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Millions of dollars. The Paradise and the 175th are THE last fully-preserved Wonder Theatres.
The A&E documentary was shot by professionals who could make a nuclear dump look good. Seeing the Kings on TV and seeing it in person are two different things. At this point, it is unsavable.
Wouldn’t a giant light troth cut into an atmospheric sky look absurd, anyway? Whoops!
By the way, everything behind the proscenium, including the stage and the lighting, is NOT original and I think therefore does not quality as part of the landmark status. There ARE in fact clauses that let theater owners do TEMPORARY adjustments for these sort of shows. That was a major concern when “landmark status” for theaters originally began. Otherwise, most placed would be rendered obsolete.
One other point: the Paradise’s original lighting scheme did NOT have gaudy LED lights flashing under the statuary, nor did it have ugly, clunky, red vinyl seats scattered around.
And that mustard colored curtain has GOT to go! :)
The ad posted about the Pitkin is NOT a Loews paste-up. It was made by the newspaper, and hence it is an error on their part. I’m sure you won’t find the same mistake repeating week after week.
A few clarifying facts here…
Widescreen features was NOT the work of CinemaScope. Studios and Theaters were prepping for widescreen a full six months before THE ROBE hit the screen in September of 1953. While films that were intended to be seen full frame (1.37:1) were pushed into a widescreen AND stereophonic sound, most every studio switched to real widescreen by the summer of ‘53. And flat widescreen (1.66, 1.75, 1.85 and 2:1) is NOT fake widescreen. It accounts for about 75% of films being widescreen today.
Also, Ansco Color was hardly inferior stock— in fact, the chemistry was far more reliable than Eastman and holds up today as an archival format far better. Simply look at MGM’s KISS ME KATE. MGM shot on Ansco stock, but as stated, usually printed with Technicolor. And having seen original Technicolor prints made from Ansco negatives, I can safely say that there is NOTHING wrong with that combination.
This weekend is THE THIN MAN, on of my all-time favorites. Looking forward to another great show at Lafayette! Those in the area who haven’t been to this classy theater should stop missing out on all of the fun! Big Screen Classics is synonymous with SHOWMANSHIP!
Was the theater the only secion that was designed by DeRosa, or did he design the entire building?
The radio show started in ‘33 or '34. I don’t know when they ended the series, but it was quite popular and selections from them were available on 78s for a while.
Erno Rapee was the Hall’s first conductor, and had finished previously working as head of the Rivoli, Capitol and Roxy. He died in 1945.
Ok, Kings. If you want to live in dreams, that’s fine, but if you live in reality, you take the bad with the good. The whole analogy behind “cold water” is that it’s a wake up call to what really needs to be done.
But, in the real world, there are also real people with real solutions to problems that you can and will face if you go into this head first. For example, you yourself were not aware that the original molds for the Kings still exist. That’s the difference between tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars.
Sam, for what it’s worth, the roof and the plaster-work are priority on ANY theater’s agenda of things to be restored. If plaster-work crumbles and falls on an audience, that’s a major liability.
Kings, the original plaster molds DO exist for all of the Loews theaters. The company that made them in the first place still exists and the whole point of keeping them was for the theaters that needed repair-work to easily just replace parts. That’s how the Paradise (which had totally unrepairable plaster-work) was saved.
Ziggy, cold water is always necessary for these projects. Apparently there are people going into this that don’t have realistic visions of what needs to or can be done. They’re not professionals, simply volunteers. Look at Loew’s Jersey and what it could be. Look at Loews Paradise and what it is. That’s the difference between volunteers and professionals doing work.
Currently, there’s not even a legitimate organization set up here, and it’s still at the volunteer level. So in my opinion, all of the ice water should be thrown on this project as possible going into it, so that when you get hit, it’s not going to hurt as badly.
Is there a legitimate list right now? Or is it just someone CCing everyone? Can we set something up on Yahoo! or Google groups perhaps, or some similar list server? In this way, archival of messages can be easily accessed and read by the general public interested in the project.
In my own personal opinion, I feel the Kings is unsavable/not worth it. But I will gladly give my time and effort to those who are serious and can actually get something done. If this is just going to be an armchair, grass-roots committee of five who don’t get anything done, count me out.
So let’s get some stuff done, eh!?
Well, I will go into more detail on the started mailing list, but I would say before you do anything else, a better idea than to “plan” is to talk to people who have actually done work in the other five Wonder Loews. For example, you’re aware that the plasterwork’s original molds exist, yes?
What was proposed as the usage of the theater? Concerts? What kind? You’ll either have few people come to oldies shows or you can have a lot of people that damage the theater with the hip-hop concerts.
Did anyone take notes of exactly what was said at the meeting? Like a full minutes readout?
In all seriousness, Warren is right. There is no church that could or would want to save the Kings. If anyone is going to do it, it has to be a group that can raise the money, or a private investor (which I don’t see happening).
Sorry I was unable to attend the meeting Saturday— I was caught ill this weekend.
Does anyone have an outline of what was said or proposed at this meeting?
SAVE THE KINGS!!!!
(foaming at the mouth)
Those are great photos, Jeff. A far cry from what Passaic now is.
Does anyone else have some clear pictures of the auditorium? I’m doing a little project and I’d like to have some more details about the ornamentation of the theater.
>>It is VERY hard to get older film titles. When you can get them, they are very expensive; the older they are usually means the more expensive, because the studios don’t want to lend out their few copies of older/rarer films, and because the older they are usually means the more delicate they are.<<
Most repetory prints are in fine condition because they are newer printings. Rates differ ever so slightly from studios, but in the long run, are not expensive at all.
The only request the studios make of you is to run the archival prints reel to reel. There are also designated platter prints of popular titles.
I’ll gladly show up at said meeting. At the very least, we can all get informed about what would need to be done with the theater at all.
SGT. YORK was great and had a large turnout. Another hit for the Lafayette!
Looking forward to the MALTESE FALCON on Saturday.
The fact of the matter is that the Ziegfeld looses more money operating films than it does sitting in the dark. I don’t want to get into the background behind it, but with a company like Clearview (owned by Cablevision) running it, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon, thankfully.
Classic films there is all a very interesting experiment, but unfortunately, I don’t see it lasting. The economics and red tape behind it all don’t seem to have justified the means, even if it is seeing a great film in a great venue.
My best wishes are with the Ziegfeld’s programming. After reading what has happened there, I would be slightly embarrassed to run further programming until the bugs in the system have been worked out. Perhaps they will be able to do classic shows once again. Hopefully, by that time, they’ll have a staff that is better prepared for this particular form of event.
While remodeled several times, there are some typical DeRosa features, particularly the “swish” trim around the top and bottom of the boxes.
There’s a sucker born every minute. If you can get someone to dump the amount of money needed to fix the theater (ie. a LOT), go for it— I’ll even donate some good, working 35mm projectors to the place if you get it up and running. Hell, I’ll even run them.
But, as has been previously stated, nothing has been done so far. When you get to that step, give me a ring.
Yeah, except the New Amsterdam had a multi-million dollar corporation behind it, which the Kings doesn’t.
How can you get excited over getting mugged, eh?
Kings et all… thanks for your thoughts. I’m not trying to be negative here, just realistic. I’ve worked at theaters before and have seen my fair share of “goods,” “bads,” and “uglies”. The Kings somehow falls between the latter two. If it weren’t for the fact that it’s a Loews, it’d be ugly.
The New Amsterdam theater was a moderately large (1700) seat theater that had been taken care of and was in the heart of Times Square— factors that were clearly in its favor.
The Kings has roof damage that would cost easily over half a million dollars to repair and is a 3600 seat behemoth. Also, despite what you say, is NOT in a good part of town. I’ve lived there on weekends for three years now and can tell you that it only takes a block or two of distance from the main stretch before you get in to some dicey areas. There’s a reason that Streisand, Stallone and Winkler aren’t returning to their roots— would you if you saw what a mess your old neighborhood has become?
Let me ask those of you ready to “save” it this—
(1) Have you actually been inside of the theater? Just the lobby doesn’t count.
(2) Have you written down your business plan? How many meetings have there been so far? You’ve been discussing this for three years now and there still isn’t any “Friends of the Loews” yet. In that time, the stage roof has pretty much crumbled, opening it to the elements, and plaster-work has been damaged beyond repair.
It is true that you could bring it back to its former glory— for an estimate for 2 to 3 million dollars, and then do you realize how much you’ll have to spend in heating and electricity? What could you possibly run in that area that would attract customers? Running a hip-hop concert would be fine, but don’t you know of the vandalism those shows bring in? Don’t expect the yuppies from Manhattan to come out. Even if the neighborhood was still good, the stigma of that part of Brooklyn is so heavy that most people shudder at the thought of even leaving Manhattan.
If you’re going to put time and energy into something, do it right and make sure it’s a good cause. The Loews Paradise is about the best example of it being done right (or almost right) that I can think of— visit the theater sometime and you’ll see what I mean. The guy that put money into that place (private, not a public group) went bankrupt before he finished it! And while a private venture will always have the privileges that public groups don’t offer, the St. George theater is a nightmare of private ownership, so there is always the other side of the spectrum.
Loews Jersey has been so handicapped by its own politics that I foresee that it will NEVER get fully restored. The same goes for most of the groups that go on a vigilante “save the whatever” kick without even realizing what they’re inheriting, first.
You think Marty Markowitz and Donald Trump are going to make it all happen? Think again. Markowitz would sell you his mother to get a vote, so don’t expect that to happen anytime soon. Last time I checked, Trump wasn’t buying up theaters in Brooklyn to save his life.
I wish you all the luck you can get, but please consider what I’ve said. It’s nice to be romantic and an armchair preservationist, but realism and actually doing something is what counts, and let’s put it this way: in the last three years I’ve been following this, nothing has happened.
I wish you all the luck you can get, but please consider what I’ve said. It’s nice to be romantic and an armchair preservationist (which all of you “Save the Kings” guys are at this point), but realism and actually doing something is what counts, and let’s put it this way: in the last three years I’ve been following this, nothing has happened.
Give me a break. Anyone who has actually been inside the Kings or even in the area knows its past its prime. The community and government are not behind it and that’s just the start. I love vintage theaters just as much as the next guy, but I do have my priorities.
Just let it have the peaceful death it deserves.
Have you ever been inside the place? The office building is absolutely unusable. The (broken) windows have let all sorts of weather and critters in the place, and the walls are totally ripped up. Also, the roof of the theater wasn’t maintained and the ceiling is suffering from water damaged.
Ten years ago it could have been saved… not now. The death knell was rung when the great city of Paterson plummeted into its great depression. The community has no support behind the theater and it seems the only people getting any use of it are the bums that live in the back alley under the stairs.
That to me, my friend, is what unusable means.
One of the Rivoli’s early orchestra leaders was Erno RapeÃ© (1891-1945), who was also a noted film composer. He began conducting theatrically at the Rialto after a successful American tour. He later was the leader at the Capitol, Philidelphia Fox, UFA Berlin Theater, the Roxy and finally the Radio City Music Hall orchestra.
The breakdown of the Rivoli original orchestra was:
8 First Violins, 4 Second Violins, 4 Violas, 4 Cellos, 3 Basses, 2 Flutes, 2 Clarinets, 1 Oboe, 1 Bassoon, 2 Horns, 3 Trumpets, 2 Trombones, 2 Drummers, 1 Harp