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the 1st time i visited San Francisco was 1980
and the last time was 8? years ago. my point
being simple. in the early years they hosted
many different types of gay porn stars. boy
next door types, Abecrombie & Fitch model
types as well studly masculine types. yet in the
8 years since my last visit the only gay porn
stars they seem to host are studly masculine
types. what gives? isn’t variety the spice of
to Ed S.–
thanks for your take on the subject. during the
often pined for Golden Age of Hollywood I was
always under the impression there was a distinct
look and feel too an A film that would be different
from that of a B film. so that’s why I’m kind of
shocked BOP would have been classified as an A film
when it opened at the Mayfair considering its
very B film production values.
very interesting and depressing pics. the Mayfair/
Demille/Embassy 1-2-3 was in uneven shape sad to
say before closing. fortunately my parents took me
to as many roadshow films as possible so at least
I got to see the theater when it was still in
un-triplexed prime shape.
also when I looked at your pics in the photo
section I noticed the ad for Bird of Paradise.
i’m assuming it was the film’s 1st run premiere
run and not a move over from another theater.
which is where my question comes in- was BOP
considered an A level as opposed to B level film?
I purchased the blu-ray disc put out by Kino Video
last year and thought it was a sub-par film both
technically and artistically. I didn’t think
King Vidor was capable of making such a crappy
Hello From NYC-
I was under the assumption that the Uptown was a
1st run venue from the get go. but I read it was
actually built as a grand neighborhood theater and
only became a 1st run venue with the advent of the
modern roadshow era in the fall of 1955. so is
there a way of finding a list of all the roadshow
films that played the Uptown?
a question for my fellow fans of the late but great
Capitol. nowadays big films will open on 2 to 3
thousand screens on the same day. now in Manhattan
every so often one of these big films will stay
at a theater or two for quite some time. which brings
me to my question. in the photo section is an ad
for “Mata Hari” that states at the top “held over for
3rd and final week”. to which did films at the Capitol
during this period never play for all that long no
matter how much of a hit they were?
I am now more confused than ever. I have read on
more than one occasion that The Wizard of Oz which
opened at this theater never really ignited the box
office even after MGM tried various catchy ad
campaigns and its books only entered the black
when it was sold to t.v.. Al A.’s reply seems to
confirm this. yet Mike’s post makes it seem like
it was a big box office hit. so which is the case?
Hello to AL A.–
as always I thank you for your font of knowledge.
so if I understand your reply correctly the story
I related in my question is more or less true?
since The Wizard of Oz debuted at this theater
a question. we all assume the film was a big box
office hit when it opened Sept. of 1939 I believe.
but I have read more than once that while it
wasn’t a flop per se it never really ignited the
box office to any great extent. in fact since this
was the time when the studios still controlled the
theaters MGM tried to jump start the film with
ingenious ad campaigns but the public never really
bit. to which the film only became this beloved
classic after it started airing on t.v. in 1954?
is this true?
a bit of info fellow Capitol Theater devotees will
find interesting. the Loew’s Lincoln Square has each
of the auditoriums named after a famed Loew’s movie
palace. to the right of the entrance to each
auditorium is a plaque with info about the honored
theater. the plaque for the Capitol states the theater
was torn down at the end of 1967. I’ve mentioned it
to management several times but they don’t seem to
care about the incorrect info.
I have often asked questions about reserved seat
runs at this and nearby theaters. to which a
question- does anyone know of a first rate store
in Manhattan that sells souvenir programs? or
possibly a website? there are many original roadshow
films I saw in but at my neighborhood theater.
usually souvenir programs were only sold in the
initial exclusive 1st run theater.
to Robert E.–
thanks for the info. if I understand your reply
correctly the name Mark I-II-III was on the marquee
briefly. it must have been really brief with a
capital B since as I said I never remember that
name being on the marquee.
another question. was the tri-plexing of the
theater done by the people who wanted it has an
adult house or was it done by an independent
contractor and then the lease snatched up by the
porn people? which of course never came to
like you I miss the great old movie theaters
of the Times Square Area. fortunately the Capitol
was never twinned like the Rivoli of triplexed
like the Demille. as much as these theaters were
loved by movie buffs isn’t the primary reason
for their demolition is they were economically
unviable as a single screen movie theater. for
instance the Roxy’s huge size was great for
1927 but by the spring of 1960 said size was its
own worst enemy.
thanks for your reply. the Castro is indeed alive
and well but doesn’t qualify since like many grand
old movie theaters built 1914-1941 was built from
the get go as a 2nd/3rd run neighborhood theater.
I am specifically looking for theaters built 1914-
1941 that were built from the get go as 1st run
venues and have continued to operate as such since
the day they opened. the only one I have come
across is Grauman’s Chinese in Hollywood.
also while I’ve been to San Francisco I’ve neverbeen in the Castro Theater. what’s inadequate aboutthe restrooms?
to Al A.–
thank you for your thoughts on the book “Movie
Roadshows” by Kim Rolston. would you happen to
know if “Roadshow: The Fall of Musicals in the
1960s” by Matthew Kennedy is better researched and more accurate than “Film Roadshows”?
i am writing to you on this page because i can’t
seem to find the page for the 58th St. off of
Lexington Fine Arts.what does one type in the search box?
hello to Robert E.–
thanks again for your reply. now I apologize for
asking this question since I asked it on this board
sometime ago. was Mark I, II and III ever actually
on the marquee? as I said I have been using the
TKTS booth since the day it opened and never remember
the marquee ever having that name.
as always thanks for your assistance. I knew my
memory wasn’t that faulty. just out of curiosity
do you know the book? its fascinating for me since
i well remember reserved seat runs. as I stated
there are many inaccuracies in the book. whether
this is a result of inadequate research or the
proof reader being drunk, who knows? for instance
in the chapter on the 60s author Rolston states
that Gypsy(which looks and sounds great on blu-ray)
opens on roadshow runs but doesn’t state where. it
certainly didn’t in Manhattan.
if I could contact Rolston I would ask why was
The Trojan Women left out? there is an appendix
which lists films that during pre-production and
production were intended for reserved seat runs
but weren’t released that way. so obviously he did
a certain amount of research which makes the
omission of The Trojan Woman bizarre.
thanks for the info about the former Columbia/Mayfair/
Demille’s almost life as an adult theater. now exactly
when was it almost an adult theater? I have been
using the TKTS both since it opened June 1973 so
when i’m online I am looking right at the theater and
never remember any signage of any kind that an adult
theater was coming. if I understand the info correctly
its almost life as an adult theater existed solely in
the negotiation stage that never came to pass. I never
remember it being anything than a mainstream movie
you have been most helpful in the past so i have
another question for you.i know time does funny
things with one’s memory but i am 99% certain
that “The Trojan Women” starring Katherine Hepburn,
Vanessa Redgrave, Genvieve Bujold and Irene Papas
open at this theater on a reserved seat engagement
or at least a reserved performance engagement
Nov.of 1971. i just read the book “Movie Roadshows:
Limited Run Reserved Seats Engagements 1911-1972”.
the author Kim Rolston includes reserved
performance engagements as well. yet TTW is nowhere
to be found in the book. unfortunately its not
the only inaccuracy in the book.
you have been most helpful in the past.
so here goes. how is the late but great
Fine Arts Theater on 58th St. off of
Lexington Ave. listed on this site? if you
type in Fine Arts all you get it the Paris
opposite the Plaza Hotel.
Hello from NYC-
i have greatly enjoyed browsing this site since
i came upon it the end of Jan 2012. so i set up
a little project for myself. the golden age of
building grand old movie theaters or palaces as
some were was approx. 1914-1941. so i have a very
specific question- of such theaters built in
Philadelphia from the get go as venues for 1st run exclusive engagements how many have continued to
operate as such since the day they opened? Manhattan
doesn’t have any nor does San Francisco. so i was
wondering if Philadelphia did.
i saw Thoroughly Modern Millie during
its reserved seat engagement at the Criterion
Theater on 44 St.. but i was not aware Flower
Drum Song which is one of my favorite musicals
opened on a reserved seat run.
this building was built as a movie theaterfor the Parkchester community 74 years ago.i don’t understand why Bow Tie closed itto begin with. was it not doing well?
one problem with lengthy trailers is that in
many cases they’re very condensed versions of
the film. so there are no surprises sometimes
when you see the film.
I live in NYC and always tried to attend a movie
at the Chinese whenever I came out to L.A.. to which
my question- has the IMAX-ing of the theater really
increased the patronage to any great extent? if I am
not mistaken I remember reading a post from someone
who attended a Sat. afternoon performance of
Catching Fire the weekend after it opened and they
stated there were only like 12 people in the
I thank Simon S. for his reply. the reason I asked
the question was simple. during the theater’s 33 year
lifespan Hollywood operated very much on the A,B or
even C movie production levels. so i’m guessing for
every Carousel or Anastasia they also played B or C
films between the bookings of A level films.