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I saw a show there soon after it opened and one difference between seeing the photos here and actually being there is that it is not as well lit in person. The house lights and lobby lights are down (at half?) as the patrons enter the building and the auditorium, as they should be. But this means that all the restoration work is not as eye-popping because the house is not lit for photo-taking but is lit for actual use, which means the show is the star and not the theater.
Of course it is still magnificent but in an elegant, more subdued way.
Do they have the houselights on full for the tours?
All six theaters listed in this ad are now gone.
I think they have been giving tours for some time now, about twice a month…evenings, weekends, different schedules. Their e-mailings give the dates and times.
Some cool photos on that site
How much were the tickets?
I too would like to hear a more detailed report…
It’s a big vacant lot, cleared of most debris. Surrounded by a cyclone fence with green netting.
A little bit about the Loews North Versailles, reposted from its page here.
dave-bronx™ on August 26, 2004 at 7:46 am wrote:
The address of the former Loews North Versailles 20 is: 200 Loews Drive, North Versailles PA 15137.
Loews announced this theatre, but had to wait for the municipality to make changes to the surrounding roads and other infrastructure adjustments before they could begin construction. As with most government projects, they moved at a snails pace. In the meantime the 24-screen plex down the street, which was announced after the Loews was announced, got built and opened long before the Loews and had captured the audience.
The Loews theatre had a total of 4172 seats. When it closed [in February 2001, a little more than a year after it opened,] all of the equipment was removed and most of it re-installed in the new Loews 34th Street in New York, which was just being completed at the time the North Versailles was closing.
Wow, nice catch, Vindanpar…!
A Schubert show at a Shubert house…
I bow to my new lord and master!
Al, I’ve loved your posts and insights over these years, but grammar refers to the way words are used, classified, and structured together to form coherent written or spoken communication.
Spelling is forming of words with letters in an accepted order.
With a nod to George and Ira, let me add:
Things have come to a pretty pass
Our romance is growing flat,
For you like this and the other
While I go for this and that…
Grammar and spelling are different things, Al…
I was just teasing, and I will soon delete… :)
There is no Schubert theater on Broadway
The Shubert family of New York City was responsible for the establishment of the Broadway district as the hub of the theatre industry in the United States.
Franz Schubert is ranked among the greatest composers of the late Classical and early Romantic eras and is one of the most frequently performed composers of the early nineteenth century. But he never played Broadway…
There were several shots of this movie theater in 1971’s “Bunny O'Hare.” There was a mock movie on the marquee so I couldn’t tell if the place was still open.
In 1971 Bette Davis and Ernest Borgnine starred in “Bunny O'Hare” and here is an excerpt from the New York Times' review:
“Also on the bill with "Bunny O'Hare,” currently at neighborhood theaters, is “The Velvet Vampire,” which is almost as funny as “Bunny O'Hare,” though I doubt that it means to be. It has to do with a beautiful, 125-year-old woman, the mistress of a remote ranch in the southwest who stocks her own blood bank with tourists dumb enough to spend the night.
“It is to be recommended only if you can see it at the New Amsterdam on 42d Street, where audiences loudly, freely and obscenely associate with the action on the screen.”
“Of Human Bondage” starring Bette Davis and Leslie Howard opened here in June 1934.
Here’s an excerpt from the New York Times review:
“At the first showing yesterday of this picture the audience was so wrought up over the conduct of this vixen that when Carey finally expressed his contempt for Mildred’s behavior applause was heard from all sides. There was a further outburst of applause when the film came to an end.”
Ah, if we could turn back time: an adult-themed picture playing to an enthusiastic crowd at the Music Hall…
Headline: Old Babylon Village theater inspires dreams for father, son
The father and son in contract to buy the closed Babylon Village cinema say they will reopen next spring with a slate of professional shows cast with Broadway players, along with concerts and other acts.
Seaford residents Mark and Dylan Perlman expect to close this summer on the former Bow Tie Cinemas’ building on Main Street, paying $1 million to the chain that owns the moviehouse and renaming it the Argyle Theater at Babylon Village. The Argyle would be Long Island’s second year-round professional theater, joining the John W. Engeman Theater in Northport.
The Perlmans said in an interview last week that they will invest about $1.5 million to build a stage, sound and lighting systems and drastically reconfigure the building’s interior. Contractors will tear down walls that now divide the space into three movie theaters.
About 100 seats will be removed, leaving 450. Part of the snack bar will be repurposed as a bar. Outside, the vertical sign over the marquee, spelling out “Babylon” in fluorescent blue letters but dark for years, will be fixed and relit.
Stagecraft classes for children and young people will be offered. They may even show a movie or two, continuing a business that sustained the house from 1922 to 2014, when it closed.
But the focus will be live performances of the caliber found 40 miles to the west in Manhattan, they said.
“This will be the closest thing to Broadway on Long Island,” said Dylan Perlman, 22, a Hofstra University graduate who started acting professionally as a child and has appeared in independent movies and TV’s “The Good Wife.”
He and his father, 62, a psychologist with a practice in Wantagh, plan six main-stage shows a season with Actors Equity casts.
The two began talks last week with the union. A contract would mean high-level players from Broadway stages, but also higher production costs.
The Argyle schedule will include classics in the vein of “West Side Story” and “The Music Man,” but not “Hamilton.” While many of the current hits tour nationally, licensing rules forbid productions close to New York City, Mark Perlman said.
Babylon Village Mayor Ralph Scordino this year called the deal “a home run for the village” that could anchor an already strong downtown business district with about two dozen bars and restaurants.
The Perlmans are making their move at a boom time for Broadway, which had $1.4 billion in ticket sales and drew an audience of 13.4 million this season, according to The Broadway League, the industry’s national trade association.
Long Islanders bought just fewer than 1 million tickets last season for Broadway shows according to the league, suggesting strong regional demand across Nassau and Suffolk counties.
Babylon’s Main Street will never be confused with the Great White Way, but the Perlmans are betting that can work in their favor. Argyle tickets will cost from $25 to $75, lower than the $103 average for Broadway.
Many of the village’s bars and restaurants are open late for a post-show supper or drink, minus the Manhattan crowds. Most municipal parking is free, and the Long Island Rail Road station is a quick walk from the theater.
Industry veterans say that the Perlmans, who are newcomers to the business, are entering a difficult but potentially rich market.
“We have an incredibly supportive audience who seem to support the work we do, but we are still in the middle of a recession, and theater is not the easiest business,” said Richard Dolce, producing artistic director of the Engeman Theater, now in its 10th year. “We survive on ticket sales. We have to pick the right shows and produce them as well as we possibly can
and hold our breath.”
Alan Inkles, director of the Staller Center for the Arts at Stony Brook University, said that after 34 years in the business, he is working harder than ever to make season subscription sales, competing less with other theaters than a sea change in entertainment consumption, with much of the potential audience staying home and “binge-watching Netflix, watching the new season of ‘Game of Thrones.’ ”
The Perlmans admit that lenders initially responded to their plans with what Mark Perlman called a “healthy skepticism.” That changed, he said, “when they met with us, looked at our histories and we explained our vision, the people we’re putting together.”
They are convinced that they are selling something streaming entertainment can never offer: “People still yearn for social interaction, for face-to-face contact, to go out for the night,” Dylan said.
I wonder if slow sales can be partially attributed to the title — in seems “New York Summer Spectacular” is more catchy than “New York Spectacular” which sounds a bit generic…
The description from their website:
Located in the heart of Chelsea, Cinepolis Chelsea offers the latest films with offers state-of-the-art digital projection and sound. Cinepolis Chelsea is also home to “HEDDA PRESENTS THE CLASSICS” Film Series, weekly Rocky Horror Picture Show screenings and numerous film festivals, including the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival. The nine screen theater features reserved seating in a traditional environment and offers all your concessions favorites.
(Hedda wasn’t sure the series would continue, but it looks like it will…! Yay)
I think it’s Cinepolis, a Mexican exhibitor with eight US houses; details to follow…
Bow-tie has sold the theater; new owners take over July 1st, 2016.
I heard the name but can’t remember it; details to follow.
Passed by last night, stage house almost completely demolished since Friday…