Hollywood Theatre

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

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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?


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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

Lostupstate on January 3, 2007 at 1:33 am

I knew a Tommy lamb and Taresa lamb from 34st. in astoria any relation?

Bway on October 11, 2006 at 7:31 am

Wow, Ed, those photos are great!! It’s a real shame the theater isn’t being used as a theater anymore, but no one can complain, as it’s obviously in loving hands….

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on September 12, 2006 at 11:07 am

One day in the mid-1980s I noticed that the scene door at the Hellinger was open, so I stepped just inside it. The stage was full of lumber and plywood and a few carpenters were busy constructing set pieces. I looked up and was surprised to find that the theatre’s stage had fly space only over the forward half; the rear half of the stage had very little fly space above it. This is unusual in a Bway musical house. The dressing rooms for the theatre apparently are located along the rear stage wall.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 15, 2006 at 7:58 am

The series of photos I posted back in February are now located at this Hollywood Theater album, now that I’ve reorganized my photobucket account. The old links no longer work.

William on April 26, 2006 at 3:38 pm

The vintage poster cases have been converted to the back light style, that you see at your local multi-plex.

William on April 20, 2006 at 4:03 pm

During the last two days they have been finishing up on new marquee. Today they were installing the new underside lighting. But in doing this the lighting company removed and trashed the original Hollywood/Hellinger marquee light fixtures. That had been hidden for many years.

William on March 16, 2006 at 6:18 pm

Right now if you look at the under side of the marquee. You can see some of the original Hollywood/Hellinger marquee light fixtures. A few months ago when they took the old marquee panels down, some of the light bulbs still lite up.

Benjamin on March 16, 2006 at 6:06 pm

“Bravo” Ed and Davebazooka for taking and posting those terrific photos! It’s a shame that more “unlikely” photographs like yours haven’t been taken — or, if taken, are languishing in someone’s attic somewhere. To my mind, too many photos are taken of the obvious stuff and too few of what’s really interesting — at least, to me!

To answer a question about Lindy’s: Yes, the Lindy’s next to the Mark Hellinger is the second Lindy’s — the one next to the Mark Hellinger was the “big” Lindy’s. The original Lindy’s — this was the small Lindy’s — was just to the north of where the Rivoli Theater was. I believe it closed in the late 1950s, and the Lindy’s next to the Mark Hellinger was then the only Lindy’s. Big Lindy’s closed in the late 1960s or early 1970s and was replaced by a “Brew Berger.” For many, many years, though, they were too “cheap” to replace the windows and revolving doors of Lindy’s, so you could see bits of Lindy’s even when it was a Brew Berger. (The Lindy’s in the One Astor Place Building is not a “true” Lindy’s, but a restaurant that was opened by the Reese (?)Organization years after the original Lindy’s closed. I think they may have also opened one in Rockefeller Center opposite Radio City Music Hall.)

I too think it would be great if someone built an “absolutely perfect” house of worship and traded it with the church for the Mark Hellinger. By the way, Donald Trump did something similar once. The New York Foundling Hospital (run by nuns) had a big, modern (1940s or 1950s) building that was too big and outdated for its needs in the late 1980s. (The mission of the hospital had changed dramatically.) The location of the hospital was perfect, though, for a large luxury apartment house. So Donald Trump built the nuns a brand new, state of the art foundling hospital at a nice, but cheaper, location just north of Greenwich Village, got the site of the Foundling Hospital in return and built a very large luxury apartment house on the site (Trump Plaza?). Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that converting the Hellinger back to theatrical / cinematic uses would be able to generate the same kind of money in order to make such a trade practical, though.

I believe the marquee that was up just before the Hellinger was converted to a church was basically the same marquee that was there when “My Fair Lady” (and later, “the Sound of Music”) was in residence. A number of Broadway marquees were re-done in the late 1950s (e.g., the original Helen Hayes, the Lunt-Fontanne) and the early 1960s, but I got the impression that the Hellinger marquee was original from, at least, the time the main entrance was moved to the side street. (But this is only a guess.)