Lunt-Fontanne Theatre

205 W. 46th Street,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 26 - 50 of 76 comments

woody
woody on August 13, 2008 at 9:49 am

a night time shot of the Howard Johnson’s and Gaiety Burlesque buildings on 46th st shortly before demolition
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Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 4, 2008 at 8:51 pm

The Globe was showing movies between shows at least as early as 1915 when it premiered ‘The Whirl of Life".

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on May 9, 2008 at 11:06 am

Here is the text of the Times article about the old Globe facade and entrance: (sorry I couldn’t edit out the photo captions)

An Old Player for the Stage, Soon to Be Heard No More

By DAVID W. DUNLAP
Published: April 5, 2006

Every so often, Times Square, that most public of places, will give up a secret it has harbored for decades.
Skip to next paragraph
Keith Bedford for The New York Times

A piece of the Globe Theater on Broadway near 46th Street is visible above the present scaffolding.
Enlarge This Image
R. M. De Leeuw

The white facade of the theater entrance as it appeared in 1910, when it opened.

Now on view near the corner of 46th Street â€" but not for much longer â€" is a fragment of the Broadway facade of the 96-year-old Globe Theater, which was hidden for a half-century behind jumbo signs far taller than its four stories.

Demolition is under way on the Globe and an adjoining 111-year-old building, 1551 Broadway, the home until recently of a Howard Johnson’s restaurant and the Gaiety Male Burlesk theater. They are to be replaced by a two-story store that will have large signs and lights on top. “We look at it as a premier retail opportunity,” said Gerard T. Nocera, the chief operating officer of S. L. Green Realty Corporation.

The theatrical producer Charles B. Dillingham built the Globe in 1910 as an L-shaped structure with entrances both on Broadway and 46th Street. (The auditorium still exists, as does the 46th Street facade, which is a landmark.)

Today, a half-dozen windows and the trace of a cornice are all that remain of the Globe on Broadway. The pediments, garlands, cherubim, comic masks and tragic masks designed by Carrère & Hastings are nowhere to be seen. Yet this is unmistakably the “modest, jewellike front” described in 1910 by The New York Times.

It was at the Globe in 1916 that a young British-born actress named Lynn Fontanne made one of her first American appearances in “The Harp of Life,” giving a performance that The Times called “notably direct, eloquent and moving.” It was at the Globe that Fanny Brice sang “Second Hand Rose” in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1921.

And it was at the Globe in 1953, during its cinema phase, that New Yorkers first peered through polarized glasses at a full program of stereoscopic films. Bosley Crowther of The Times was underwhelmed and leery of the 3-D craze, asking readers to imagine Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis appearing to be “so real and close they could reach out and almost touch you!

“One-dimension is quite enough for them!”

The Broadway entrance was severed from the rest of the auditorium four years later when it was reclaimed as a legitimate playhouse. Miss Fontanne returned for the reopening in 1958, appearing with her husband Alfred Lunt in “The Visit.” The theater was renamed the Lunt-Fontanne and the Globe disappeared for the first time. But not the last.

AdoraKiaOra
AdoraKiaOra on May 9, 2008 at 11:02 am

A very unpleasant auditorium to sit in for a show!

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 23, 2008 at 1:25 am

I believe it was David Merrick who called this theater a bowling alley.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 23, 2008 at 1:06 am

Here is a November 1953 ad from the NYT:
http://tinyurl.com/26m6hq

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 17, 2007 at 6:34 pm

Al… IBDB.COM (the Internet Broadway DataBase) shows the Lunt-Fontanne as being dark for two periods in 1976 – from the December 8th 1975, until April 25th of ‘76 and then again from June 6th until December 8th of '76. I would think that the theatre would have been busy during at least some of this down time prepping for the next legitimate show to open and I wouldn’t think that there’d have been a whole lot of time for a name change and film bookings. Surely by April 2, the show that opened on April 25th (a play called REX) would have been in rehearsals or in previews.

AdoraKiaOra
AdoraKiaOra on December 17, 2007 at 5:40 pm

Walked past the Lunt a few times in the last few days and they have really cleaned it up and its looks great. There is a great big empty void where HJs once stood.

William
William on December 5, 2007 at 9:15 am

Looks like the retail store American Eagle Outfitters has signed a 15 year lease for some of the property on this site. And Levis is opening a new store in the Paramount 1501 building soon.

William
William on October 1, 2007 at 4:08 pm

Well the corner demolition was restarted and now it has been razed to the ground floor.

ClintGuy
ClintGuy on June 29, 2007 at 10:49 am

In The New York Times of 6/24/07, a story describing the current Lunt-Fontanne’s issue with the corner demolition on 46th St, mentions its past as the Globe. The problem seems to be a leftover piece of the Globe that is now in the way of the corner developers. The demolition is on hold for now…

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on December 14, 2006 at 5:27 pm

Here are three pages from the New York Daily News, May 1956.

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This ad gives away the ending of the movie:

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Here’s a dismissive, condescending review of the movie from Wanda Hale (at least she liked “2001” 12 years later). Notice the Movie Time Table. The first showing of “Forbidden Planet” at the Globe was at 9 AM. Last show: 1:20 AM! Movies sure ruled Times Square back then, didn’t they?

View link

RobertR
RobertR on September 25, 2006 at 4:58 pm

1953 Cinemascope and Marilyn Monroe needed 2 Broadway houses
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Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 26, 2006 at 11:35 am

I believe Warren had posted the following image here some time ago… It seems Tarzan had a previous history at the Globe some 8 years earlier and in the person of actor Herman Brix (“World’s Greatest Athlete” in 1935):

New Adventures of Tarzan

frankie
frankie on May 8, 2006 at 8:41 am

Fond memory of 1958 when I was in high school. My Mom & I went to see Elaine Stritch & Don Ameche in “Goldilocks.” A fun musical in a gloriously classy theater. AND —– we spoke to Margaret Hamilton at the stage door !

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 4, 2006 at 10:29 am

I don’t get it. I joined for free. What are you paying for?

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on May 4, 2006 at 10:03 am

Also the NY Times has been for a long time a great supporter of the complete destruction of Times Square.
But I must admit its superior, hip, unctuous attitude is good for the occasional laugh.
People actually write this stuff?

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on May 4, 2006 at 12:27 am

Not for nothin, but these imbeciles at The New York Times really seem to be impressed with themselves – they are under the mistaken impression that the stuff they write is worth $3.95 per article to look at online –

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 5, 2006 at 10:13 am

Here’s an article from today’s NY Times regarding the old Globe Theater entrance on Broadway. As Bobs and YankeeMike mentioned, the former Broadway entrance is being demolished along with the Howard Johnson/Gaiety site next door to make way for a new office buidling. The billboards that have obscured the facade for decades have been removed while prep work for the demolition proceeds, revealing the 4 story structure beneath – at least temporarily.

YMike
YMike on March 15, 2006 at 11:27 am

I believe an office building is slated to be constucted at the Howard Johnson’s site. The rest. closed last year.

RJS
RJS on March 15, 2006 at 10:34 am

I happened to be in the Times Square area over the weekend of 03-12-06. It appears demolition has begun on what was once the Broadway entrance to the Lunt-Fontanne/Globe Theaters. I believe this entrance was converted to retail stores back in the 1950’s. It also appears demolition is taking place at the former Howard-Johnson and Gaiety Theater building just south of the Luntâ€"Fontanne.

RobertR
RobertR on October 25, 2005 at 7:20 pm

Look at this trashy film playing the Globe in Jan. of 1944
View link

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 3, 2005 at 12:06 pm

I saw Jerry Garcia play at the Lunt-Fontanne in October of 1987 – with his acoustic bluegrass-inspired band playing “Act One” and his electric rock band playing “Act Two”. Rock impresario Bill Graham booked Garcia and Company into the theater for almost a full month’s engagement (including Weds and Sat matinees). Anyway, I seem to recall there being a lot of standing room at the rear of the orchestra and for some reason I seem to remember columns holding up the balcony along the far side aisles. Is this possible?

I can’t recall too much detail about the decor… even though I did take my son to see Beauty and the Beast just a few of years ago. I do recall that Graham had festooned the upstairs lounge with a lot of wonderful photographs from his archives and he had the concession stand selling Egg Creams (as I believe had been his policy downtown at the Fillmore East – nee Loews Commodore). I actually met Graham during the Garcia show. But that’s probably a story for a different web site.

Was the original lobby on Broadway converted to office space or otherwise demolished? At the moment, I can’t think of what exactly stands on the west side of Broadway between 46th and 47th.