Comments from bigjoe59

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bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about National Twin on May 22, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Hello-

i have to respond to the comments made by rivoli157 and GaryCohen. while the surrounding area may have gotten “colorful” at one point the theater itself never went down hill or got seedy however you wish to phrase it. it fact “The Towering Inferno” opened on an exclusive Manhattan run Dec. 1974 that lasted till the end of May 1975. in terms of –“then the twinning and
the real decline of Times Square-no one in their right mind went to a movie theater on Broadway”. that is of course simply not true. from the day the it opened as a single screen theater Dec. 1972 thru its closure as a twin in 1996 the theater was a well run operation and always ran 1st run engagements. whether or not the films were any good was a matter of opinion. during the theater’s 24 year existence i went there many times and no matter how “colorful” the area may have gotten at one point the theater(s)were always well run and the patrons were regular well dressed well behaved folk and not the “colorful” denizens of the area as has been implied in the comments.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Movieland on May 22, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Hello- while the body of the theater(the auditorium)had been converted to the U.S.A. disco and subsequently demolished to build the swanky W hotel the lobby area stills stands as is still operates as the Roxie deli.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Metropolitan Theatre on May 22, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Hello-

i first became aware of this theater when i was a delivery boy for a local supermarket in the early 70s at which point it was already showing porn. i have always assumed it was a vaudeville house which had seen better days. but from the intro at the top am i to understand it was built from the ground up as a movie theater in 1914 and was not a conversion/renovation of an older structure into a movie theater and that it was strictly a movie theater its entire life?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Loew's American Theatre on May 22, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Hello- while quite fascinating and beautifully designed Mary C. Henderson’s book “42 Street” contains a big factual error that i’m surprised the proof reader didn’t catch. the book is a biography if you will of the 12 theaters that were built on 42 St. between 7t hand 8th Avenue. the twelve chapters are arranged chronologically by the date the theater was built. therefore the American is the 1st theater discussed and therein lies the factual error. the chapter begins with i believe this statement-“the American has the dubious distinction of being the first theater built on the block and the first theater torn down”. this is not true. while it was the first theater built it was not the first theater torn down. Hammerstein’s Victoria right on the northwest corner of 7th Avenue and 42 St. was torn down at the end of 1915. the American wasn’t torn down till 1931.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Fine Arts Theatre on May 20, 2012 at 1:40 pm

i remember the Walter Reade theaters serving coffee so its nice to know the Rugoff theaters had a similar policy. i’m guessing the primary reason they were able to pull it off was because of the manageable size of the theater’s audience.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Fine Arts Theatre on May 18, 2012 at 6:15 pm

i liked the Fine Arts. one thing that the theater did in the 70s and maybe early 80s was offer free coffee in the downstairs lounge from i think 5p.m till closing. i believe other Walter Reade theaters did so as well. can you imagine that being done today?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Cinema Village on May 15, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Hello- as always i thank my fellow posters for replying to my inquiries. so Al A. if i understand you reply correctly the 55th St. Playhouse went from being a top art house to a gay porn house in short order? i suppose anything is possible in the big wide world of Manhattan real estate even the fall of 1971. its just i can’t picture the theater going from being a top art house than say two or weeks later becoming the top hard-core gay porn house in Manhattan. i naturally assumed there had to have been a significant closed up period.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Cinema Village on May 14, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Hello Again To Ed S.– i figured considering the building’s locale the original firehouse would have
been build around 1890. so i wasn’t to far off.

two new notes. 1.i guess my memory is only 99% perfect. this theater’s sister theater on 3rd Ave. was for many years the Bijou one of the leading gay porn houses in the city. i was quite familar with the Bijou. yet a stone’s throw away on 11th St. the Evergreen for a few years was known as the Sobo a leading gay porn house. now i was in college during the period the Evergreen operated as the Sobo and was frequently in the Union Square Easy Village area yet never remember the Evergreen as the Sobo. even if it was a leading gay porn house it had to have been so
for a short period. plus i’m guessing there was no marquee to speak of which could be why i didn’t take note of its gay porn period.

2.a question about the 55th St. Playhouse i ask you here since that theater’s page hasn’t been updated in a while. the theater opened in the early 30s and for almost 40 years was a leading venue for foreign and independent films. now it started its almost 20 year career as one of Manhattan’s top gay porn houses when Wakefield Poole’s BOYS IN THE SAND opened i believe the first week of Dec. 1971 and therein lies my question. i doubt one week it was a top art house for foreign and independent film than the next week it switches to gay porn. therefore i’m guessing it must have been vacant, un-used whichever the correct term is for a certain period of time before it became a top gay porn house. am i
correct?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Cinema Village on May 13, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Hello To Ed S.–

i always remember this building being
the Cinema Village and assumed it was built
as such. but i read somewhere else that the
building was originally a firehouse which is
not mentioned in the intro. so obviously they
did a gut renovation of the original
structure. the question is- how old is the
basic structure?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Hollywood on May 11, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Hello-

i haven’t been out to L.A. since the spring of 2004 at which time the Pacific up on Hollywood Blvd. was still boarded up and unused. now the last time i was out when it was still a first run venue abet a tri-plexed? one didn’t the downstairs main auditorium have a deeply curved screen? if i am not mistaken the Pacific along with the Cinerama Dome was used for reserved seat runs of Cinerama films both 3-strip and single lens 70mm ones. or is it possible they removed the curved screen when the Pacific was decommissioned as a movie theater.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Cinema Studio on May 8, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Hello To Ed S.–

would you happen to know if the print of VERTIGO that was shown at the Hitchcock Festival was ever released even on vhs? the reason i ask is simple. the only home video verison i have watched is the vhs and subsequently dvd of the 1996 Harris/Katz restoration. so it would be interesting to see what the film looked and sounded like before it was restored.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Cinema Village on May 8, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Hello To Ed S.–

you seem quite knowledge so i have a question for you. during the good old days of gay porn two of the top gay theaters in midtown were the Eros(8th. Ave.&46 St) and the Adonis(51 St.&8th Ave.) they were both owned by a woman named Chelly Wilson(hopefully i spelled her first name right) would you happen to know she was either related to or was friends with Denise the nice lady who owned and operated the Gaiety on 46 St. they were both Greek so i figure it doesn’t hurt to ask.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Carnegie Hall Cinema on May 8, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Hello-

granted posting an old newspaper ad would be proof positive but how about the fact i went there to see a aptly titled porn film(gay)– AMERICAN CREAM.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Carnegie Hall Cinema on May 7, 2012 at 6:33 pm

as reiterated by AL A. this theater was most definitely a porn house for a short time in the late 70s. as for the Carnegie Hall Corp. i bet they realized $$$ is $$$.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Cinema Village on May 7, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Hello- the ad in the intro is not for this theater was a sister theater on 3rd Avenue. in fact previous to being taken over by the Cinema Village the 3rd Avenue theater was for a time one of the top gay porn houses in the city.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Cinema Studio on May 7, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Hello- shortly before it closed didn’t this theater hold a festival of Hitchcock films that hadn’t been show theatrically for some time because of copyright issues? i remember two of films were VERTIGO and THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Carnegie Hall Cinema on May 7, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Hello-

not mentioned as yet is that for a short period in the late 70s i believe this theater was a gay porn house.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Loew's Capitol Theatre on May 7, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Hello-

a mistake of sorts in the intro needs to be corrected. true the Capitol was running the original roadshow engagement of 2001 in the late spring of 1968 shortly before it closed and was later demolished. but the roadshow run of 2001 did not end at this point as well. said engagement was switched to the Warner Cinerama at Bway & 47 St. where it continued to do good business for several more weeks.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Hollywood on May 7, 2012 at 10:38 am

Hello From NYC To My Fellow Moviegoers In L.A.–

two quick questions-

1.at the Archlight Cinemas attached to the Cinerama Dome there is of course a surcharge for 3-D, IMAX and 3-D IMAX films. but what is the charge for a regular film? in NYC it varies. some art houses charge $11 or $12 but the big chain multipexes are obviously more. for instance the Chelsea multipex run by Clearview Cinemas charges $13.25 whereas the Regal 42 St. and Union Square multiplexes charge $14.

2.it is certainly worth a trip out to L.A. to see “The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm” in 3-Strip Cinerama at the Dome. so is there any real news are the possibility?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on May 6, 2012 at 3:27 pm

i share Bill H.’s sentiment. Nov. of 1982 about 3 weeks before it opened the theater had a special screening of “Gandhi”. after the film was over director Richard Attenborough made an appearence and did a some q & a. at the end when people were leaving the theater i walked up to him thanked him for a wonderful film and shook his hand. i then said “i hope you have your Oscar speech for winning Best Director ready. he humbly replied "don’t you think that’s jumping the gun a bit?”. then he thanked me for wishing him well with the film.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on May 4, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Hello To Ed S.–

you’ve been most helpful with my inquiries. so hopeful indepth knowledge will be of assistance this time as well.

1.in my searching for the oldest movie theater in Manhattan built from scratch as a movie theater i came across something quite fascinating. its been said many times by many people that many of the grand old movie theaters built in the approx. 1913-1941 period were killed off either by the almost effect of t.v. or by neighborhoods “changing”. what i found interesting were the decent number of movie theaters in Manhattan that closed up shop long before anyone ever heard of t.v. or any neighborhoods “changed”. of course the stock market crash of Oct. 1929 didn’t help but a number of theaters closed up shop even before Oct. 1929. and i’m not
necessarily talking about hole in the wall theaters but decent theaters. so what’s your take on this most interesting matter.

2.Thomas Lamb designed many grand old movie theaters in the 1913-1941 period. i always said “damn that man was prolific”. now about a month ago i found out that after he made a name for himself he started up an architectural firm with many architects working under him.
the article therefore implied that some of the grand old movie theaters attributed to Lamb may actually have been designed by other architects in the firm. now if this is true how to we know which movie theaters that have always been attributed to Lamb were actually designed by him?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on May 4, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Hello Again-

interesting discussion. as i said i saw the theater’s debut film “Marooned” in its roadshow run. i still have the souvenir program. therefore this theater has always held a special place in my heart. to which a question- is there any real danger of the theater closing anytime in the near future? or is it just rumors/hearsay? in other
words are we perhaps being a bit on the pessimistic side about its future?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 on May 1, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Hello-

i saw TITANIC in Imax 3-D at the 34 St.Multiplex. it was shown without an intermission which it never had. why would the Lincoln Square show it with an intermission?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Apr 30, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Hello To My Fellow Posters-

2 new notes-

*in 1910 “movies” were at the most 22 mins.long? so i’m guessing they alternated thru out the day with vaudeville acts.how long the Apollo continued to show movies doesn’t matter. my point was that its the oldest theater i have found to date that was built from the ground up expressly to show movies.

*actually of the 12 theaters built on 42 St. between 7th and 8th Avenues two were built with the intend of showcasing “movies”. aside from the Apollo the other was the Candler. it opened in 1914 with the Italian epic “Anthony and Cleopatra”. the original intend didn’t quite take hold and a short while later it became a legit house.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Apr 30, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Hello Again-

what neighboring tower are you referring to? if the air rights were already sold a while back does that mean if God forbid the land was redeveloped they could only build a new structure the same size/height as the theater?