St. George Theatre

25 Hyatt Street,
Staten Island, NY 10301

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Showing 51 - 75 of 238 comments

Vito on June 7, 2010 at 4:08 pm

In fairness to the wonderful peole running the theatre now the decision to use DVD comes from the Festival organizers. In most of those types of festivals etc, DVD and Digital is the popular choice.
I believe there was some 35mm used at Tribecka and Sundance but most of the movies were not shown on film.
As to the booth at the St. George I wonder what has been going on up there. I left when the new owners took over and the booth was in faily good working condition, only some work on the #2 projector gear train needed work. Anyone know if the equipment is still intact?

Garth on June 5, 2010 at 2:34 am

Well there was a movie event here tonight and I’m sorry to say I am still disappointed. Of course it was still worth the trip just to be in the magnificently restored theatre. But the balcony was closed for a private party , and the films were once again DVD presebtations. I thought a projection system was being installed. Maybe next time….

Garth on September 29, 2009 at 12:33 am

I am disappointed that there still has not been a movie event at the theatre.

Vito on July 6, 2009 at 11:51 am

My thoughts and prayers to the family of Mrs. Rosemary

I had the pleasure of meeting her when she first took over the St George; I had been working on projection and stage portion of the restoration with the previous owners. I was struck by her warm personality and absolute love of the dance. She was excited about the possibilities the theatre had to offer, and I new immediately she was going to do right by the theatre and would be successful in resorting it and not fail as others had. All who knew of her commitment to save the St George would agree that it could never have been done without her total dedication and love for this wonderful old theatre. She fought and won so many battles in getting the theater restored. Her patience was tested many times but she fought all the pitfalls that were thrown at her and persevered to restore this great theatre.

Staten Islanders and movie palaces lovers from all over should rejoice in her life and the wonderful job she and her daughters did to save the St George.

Rest in peace Mrs. Rosemary

AdamBomb1701 on July 1, 2009 at 9:00 pm

“Mrs. Rosemary” Cappozalo passed away this past Sunday, June 28. She was 69. Here’s more:
View link

Vito on December 5, 2008 at 3:23 pm

Many HS graduations were held at the St. George as well
Pretty common in the 40s and 50s, also at the Paramount and Ritz

Fixer3 on December 5, 2008 at 3:00 pm

I graduated from Richmond College (CUNY) in June of 1976. The college (now relocated and renamed “The College of Staten Island”) was around the corner in rented space in an office building on Stuyvesant Place. It had no auditorium, so it rented out the old St. George Theater for that purpose.

Vito on October 10, 2008 at 5:40 pm

I am a bit confused by the post by StGeorge.
He mentioned the electrical in the booth had been compromised by the previous owner and is nor longer working. I was there during the first attempt at renovation prior to Ms Rosemary coming in, and at that time I ran film on the two Century projectors, I found the

1 machine to run perfectly. However the #2 machine needed work on the intermittent movement and also had a sloppy main drive gear assembly which concerned me. I could not access the Xenon lamp house because it was locked and the keys were no where to be found, the plan was to have a locksmith come in and replace the keys. Both lamps fired up powered by the rectifiers in the room next to the booth and worked perfectly. The Altec single channel sound system, although rather old, also worked well. It is a mono system which would serve perfectly for the showing of classic movies which as we know were all optical/mono prints. There was an Altec A4 speaker system on stage and it also worked just fine, the last time I saw that was when I covered it in a blanket and stored it away stage right next to the rigging. We also had a full size screen which was in the fly space. I lowered on a couple of occasions and found it in decent shape. The screen could be lowered/raised by the second set of ropes on the rigging. The first was labeled ”Rag” which was the stage curtain and the second was labeled “sheet” for movie screen. The lenses in the projectors were for flat 1:85 projection only, the anamorphics were missing.

The gal I was working with on the restoration turned out to be a phony and suddenly disappeared without notice. Shortly after that, the marvelous Ms Rosemary and her family came along and saved the theatre with a magnificent restoration.
My question is who was the “previous owner” who dismantled the electrical system? It was fine when Ms Rosemary took over and I would not imagine she would have bothered with the booth at all. I say that because I spoke to her a few days after she too the place over and offered my services to finish bringing the booth up to snuff. However when asked if she intended showing movies her response was “not really” I then told her should she ever decide to change her mind about movies I would be available to help. I understand Ms Rosemary’s position, she wanted the theatre for live shows and that turned out quite well. We can never thank her enough for all she has done to save the theatre.
So bottom line is when Ms Rosemary took over, the booth was in reasonable shape with only a handful of things that need attention in order to show movies, all of which would not have been a major expense. Certainly the #2 projector would need rebuilding.
I would love to hear more about how the situation deteriated as much as has been written in the previous post. I put a lot of time and my own money to fix the booth and up to know thought it was as I left it.
Down the road, if the theatre does begin showing movies again, a new modern sound system should be purchased as well as the two projectors as well, no platter please. Possibly a pair of rebuilt 35/70mm projectors, a Dolby processor and six channel sound system. But for classic film showings the current mono system would suffice for now, assuming of course the screen and speaker have not been removed.

StGeorge on October 9, 2008 at 12:43 am

Unfortunately, there currently is no electrical power going to the projection room. A previous owner ripped out all circuits to the room in preparation of running a new service up there: it was never completed. In order to show films again, the two circa 1970 projectors would need a complete overhaul, the electric would need to be completed, additional modern equipment would have to be purchased and a new, full size screen would need to be insatalled. Also, the decission would need to be made regarding digital equipment and/or 70mm. All told, about $50-$100,000.00. Anyone out there feeling generous??? Without it, the best you could possibly
hope for would be a movie night featuring a small screen and a rear projection DVD, sorry. The project is on the wish list for the St. George but, not near the top at this time.

Garth on October 4, 2008 at 1:07 am

Still waiting for a movie night…….

Jean on August 2, 2008 at 5:09 pm

Yes, Doreen had told me about the funding for the marquee, air conditioning and rigging.

StGeorge on August 2, 2008 at 4:19 pm

Thanks Jean. The Mickey Mouse and Popeye ads have survived but, unfortunately, all of the other items that you mentioned seem to have been “lost”.
By the way, funding has been approved for a new marquee but it will take some time for it to be designed and installed; hopefully within the next year.

Jean on August 2, 2008 at 1:44 pm

When I volunteered several years ago at the theatre ( then run by a person who didn’t know much ado about nothing ), in the glass transoms, were original ads including Mickey Mouse and Popeye ads. You can inquire with Doreen or Mrs. Rosemary about their current whereabouts. Uncovered in the walls of one room were wallets, usher’s uniforms, bits and pieces of ironwork frm the theatre, and a Snow White cardboard ad, etc. There still exists a children’s section sign as well.

StGeorge on August 2, 2008 at 4:22 am

I am currently working on compiling an extensive history of the St. George Theatre. With the exception of old S.I. Advance stories, there is virtually nothing available. I am looking for the history of the building, its' operators and the origin of the paintings within. I also would appreciate any old photogrphs (primarily interior shots) that I can safely scan and return. Any interesting stories and/or information regarding the Proctor & Gamble shows of the 30’s and 40’s would also be of assistance. Please reply here if you can help. Thanks!

LuisV on March 22, 2008 at 8:17 pm

That marquee is one of the worst I’ve ever seen! :–) The steel grates don’t give off an inviting vibe either.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the work done so far on the inside of the theater is incredible, but the theater must be inviting from the outside as well and, hopefully, as financing permits, they will be able to restore or replace the marquee with something more fitting with the stature of Staten Island’s lone remaining “Palace”.

Vito on March 22, 2008 at 7:21 pm

Part of The original marquee is still under all that new covering.
It’s too bad they took they easy (cheap) way out when they covered it up instaed of restoring it.
This was not done by Rosemary’s family, it was done by a previous owner, it just looks sad. I’ll bet Rosemary, had she been a part of the thatre then, would have tried to return the marquee to it’s past glory.

jannysadoll on January 22, 2008 at 7:12 pm

Well thank you Warren..

jannysadoll on January 22, 2008 at 5:14 pm

Dear Bruce,
Not sure what you are getting at with what you stated and why it was addressed to me. From what I read the Brooklyn Fox was demolished and the St. George still stands as beautiful as it was or better than when my father managed it. I am also including an artical describing the Atlanta Fox which doesn’t mention Fabian at all, so what was your comment aiming at????

Atlanta Fox Theatre
600 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Opened December 25,1929
Seating Capacity: 4,518
(Webmaster’s note: Since this is my tribute site to the Atlanta Fox, I felt I needed to put something here, so this is a very concise history of the building. To learn more about the Atlanta Fox Theatre, see the other pages of this site.)

The Atlanta Fox is a Movie Palace that was not meant to be one. Designed by Olliver J. Vinour and P. Thornton Marye, the Yaarab Temple’s Shrine Mosque was to “Out Baghdad Baghdad” with its opulent Arabic and Moorish design. Prior to the start of construction in 1928, Fox Films Corporation signed a 21-year lease to use the mosque’s civic auditorium as a movie theater. The lease was used to acquire a loan from Trust Company of Georgia to provide funds to complete the building project. (The project was totally funded by the Shriners; Fox Films did not provide any financial help.)

The Atlanta Fox Theatre opened Christmas Day 1929 and was the last great Fox Theatre movie palace. Thanks to the Great Depression, Fox Films ceased to operate the Atlanta Fox in August of 1930 and its operation was taken over by Loew’s Incorporated. The Shriner’s organization was financially crippled by the Depression and after it could not pay its mortgage, the Atlanta Fox closed its doors in 1932 after 125 weeks of operation in anticipation of its impending foreclosure. The Atlanta Fox went through a tumultuous period until 1936 when it became the property of Mosque, Inc. During its life between 1929 and 1975, the Fox operated as a movie house with occasional live performances. In 1974, Mosque entered into an agreement to sell the Fox to Bell Telephone for its Southern Bell Division with the express purpose of it being razed. The citizens of Atlanta protested their beloved Fox’s impending fate and through the support of the Atlanta City government, a plan was conceived to save the Fox. Atlanta Landmarks, a non-profit organization, was formed and through a complex loan arrangement and property swap, the Fox was spared from the wrecking ball. The Fox quickly reopened in October of 1975 as a omnibus performing arts theater. In 1978, the Fox’s mortgage was paid off and the building was declared officially “saved”.

Over the next 29 years, an on-going restoration effort was made that has made the Fox better than its original 1929 condition along with some 21st Century improvements. Thanks to the Great Depression and the financial issues the Shriners had, certain aspects of the building were never completed or built. With the financial success of the Fox after it was “saved”, things that were planned but were not done have finally been addressed. This included such things as the proper chandeliers for the auditorium and completing the pipe organ. Since 1975, the on-going restoration and renovation of the Atlanta Fox has cost over $30 million dollars as of late 2004.
The Atlanta Fox Theatre is owned by Atlanta Landmarks, a non-profit organization specifically created to save, preserve, restore, and operate the Atlanta Fox. While its charter leaves open the organization’s “mission” to save other landmarks in the Atlanta area, Atlanta Landmarks' only interest is the Fox.

Bruce1 on January 22, 2008 at 1:46 pm

Dear Roberta and Janet,
A few years ago I got a guided tour of Fabian’s Atlanta Fox. Aside from the incredible architecture, I was really moved by a second box office that was at the side of the building. This was especially for the Black theater goer. After they bought their tickets, they were forced to climb 7 flights of stairs to get to their ‘seating section’ just below the projection booth in the very top of the balcony. As you know, there are aisles that cut through the row of seats in any theater. However, at the Atlanta Fox, the Black Section had walls to separate the section, but no aisle cuts!!!

From what my guide told me, this separate box office and separate staircase to the seating was in use until the early 60’s. Being from Brooklyn I remember the Brooklyn FOX where disc jockey, Murray the K hosted Rock and Roll Shows. Here, the acts were integrated and so was the audience. But then—-
that’s Brooklyn.

jannysadoll on January 4, 2008 at 12:33 am

My name is Janet Trachtenberg, I am Roberta’s sister. Our father Jack Trachtenberg was District Manager for all the Fabian Theatre’s on Staten Island. Including the Staten Island drive-in theatre. He also managed the large building next to the St. George theatre. When he was discharged from the army he became manager of the Liberty theatre on Beach St., Stapleton. From there he worked himself up to District Manager. He met my mother when she was a cashier at the Paramount theatre and they married in 1948.

Bobbi49 on January 3, 2008 at 12:17 am

My name is Roberta Trachtenberg Arsenuk…My father was JACK TRACHTENBERG. He worked for the Fabien Chain for 35 years. He ran the St. George Theater up until his death in 1969.

LuisV on December 22, 2007 at 6:26 pm

I finally got to visit this beautiful theater on December 8th to see Joy Behar. It’s incredible that this palace lies just a 5 minute walk from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal. I felt like we might have been the only Manhattan people to venture over to see the show, but we had a great time! I also felt like a youngster again (my friends and I are in our 40’s but the vast majority of the audience appeared to be at least in their 60’s)!

The theater is beautiful. Although it was a little disconcerting that all of the orchestra seats are missing (temporary seating was set up for the show) it was more than made up for when we went up to the balcony where all of the original seating remains and you get a true picture as to how big this theater really is. The ceiling is spectacular. Congratualtions to Rosemary and company for a work in progress well done!

I have been to Loew’s Jersey, Radio City and The Beacon. I atttended Loews Valencia as a kid and was able to take a tour of the ruins of the Loews Kings last year. My next goal is to visit Loews Paradise in The Bronx and Loews 175th St in Washington Heights. From the pictures that I’ve seen and the threads that I’ve read, I think the best is yet to come!

Jean on December 7, 2007 at 11:01 pm

I was able to watch ( in several parts )the WALK THROUGH STATEN ISLAND, showing the St.G…

You can watch it commercial free on the PBS site. Otherwise wait for them to repeat it. I saw both. Funny thing too….but when I read about the show several months back, there was NO mention of the theatre. I wrote PBS, and so did Rosemary’s daughter, Doreen. Perhaps we BOTH lit a fire under PBS' door!

BobFurmanek on December 7, 2007 at 8:24 pm

Please do give our love to Mrs. Rosemary!