Hollywood Theatre

237 W. 51st Street,
New York, NY 10019

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Showing 51 - 75 of 100 comments

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on March 16, 2006 at 10:56 am

William. When it’s completed, I’d be interested in seeing a photo posted here, if you can oblige.

William on March 16, 2006 at 10:38 am

They installed the three new panels for the new marquee this morning at the theatre. The new panels give the marquee that new moderized look, but it’s a work still in progress.

Patsy on February 20, 2006 at 3:34 pm

It would be nice if the church would choose to let that “H” be visible to the congregation as that is the theatre’s rightful heritage and namesake.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 20, 2006 at 11:30 am

Patsy… I compared the photos and see what you mean. Looks like some extra material was added to the point at the top center where the drapery is pulled up into the crown of the proscenium design. That material seems to cover the spot where the stylish “H” was embroidered.

Patsy on February 20, 2006 at 9:20 am

Page 61 in the book, Cinema Treasures by Ross Melnick and Andreas Fuchs.

Patsy on February 20, 2006 at 9:19 am

Ed: I just looked at a b/w photo of the Hollywood proscenium on page 61 and see the famous H above the curtain, but see in your posted photo that the H has either been removed or covered up?

View link

HowardBHaas on February 16, 2006 at 1:21 pm

From the New York Times:
Philadelphia Speak at Ceremonies in the Hollywood. NEW FILM IS COLORFUL
Based on Musical Comedy of Same Name—Old and New Pictures Show
Screen Progress.

Published: April 23, 1930

With brief addresses from Mayor Walker of this city and Mayor Mackey
of Philadelphia, the Warner Brothers' ornamental and wonderfully
comfortable new Hollywood Theatre, at Broadway and Fifty-first
Street, was opened last night.

There were a number of notables in the orchestra seats and they
received an opportunity to study the great strides made in the motion
picture business since the film “The Kiss” was produced some thirty
years ago and also flashes of other old-time films, such as “The
Great Train Robbery.” It was tremendously interesting to observe the
steady improvement in these shadow offerings, particularly when
Giovanni Martinelli appeared eventually on the screen with other
singers rendering in an inspiring fashion an aria from “Aida.”

The feature of the evening was the audible pictorial version of “Hold
Everything,” which aroused many a wave of laughter. The principals in
this ludicrous turns of events are the ever-amusing Joe E. Brown,
whose willingness to take punishment helped in affording no little
merriment; Winnie Lightner, who did so well in the picture “Gold
Diggers of Broadway”; Sally O'Neil; Bert Roach, who does not get
quite the opportunity he deserves; the fair Dorothy Revier, and
Georges Carpentier, who, after seeing Maurice Chevalier, appears to
have been fortunate in making the screen his second vocation, for as
a performer he is at his best when he is in the prize ring and not
when he is discussing sweet nothings with pretty girls.

It is a gusty affair, this “Hold Everything,” with a funny pugilistic
encounter in which Mr. Brown is one of the fighters. The Technicolor
effects in these scenes are especially good, most of them being in focus.

Mr. Brown figures as Gink Schiner, who does not object to being
mistaken for a champion pugilist. He is, however, wary enough to
avoid imbibing the drugged drink!

Mr. Brown as Gink Schiner has his periods of pain, which, of course,
afford pleasure to those in the plush seats. At one juncture he finds
himself in a reducing cabinet and apparently is in great distress
when the lever of the cabinet is jammed. Schiner seems at first to be
trying to expire cheerfully, but subsequently the heat of the cabinet
is too much for him and he becomes exhausted and is unable to keep
his head above the aperture.

Gink’s mouth is likened to a cavern and one is constrained to believe
that this is an apt description. This capacious mouth gives him an
opportunity to express his mirth, his fear and his confidence in the
ring. M. Carpentier may be the real fighter of this production, but
Mr. Brown keeps the fun going to such extent that one would perhaps
sooner see him trying to make the best of a bad bargain in a
pugilistic encounter than gaze upon M. Carpentier’s more serious
fistic prowess.

The Frenchman has to take on the champion, Bob Morgan, who is
credited with dismissing his opponents in one or two rounds,
according to his wont. Georges Carpentier, to afford suspense, has to
permit Morgan to have the best of the fight for a few minutes, but
finally Carpentier turns the tables on his adversary and rains blows
upon him until the erstwhile champion is groggy.

Dorothy Revier acts the placid and graceful Norine Lloyd, who is in
love with Georges La Verne (M. Carpentier). She wants to give Georges
a present, and as he happens to be the Beau Brummel of prizefighters,
she can’t think of anything more appropriate than a beautiful
bathrobe. Norine does not know that Georges is much interested in the
brunette, Sue Burke, whom he has known since he was a little boy.
Miss Burke is played by Sally O'Neill.

So long as Mr. Brown occupies the screen this picture is funny, but
when it delves into romance the interest wanes. There are some
pleasing songs and Miss Lightner does her share in her own way to
enliven the episodes in which she appears.

HOLD EVERYTHING, with Joe E. Brown, Winnie Lightner, Sally O'Neil,
Dorothy Revier, Georges Carpentier, Bert Roach, Edmund Breese, Jack
Curtis, Tony Stabenau, Lew Harvey and Jimmie Quinn, based on the
musical comedy of the same name, directed by Roy Del Ruth, with music
and lyrics by Ray Henderson and Lew Brown. At the Hollywood Theatre.

Patsy on February 13, 2006 at 4:36 pm

William: Thanks for the Hellinger information…checked out the imdb site which I’m familiar with having looked up many celebrity names.

William on February 13, 2006 at 2:45 pm

Mark Hellinger the person the theatre was later named after lived from March 21, 1903 to December 21, 1947.


Patsy on February 13, 2006 at 2:25 pm

Having said that I have since read that the church has completed many restoration aspects of the former theatre which includes work in the auditorium and lobby areas (re-lamping the chandelier) in 2004. In addition to this theatre being known as the Mark Hellinger Theatre it was also known as the 51st Street Theatre and the Warner Theatre. Is this Mark Hellinger still living?

Patsy on February 13, 2006 at 2:08 pm

ERD: “The key word is service. As entertaining as it may be, that is not the main goal-obviously. It still is a church. It would be nice someday to see the place return as a fully functional theatre as it was intended to be.” I have to say I agree with these comments after viewing the photos.

Patsy on February 13, 2006 at 2:02 pm


This is the official site for the church which shows a color photo of the auditorium with balcony during a service and a full house of worshipers.

Patsy on February 13, 2006 at 1:50 pm

Ed: Your 1/10/06 post with interior photos was wonderful to see and I thank you.

Patsy on February 13, 2006 at 1:41 pm

Two big names are associated with this theatre/church….Lamb and Warner!

Patsy on February 13, 2006 at 1:31 pm

I found my way here through a bit of research and see that it was a Warner theatre! I would love to see how the church has changed the interior to fit their spiritual needs so perhaps a CT member can post a photo(s).

William on January 17, 2006 at 12:10 pm

If you look under the marquee, there is still afew of the original light fixtures left. But most of the material removed from the marquee has been trashed. There is old light bulbs that run all along the inner border of the marquee.

bazookadave on January 17, 2006 at 11:22 am

It sure looks that way but I am not sure. Let’s hope that if it is, they will restore the marquee to its original look.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 17, 2006 at 11:16 am

Interesting davebazooka… Is the bottom portion of the marquee the original canopy – with a new frame built around and over it to accomodate the more modern and boxy marquee?

bazookadave on January 13, 2006 at 2:28 pm

Whoops, double post, sorry everyone.

William on January 12, 2006 at 3:48 am

Since my last post for this theatre. The workmen have removed most of the inner workings of the marquee. In doing this they have uncovered some of the original lighting design for under the marquee. Nederlanders were fools to sell the theatre in the first place, but are far lesser houses. The church has maintained this house very well. The price tag would be well over 25 million dollars. Another thing is the church uses the stage area for shows from time to time.

LuisV on January 11, 2006 at 3:22 pm

I think the trade for the Nederlander or Belasco would be ideal! These houses don’t compare to the Hollywood is grandeur, but would still work well as a house of worship. I like the Ziegfeld, but even if I didn’t, a trade for the Hollywood probably wouldn’t work. Mainly, I can’t imagine that Clearview Cinemas (corporate parent for the Ziegfeld) would be able to come up with much cash to entice the church to trade and I woldn’t trust Clearview to run the Hollywood as a first class operation. While it would be wonderful to see films here once again, the reality is that it would function and be properly maintained best as a venue for live theater.

William on January 11, 2006 at 4:53 am

The church just started a new project on the marquee of the theatre.
In EdSolero picture of the marquee area, they reasonly put a temp sign on the marquee. Yesterday they were pulling metel pieces from the sign and sides of the marquee areas. In live next door to the church. There is two entertainment projects happening over on 8 Avenue @ 45th and 46th. One is I believe a Schubert project Academy of Musicth and the other is Disney Calvin Theatreth.. The tenants at those area locations leases are ending or have been bought out. Two local watering holes are slated to close that are in those buildings, Barrymores Bar and McHales Bar. As to the idea of a trade, the only theatres would be out of the way like the Belasco or the Nederlander theatres. The church has leased space in the building between 51st & 52nd an Broadway.

RobertR on January 11, 2006 at 4:12 am

This place looks even better then it did when I saw a show there in the 1980’s. Some trivia Marlene Dietrich brought her one woman show here after it was such a smash the year before at the Lunt Fontaine.