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It’s a travesty that it lost its spectacular marquee for the spartan utilitarian one it sports in the into photo. I wonder if the interior is just as disappointing?
Wait….they are taking over the Ziegfeld too? I though it had been excluded?
I don’t believe that all old theaters can be saved. At the end of the day they must be able to pay for themselves if not in the renvation phase, certainly in the operating phase. That said, I never lost hope on the Kings and that will be one of the biggest success stories. I am also hopeful on the Brooklyn Paramount being eventually brought back to a full performing arts space and Chicago’s Uptown. I am NOT optimistic on the RKO Ketihs Flushing. Alas, we can’t win them all. Speaking of which, check out the page for the United Palace (Loews 175th Street). They have a campaign to bring movies back and they are more than halfway to their goal of $40,000. I just contributed myself! Finally! A real palace that will have regularly scheduled films in Manhattan!
I am an eternal optimist. Now that Coney Island’s future is brighter than it has been in decades it is possible that this actually bodes well for a restoration of this historic theater.
But that’s irrelevant. The New Amsterdam is still a Palace! The Hollywood is a palace! Radio City a palace! and others. Just because they weren’t built for full time presentation of films doesn’t lessen their beauty and their historical importance as Movie Palaces. For me, a theater is a theater, whether it was made exclusively for films or not and I make no real distinction between the two, but I understand that this site is called “Cinema Treasures” and not “Theater Treasures” so the theaters on this site must have had cinema at one time to be included. The criteria is not that the theater has been purpose built for cinema only. That said a great many live theaters have been included as many did show films at one point during their long career.
Maybe Vito can clear this up!!! :–)
I think we can both be right. It’s quite possible that it was designed for live theater/events and as the construction progressed and the deepening depression wore on, the decision was made to add movie capability thereby enabling them to do the quick switch when their worst fears were realized.
Oh, and thanks Tinseltoes for the backup. :–) Radio City was built for live theater and events, but quickly realized it wouldn’t work thereby becoming one of the greatest palaces ever to have existed!
The Mark Hellinger would never have been in danger. It would be very successful as a venue for live theater and I hope the church eventually cashes out so they can use the funds “to help the poor”. Yes, they have taken great care of the theater. It’s beautiful, but it should be used as a theater once again and, yes, live theater counts. :–)
Agreed, but it is considered a palace nonetheless. Radio City was also built for theater not movies. It too, is one of our greatest palaces! :–)
Many churches have been wonderful stewards of old theaters; others have not. Certainly in the case of theaters like Loew’s 175th Street (United Palace), the Stanley (Jersey City), Loew’s Valencia and Loew’s Metropolitan, churches have saved and preserved the theaters that might otherwise have been lost, but other churches have gutted theaters or severely damaged them. The church that purchased the Mark Hellinger theater in Manhattan has taken a stunning movie palace and removed it from the Broadway Live Theater scene. Though they have taken wonderful care of the theater I wish they would sell it back so it can be returned to its legitimate use as a home for the Broadway Stage.
BIG NEWS! There is a campaign under way to buy a projector for this theater and bring regularly scheduled films back to this theater for the first time in more than 40 years. I’m giving $100! Please consider donating and watch the great clip below! This theater is already restored and already has a screen. All that is missing is the projector! http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/return-film-to-the-united-palace
The Henry Miller Theater was also the home of one of New York’s most celebrated Disco’s “Xenon” from 1978 to 1984. Later it was the home to another popular Disco called “Shout”. Xenon was the only club to rival Studio 54 which was also housed in an old theater, the Gallo Opera House on 54th Street. Other celebrated theater Discos were Palladium (Academy of Music) on 14th Street, The Saint (Loew’s Commodore) on 2nd Avenue/6th Street, Club USA (The Forum) Broadway & 49th. They were all incredible structures and all but Studio 54 have been lost.
Drove by this theater on my way to Telluride! It looked like it was in good shape based on its exterior but couldn’t tell if it was still operating as a cafe and/or concert venue.
Amen Bway! I’m an atheist so i don’t like churches but I don’t deny that they have saved a great many palaces; some better than others. Not all churches do a great job. Many have butchered the palaces they took over but I believe the majority have benefitted from their divine users. I wish them well.
GREAT photo! hernandez!
I’ve been to the Kings via the subway. It’s about 5 blocks away. I can’t wait to see the results and I will travel…….by subway!
Sunnyside Center Cinemas is likely to be demolished in the coming years, since the Queens Boulevard-facing plot of land on which it sits was sold to an Astoria developer back in December for $6.675 million. The Sunnyside Post reports that the developer hasn’t yet decided what to do with the site—which includes a Dime Savings Bank, set to close this summer, and Irish pub P.J. Horgan’s, which has been operating for 40 years and has a lease till 2018—but guesses that it’s likely to be razed in the name of a presumably more lucrative residential project.
I just came across this on a site called Scouting New York:
Just a quick note on the incredible Valencia Movie Palace in Queens. For those who would like to see this work of art in person, the Tabernacle of Prayer Church has generously set-up visiting time every Sunday from 11:00-11:45am, when services will not be in session. Just walk right in the lobby – they’ll be expecting you! Please try to come during these times, as the church will otherwise be conducting services and programs in the theater throughout the day.
The address is 165-11 Jamaica Ave, with F, E, J, and Z service just a few blocks away. Needless to say, I highly recommend the trip.
Ha! I initially thought it was a different term for a box seat but I don’t think the Capitol had them, did they? I never had a chance to see a film here. Just a bit before my time.
Was that peculiar to The Capitol or did other theaters have Divan sections. I’m just amazed that I haven’t heard of it before. I love it though!
What’s a Divan???? I’ve never seen that in a theater ad!
You might call it a “gouging”, but I would gladly be gouged many times over to have experiences like this at the movies. It was really special and they should have more events like these. I think Les Miserables would have done extremely well here in a similar two week exclusive run, though I personally hated it. :–) Though I DID see it at the Ziegfeld, my only complaint theater wise was the lack of a marquee (they just plastered up a generic Les Miseables sign) and the lack of curtain use, but otherwise, as usual, a great place to see a film.
Does Dreamgirls not count because it was more than two showings a day? That continues to be my all time most fun movie screening of any film EVER! It was all reserved seating for about 2 weeks. The tickets were $25! No Commericals/Ads! The Curtains worked and everyone screamed. During the film there were three standing ovations DURING the screening, the biggest of which was for “And I’m telling you I’m not going” which brought the house down. It was an incredibly memorable experience.
Everything in New York costs more. It just does. Always has, but it hasn’t stopped the city from building and building big. It is why it still retains (along with Los Angles) the greatest collection of movie palaces in the country (perhaps the world). Brooklyn (as well as New York) is booming and is the home of 2.6MM people whose only performing arts centers are The Opera House and The Harvey Theater (both at the Brooklyn Academy of Music) and the Brooklyn College Performing Arts Center. There is room for more and the Kings will succeed. I’m from Manhattan and I will be going for sure.