Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre

707 Seventh Avenue,
New York, NY 10036

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bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on July 6, 2014 at 10:26 am

to techman 707-

the not sending out of messages noting someone has responded to a comment is happening again. I did not receive a note in my inbox that my entry on souvenir programs had been replied to by you..

techman707
techman707 on July 1, 2014 at 7:35 pm

Ed Solero,

I still have a few “vintage” booklets that weren’t damaged when I had a flood in my house in Florida a few years ago. Fortunately for me, my favorite (and probably the most valuable) ones were here in New York at the time. In addition, when I moved to Florida, Roadshow booklets were among many of the non-hardware things that were donated to the “Museum of the Moving Image”. I’m sorry that I donated so many things to only ONE PLACE. They misled me about how, when and the conditions under which many of the things (both hardware and manuscripts, etc.) would be displayed. I was VERY disappointed to say the least.

While I “did” have a souvenir program for Oklahoma, it too was ruined in the flood. I would guess the most valuable ones, at least to me, are The Sound Of Music, Around the World in 80 Days, My Fair Lady (given to me by Jack Warner, who was a friend of my father, when MFL opened at the Criterion, although my sister claims he gave it to her).

Although when I moved to Florida I got rid of my 35mm film collection, at the time of the flood I also discovered that I RUINED nearly half of my 16mm collection by not refrigerating them down in Florida(at least the Eastman prints). For all practical purposes, these were NEW Eastman prints that were now IN THE GARBAGE. Today, the only prints left are the Technicolor IB prints….and a few are VERY rare and valuable ones. I have replaced virtually ALL my films with Blu-ray discs that actually look (and sound) better than the 16mm prints they’re replacing on a 12foot wide scope screen using my JVC RS35 projector. At this point, I’m too sick to go downstairs into my film projection booth anyway. Now I have to determine who I’m going to donate the film to (which includes Technicolor scope print of It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World). While I could have sold them, Some of the film preservationist groups will NEVER see Technicolor prints of some of these films ever again. One NEW PRINT (the print is new, but it was made in 1947 of a 1946 movie)“The Jolson Story” is a spectacular print. While they can make new Eastman prints, like the 70mm LG-blow-up Columbia made when “The Jolson Story” ran at the Ziegfeld, anyone familiar with Technicolor IB prints will tell you they CAN NEVER LOOK QUITE THE SAME OR AS GOOD AS THE REAL THING.

P.S. – Just came across another souvenir program for “PEPE”

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on July 1, 2014 at 11:16 am

to Ed S.–

the prime roadshow era was from the Oct. 1955 opening of Oklahoma to the Dec. 1972 opening of Man of La Mancha after which the studios discontinued the policy. I have 137 souvenir programs in my collection. I have to admit a dozen or so of that number are not actual souvenir programs sold in the theater lobby but fancy brochures the studio released to publicize the film.

of the 125 souvenir programs in my collection
13 are hardcover.other than the hardcovers in my collection the only other one I know of is for Porgy and Bess which played the Warner.

of the 13 I own two are from films which opened when this theater was the Demille a prime roadshow house. namely Spartacus and Hawaii.

the other 11 are-

The Alamo Around the World in 80 Days Ben-Hur(1959) El Cid The Greatest Story Ever Told How The West Was Won King of Kings(1961) Mutiny on the Bounty(1962) My Fair Lady South Pacific The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm

a bit of info on just how elaborate these hardcover programs could get. both the Ben-Hur and Spartacus programs had a fold out with several watercolor paintings of scenes from the film. and to top that the King of Kings program included a sealed package of 8x10 color photo portraits of the main actors in the film.

William
William on July 1, 2014 at 3:36 am

The Los Angeles Roadshow run of “Cheyenne Autumn” was also a short run. It ran only 8 weeks at the RKO Pantages Theatre in Hollywood.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on July 1, 2014 at 3:31 am

Techman707, you are correct, but the Capitol name was not changed back until later in the year so the early ads suggested a Cinerama presentation.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 1, 2014 at 1:23 am

Hey techman707… It is true that those latter day souvenir booklets were not made to accompany a two-a-day hard ticket engagement, but the booklets themselves were very much in the same style and content as those old, classic roadshow souvenirs. I know, because I actually have a pair of vintage booklets – one for “HOW THE WEST WAS WON” and the other for “IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD.”

The HTWWW booklet is distinct from others that I own, because it originally came in a hard cover (unfortunately, lost over the years by youthful neglect). Not sure how may other program booklets were that extravagant. Did they typically charge for the booklets during the Roadshow era? Or were they handed out, complimentary?

techman707
techman707 on June 30, 2014 at 7:47 pm

“This may possibly account for bigjoe’s Cinerama conundrum.”

Now I’m beginning to become confused.-LOL “Loew’s Cinerama was just what they called the Capitol after they installed the three booths and Cinerama equipment. It not as though there was actually ANOTHER "real theatre” called “Loew’s Cinerama” in New York.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on June 30, 2014 at 6:51 pm

“CHEYENNE AUTUMN” opened on December 23, 1964 on a two shows a day (three on weekends) roadshow basis at the Capitol. It did run a NYT full page ad on October 4, 1964 announcing the holiday opening at the Loews Cinerama. This may possibly account for bigjoe’s Cinerama conundrum. It ran until February 23, 1965 when it was replaced by “LOVE HAS MANY FACES”, a wide release.

techman707
techman707 on June 30, 2014 at 6:14 pm

Upon further investigation it appears I was correct. Cheyenne Autumn did have its “World Premiere” at the The Lincoln Theater, 1615 Central Avenue in downtown Cheyenne, Wyoming on October 1, 1964. It opened at the Capitol on October 3, 1964, however, I still don’t remember the film running “2 A Day” at the Capitol. I do recall the new screen installation for the premiere of John Sturges “The Hallelujah Trail” a few months later in June of 1965. They converted the theatre (curtaining off the entire top balcony and even the sides on the lower balcony) to run “The Hallelujah Trail” in single projector 70mm Ultra Panavision 70 (the replacement for 3 projector Cinerama). It wasn’t until the end of 1965 when “Doctor Zhivago opened that the Capitol FINALLY had a REAL ROADSHOW “2 A Day” WINNER! I again defer to Al Alvarez who has a good source of accurate information and wonder what he knows about it. I know my memory has been becoming very poor recently, especially my short term memory, but my long term memory is usually very good.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on June 30, 2014 at 2:16 pm

to techman 707-

I asked around so to speak and Cheyenne Autumn’s premiere engagement at the Loew’s Capitol was a traditional roadshow engagement with 2 shows during the week and 3 on the weekend. unfortunately it didn’t have a healthy or long run. still since it was a traditional premiere roadshow engagement I just can’t imagine it not having a souvenir program regardless of the length of said engagement.

techman707
techman707 on June 29, 2014 at 4:15 pm

I really don’t count those as “real” souvenir programs because those pictures weren’t roadshows. Speaking of the Lynbrook Theatre, did any of you see Doctor Zhivago when it ran there in 70mm as a 2 a day roadshow?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 29, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Oh, I know, Mike. I’m now a Lynbrook resident, these last 7 years plus. I’ve been back on a few occasions, and those are most definitely the same seats I remember from 1979!

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on June 29, 2014 at 3:18 pm

UA Lynbrook still has the same sticky candy counters and the same broken seats. And maybe even some old programs lying around…! You can go re-live your youth, but at premium prices.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 29, 2014 at 3:11 pm

Techman707… thanks for that info. That is what I thought, based on the slope on the floor I noticed when I snapped those pics of the demolition site.

As for programs… They actually outlasted the Roadshow era, well into the 1980’s and probably – with diminishing frequency – the very early ‘90’s. I still have my souvenir booklets for the original Star Wars trilogy, several Roger Moore-era Bond flicks, Warren Beatty’s Reds, and even Rocky II! A few of those were purchased at first run engagements in Times Square, but I recall some of them being available even at the candy counters of some of the local neighborhood theaters, like Century’s Green Acres, Sunrise Cinemas, and the UA Lynbrook.

techman707
techman707 on June 28, 2014 at 3:14 pm

Thanks Al! I figured you would have the answer.

techman707
techman707 on June 28, 2014 at 3:11 pm

There were many pictures that had premieres in the UK as Roadshows and had souvenir books but didn’t have here.

I believe that Cheyenne Autumn had its premiere in Cheyenne,, Wyoming and might have had souvenir books there, but not everywhere else. GIGI “might have had a book when it was at the Royale (or Bernard B. Jacobs, if you like that sound better….I don’t). -LOL

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on June 28, 2014 at 3:06 pm

“GIGI” programs are easily found on ebay. “CHEYENNE AUTUMN” not so easy.

curmudgeon
curmudgeon on June 28, 2014 at 2:54 pm

A long way from New York, but can definitely confirm “Gigi. had a souvenir programme during its Roadshow engagement at the Metro Bourke St. in Melbourne, Australia in 1958.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on June 28, 2014 at 2:45 am

It was the Royale (with an e) Theatre, now the Bernard B. Jacobs.

techman707
techman707 on June 27, 2014 at 6:55 pm

You bring up an interesting point with GIGI. I don’t recall ever seeing a souvenir book for GIGI when it played at the Royal (but just because I didn’t see one doesn’t mean there wasn’t one) I know that when it was moved over to the Sutton, I’m certain there wasn’t any.

As for “Cheyenne Autumn” my recollection was that it was NOT a “2 A Day Roadshow” at the Capitol (although it WAS Super Panavision 70 and run in 70mm there), so there might not have been any “official” souvenir book (there was big issue about how the U.S. treated the Indians as a result of the film).

Finally, “The Diary of Anne Frank”. Once again, while I could be wrong, I just don’t recall the film run as a “2 A Day Roadshow” at the RKO Palace. As a result, there wouldn’t have been an “official” souvenir book.

Maybe Al Alvarez might have more information on this.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on June 27, 2014 at 8:40 am

to techman 707-

thanks for your reply about roadshow engagements having souvenir programs. the reason I ask is simple. I have approx. 135 souvenir programs in my collection starting with the one for the 1925 silent version of Ben-Hur. most I bought at the theater when I saw the film others at memorabilia shops in Manhattan and L.A..to which with all the memorabilia shops I’ve been too and all the online sites selling such stuff I have never come across souvenir programs for such prominent roadshow engagements as The Diary of Anne Frank(RKO Palace),Cheyenne Autumn (Loew’s Capitol)and Gigi which played the Royal which was normally a legit theater. these are just a few of the prominent roadshow engagements in the 17 year period mentioned for which I have never come across a souvenir program. so I wondered if quite possibly they didn’t have one hence my question.

techman707
techman707 on June 26, 2014 at 8:28 pm

Ed Solero,

Ed, the DeMille’s (Embassy, Mayfair, Columbia, etc. :) )screen was located toward 6th Avenue, with the left and right sides between 47th & 48th Streets. You entered the theatre auditorium from the 7th Avenue side. I believe that looking at the marquee, the projection booth was the 5th or 6th floor. The main booth window (a floor to ceiling window that opened all the way and had a round bar running through the center to prevent someone from falling out on 7th Avenue. :)

techman707
techman707 on June 26, 2014 at 8:13 pm

Astyanax,

Radio City was late in installing 70mm equipment and when they finally installed them (Airport was their first full time 70mm presentation), the “Roadshow Era” was nearly over.

However, even had installed 70mm equipment in the beginning, the size of Radio City or the Roxy, both 6000 seat theatres, would not be able to support such long runs because of their size. Every Roadshow doesn’t turn out to be a “West Side Story” or even a Doctor Zhivago. If these things were predictable, they probably would have been able to make money with those large theatres. My own opinion is that while Radio City and the Roxy were spectacular theatres, because of their size, I don’t think either would have made a good Roadshow Theatre.

techman707
techman707 on June 26, 2014 at 7:56 pm

bigjoe59,

In the 17 year period you refer to, ALL those theatres also ran run of the mill films, some that were good and some that were bad. I believe (in addition to my own memory), all “Roadshow” films (films that ran ONLY twice a day, except for Wednesdays when they virtually all ran 3 times a day). I can’t remember ANY Roadshow that didn’t have souvenir or presentation program booklet. At one time I collected them myself.

Astyanax
Astyanax on June 26, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Of course RCMH was always in a class by itself, but how was it that durring this period movie palaces like the Paramount or the Roxy were not selected for roadshow presentations?