Roxy Theatre

153 W. 50th Street,
New York, NY 10020

Unfavorite 80 people favorited this theater

Showing 26 - 50 of 1,165 comments

Simon L. Saltzman
Simon L. Saltzman on October 23, 2017 at 5:27 pm

Bigjoe59, You need to purchase and read and memorize every word in “American Showman” by Ross Melnick, the story of Samuel “Roxy” Rothafel. In it you will see that the first years the theater concentrated on its lavish stage productions and booked often B product (but sometimes A move-overs from other first-run B'way houses)… mixed in with A. It wasn’t until after the British Gaumont relationship ended in the mid (during the Great Depression) to the late thirties that the theater then again played strictly A product mostly from TCF. The Roxy was strictly an A house until it closed.

bigjoe59 on October 23, 2017 at 4:59 pm


the often pined for Golden Age of Hollywood lasted from the beginning of the sound era to approx. the early 60s which is where my question comes in. it is my impression that during this roughly 34 year period Hollywood operated very much on the A movie and B movie production levels. so for someone who has a detailed knowledge of the Roxy’s bookings would you say the theater played as many B movies as A movies?

Simon L. Saltzman
Simon L. Saltzman on October 23, 2017 at 3:21 pm

The Roxy seating capacity was greatly reduced from 5,900 seats to less than 3,000 seats with the Loge completely closed because of poor sight lines. Only a portion of the orchestra and balcony was used with much of the proscenium and theater’s interior beauty and side walls covered up. The reserved seat engagement did poor business and did not encourage the production of another film in Cinemiracle.

vindanpar on October 23, 2017 at 10:31 am

So when Windjammer played here what was the seating configuration? Did they seriously reduce the number of seats? Did they curtain off entire areas at the sides and back of the orchestra and the balc to bring it into more of a Capitol or Strand layout for roadshow films?

Simon L. Saltzman
Simon L. Saltzman on October 23, 2017 at 9:39 am

During the first week only of the “All About Eve” patrons were not allowed to enter the auditorium during the film. There was a half hour break between shows with the stage show first and then the film. It was not a reserved seat engagement but patrons could purchase tickets in advance to specific shows. Patrons were not happy at that time to not be able to go in at any point. The policy did not work and the theater returned to its regular continuous shows policy. Business improved in the second week and the six week run was highly successful.

bigjoe59 on October 22, 2017 at 3:18 pm


to Comfortably Cool. the ad for the premiere opening of AAE was neat. did I misunderstand the ‘ ad? I got the impression from the info in the lower left hand that it was a reserved performance engagement.

alexbraid on October 21, 2017 at 6:58 am

Cole Porter’s song ‘You’re the Tops’ contains the line “ You’re the pants on a Roxy usher”.

Joseph on July 2, 2017 at 3:40 pm

Also the egyptian, and farewell to arms.

Joseph on July 2, 2017 at 3:35 pm

Only traditional roadshow was windjammer. However at certain periods in the roxy s history. Mezzanine seats were were reserved and available in advance. Special events like premieres had reserved seating. Souvenir programs were available for the robe, razor’s edge, all about eve, king and I, carousel, no business like show business, Lil Abner. Big circus and others.

bigjoe59 on July 2, 2017 at 2:50 pm


I always connect souvenir programs with roadshow engagements. to which did this theater ever hold a traditional roadshow engagement?

also were there any other BIG regular release films
that opened here that had souvenir programs.

vindanpar on June 25, 2017 at 12:33 pm

I feel lucky to have seen all their original productions back then. A level of genius that was awe inspiring. When Broadway was first for New Yorkers after which the tourists followed.

The Disneyfication of Times Square, the wiping away of all the great remainng movie theaters and the evening length theme park musicals are now for me heartbreaking.

MarkDHite on June 25, 2017 at 12:26 pm

Thanks. I’ll start looking around. I’m so jealous that you saw the original Follies! That’s awesome.

vindanpar on June 25, 2017 at 12:15 pm

There are so many places to read about his going there and the inspiration of that photo for both him and Harold Prince. I honestly couldn’t tell you as I’ve already read so many different books and articles. I was going to all the original productions of their musicals being very young at the time and I saw Follies twice which was everything they say it was. I went to the first Wed mat after the opening(it was Easter week ‘71. Bought my ticket that Monday going to see A New Leaf at the Music Hall) and it seems people left the theater in a kind of shock it was so momentous. I’ve never had any desire to see a revival.

You might to read in a number of places about the creation of the musical and a good place to start would be the Time magazine cover story in a library. I believe it also contains the Swanson photo.

Sorry the movie is Hangover Square and the Herrmann score inspired Sondheim to write the composer and Herrmann wrote back

MarkDHite on June 25, 2017 at 11:59 am

I’d love to read more about Sondheim and the Roxy. Can you tell me where his comments can be found? Thanks!

vindanpar on June 25, 2017 at 11:50 am

I saw nothing but TGI Fridays unhappily if that is even still there.

But during the 70s at least across from the site on west 50th on the south side there was the Roxy bowling lanes still in operation with the name in the Roxy script. It was all that remained as a reminder.

By the way Stephen Sondheim is on the record as saying he often went to the Roxy when he was young. Seeing Hanover Square there was a seminal moment in his youth. (Anyway I believe it played there. Others would know better than I where it opened in NY.)I assume he channeled some of the heartbreak he felt when it came down when he wrote Follies inspired by the melodramatic photo of Gloria Swanson standing in the rubble.

DavidZornig on June 14, 2017 at 8:06 am

If you were to Google just “Cinema Treasures DeMille”, the Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre would be at the top of the list. Which states in the first sentence without even clicking on it that the name had been changed to the DeMille in the early `60’s. Second would be a photo that was titled DeMille Theatre, on the Embassy page. There is a certain amount of deductive reasoning that has to be applied, because CT only lists the AKA names once on the page of a given theatre. If they refined their search engine to include all the previous names of all the theatres that that applied to, it would possibly lead to double postings of the same theatres if they couldn’t be found. Rather than preventing it. Since most come up automatically in Google searches in most cases. The only thing I wish CT would do, is make it so e-mail notifications go out when comments are added under photos, and when new photos are added themselves.

vindanpar on June 13, 2017 at 11:41 pm

If I google Demille Theater NY I first get Psycho at the Demille on a Hitchcock site and my second listing is Embassy 1,2,3 on the CT page. If I put Demille Theater into the CT search engine I get ‘no matches found.’ If I put in Embassy 1, 2, 3 same thing. Maybe the CT search engine can be refined?

MarkDHite on June 13, 2017 at 11:03 pm

Also CT’s listings are often under the current or most recent name rather than the original name when a theatre has gone under different names. Can be confusing.

MarkDHite on June 13, 2017 at 11:00 pm

Agreed. Google is much more efficient and faster than CT’s own search engine.

DavidZornig on June 13, 2017 at 10:18 pm

For both open and closed theatres I usually use Google first, typing Cinema Treasures, Theatre name (if i know it) and the city. It usually pulls up the Photos page of most of the theatres as well, so I can do a quick check to see if what I am about to post is already there. I only search within CT, if I am having trouble locating obscure or missing theatres, that may have been listed under other names.

vindanpar on June 13, 2017 at 9:46 pm

I’ve been simply Googling Astor Theater NY and the CT page pops up as an option. I thought there was an easy way from the home page which there was a few(maybe more?) years ago. I’m not sure why now you can only easily get current movie theaters first time out. Thanks.

HowardBHaas on June 13, 2017 at 8:56 pm

You can directly type in your device’s browser the theater’s name, city and this site- Roxy New York City and the theater’s page will appear- rather than looking for an open theater, a map, etc.

vindanpar on June 13, 2017 at 7:46 pm

Thank you! Things were so much easier in the old days.

DavidZornig on June 13, 2017 at 6:55 pm

If you know what city the closed theater was in, go to the page of an open theater in that city. Then click on that city’s name in the tool bar above the name on that theater’s page. A map will appear with another tool bar below it. Closed will be one of the options in that tool bar.

To post a photo, click on Photos of the given theater. Once in that section, go to the bottom and click “Add New Photo. The next screen will given you two boxes two description to fill out. Then click under the word Photo where it says "Browse…” That will open the sources on your computer where your own photos are stored. Pick and click on your photo, and your file name will appear next to that box. Choose the type of license that applies, then click the “Upload Photo” box at the bottom of the page.

vindanpar on June 13, 2017 at 6:25 pm

I don’t know where to ask for general info but I know this theater gets a lot of traffic so I thought I’d ask it here: How does one look up a closed theater on this site? It used to be easy. I’m sure it still is but I haven’t figured it out. I just get active theaters.

Also how do I post a photo?

Thanks for your help.