Murray Hill Cinema

160 E. 34th Street,
New York, NY 10016

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Showing 26 - 50 of 53 comments

KingBiscuits on March 27, 2008 at 3:51 pm

The quadded Murray Hill opened on December 21st, 1990 with The Bonfire Of The Vanities (on two screens), The Sheltering Sky and The Field.

mp775 on March 25, 2008 at 7:53 am

The photo link I posted on 12/5/07 no longer works; use these instead:

Jenny, 4/3/70
Semi-Tough, 1/21/78
Superman II in 70mm, 7/15/81
Deathtrap, 4/19/82

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on March 9, 2008 at 7:45 am

Warren, no. Just Flickr. Flickr offers several options. You can link to the entire page (with space for viewer comments) or else to the image itself inder “all sizes.” I prefer direct linkage to the image in a specific size. Dec. 18 is an example of the whole page. Today I linked directly to the image, a procedure which nobody else seems to have trouble linking to. I’ve tested it after logging off CT and entering it anonymously, also at the public library yesterday. I will ask other people to try it. I prefer doing it that way because it desn’t make my 5,000+ photos and images (family, friends, travel, etc.) instantly available to folks who just came to see the one picture and not my family and personal history. If you have further trouble, just bookmark my Flickr account to find anything you may have missed, though most is not earth-shattering:
You can even perform an internal search for anything I have, since I tag everything profusely. Most of my posts will deal with Italian cinema publicity. That, and the movies themselves, have been a lifelong passion, as well as RI theatres. I have Flickr sets that are representative of those topics.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on March 9, 2008 at 6:17 am

The 1965 film about the life of Pope John XXIII, And There Came a Man, directed by Ermanno Olmi and starring Rod Steiger, opened here in April 1968.

kencmcintyre on February 1, 2008 at 7:21 am

Here is a 1973 ad from the NY Times:

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on December 18, 2007 at 3:10 am

The Italian film Mafioso, successfully revived not too long ago, had its original 1964 American premiere at the Murray Hill and the Rialto.

jflundy on December 16, 2007 at 11:28 am

There is an excellent color photograph of the marquee of the 34th Street Theater which was located on E.34th close by Third Avenue. You can descend from the EL station and be a few feet from the marquee.
The photo is in the second edition of “By the El” by Lawrence Stelter, photos by Lothar Stelter, currently in print. An excellent book of color photos circa 1949-1953, taken along Third Avenue and adjacent streets.
The photo shows a marquee of 1930’s vintage, outlined in yellow with incandescent bulbs of yellow, name in red neon, white glass attraction board with black letters proclaiming the main feature as “Kangaroo” with Peter Lawford, circa 1953.

Greenpoint on December 16, 2007 at 5:57 am

Hello mp775
Re: Dec 5, 2007 at 3:22pm

I actaully had a 98.7Kiss card, when I was 7.
It had that logo on it too.
Great pic!
You just took me back!

Greenpoint on December 16, 2007 at 5:55 am

Hello everybody… I remember being in 3rd grade, which would of made that 1982 and passing by the Murray Hill and seeiing Psycho2 on the marquis.It is so funny that I didnt miss that theatre until I just read that it was demolished.Holiday Wishes to All.

mp775 on December 5, 2007 at 3:22 pm

Another bus passing the Murray Hill, this time in 1982. Deathtrap is on the marquee.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 27, 2006 at 7:42 am

Thank you, Warren! I would have had a tough time trying to find the old Murray Hill Th. here in CT. And yes, prior to 1970, there were many long-distance trains running out of GCT to points in New England, Montreal, upstate NY, and the Midwest (Chicago, St. Louis, etc.).

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 26, 2006 at 8:48 am

A Murray Hill Theatre is listed in the 1897-98 edition of the Julius Cahn Official Theatrical Guide. According to an article in the front of the Guide, the Murray Hill had just been built, had 1319 seats and was located on Lexington Ave. between 41st and 42nd streets. It was offering “combination shows at popular prices”. Did this theatre eventually become a cinema and under what name?

dave-bronx™ on November 16, 2005 at 2:15 pm

At the time it reopened after the collapse, the place was a dump. We tried to make what was there presentable and clean, but not a lot of money was spent because it was only supposed to be open for six weeks. We had to show ticket sales reciepts to prove to the city that it was operating, in order to maintain its ‘special occupancy’ status. If a theatre is closed for more than 2 years, it loses that status, and the owner has to jump through all kinds of flaming hoops with the city bureaucracy to regain it. The building and property were owned by an affiliate of Pacific Theatres, Almi Group held a lease and by that time Cineplex Odeon was involved with a booking arrangement. Everybody was suing everybody else due to the collapse, but they all agreed to get it open, since each thought they would prevail in court and finally end up with place. Nobodys name, Pacific, City Cinemas, Almi, RKO or Cineplex was put on it in any advertising or the signage, since it was a strained partnership, not to mention an embarrassment. I had to call in figures at night to both City Cinemas and Cineplex Odeon. In the beginning I argued that it be booked sub-run and charge a reduced price, because I knew the place was was not up to anybody’s standards for a first-run theatre, and predicted the complaints we received. But I was overruled by the powers that be.

dave-bronx™ on November 16, 2005 at 1:34 pm

Wow, Warren, where did you find that? That is the old Hill alright, I can tell by the peaked roof set back from the edge, and the marquee is the same as it was, though with smaller signage. When Rugoff took it over in the 1950s and turned it into the cinema that it was before 1990, he stripped the cornice off, bricked up the windows and put white stucco on the facade. When I worked there we could see the bricked-up windows on the inside, in the ancient stairway leading up to the old horseshoe balconies. By the time it closed for quadding, the stucco was deteriorating on the outside and you could make out the shape of the windows behind the stucco. Rugoff kept that marquee, but put slightly larger attraction boards on the east, west AND north sides. The vertical blade sign had been removed. Above the east and west attraction boards were the letters spelling out MURRAY HILL, each one standing up on a stem.

William on May 26, 2005 at 12:20 pm

In the deal with City Cinemas for the property, the company made millions in the closing of this theatre.

Bklyngirl2004 on March 11, 2005 at 6:35 am

I worked at the Murray Hill theatre from June of 2001 to July of 2002. I’ll never forget my first day working there. On June 4th 2001, I began my job, and got to see Moulin Rouge for the first time, which soon became 14 times. I had a lot of great friends there, and it kept me busy. I loved dealing with the customers at the Box Office.

I remember one time, it was October 0f 2001, and I was seeing the movie “Joy Ride” before work. Right in the middle of one of the scenes, the lights come on, and the movie stops. But it only took about 10 minutes for everything to come back on. But it was a great place and I learned a lot working there.

Thank You,

Rachael Keane

PaulLD1 on October 21, 2004 at 9:38 pm

Like everyone else, I was quite saddened to hear about the accident at the Murray Hill during the showing of “Physco 3”. I then read that the theatre dated back to 1895, and I thought “why didn’t I know about this sooner?” In any event, I looked forward to the re-opening of the Murray Hill, so I could just bask in the wonders and splendors of such an old, beautiful, atmospheric theatre. And so, re-opening day, and the movie was “8 Men Out”. I stood in that line just buzzing with anticipation. I saw the shuttered coffee house and thought “you will be re-opening soon!”. At last came the exciting moment! I walked in…and saw no decor, no curatins, no atmosphere, no nothing. Everything was painted and plastered solid black! To add insult to injury, the climatic scene in “8 Men Out” (which was about the 1919 “Black Sox” scandal) was ruined for me when the old man next to be blurted out the line ahead of time. I walked away from the theatre, saying those same lines, “say it ain’t so Joe”.

dave-bronx™ on September 11, 2004 at 12:03 am

The ceiling fell down during the run of Psycho 3, whatever year that was – I thought it was 85, but it could have been 86. The Almi people were running it at the time. My boss and I heard about it as we were closing the Cinema I-II for the night and we raced down there. Initially, they thought the balcony had collapsed, but soon discovered it was the ceiling over the balcony. The few customers who were there that night said there was a big cracking noise that gave them warning and they got down on the floor between the rows of seats and were pretty much protected. One male was seriously injured – he was intox and sitting in the orchestra passed out. He didn’t get on the floor. When the ceiling fell on the balcony, it slid down into the orchestra and the intox male got speared with a steel bar. A couple of days later the remaining ceiling over the orchestra also fell down during the night. The newspaper stated that the ceiling was 90 thousand pounds of plaster and steel. The theatre remained closed for 2 years, then we had to open it up for a short time to maintain the special occupancy status, and they were still getting the plans for reconstruction together. They put up a new ceiling, used seats only in the orchestra (the balcony was empty), rented projection equipment. We were only supposed to be open for about 6 weeks. It was during this time that we played Bull Durham. They put more used seats in the balcony for the opening of Batman, and planned on keeping it open indefinately because they changed architects and were back to square-one with the reconstruction plans. It was open in that configuration for about 2 years, then it was gutted to the 4 walls and roof and the interior rebuilt, opening in 1990 as the 4-screen house that completely demolished in 2002.

br91975 on July 4, 2004 at 9:31 am

The 13-story outpatient NYU Clinical Cancer Center is scheduled to open on the site of the former Murray Hill Cinemas sometime later this summer.

philipgoldberg on May 2, 2004 at 5:27 pm

The theater, as well as the short-lived Loew’s/Clearview Showplace, are both sites of high-rise apartment buildings.

SethLewis on March 24, 2004 at 10:58 pm

Thanks for that vivid picture of life in a theatre! My memories of this theatre go back to the 60’s even if I only remember seeing two films there After the Fox with Peter Sellers and Altered States with William Hurt in the early 80s…Before multiplexes, this theatre regularly day dated with an Upper East Side or Broadway house on major releases

jays on March 24, 2004 at 9:53 pm

thanks for painting that picture of that theatre for me i’ve never visited this cinema as a single screen.