Showing 26 - 50 of 53 comments
What was the Theatre still exists half way between Newbury
and Boylston on the Public Alley Way in back of Arlington
St. Church. What was the very small auditorium area about 40 feet
down the alley now has boarded
up windows. The front part of the building until recently was some kind of French Coffee house,
now closed, and is now being renovated into something else.
I saw many of the 60’s 70mm roadshow pictures here like “MY FAIR LADY” (one of the most beautiful projection prints I ever saw), and even some 35mm blowups like “THE CARDINAL”, and “BECKET”
I will never forget being in back of the Theatre parking lot one day in the 70’s and feeling the ground shaking. They were the first Theatre in the Boston area to install SENSURROUND for
“EARTHQUAKE”. I think SACK THEATRES balked at the expense of putting
in SENSURROUND until they realized it was a big hit. I think they
initially put it into the GARY THEATRE downtown.
I think this was the third 70mm Roadshow house in Boston after the
Saxon and Gary Theatres. I saw “EL CID” here. It was last used as some kind of Disco club, then abandoned and left without any doors.
The former entrance is now a COPY COP.When you entered the Theatre, you immediately walked down several levels of stairs. The Theatre faces going down Tremont St. You walk over that big flat sidewalk area with the auditorium underneath you.
This could be a minor point but a true 70mm release print of
“WORLD IN 80 DAYS” would be in 30 frames per second (like Oklahoma)
This means a 25% increase in film stock- and cost- for the same running time.
Also,if there are any projectionists reading this and you ever
have to run one of these 2 30fps release prints, strange things can
happen to a 70mm projector (higher speed and vibration).
Tighten up everything.
I saw “OKLAHOMA” IN 70MM 30FPS several years ago at the Wang Theatre in Boston. The show went off first class (thanks to the great crew there) but you could hear the film going though Norelco's
in the front row.
I think we are talking about the same Theatre at 658 Washington.
In the Boston Globe ads in the 40s/early 50s, it was listed
as the “PILGRIM
FORMER WASHINGTON ST. OLYMPIA” (long title)
There could very well have been another Olympia.
I know there was a “Puritan” further down Washington St.
This is the theatre that went out as the PILGRAM.
It had 2 balconies. They converted to video projection for the X-rated stuff in the early 80’s – by installing a huge crt projecter
in the front of the first balcony.
This was a very good single screen theatre when it first open.
I saw the first run of TOMMY there.
When they twinned it down the middle it really became 2 bowling alleys in appearance.
There was a Theatre on the south side of 116th st.
called the COSMO around 3rd Ave. This is a busy retail store
area and the theatre is probably still there.
The upper half of this Theatre still exists as an Oriental restaurant
totally restored. You can walk up the stairs and take a quick peek
The 2nd Beacon Hill Theatre, which still exists underground,
was built in the same block as the original. This house was tripled
in the 70s by blocking off the rear 20% of both left and right rears.
The entrance still sticks out of the ground.
This Theatre’s last name was the “CAPRI” when it closed
around 1965, the second SACK THEATRES HOUSE to have that name.
The first CAPRI was when BEN SACK took over the old Copley SQ.
Theatre in the late 50’s and used it for a moveover roadshow house from the SAXON on Tremont St. The Mass. Pike extension demolished the First CAPRI. The PRU CENTER finished off the Strand/2nd Capri.
Is this the longest continuously operated movie Theatre still
open in Manhattan or is it the Beekmen or Metro? The Nova may have
held that title until it closed.
On the DVD of WEST SIDE STORY after the music overture – when the overhead camera shots begin -DVD chapter 2, 37 seconds in- freeze the dvd- in the lower right hand corner- they had just demolished
the roof and walls of the ROXY but you can see the orchestra seating grid built at that 45 degree angle between 50th and 51st street. The MUSIC HALL roof can be seen in the left part of the letterboxed image.
I BELIEVE THIS THEATRE WAS LAST USED BY THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF NEW YORK AS AN EAST SIDE BRANCH CHAPEL. I PHOTOGRAPHED IT THIS WAY
WITH VERY LITTLE ALTERING OF THE HOUSE. THE BOOTH IN THE TINY BALCONY WAS STILL THERE. ONLY PEWS INSTEAD OF SEATS.
I photographed the upstairs #2 house in color just before it closed.
I also have interiors of many other long gone Manhatten houses that I sent to this web site 2 years. Maybe they can be put on site soon.
Interestly on this theatre, when they twined it back in 1968 the 3 70mm Norelco projectors went from the Balcony cut booth (from
the 1959 remodel)downstairs to # 1 house. The upstairs #2 house got all its equipment (Century 70mm) from the just torn down Capitol.
I photographed the Theatre back in 1980, both the downstairs and right side balcony.I have good photos whenever somebody can put them on a site. The whole interior is gold.
This house was different in that the orchestra rear starts where the balcony ends.Coming into the theatre even at the orchestra rear seems to put you very close to the stage. The first 70mm I saw here was “LAFAYETTE” around Easter of 1963.
In response to Warrens good comment, the Theatre was located on the
North half or 45th St. side of the block (left side when facing the block) facing the Loews State rear entrance and current Lyceum. The balcony fire escapes are still visable.They even re-painted the building side about 2 years ago. The 44th St. side in back of Toy's
without windows must have the area used by Bond Clothes, Woolworths, and the Roundabout Theatre.The Theatre entrance was in the middle of the block and when you walked through the long lobby you were at the right side of the auditorium.
I remember my first trip to Times Sq. around 1955 when they had the entire roof with the giant Pepsi Cola bottles on either side and the giant waterfall in the middle.
This Theatre has a virtual clone in the still existing Liberty Theatre at 739 Liberty St. in Springfield, Ma. The projection booth entrance was located upstairs in the small non-theatre rental office area.
To put in the 3rd screen, they moved the Cinema 1 screen forward about 22 feet and took about 8 feet from the right Cinema 1 auditorium side for the walkway to the new theatre which was built at a left right angle behind the big screen.
Interestly CINEMA 1 faces EAST, CINEMA 2 south, and CINEMA 3 faces north.
Other than Radio City Music Hall, this is the ONE theatre to go into when you are in NYC. This is how it used to be.
AS OF TODAYS DATE, IF YOU ARE IN THE AREA, WALK DOWN MASON ST. AT THE THEATRES REAR,THEY ARE REPLACING THE ENTIRE BACKSTAGE TO THE REAR OF THE FIREWALL JUST LIKE THEY DID TO THE METROPOLITAN(WANG)ABOUT 25 YEARS AGO. MASON ST. STARTS AT THE NEW LOEWS BOSTON COMMON COMPLEX ON AVERY ST.
S DATE, IF YOU ARE IN THE AREA, WALK DOWN MASON ST. AT THE THEATRE
There were 2 similiar theatre names close to one another:
The RKO KEITH’S MEMORIAL at 539 Washington St. which became the SAVOY, then the OPERA HOUSE now under renovation.
The RKO BOSTON ( which may have been the RKO KEITH’S BOSTON for a while) is at 614 Washington St. I had initially the wrong address listed as 617 Washington when I added this Theatre early this year which now puts it on the right side of Washington St.
The RKO BOSTON (CINERAMA) still exists enclosed in the large office
building bordered by ESSEX/HAYWARD PLACE/and HARRISON. The former
Theatre entrance is now the MBTA ORANGE LINE CHINATOWN entrance. On the Hayward Place side you can see the large blocked parts of the building where the backstage exists.
The only Theatres to be torn down in this area in the last 20 years were the PILGRIM (OLYMPIA) one block south and the STATE(TRANS LUX/PARK)directly across the street from the RKO BOSTON. Both these went down within the last decade.The ASTOR (TREMONT)auditorium was on Avery St. and went down over 20 years ago.
When Showcase Cinemas bought the theatre,they first did an upstairs/downstairs twinning. The downstairs house had single lens Cinerama in what may have been the largest Cinerama screen in New England. They then twinned the downstairs down the middle. The fourth house was very cleverly put in the upstairs lounge area.