PlayStation Theater

1515 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 501 - 525 of 547 comments

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on April 29, 2004 at 6:38 am

Rhett..I saw Earthquake, Slapshot and Thats Entertainment 2 at the Cinema 46. A wonderful suburban theater. And did you ever go to the Stanley Warner on Route 4 before the slice and dice? Cinema Heaven!
By the way somebody told me that 2001 did not have an intermission at the Astor. So you did not the the effect of the great curtains slowly closing on the image of Hal listening in. Chilling beyond belief.

And William lately I’ve been getting leery of seeing any movie in a theater. The projectionists always seem top be getting something wrong whether its the film slightly out of focus(which is the worst because it seems I’m the only one who can tell)or not properly framing the image within the borders.

umbaba
umbaba on April 29, 2004 at 4:26 am

Vincent…I di see 2001 at the Astor in 2001. It was great..but I HEAR ya because I didn’t have the Rivoli experience you did. I saw Apocalypse Now on opening day 8/15/79 at the Ziegfeld and I never saw or heard anything like it. I saw the re-release at the Astor in 2001 and while good…it just wasn’t the same as the original 79 version at the Ziegfeld.. I thought there WAS a Doors tribute band behind the screen and that there was a helicopter in the theater. There was a theater by me in NJ called the Cinema 46 and in 1975 they played Tommy and The Hindenburg in 6 track. I still never heard anything like it since. Yes, it must be the great prints of yesteryear. Any closing date on the Astor??

William
William on April 28, 2004 at 3:34 pm

Your right on that 1993 restored “My Fair Lady”, I saw it at the Cineplex Century Plaza Theatre in Los Angeles. It looked great on the big screen, but the sound was not there. I had seen it many times before in different projection formats. The only way was in 70MM 6-Track Stereo sound. Also to add, at that time you had projectionists that knew how to run film right. Back in the early 90’s, when I was in Los Angeles. We use to run late show for friends at many of those theatres in Hollywood and Westwood, after close.
We ran “West Side Story”, “The Great Race” in 70MM 6-Track Stereo and “Airport” in 35mm IB Tech & 4-Track Stereo at the Chinese Theatre (main room). Then across the street at the Paramount (now known as the El Capitan) we ran “Empire Strikes Back” and a few other titles. Over at the Hollywood Pacific Theatre (Pacific 1,2,3)we ran “Dirty Harry” in IB Tech, “Star Trek III & IV” and “The Enforcer”. At the Dome we ran “Can’t Stop the Music”. At the Pantages we ran “Patton” in 70MM, At the GCC Avco in Westwood we ran “The Apartment”. At the Odeon in Westwood we ran “The Wall” in 70MM, “The Enforcer”, “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”. At the Beverly Connection 6 we ran “Where Eagle’s Dare”. This would go on during the summer time every year. This was just projectionists and friends, after the theatre closed for the day.
Not all of the palaces in Los Angeles are around today. Unless its located on Hollwood Blvd. or Westwood area. The ones that are located in the Downtown area of Los Angeles. Are all or almost closed to movies. One reason for Broadway is progress has not reached that street for night life. During the day its very busy along Broadway, but after dark it turns into a ghost town. During the 70’s thru early 90’s those 2000 seat theatres would be full on the weekends. But with rising costs and video and cable, people stayed home. So Metropolitan Theatres let the leases are just sold the properties. Some became churches or turned into stores.
By looking at New York’s Times Square area. Those large theatres like “The Capital” & “Roxy” were just to big and they sat on a lot of property in mid-town New York. When these theatres were built, we only had live entertainment and the movies to deal with. Now you add in TV, 100’s of channels of cable, internet. So theatre companies got rid of poor performing theatre locations. In Los Angeles, Mann Theatres and Pacific Theatres had some great single screen theatres. They got rid of them one by one, so they could make more money with a multi-plex.

RobertR
RobertR on April 28, 2004 at 1:48 pm

My Fair Lady at The Cinerama was part of Broadway on Broadway. I talked about it on another post, maybe on the Dome site. I remember the print was a bit pink but the sound blew me away.

StephenJohansen
StephenJohansen on April 28, 2004 at 1:48 pm

How come all the great movie theaters in L.A. seem to remain and thrive, yet the great palaces in N.Y.C are gone and are dying a fast death.. Hopefully, the Ziegfeld will remain at least as a showcase for premieres… At last the marquee of the Paramount has been revived… The Empire 25 and 42nd St. E-walk are very, very pale comparisons to the great Time Square theaters of 50 years ago and before.. And, guess what… they should revive Radio City Music Hall… the greatest movie theater of all times!!!! Finis.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on April 28, 2004 at 1:28 pm

You know William that when I saw the old road show print of My Fair Lady back at the Cinerama in the late 70’s the sound was magnificent and then when I saw the restoration of the film at the Ziegfeld in ‘93 the separation and the depth weren’t even close. I guess those great soundtracks in 6 track magnetic as they were originally presented are lost to us forever.

William
William on April 28, 2004 at 11:49 am

Vincent, We had the same thing happen in Los Angeles around the same time. Every year the three large theatres in Beverly Hills played many of those old hard ticket films. Many of those original 70MM prints are now no longer available. They played in the Art-Deco palaces of the Warner Beverly Hills and the Fox Wilshire and the Beverly. Many of the bookings were double features present in 70MM 6-Track Stereo sound and a few 35mm 4-Track Stereo shows too.
In your above post I was just saying that. When those houses ran 70MM 6-Track Stereo shows, they were the Best of everything in presentations.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on April 28, 2004 at 10:30 am

Mike, Millie opened in ‘67 in NY at the great Criterion(see comments about it on this site and weep.)I saw a road show print of the film at the Astor Plaza at a one night only benefit in the 90’s while across the street the Criterion still stood as the UA 15plex or something of the kind.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on April 28, 2004 at 10:04 am

William I was talking about the old hard ticket movies from the 50’s and 60’s which I was able to see a few of in the 70’s in revival at these theaters.
By the way I did avoid the revival of 2001 at the Astor Plaza because I knew that after seeing it at the Rivoli(a religious experience)the Plaza just wasn’t going to cut it.

RobertR
RobertR on April 28, 2004 at 10:04 am

Theres no way a theatre can survive though against the 50 screens on 42 St. The Demille/Embassy 2-3-4 could only survive as some sort of Cinemateque and that would cost a fortune.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on April 28, 2004 at 10:01 am

I would love to know how Vincent saw Throughly Modern Millie at the Astor Plaza when the movie came out in 1967 and the theater didn’t open until 1974.
I agree with other comments. Someone should buy the old Demille/Embassy234 and restore it.United Artists should have bought it when they lost the Criterion. It saddens me that all the theaters in the Times Square area are almost gone. Loews should reconsdier closing the State if they are really going to loose the Astor Plaza.

William
William on April 28, 2004 at 9:07 am

“The sound at the Warner Cinerama and Rivoli was the old 6 Track magnetic…” That was only with the 70MM shows that they played.
And they used 5 discrete channels on stage and 1 surround channel. So the voices moved with the actors across the stage sound field. Which was far better than the later 70MM prints of the 80’s and 90’s. The Dolby 70MM formats had three stage channels plus subwoofer and mono or split surrounds. But still the 70MM prints had a better depth and power that the new digital formats lack.

JimRankin
JimRankin on April 28, 2004 at 7:01 am

In his April 26th comment Vincent states: “ It is stupefying when you see how arrogant these architects are and how much money they make and they come up with buildings without an ounce of imagination or style(see what they’re doing to Paris.)” I think most here would like to know more of why such depredations are happening, and there is no better explanation than in the book: FROM BAUHAUS TO OUR HOUSE by Tom Wolfe, available at most libraries or via such as from this page: View link where you will also find my own review of this witty diatribe that skewers the pretensions of the modern day architecture as no one else can. For those unwilling to read even this short book, there are audio cassettes and downloads of it available there. Thank goodness our beloved theatres were mostly unaffected by the mad, headlong dash into modernism which indirectly has spelled the end of a number of theatres, especially in NYC, where property values are so inflated that any building more than 30 years old is considered passe, and something more profitable is eagerly sought by the money mad. This is the real reason so many theatres were demolished there: they couldn’t bring in as much money, and the power of influential people to desire and then clear a lot to build their own money-makers is awesome if not disgusting. As God’s word, the Bible, says: “The love of money is a root of all sorts of injurious things.” (1st Timothy 6:10) [many Bibles translate this as ‘the root of all evil’, but our English word ‘evil’ is much more limited than the broad scope of the original Koine Greek word here.]

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on April 28, 2004 at 6:50 am

The sound at the Warner Cinerama and Rivoli was the old 6 track magnetic and it had a superb warmth and depth that was never quite the same after Dolby came in or is my memory playing tricks on me?

delamare
delamare on April 28, 2004 at 6:26 am

I remenber an evening performance of “Raiders of the lost arch” in 1981 the sound was absolutely perfect and the auditorium with confortable seats was giving such a quality never found in the movie theatres of Paris of these days only the tobacco smoke was unusual for us.During my last trip to New York four years ago i was surprised to see the Astor Plaza still runnig due to the development of multiplex in the city.
But the closing of such places is a loss and without nostalgy the end of a kind of pleasure to go to the movies never found in multiplex.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on April 28, 2004 at 6:23 am

Well not at all. I saw Thoroughly Modern Millie there and Gladiator. Two movies which I like enormously and two different types which would show off a large single screen house to best advantage. I wouldn’t avoid it but then I wouldn’t make a point to see a movie there either like I would have at some of the old houses and which I do now at the Loew’s Jersey. Come on over everyone!

umbaba
umbaba on April 28, 2004 at 3:54 am

Vincent. I think you need to take a trip to Astor Plaza again. You need to see the screen there. You seem to have a bad vibe about the Astor, did you have a bad experience there?

William
William on April 27, 2004 at 8:27 am

Remember the Mayfair/DeMille/Embassy 2,3,4 has not been used since 1998. A lot of things can happen in 6 years. And how well did the company that operated it keep it up?? The Times Square Theatre on 42nd Street is also rotting away too. To equip the theatre for three panel Cinerama you would have to install a wide curved screen. One problem with that. There is only two films available in three-panel Cinerama format.
Fox recently re-stuck new 70MM prints of “Hello Dolly”, “Patton” for Special Venue screenings. Many of those 70MM Roadshow prints are no longer around. Because the studios only made a select amount of them during their original releases. And over the years they got used and damaged or faded and they were destroyed. Because now a new 70MM print of one those Roadshow titles can cost well past $50,000 a print.
The downfall was when studios found they could make more money if they opened wide with 2000-3000 prints. During the 70’s, you only had a lot of singles & twin houses here. In Los Angeles the First Run areas were first Downtown Los Angeles, then Hollywood, then Beverly Hills. Then it was Hollywood and Beverly Hills. After Beverly Hills died out it moved to Westwood and Hollywood.

RobertR
RobertR on April 27, 2004 at 6:47 am

When I see pictures of the displays that they used to put up on those giant billboards with neon and three dimensional objects it shows just how much things have changed. I guess the downfall all started with the showcase runs and the way movies open and close in a few weeks.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on April 27, 2004 at 6:18 am

The Mayfair/DeMille, at least the last time I looked, is at the corner of 47th St and 7th Av. It was triplexed and is now boarded up. It has the wraparound billboard still in use which when it was a reserved seat house had the amoung the best displays for movies I’ve ever seen. I was a child so maybe that had some thing to do with it.

People keep telling me how big the screen is at the Astor Plaza and for wome reason I was never impressed by it. Anybody know the dimensions for this and the one at the Ziegfeld?

umbaba
umbaba on April 27, 2004 at 4:26 am

Where is the Mayfair/DeMille located? address.. what’s there now? I agree, the ASTOR is not a design masterpiece of old theater like the Ziegfeld or the Lafayette in Suffern NY. But, it has one of the largest screens I’ve ever seen and I have good memories of seeing flicks there. It IS a great theater.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on April 26, 2004 at 10:52 am

Remember everybody that the Mayfair/Demille still stands. The only real cinema left in the Square. Anybody have the money to restore it back to when it was a 70mm house? Come on Scorcese this is where we can have our own Cinemateque and a better one than they have in LA.
How about everything from silents to cinemascope to Todd AO to 3 strip cinerama(for this a 100 ft screen anyone?) There have got to be enough rich cinemaphiles in NY to make this happen.

YMike
YMike on April 26, 2004 at 10:27 am

Its a shame that this theatre will be closed. There is nothing like seeing a film in a large single-screen theatre. When the Astor and The State are closed there will be no movie theatres on Broadway in the Times Square area. Very Sad.

RobertR
RobertR on April 26, 2004 at 9:32 am

Of all the theatres mentioned I always felt the old Loews State was twinned without destroying the theatre. By building the seperate screen totally under the balcony the entire theatre was still seen from the seating of the old loge and balcony looking at the original screen. Am I remebering correctly?

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on April 26, 2004 at 6:33 am

It is stupefying when you see how arrogant these architects are and how much money they make and they come up with buildings without an ounce of imagination or style(see what they’re doing to Paris.)
I agree with you about the splitting up of the theaters but I always hoped they would restore the Criterion and the Rivoli. And the original theaters of the Strand and the Loew’s State were probalby there intact underneath all the modernizations waiting to be discovered. I’d like to know about all the payoffs that go from the real estate developers to the Landmarks Comission to keep them from landmarking these priceless architectural jewels. The history of this in NY must be staggering.