Paramount Theatre

1501 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Brad Smith
Brad Smith on May 4, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Click here for an exterior view of the Paramount Theatre in 1929.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on April 20, 2012 at 7:51 am

Here is a link to the New York Times review of Strategic Air Command. And here is an excerpt from that review, reporting on both the film and surrounding hoopla. Sounds like it was a helluva night:

“NEVER, in many years of looking at Air Force and aviation films, have we seen the familiar wide blue yonder so wide or so magnificently displayed as it is in the Vista-Vision process used to project "Strategic Air Command.”

“This latest Paramount service picture, which received a full-dress première under the sponsorship of the Air Force Association last night at the Paramount Theatre, is far and away the most elaborate and impressive pictoral show of the beauty and organized power of the United States air arm that has yet been put upon the screen.

“But, certainly, an equal measure of credit for the pictorial impressiveness of this show must go to the Vista-Vision process, which is here being revealed for the second time. The first use of Vista-Vision was in "White Christmas,” several months ago, but that use was technically less finished and on a subject of less scope than is shown here.

“Now the full advantage of the Vista Vision wide film in giving size, depth and clarity, as well as fidelity of color, to big and detailed outdoor scenes is richly and dramatically apparent. The great panoramic shots of air fields, crowded with colorful equipment, betoken the precision and clear focus of the large Vista Vision lens. And the scenes in the air of cloud formations, of planes venting feathery vapor trails and of in-air refueling operations, all graphically shown, attest to the new dramatic potential of the sharp and well-proportioned image on a large scale.

“Vista Vision, in this particular showing, appears as grand as Cinerama, more felicitous and free than CinemaScope.

“But, above all, there are those airplanes, the roaring engines, the cluttered cockpits, the clouds and sky. These are the things that make your eyes bug and your heart leap with wonder and pride.

“The invitational world première of "Strategic Air Command” was held under the auspices of the Air Force Association.

“A large crowd thronged the Times Square area before the theatre, where searchlights heralded the occasion. The spectators watched the arrival of 3,500 guests, who included personalities in the armed services, politics, entertainment and business.

“Interviews with James Stewart, co-star of the picture, and other attending celebrities were telecast from the theatre lobby to a national audience on the Arthur Godfrey program. Mr. Godfrey served as moderator.

“In a stage ceremony prior to the screening, Mr. Stewart accepted a citation of honor from Maj. Gen. C. R. Smith, representing the A. F. A., for "distinguished public service and outstanding artistic achievement” in connection with the film."

Tinseltoes on April 20, 2012 at 6:55 am

Fifty-seven years ago tonight, Paramount’s VistaVision and Technicolor “Strategic Air Command” had its invitational world premiere at the Times Square Paramount on what was claimed to be “The World’s Largest Theatre Screen.” James Stewart, one of the stars of the movie, headed the celebrity-studded event, which was covered “live” by Arthur Godfrey on his national CBS-TV program. Regular continuous performances of “Strategic Air Command” started the next day at the Paramount, with doors opening at 8:30am.

Tinseltoes on April 15, 2012 at 8:05 am

Eighty years ago today, Paramount’s “This Could Be the Night,” a B&W romantic comedy now best remembered for the feature film debut of Cary Grant, opened its NYC premiere engagement at both the Times Square and Brooklyn Paramounts. Needless to say, with different stage presentations. The New York Paramount had the “Greatest All-Colored Entertainment Ever Presented,” headed by Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra, including “Snake-Hips” Tucker, several vocalists, the Four Step Brothers, the Sepian Strutters, and George Dewey Washington. At the Paramount in downtown Brooklyn, Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians headed the stage bill, with a supporting cast of 50 entertainers and resident organists Merle Clark & Elsie Thompson.

Vito on April 14, 2012 at 10:59 am

Tinseltoes that House Of Wax 3-D showing was one the few that were done without intermision. The Paramounts four projector booth made that possible.

Tinseltoes on April 14, 2012 at 9:08 am

“Road to Utopia” opened at the NYC Paramount on February 27th, 1946, but had finished production in May, 1944. Paramount decided to “shelve” it because the studio had a large backlog of unreleased films due to the wartime “attendance boom.” Many movies were getting extended runs of several weeks or even months in their first-run engagements.

Tinseltoes on April 13, 2012 at 11:05 am

Here’s another side view of the Paramount’s marquee before it was converted to its final and more “modern” look with changeable silhouette lettering against a white glass background: thinkertothinker

Tinseltoes on April 13, 2012 at 10:14 am

Here’s a side view of the Paramount’s marquee during Frank Sinatra’s special 1956 stage engagement in conjunction with his B&W United Artists western, “Johnny Concho.” By that time, the Paramount was no longer presenting stage shows as a regular policy: blue-eyes

Tinseltoes on April 10, 2012 at 7:10 am

Fifty-nine years ago today, the Paramount Theatre made exhibition history with the opening of the world premiere engagement of WB’s “House of Wax,” the first major studio feature in 3-D. Augmented with WarnerColor and WarnerPhonic Sound, the shocker starred Vincent Price, Phyllis Kirk, and Frank Lovejoy, who that night only made guest appearances in the Paramount’s stage show. Headlining the stage portion throughout the engagement was young recording sensation Eddie Fisher, supported by Hugo Winterhalter & His Orchestra, The Beachcombers, and comedian Joey Forman. The booking was hailed as the mightiest ever at the Paramount for the Easter holiday season.

Tinseltoes on April 9, 2012 at 9:13 am

Here’s a brief newsreel clip from the 1958 premiere of 20th-Fox’s Ingrid Bergman starrer, “The Inn of the Sixth Happiness”: archive

Tinseltoes on January 30, 2012 at 7:34 am

This is to honor the incomparable French bombshell, Denise Darcel, who died last month at age 87. But sixty years ago today, Darcel opened on Broadway at the top of the Paramount Theatre’s stage bill, with comedian Jack Carter and Blue Barron & His Orchestra, also on the program. Filling the Paramount’s screen was RKO’s “The Las Vegas Story,” a B&W melodrama teaming Jane Russell and Victor Mature, in its NYC premiere engagement.

Tinseltoes on January 13, 2012 at 7:01 am

Seventy-five years ago today, Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Plainsman,” a B&W western epic based on the relationship between Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane, opened its NYC premiere engagement at the Paramount Theatre. The Paramount release teamed Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur for the first time since their smash hit in “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town.” The Paramount’s stage show gave top billing to Ray Noble & His Band, featuring the Merry Macs, Howard Barrie, Lynn Martin, and Edna Sedgwick. Comedienne Sheila Barrett provided an “Extra Added Attraction.” Don Baker was the Paramount’s resident organist at the time.

Tinseltoes on December 30, 2011 at 10:46 am

Sixty-nine years ago today, the Paramount Theatre opened a holiday program which advertising claimed would never be topped, including the world premiere engagement of Paramount’s B&W musical spectacular, “Star Spangled Rhythm.” The all-star cast featured most of the studio’s contract roster, including Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Betty Hutton, Dorothy Lamour, Alan Ladd, Paulette Goddard, Veronica Lake, Ray Milland, Mary Martin, Fred MacMurray, Victor Moore, Eddie Bracken, Dick Powell, and Vera Zorina. Heading the Paramount’s stage show was Benny Goodman & His Orchestra, with Peggy Lee as vocalist. The comic Radio Rogues and dancers Moke & Poke provided support, with a skinny crooner named Frank Sinatra as “Extra Added Attraction.” On New Year’s Eve only, the Paramount Theatre would grind until dawn, with complete stage-and-screen shows starting at midnight and 2:45am.

jrobin on December 15, 2011 at 6:24 am

bobmarshall-we are looking for information on Arthur Brounet a decorator for the Hanover Theater.

bobmarshall on November 22, 2011 at 1:40 pm

As Chevalier sang in “Gigi,” I remember it well. I sat in the first row for three showings of “Sincerely Yours,” and Liberace played my request each time!

Tinseltoes on November 2, 2011 at 7:50 am

Fifty-six years ago today, WB’s eagerly-awaited “Sincerely Yours,” the first starring movie of the flamboyant pianist singularly known as Liberace, started its NYC premiere engagement at the Paramount Theatre. On opening day only, Liberace performed on stage prior to every screening of the Warner Color musical-drama, with an orchestra conducted by brother George Liberace. By this time in its history, the Paramount had shifted to an “everything on the screen” policy, with Warner Bros. as a main supplier due to the Strand/Warner’s conversion to Cinerama.

Tinseltoes on November 1, 2011 at 7:29 am

Sixty-seven years ago today, Paramount’s “I Love a Soldier,” a B&W romantic comedy with Paulette Goddard, Sonny Tufts, and Barry Fitzgerald, opened its NYC premiere engagement at the Paramount Theatre. Tony Pastor & His Orchestra, described as “THE band of 1944,” topped the stage bill, which also featured comedian Bert Wheeler, singer Marion Hutton, and tap dancer Hal LeRoy.

Tinseltoes on October 29, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Glimpses of the Paramount Theatre and office building can be seen throughout this vintage B&W newsreel clip: britishpathe

Tinseltoes on September 30, 2011 at 6:46 am

Bruce McCall’s color drawing on the front cover of the October 3rd issue of The New Yorker pokes hilarious fun at the modernization of midtown. Sidewallks are divided into lanes for locals and for tourists. The local lanes are practically empty, but the tourist lanes are so packed that police are required to keep them orderly. Signs on buildings have messages like “Eat Fat,” “Spend! Spend! Spend!,” “Clip Joint,” and “Ugly Junk.” Here’s a link. You need to enlarge the image to enjoy all the details: newyorkerstore

AGRoura on September 29, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Tinseltoes, totally agree with you. I have written comments in the Times and Post. Emperor Bloomberg and his lunatic transportation commissioner should be committed to a hospital for the insane.

Tinseltoes on September 29, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Have native New Yorkers been polled on whether they want this? I think it’s revolting, and catering solely to the tourist trade. Goodbye Times Square! Hello Las Vegas Strip! nytimes

Vito on September 29, 2011 at 10:02 am

I belive this was the engagement that was so sucessful an additional stage show was added to the day. In order to accomplish this Lewis personally cut “Irma” on a moviola in the booth by about 10 minutes in order to make up time to squeese in a another stage show each day. I am doing this from memory so if anyone recalls more or can correct me kindly do so.

Tinseltoes on September 28, 2011 at 7:26 am

Sixty-two years ago today, Paramount’s B&W “My Friend Irma,” based on Cy Howard’s treasured CBS Radio comedy series, opened its NYC premiere engagement at the Paramount Theatre. The Hal Wallis production starred Marie Wilson as the “dumb blonde,” John Lund, Diana Lynn, and Don DeFore, and featured the rising comedy team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in their screen debut. Martin & Lewis also headlined the Paramount’s stage show, with support from Dick Stabile & His Orchestra, the Four Step Brothers, and Carolyn Grey. On opening day only, Marie Wilson joined the stage proceedings. Weekday admission at the Paramount was 55 cents from 8:30am opening until 1:00pm. George Wright was the Paramount’s resident organist at the time.

Tinseltoes on September 13, 2011 at 5:53 am

Regardless of who operated it at the time, the final movie shown at the Paramount Theatre was “Thunderball” at the end of 1965 into 1966. It had a substantial run of nearly two months. During the first weeks in the Christmas-New Year’s season, “Thunderball” was shown non-stop, 24 hours per day, only at the Paramount.

AlAlvarez on September 12, 2011 at 4:55 pm

It closed In August 1964 with “The Carpetbaggers”. It then re-opened for three weeks in May 1965 when it showed the Electrovision “Harlow”, “operation Snafu” and “Black Spurs” each for one week, then closed again. It opened “Thunderball” in December of 1965 and closed for good in February 1966.