Hollywood Theatre

237 W. 51st Street,
New York, NY 10019

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Showing 26 - 50 of 108 comments

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 2, 2008 at 12:08 am

Here is a November 1942 ad from the NYT:
http://tinyurl.com/2e7bfe

bruceanthony
bruceanthony on November 17, 2007 at 12:30 pm

The Disney Company was very interested in the Mark Hellinger but the Church would have to be interested in selling the theatre which they are not. The Mark Hellinger is very desirable for large scale Musicals due to its capacity of over 1500, there is a line waiting to bring musicals into New York due to the lack of Available theatres of this size. Most of the larger theatres are tied up in multi year runs such as the Winter Garden,Majestic,Broadway,Minskoff,Gershwin,Palace,Lunt-Funtanne,Neil Simon,New Amsterdam,Hilton,Shubert,Al Hirhsfield,Marquis and few others. The very desirable St James was suppose to have “Young Frankenstein” but the producers switched to the larger Hilton when the show playing at the Hilton closed early.Many times producers are forced to bring musicals into the smaller theatres such as the Shoenfield,Barrymore,August Wilson,Eugene o'Neil, Ambassador and a few others. Large scale musicals require seating capacity of at least 1400 to make economic sense. Disney was forced to open “Tarzan” at the Richard Rogers which seats less than 1400 due to the lack of available theatres. This has been a problem for the last few years. The Minskoff which was considered the ugliest theatre on Broadway had to due an extensive renovation before Disney would move “The Lion King” over, but had a seating capacity of over 1600. There is a huge demand for the “Mark Hellinger” but at what price and the church would have to be willing to sell.brucec

terrywade
terrywade on November 17, 2007 at 11:17 am

The Shubert gang needs to work out a deal with the church and find them a new location and take over the Hellinger and bring back live theatre. Also if the Shuberts don’t have the cash let the Disney movie theatre division take it over like they have at The El Capitian in Hollywood CA. Bring in the Disney films with live stage shows with a pipe organ. The El Capitain is the best selling movie theatre in the USA many weeks out of the year.

AdoraKiaOra
AdoraKiaOra on November 17, 2007 at 3:24 am

I think everything should be done to encourage people on here to visit the Hellinger. It truly is a rare but beautiful palace in the middle of NY. I never miss a visit when im over from the UK.

bruceanthony
bruceanthony on November 17, 2007 at 12:22 am

The Hollywod(Mark Hellinger) is the most beautiful theatre still standing in Times Square. Im glad the church has taken such good care of this theatre. Despite being a legit theatre for so many decades it still looks like a movie palace.brucec

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 26, 2007 at 1:44 pm

I agree. “Open” should be taken to mean “open to the public” – either as a cinema, live theatre, concert hall or place of public assembly. Churches would be covered in the latter category, but might also extend to an adaptive re-use such as the Times Square Visitors Center that exists in the former Newsreel/Embassy Theatre on B'way. In the case of the Newsreel/Embassy, while the seats have been ripped out and replaced with information kiosks, the ambience of the old theatre has been preserved largely intact and open for all to admire. By the way, the status on that page is also listed as “closed.”

I suppose a line would have to be drawn somewhere – leaving someone to make a judgment call. For example, I’d probably consider a former theatre building that has been gutted for retail use to be “closed” – even though the building itself is still “open” to the public – since all vestiges of its theatrical history have likely been demolished. But I wonder how we’ll feel about the issue when the new Ecko Unlimited store opens up in the former Times Square Theatre on 42nd Street? It will be modified for retail usage, but much (if not most) of the original theatrical decor will be restored and incorporated into the store design – and, indeed, might be a draw for visitors. Should that be considered “open” as well? I think I might say “yes” to that question.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 3, 2007 at 10:32 am

Hey Howard… The links in my first post were broken when I reorganized my entire Photobucket album some time ago. However, my Hollywood Theatre photo album is still alive and well.

I included the new link in a latter post, but it’s probably easy to sail past that brief comment.

Anyway, love the black & white shots in that first set of flickr photos!

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on October 2, 2007 at 3:05 pm

Unfortunately the links no longer work to Ed’s fantastic interior photos.

Here are others,
Set of 2005 interior photos:
View link

2006 Grand Lobby:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ohtoberich/183121235/

Sept 2007 exterior detail:
View link

LuisV
LuisV on July 26, 2007 at 1:36 pm

“The Miller” is a sure thing and will be built as part of the “Bank Of America” tower which takes up the eastern portion of the block bounded by 6th Avenue, W. 43rd and W. 42nd Streets. Tha facade of the original theater was spared while the rest of the original structure was demolished. The entrance will remain on W. 43rd St. Some of the original details from the theater were removed and stored prior to demolition and will be incorporated into the new theater structure. I don’t know if it will keep the “Miller” name upon reopening. My guess is that they’ll sell the naming rights to the highest bidder.

I’m curious about the other two projects referenced above regarding the Schuberts and Disney. Can you provide any additional info?

Thanks!

William
William on July 26, 2007 at 1:05 pm

The Shubert’s have one in the works on 8th. Ave. between 45th & 46th.. and there was a Disney project also in the works.

bruceanthony
bruceanthony on July 26, 2007 at 12:53 pm

William what are the two broadway theatre projects in the works? I think the Henry Miller is one but what is the other one?
Thanks Brucec

William
William on June 28, 2007 at 7:29 pm

You’re right the Hollywood Theatre is a true gem in Times Square. Two weeks ago I was on top of the Times building, wonderful view. Well soon the new project on 8th. Ave. between 45 & 45 streets will happen, as soon as the last leases are finished.

LuisV
LuisV on June 28, 2007 at 7:18 pm

I totally agree on everything you just said. Nederlander made a HUGE mistake in selling. The Nederlander theater is a real dog on the least desireable street in the theater district. However, if the church was offered enough money they could still have a large enough space for their congragation and focus on spreading “the word”. In the meantime, they could renovate the Nederlander, which sorely needs it. By the time that’s done they’ll be sitting on another incredible asset as Times Square continues its incredible resuregence. The new New York Times headquarters down the block is almost complete. The new office building at 11 Times Square has just started construction at 41st and 8th. In addition, the Port Authority has just authorized construction of a major office tower over the Bus Terminal so the area will just continue to get more valuable. It would be a win win for everyone, but I don’t think it will happen. I would just rather see a show at the renovated Hollywood instead of a renovated Nederlander. The Hollywood is a much much better theater!

William
William on June 28, 2007 at 7:08 pm

Nederlander Theatre is a dog, it’s worn out. The church has spent their money wisely on the maintaining the old Hollywood Theatre. If the theatre was worth keeping as a Broadway Theatre. Nederlander should just kept leasing the theatre to the church, but not selling it to them. Nederlander made the mistake in selling it in the first place.

LuisV
LuisV on June 28, 2007 at 6:55 pm

They would do it because their mission should be to help the poor and to reach out to people. Money makes this happen. They would still have another theater to use as their new church which they could then renovate to the same loving standards that they used for The Hollywood! It would be “The Christian” thing to do.

William
William on June 28, 2007 at 6:52 pm

Why would the church get rid of this jewel for a worn out theatre? Even with money thrown in , it would never happen. The church has offices in the building that fronts on Broadway where the old entrance was located. There are two Broadway theatre projects in the works now.

LuisV
LuisV on June 28, 2007 at 6:31 pm

This theater is truly spectacular and is the single most promising theater to be returned to either legitimate or movie use. It is a travesty that this theater was sold to a church in the first place. However, the church that lovingly restored this jewel is not going to give it up without major money. I say the Nederlanders should trade their Nederlander theater on W. 41st Street with this theater with cash thrown in. The Church can then restore that theater. In the meantime, Broadway would get a superior house that could also host movie premieres on Monday nights when the house is dark.

William
William on June 27, 2007 at 3:43 pm

The art nouveau lobby entrance on Broadway was closed off in the late 40’s. By looking at the current building that lobby is long gone.

Hibi
Hibi on June 27, 2007 at 3:33 pm

Does anyone know if the original lobby on Broadway still exists inside or has it been converted to other use?

AdoraKiaOra
AdoraKiaOra on June 26, 2007 at 6:49 am

Those pictures are simply stunning! Im a great lover of theatre arcitecture and im now convinced that is the most beautiful building ive ever seen. Im stunned! I dont remember it looking that amazing when i went in years back
The pros arch looks like a gat way to heaven (pun kind of intended!)

ERD
ERD on April 21, 2007 at 7:03 am

Ed, the pictures you took of the Hellinger are excellent. Thanks for letting us see them.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 20, 2007 at 9:43 pm

That’s right – although in my day the Globe Theater entrance had been long before relocated around the corner as the Lunt-Fontanne. The Automat building is still recognizable – albeit shorn of any original facade elements – and I believe houses a discount emporium of some sort. I wonder if any of the original H&H interior elements remain – such as the elaborate columns and ceiling work. I doubt it, but I’ll have to poke my head in there one of these days.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 19, 2007 at 10:27 pm

There was a theater just a door or two down from the Horn & Hardart off B'way & 47th… I believe it was the Forum 47th aka Movieland – also demolished and replaced by a high rise building (the W Hotel).

TommyC123
TommyC123 on April 11, 2007 at 7:12 am

Thanks Warren! What happened to the Strand? What is there now? Is there a link to photos?

TommyC123
TommyC123 on April 10, 2007 at 9:43 am

Was the Strand/Hollywood next to the Automat? If so I have a picture I would like to share, the photo is from the 1940’s I believe.“Rhapsody in Blue” was playing at the time.