RKO Proctor's 58th Street Theatre

154 East 58th Street,
New York, NY 10022

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Showing 26 - 50 of 108 comments

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on June 6, 2008 at 9:52 pm

I rarely monitor that listing, but you drove me to it with your “illegal” accusations about my Photobucket scrapbook. I’m not in competition with anyone for “the most.” It’s quality, not quantity, that counts in the long run.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on June 6, 2008 at 8:04 pm

Thanks, Bob!…And Ken, I doubt that your remark was intended as a compliment. Please give it a rest. I’ve noticed that since joining CT in 2004, you’ve posted nearly 20,000 messages, an average of about 14 per day. An astounding and I’m sure unmatched record. It suggests that you must be experiencing verbal diarrhea and keyboarding trauma in addition to memory loss. I can recommend some medications if you contact me privately.

BobFurmanek on June 6, 2008 at 7:08 pm

Glad to help out Warren.

By the way, I always enjoy the bits of information that you share, especially since you’re getting the info from documented, original source materials. Fascinating info! Thank you for all the hard work, it is very much appreciated.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on June 6, 2008 at 7:02 pm

Bob, you’re correct! I made a typing error. The exact date of the ad was June 10th, 1959. Sorry! Since I switched to Windows Vista, the fonts at Cinema Treasure are so small that I didn’t catch the error when I proofread the post before submitting.

BobFurmanek on June 6, 2008 at 6:56 pm

That can’t be 1954. The same ad mentions South Pacific, Rio Bravo and Alias Jesse James. It might be from 1959.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on June 6, 2008 at 6:39 pm

In June, 1954, the RKO neighborhood circuit combined this colossus and its sequel on a double bill that ran more than four hours with trailers and newsreel thrown in: View link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 14, 2008 at 6:23 pm

Here’s a new direct link to an image of the auditorium. Thomas Lamb’s atmospheric decor seems a bit budget-saving in comparison to similar works by John Eberson. Note how close the upstairs seating came to the stage: View link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on February 10, 2008 at 4:09 pm

The introduction gives the address for the original entrance to the theatre. In the 1930s, a new entrance was built at 964 Third Avenue, which then became the “official” address used in advertising, publicity, etcetera. The original entrance was used as a supplementary boxoffice at rush times and retained the marquee. By the late 1940s, the extra boxoffice was no longer needed and closed down. The marquee remained, but I think it was removed well before the theatre closed for demolition.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on December 31, 2007 at 2:26 pm

Celebrate New Year’s Eve at RKO Theatres! But if you’d rather celebrate at a rival Loew’s, most of its theatres are offering “From Here to Eternity,” with wide screen projection and stereophonic sound. The ad neglects to mention that RKO Proctor’s 58th Street is also celebrating the 25th anniversary of its grand opening in December, 1928: www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/rko123153.jpg

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 30, 2007 at 6:10 pm

That would be the first Proctor’s 58th Street, originally known as Proctor’s Pleasure Palace. The second Proctor’s 58th Street opened in the week before Christmas, 1928.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 30, 2007 at 2:24 pm

It’s possible that the organ was made for the original Proctor’s 58th Street, which was demolished to make way for the Thomas Lamb atmospheric theatre. I believe that the original Proctor’s 58th operated into 1927. Maybe Proctor intended to use the organ in the new theatre, but later changed his mind, but I’m only guessing.

bcnett on July 30, 2007 at 2:11 pm

Does anybody know the history of the theatre’s organ? The console of the organ in the Stoneham, Mass., Town Hall, is marked on the inside for Proctor’s 58th St. It was delivered with the town hall organ by Wurlitzer in 1930. The console has the kind of leather in it that Wurlitzer stopped using in 1926, so it must have been built at least 2 years before Proctor’s was built. Was Proctor’s organ actually delivered; and, if so, with what console?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 14, 2007 at 2:45 pm

In the autumn of 1948, Columbia’s first “Superman” serial proved so popular with kids that RKO nabes showed the latest episode not only on Saturday matinees, but also “after school” from Wednesday through Friday: www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/super48.jpg

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 5, 2007 at 2:48 pm

The 58th Street and its sibling, RKO Keith’s Flushing, were among the first theatres in the nation to install the RCA Synchro-Screen in 1952. See my post above of September 14, 2005 for more about this:

bazookadave on December 15, 2006 at 6:17 pm

Reposts but still interesting images! Scanned from “Marquee.”

View link

A view of the proscenium:

View link

Notes for the RKO Proctor’s 58thStreet Theatre in “Marquee” included:

“The asbestos curtain is a copy of the original curtain of the old Proctor’s Pleasure Palace, which stood on the same site.”

BrooklynJim on September 21, 2006 at 3:15 pm

BILLY Ed Sol? Think I have a song or two of yours on the old Ero label. I’m Brook Lin Gim Yung. My pappy was a Chinese railroad builder and my mama from the coal mines of Wheeling, West Virginia. She, too, was a Billy Ed Sol fan. Small world. Dang me!

[“He is a self-made man and worships his creator.” – John Bright]

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 19, 2006 at 1:30 pm

My name is actualy Ed Sol Ero.

mikemorano on September 19, 2006 at 12:52 pm

How would you know if my last name was movies fella? Would you have a problem with my last name being movies? How do we know that you are Warren G Harris himself? Perhaps you are using the name of Warren G Harris but your real name is John Smith or perhaps even art theatre. There is no realistic way to prove anyone’s identity on a website. Most intelligent people already understand that.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 19, 2006 at 12:41 pm

Even though I sign with only my first name, my full name of Warren G. Harris is widely published throughout this website. I don’t think that “mikemovies” has ever fully identified himself. I doubt that his last name is “movies,” and I’m not even sure that his first name is “mike,” and certainly not with a lower case “m.”

mikemorano on September 19, 2006 at 12:33 pm

Very appropo EdSolero. This fella has no problem with pseudonyms when they serve his purpose to create chaos. Perhaps he uses other pseudonyms that we are not yet aware of.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 19, 2006 at 2:32 am

Art… I mean, Warren… Are you accusing mike of not really being named mike? After all, in his moniker he has given us just as much information about his name as you have in yours. Anyway, I use my real name here… too bad decorum doesn’t allow me to express my real thoughts about the tenor of your postings on this site.

mikemorano on September 18, 2006 at 7:07 pm

Try to make some sense in your comments fella. Perhaps more people will take you seriously if you do so. There are many writers who do not use their true names. Feel free to research me to your hearts content. I have never claimed to be a theatre historian. If you consider yourself to be a theatre historian perhaps a new occupation is in order. Making unsubstantiated claims and barking at people who may question those claims is not the sign of a true historian. Get over yourself.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 18, 2006 at 6:33 pm

Thank you, Al, and also for using your real name in postings. I wish that more members did. Do you think that any newspaper or magazine of integrity would publish a letter signed only by a pseudonym? I sincerely doubt it.