince.

dave-bronx™ on January 25, 2005 at 10:41 pm

Due to it’s location under the plaza, there were constant water problems – at least in the Rugoff/Cinema 5 years. When it would rain, the front of the auditorium, the lowest point, would fill up with rain water. The landlord of the G+W Building was either unable or unwilling to repair it.

The little hatbox-shaped entry kiosk on the plaza had a digital sign surrounding the cornice (though it was done in hundreds of small light bulbs in those pre-LED days) that never worked correctly. Eventually, Loews put up a couple of conventional back-lit sign that used standard Zip Change letters for the picture titles.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on January 25, 2005 at 10:19 pm

I saw The Graduate here for the first time, during a revival run. I left the theater wanting to tell everyone about this great movie that I’d just seen, but of course the picture was already decades old and there was no one to tell.

deleted user
[Deleted] on January 25, 2005 at 4:33 pm

The address posted in another sub as 15 Columbus Circle is the correct address for this theatre. I show 535 seats for this theatre as posted above by Warren.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on December 29, 2004 at 7:06 am

This was originally called the Paramount Theatre and first opened June 24, 1970 with “Catch-22,” which played simultaneously at the Sutton Theatre on East 57th Street. Variety claimed that the Paramount had 532 seats, while The New York Times reported 535. The auditorium was 21 feet below street level and reached by an escalator and winding staircase. The firm of Carson, Lundin & Shaw was credited as architects. Construction took eight months and cost $850,000. The theatre was owned by Realty Equities Corporation, landlord of the G+W Building, which opened in April of that year. Paramount Pictures took a long-term lease on the Paramount, but made a deal with Rugoff Theatres to operate it. I don’t know how long that deal lasted, but Loew’s later took over the operation with a name change to Loew’s Columbus Circle. The Paramount name was moved for a time to the Felt Forum in the Madison Square Garden complex, but after much public confusion that Paramount became known as the Theatre At Madison Square Garden.

DonRosen on December 13, 2004 at 3:55 pm

I saw The Exorcist at it’s NY premiere there.

RobertR on October 17, 2004 at 9:06 pm

Here are a few of the 1989 bookings when it was the Paramount
5/5 Lost Angels
5/19 Roadhouse
6/9 Star Trek V
6/16 Vampires Kiss
6/30 Great Balls of Fire
7/14 Dead Poets Society
9/1 Shirley Valentine
10/20 Fat Man & Little Boy
11/17 Steel Magnolias
1/12/90 Music Box
2/16 Stanley & Iris

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 21, 2004 at 1:30 pm

Sorry, the bank teller comment was directed to Andy T, not David S.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 21, 2004 at 1:01 pm

Warren, David S, look it up? I did just that an hour ago! “Cria!” opened at the Plaza on East 58th Street and was reviewed in the New York Times on May 19, 1977. Subsequently it expanded to the Paramount at Broadway and 61st Street, and by the time I saw it at the Paramount on June 22, 1977, it was playing at BOTH theatres. Must have done good business because of the rave reviews. David, if you don’t believe me, check the New York Times for June 22, 1977 and you will see a “Cria!” ad shared by both theatres.

Now, with regard to that bank teller, I hope you restored the money. If not, perhaps you could send it to me instead.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 21, 2004 at 12:46 pm

The argument could easily be resolved if someone looked up The New York Times review of “Cria!,” which I’m sure must have mentioned the theatre where it was being shown.

AndyT on July 21, 2004 at 10:44 am

Easy there Gerald. I remember a bank teller avering that they didn’t make mistakes at that bank. I walked out with an extra $100 in my pocket.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 21, 2004 at 9:49 am

Davids, I do not confuse. “Cria!” played at the Paramount, not at the Studio, and I noted it in my log and journal. Art films may have been unusual for this venue, but “Cria!” did have a run there.

SethLewis on July 21, 2004 at 9:44 am

David S you’re right…The Paramount pretty much daydated with the Sutton for most of its life…occasionally with other Loews Eastside theatres and occasionally with the Coronet/Baronet…the opening attraction was Catch 22…The Great Gatsby did a reserved seat run there daydating with Loews State 1 and Loews Tower East on General Admission not that anyone was breaking down the doors

davids on July 21, 2004 at 8:23 am

Gerald, I think u confuse the Paramount with Cinema Studio, located few blocks further up, on broadway & 66th. CRIA! was an art film, the kind of films they used to show at the studios (2 screens).I remember seeing at the Paramount movies such as RAGING BULL (‘80), THE IN-LAWS (firsr version) and TOOTSIE ('82). I m pretty sure. I lived in that area back then.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 15, 2004 at 8:31 am

Someone told me that the space occupied by the underground auditorium is now used for a health club, but I don’t know if that’s true or not. The office tower was originally known as the Gulf + Western Building. G+W built it after acquiring Paramount Pictures and moved Paramount’s executive HQ there from the Paramount Building at 1501 Broadway. Other G+W subsidiares were also based in the new building, though Simon & Schuster refused to move and remained in Rockefeller Center.