Comments from bigjoe59

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bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Sep 28, 2011 at 1:24 pm


i have a question that i hope someone can answer. i have been a big fan of the Ziegfeld Theater since it opened Dec 1969 with the roadshow engagement of MAROONED. i’m as amazed as i am delighted that the theater is still alive and well. with real estate in Manhattan i’m sure the land under the theater is worth like a bazillion dollars. so my question is simple- with the land value how is it that the theater hasn’t been torn down and the land redeveloped? look at the Loew’s Tower East it closed because AMC couldn’t be bothered with running a single screen movie theater.

bigjoe59 commented about Roxy Theatre on Sep 4, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Hello To My Fellow Posters. the Roxy was torn down the summer of 1960 and i doubt everything was going along swimmingly and a month before someone said-“oh lets tear down the Roxy”. so i’m hedging the bet the decision to do so was decided upon years before. so when exactly was the decision to tear it down decided on? in 1956 the Roxy had 3 big Cinemascope hits from 20th Fox-CAROUSEL, ANASTASIA and THE KING AND I. so could the decision have been made as early as 1956?

bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Aug 14, 2011 at 12:44 pm

I have been reading the many posts about the preservation or not in NYC of grand old movie theaters. San Francisco is in the same boat. none
of the grand old movie theaters built as first run theaters during the golden age of such construction survive as movie theaters first run or revival. the Castro doesn’t quite fit the description since it was built from the get go as a second or third run neighborhood theater.

now in the discussion of the non-preservation of grand old movie houses the Roxy has often been brought up. when i started going into Manhattan on my own i was able to catch the Criterion,Loews State,DeMille,Warner, Rivoli and the Loews Capitol in their more or less original condition. the Roxy unfortunately was torn down June/July 1960? so i wasn’t able to see its wonders. to which a question for historians of the Roxy- when was it decided to tear down the theater? i can’t imagine is was decided on the weekend of the demolition. i’m guessing the decision was made years before.

also another point about the preservation or not of grand old movie theaters. the six Times Square movie theaters mentioned above as i knew them were large but the Roxy was as it was often described a cathedral. so isn’t the reason it and the also cathedral like Fox on Market St. in San Francisco were torn down wasn’t because no one liked the architecture or the projection and sound but because movie theaters that big by the late 50s had become point blank economically unviable as single screen movie theaters? i look forward to my fellow posters thoughts on the subject.

bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Aug 8, 2011 at 5:15 pm

to techman707- just wanted to say Hello and hope that

           some day real soon you will find a 
                           photo of the triplexed "DeMille" with
                           Mark 1/2/3 actually on the marquee. as
                           i said i often went there after the
                           tri-plexing and never remember seeing
                           it on the marquee. 
                           one new question. for the past several
                           years the huge sign that wraps around
                           the building has advertised Broadway
                           shows. now what was the last film to 
                           play the "DeMille" that used the
                           wrap around sign? 
bigjoe59 commented about Avon Theatre Earns National Attention for "Tree of Life" Policy on Jun 28, 2011 at 4:54 pm

i don’t mind slow paced films. A SINGLE MAN(2009) with Colin Firth was slow placed but wasn’t boring for a second. my point being there’s big difference between slow paced films and just plain boring ones.

bigjoe59 commented about Avon Theatre Earns National Attention for "Tree of Life" Policy on Jun 28, 2011 at 12:19 pm

isn’t the theater’s “warning” sign an admission on their part that the film is an incoherent boring piece of cinematic claptrap?

bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Jun 26, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Hello to Techman707-

i was wondering if you’ve located a photo of the front of the theater when Mark1/2/3 was actually on the marquee yet. as said i went to the theater often enough after it was tri-plexed so i should have come across Mark ½/3 on the marquee on at least one or two occasions. but i simply don’t recollect it. hopefully you have found a photo.

bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Jun 16, 2011 at 8:27 am

to Techman707-

i was wondering if you have come across a photo of the theater front with Mark 1,2,3 actually on the marquee. as you have said this was done right after the theater closed as the single screen DeMille and was tri-plexed. as i have likewise said i often went to the theater right after it was tri-plexed but quite honestly never remember taking note of Mark 1,2,3 being on the marquee.

bigjoe59 commented about Claremont Theatre on May 31, 2011 at 12:55 pm

thanks to Al A. for his learned assessment on the subject. in fact your reply prompts an additional question on my part. as i understand it the golden age of movie palace building was approx. 1910 thru say 1941? now of all those theaters it would be interesting to find out of the three reasons listed below percentage wise which caused the most movie theaters to close.

a)the Depression or b)t.v. sucking the life out of the movie biz or c)the neighborhood “changing”

bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on May 31, 2011 at 10:50 am

again i thank Techman707 for his inside info as to the ownership etc….. of the theater. but i do have one additional question. as i have said i have been a frequent visitor to the Times Square area for virtually my entire adult life and would out of habit notice different signage from the previous visit. so during what period of time did the marque actually have Mark 1,2,3 on it?

bigjoe59 commented about Claremont Theatre on May 30, 2011 at 6:03 pm

certainly a quite attractive theater at least the exterior. one simple question- the theater closed in 1933 long before the advent of television which sucked the life out of the movie business or the “changing” of the neighborhood. so why did it close after only 19 years?

bigjoe59 commented about Sutton Theater on May 30, 2011 at 5:52 pm

i know 20th Century Fox’s THE BLUE MAX had its premiere exclusive NYC engagement at the Sutton and a souvenir program was sold in the lobby. but there seems to be some debate as to whether is was a traditional two show a day roadshow engagement or a continuous performance engagement as they were called in the day. so which was it? the fact a souvenir program was sold would leave me to believe it was a traditional 2 show a day roadshow engagement. its my understanding that back in the day it was highly unusual for continuous performance engagements even exclusive in one theater to have a souvenir program no matter how “big” the film was.

bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on May 30, 2011 at 5:40 pm

i thank Techman707 for the inside info. two new-ish questions. your additional thoughts are appreciated. many thanks in advance.

i agree with you that the Demille suffered the worst tri-plexing ever of a former movie palace. but would you have any info as to why since it was in such horrid condition it was never closed for building or health violations previous to its actual closing?

also as i have said i have been to the Times Square area for either films or Broadway shows for virtually my entire adult so i would notice signage that was different from my previous visit.i know when the theater was tri-plexed the new operators were thinking of renaming it the Mark 1,2,3 but did the name ever actually make it on the marquee? if it did actually make it onto the marquee it most have lasted like a day.

bigjoe59 commented about Astor Theatre on May 30, 2011 at 2:49 pm

to Tinseltoes- you have been most hopeful with previous questions so here goes with a new one. as you stated above THE ALAMO moved from its Todd-AO roadshow run of many months at the Rivoli to a continuous performance run at popular prices at the Astor in May of 1961. but the ads for this engagement made no note of the fact the print was 25 mins. shorter than the roadshow Todd-AO print. therein lies mu question. after a Cinerama roadshow engagement of many months at the Warner Theater THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD moved to a popular price continuous performance run at the Astor. what was the running time of the continuous performance print as opposed to the roadshow print? also it obviously wasn’t in Cinerama so what was the Astor run advertised as being in? many thanks in advance.

bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on May 30, 2011 at 1:56 pm

i’m asking a question i asked several months ago and would appreciate it if my fellow posters have any additional info/thoughts on the matter. during Oct.1955 thru Dec.1972 seven large grand old movies were used as roadshow houses by the studios-Criterion, Loews State, RKO Palace, DeMille, Warner, Rivoli and the Loews Capitol. now the Palace was originally built as a stage theater so my question will pertain to the other six. the Criterion was in fairly decent shape after a redo by United Artists theaters before being gutted for the Toys R' Us. the Loews State which had been twinned in 1968 was in fairly decent shape before the building which housed it was torn down. the Warner which had been tri-plexed in 1967? was still in fairly decent shape before the building which housed it was torn down. this was also the case with the Rivoli which had been twinned and the Loews Capitol which wasn’t. so here’s my question- who the hell owned/operated/managed the Embassy1,2,3 before it closed for good? in contrast to the other five theaters just noted the Embassy 1,2,3 was in absolutely horrid shape. this was especially true not only of the 3 auditoriums but the men’s rooms on both the orchestra and mezzanine/balcony level. i can’t believe the theater hadn’t already closed because of building or health code violations.

bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1 Theatre on May 30, 2011 at 1:34 pm

to either see a new film at one of the large movie theaters or a Broadway show i have been a frequent visitor to the Times Square area most of my adult life. to which my question- i don’t remember the former Mayfair/DeMille ever having The Mark as its name on the marquee. so i’m guessing it was a proposed name change that never made it to the marquee.

bigjoe59 commented about Sunshine Cinema on May 29, 2011 at 1:33 pm

i find the photo posted by jflundy on 1/5/08 most interesting. first off it was neat to see the theater with a big ornate old fashion marquee. but what i find most fascinating is that date given for the. photo 6/23/29. unless NYC widened Houston St. subsequent to the photo being taken the street in front of the theater is wayyyyyyyyyyyy to narrow to be Houston Street. is it at all possible that the photo is not of the Sunshine Cinema that exists today?

bigjoe59 commented about Fire at the St. Louis Fox Theatre on May 24, 2011 at 2:29 pm

as with older buildings in NYC i can’t help but wonder if
the fire was a “business fire” as they are called.. many times
even if an older building is in perfectly good shape the land
the theater is on is even more valuable than the historical and
or architectural aspect of the building.

bigjoe59 commented about Odeon Marble Arch on May 24, 2011 at 2:23 pm

i live in New York City and visited London in August of 1972. i
attended an showing of “Nicholas and Alexandria” at this theater.
it was the first movie theater i had seen with a coffee bar and
cafe rather than just a concession stand selling soda and popcorn.

bigjoe59 commented about Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Hollywood on May 10, 2011 at 10:25 am

speaking of “Darling Lili”. aside from the quality of the film
as a whole it does contain two of the best musical sequences ever-
“Whistling Away The Dark” and “I’ll Give You Three Guesses”.

bigjoe59 commented about Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Hollywood on May 9, 2011 at 4:43 pm

do any of my fellow posters know of a say 2 maybe 3 websites that
sell movie souvenir programs? of course there’s EBay but
i don’t want to bid and wait i just find to buy them outright.

bigjoe59 commented about New Amsterdam Theatre on May 6, 2011 at 2:27 pm

was the Harris/Candler Theater torn down because it was in
such condition that it was unrepairable or because no one wanted
to spend the time and money to properly renovate it as they did with the New Amsterdam?

bigjoe59 commented about A look inside the AMC Empire 25, the busiest theater in America on May 6, 2011 at 2:13 pm

i have no complaint about the projection or sound in the
theaters but the men’s rooms at the Empire 25 like the men’s
rooms in most multiplexes are quite unevenly maintained.
whenever i mentioned there’s a problem they don’t seem to
give a damn. i guess most multiplex managers don’t think
maintaining a clean well kept men’s room is very important.

bigjoe59 commented about Cinema Village on Apr 5, 2011 at 1:28 pm

while this theater has been in the forefront of showing indie
films for almost 50 years they screwed up royally when they
did a modernizing/tri-plexing in 1999. the only rest room is
in the lower level and is simply to damn small for three
screens. for instance the men’s room has only one stall so
you’re stuck if there’s a long line. i should think when they
“renovated” the theater they should have said “hey we need a
larger men’s rest room”. this has got to be the smallest men's
room in any movie theater in NYC.

bigjoe59 commented about Coronet 1 & 2 on Mar 29, 2011 at 12:46 pm

i wish to correct an earlier post in which a fellow poster
stated that although the Coronet played many an exclusive
engagement in its long storied career it never had a reserved
seat or to use the trade term roadshow film engagement. it
did. THE TAMING OF THE SHREW directed by Franco Zefferelli and
starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton opened at the
Coronet on a reserved seat engagement. the spring of 1967 if
i’m not mistaken.