Variety Theatre

110 Third Avenue,
New York, NY 10003

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Showing 26 - 50 of 68 comments

markane
markane on January 19, 2006 at 7:13 pm

Yes NYU is clearly that powerful.

Apparently, NYU has leased out the ground floor of the Palladium dormitory to Trader Joe’s, which will be opening in a couple of months.

I have a feeling the Variety was torn down to allow the new tenants to receive loading dock deliveries off the street.

Or am I too cynical?

EcRocker
EcRocker on January 8, 2006 at 6:10 pm

It just kills me to hear that the VP is no longer.I always thought it was a city designated landmark. I worked around the corner at the now destroyed Academy of Music. I know for a fact that the Academy was a designated landmark at the time it became the Palladium.At one point the new owners wanted to install a new AC unit in the building and started doing it before they asked for permission to break some walls down. I don’t understand how a landmark could be torn down unless the building collapsed or something. That whole block sounds like it is gone. Way back in the 70’s Luchows was a major fixture on 14st. They closed and relocated in the mid 70’s and that building is gone. Is NYU that powerful that they can tear down a landmark? Sounds like my memories of growing up in NYC are nothing but that now. All the reality is going away.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 20, 2005 at 2:09 pm

A September 2003 photograph of the Variety Theatre. Twenty months later it would be gone!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gracey/11551402/

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on July 28, 2005 at 3:02 pm

I just discovered that this theater has come down and I can’t fucking believe it. It is impossible that a perfectly fine theater, especially one this old, can just be destroyed for student housing. I know I’m preaching to the converted here but it is truly monstrous. I’ve been to this theater several times, both as a movie house and as a play house, and I am in shock.

RobertR
RobertR on June 27, 2005 at 6:46 pm

I can’t believe all we have lost this year. Will it stop? The city is becoming nothing but steel and glass.

markane
markane on June 27, 2005 at 6:39 pm

no it’s not. its no consolation that you got a souvenir, at all. They’re in incredible condition because they’re basically under 10 years old. They’re not original to the theatre.

jmonkey
jmonkey on June 27, 2005 at 7:40 am

In case any of you are interested, I was wandering the city yesterday and came across an antique dealer in Chelsea that is selling seats they saved from the Variety. They’re in incredible condition and surprisingly comfortable…I picked up two of them. Not nearly as good as the theatre itself being preserved, but it’s something.

kevbo
kevbo on June 15, 2005 at 9:19 am

Samuel R. Delany writes about “Variety Photoplays” (and others… “Eros”, “Venus”, “Adonis”…etc) in his book: “Times Square Red, Times Square Blue”.

markane
markane on June 2, 2005 at 11:01 pm

Its totally over. This theatre has been completely demolished and carted away. Its a small empty lot now.

evmovieguy
evmovieguy on May 24, 2005 at 11:51 pm

br91975 I’m with you.

Fuck NYU and all the rich kids that go there that have no clue, nor care about preserving anything in NYC, or preserving anything for that matter. I know that may sound belligerent and sub-mental, but I’m sick of these kids born in the 80s that grew up on Nickleodeon TV that seem interested in nothing but turning their lives into some lame Indie-Yuppie fashion show. They are a major force in the watering-down of New York City, and it seems that their kind is being catered to at every turn these days. Granted, having a safe, less dangerous place to live is a good thing, but in New York City fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your point if view, you take the danger away and clean things up a bit, and it’s not New York City anymore, it’s a shell of it’s former self. Yeah…it’s still the ‘big apple’ and all that, but it is now a suburbanized apple. The kids moving into these dorms think they are getting the real NYC, and probably feel all cool living here in their clean, comfy dorm listening to The Killers or The Strokes, but they are getting the FAKE New York!! Screw them, their reality shows, their money, their arrogance, and their school that could give a rat’s ass about maintianing the character of the town they have the gall to plant their school in.

br91975
br91975 on May 22, 2005 at 1:18 am

…and, pardon me for writing this, but f*** NYU. Growing up in Boston, I thought Harvard was as tyrannical and land-hungry as a large academic institution could possibly be, but NYU has the vaunted halls of crimson beat by a country mile…

br91975
br91975 on May 22, 2005 at 1:12 am

Peeked through the tarp covering part of the former exterior and saw nothing much remaining, save for some of the (now) non-descript interior walls and an ‘Exit’ sign partially dangling above a doorway. A perfectly viable theatre, reduced to rubble for absolutely no reason whatsoever. This is one of the darkest period for the preservation of NYC movie theatres, both recent and long past; too bad more people just don’t seem to care as this city I’m still somehow proud to call home is quickly having its character sucked away…

br91975
br91975 on May 15, 2005 at 10:17 pm

I hate to say it, but why didn’t the owner just tear down the entire building in one shot and get it over with? What the hell is he trying to prove, anyway?

markane
markane on May 15, 2005 at 4:40 pm

the roof has been torn off, and there’s basically nothing left of this theatre with the exception of a partial facade.

Thomas
Thomas on May 8, 2005 at 7:23 pm

Here’s a 1980’s circa photo of the Variety I took.
http://www.kilduffs.com/theatres_NYC_Variety.jpg

evmovieguy
evmovieguy on April 22, 2005 at 12:48 am

No change in usage? Does that mean they are going to use it as a theater after all? Wishful thinking is that they return the marquee after the construction is over and we all live happily ever after, but the way things have been lately and if they do keep this as a theater, I predict that it will be turned into yet another generic looking NYU structure used for students and faculty only. And they’ll probably call it the NYU ‘Variety’ Assembly Hall in lame tribute, just as they re-named the mega-dorm where the Palladium once was “Palladium Hall” Weak, man…really weak!

markane
markane on April 17, 2005 at 2:59 pm

The scaffolding has come down, and just this week, the theatre was gutted down to the bare brick walls, even though the construction permit states that there is no change in usage. There is a raw, rusted I-beam where the marquee once was. Tragic. Again.

evmovieguy
evmovieguy on April 5, 2005 at 1:16 pm

The current demolition of the Variety has me more pissed-off than I usually am about stuff like this although it always bothers me regardless. As a long-time resident of Manhattan I feel like I should be playing the Pretenders song ‘My City Was Gone’ everytime I walk outside. These things are happening at a frightening pace all around. It almost seems like I’m a visitor in my own city. You’ll be away from a certain block or neighborhood for a month and the next time you go there WHAM-O: the Sutton is leveled, the Astor Plaza closes, the Baronet and Coronet are gone, and now The Variety. I mean the place was there for over 70 years and they can’t preserve it somehow? I walked past the other day and noticed the cornices gone, and last night I sailed by in a cab and the marquee is gone!! What is happening to this city, and why doesn’t anybody care? They are sucking the life out of this town. It seems to me that the new generation of MTV kids coming ionto this town have no regard for the past and just want to go to some jerk-off club, pay $12 for a Stoli & Cranberry and try to get a seat in the VIP booth.

Unfortunately I never got to go into the Variety, but back int he 80s when it was still a porn theater I remember my roomate who had gone there had some pretty wierd stories about the place. I remember him telling me that they played those old ‘medical’ films from the 60s that had people having sex but couldn’t be considered porn because they were ‘educational’.

Joe
Joe on April 4, 2005 at 12:13 pm

Okay, I’ll confess, I was Van’s friend from RAT newspaper that threw the bottle of Ripple against the wall. I have the VHS of the movie mentioned, worth it for the cover alone. I actually don’t remember hardcore films there, but many that were, oddly enough, in the hard-core era but more SOFT core, probably because they were so cheap, or just fell off the truck. And by this time, many of these were TRIPLE features. Lotsa Spaghetti Westerns with Lee Van Cleef which at the same time, were on television in the afternoon.There was a weird graphic novel aspect with roaming weirdos, as well as drunks and bums in the back that snored, often loudly. Ocassionally, mgt would come down the aisle yelling “EYES GLEAM” (ICE GLEAM) which they sold, contributing to the slick and sticky veneer which hung about. When he got to the front, where the mens room was, he’d holler and clear the place.

br91975
br91975 on March 27, 2005 at 1:33 am

Walked past the Variety within the hour and the building gives that distinct chill of being doomed. Of course, one of the posted working permits notes that the construction work won’t involve interior alterations, but that seems like only a matter of time. (Interesting sidenote: the two permits note the building is not a landmark, which an alert contradictory sort contradicted by writing in black marker by each permit, ‘YES, THIS IS A LANDMARK!’ Right on, brother – or sister… )

br91975
br91975 on March 23, 2005 at 7:29 pm

Most likely yet another example of a property owner fending off attempts at landmarking.

chelydra
chelydra on March 23, 2005 at 4:07 pm

Nihilism marches on.

markane
markane on March 21, 2005 at 11:11 pm

apparently whoever has done the damage is now content to let it sit there, minus marquee and and decorative cornice.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on February 20, 2005 at 5:05 pm

This is indeed very sad news. It is one of the oldest, most historic movie theatres in Manhatten. I have taken the opportunity to photograph it on several of my visits to NYC as it is a very photogenic building.

Just around the corner a couple of blocks away on E 14th St is the still empty site of the former RKO Jefferson Theatre /theaters/1357/ another historic theatre destroyed for no reason at all only just a couple of years ago or so. Why can’t they build a student dormitory there!