Palace Theatre

1564 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 51 - 75 of 237 comments

bigjoe59 on November 6, 2012 at 3:20 pm


during the many times the Palace operated as as movie theater the only times i remember going there to see a film was the June 1969 roadshow re-release of “Ben-Hur” and the Nov. 1969 roadshow engagement of “Goodbye Mr. Chips”. while its not considered one of the great musicals i enjoyed GMC. i don’t know how long the film’s roadshow engagement lasted at the Palace but it was the last film to ever play the Palace. i wonder how soon after GMC’s run ended that they dismantled the film projecting equipment etc……

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on November 6, 2012 at 2:30 pm

But just to be in that theater for a buck or so — and sometimes less! — I would have accepted a distorted screen.

Mikeoaklandpark on November 6, 2012 at 11:05 am

Loved the original marquee that they had before the renovation.

AGRoura on November 6, 2012 at 10:26 am

Remember Pia Zadora? Years ago she played Anne Frank in a regional theater — don’t remember where. Her acting was so bad that when the Gestapo came into the annex the audience screamed, “She is in the attic, she is in the attic”.

CSWalczak on November 6, 2012 at 10:17 am

Yes, the Nixon fell to the wrecking ball in 1975.

In reference to edblank’s comment about moviegoer’s sensing that the film would would be a long ordeal in a single confined set, that is, more or less, what director George Stevens wanted to do in order to simulate the time and tension spent in a claustrophobic environment by the Franks and the others in the “secret annexe.” If you go there (and I have been there), you will find it almost incredible that so many people could have occupied that small space (for many hours each day without speaking or moving) for as long as they did.

To heighten the effect, Stevens wanted to film in the standard screen ratio, but 20th-Century-Fox insisted that he use Cinemascope. So, in a number of scenes, he made the sides of the set appear very thick-walled to reduce the available acting space. The original running time was just a little shy of three hours, later cut down somewhat.

techman707 on November 6, 2012 at 8:33 am

Edblank, I’m guessing that the “Nixon” (some name for a theatre-lol) hasn’t run film for MANY years, if it hasn’t already been demolished.

edblank on November 6, 2012 at 7:05 am

At the risk of going too far afield from the subject of Manhattan’s Palace Theatre, the film of “The Diary of Anne Frank” opened in Pittsburgh in May 1959 at the Nixon, the city’s main legit national touring company theater and one of two Downtown theaters (the Warner being the other) that shared the roadshow (reserved seat)films.

It was the Nixon, for example, that had the roadshow film engagements of “Guys and Dolls,” “South Pacific,” “West Side Story” and “The Sound of Music,” for example.

The “Anne Frank” movie was booked to stretch from May through the summer until the 1959-60 legit season began in the fall.

“Anne Frank” drew so poorly, though (less than $5,000 in its second, third and fourth weeks) that it closed after four days of its fifth week.

My guess as to what worked against the film version is that – whether as a higher-priced roadshow engagement or not – it “sensed” to moviegoers like a long slog in a single, confined set.

BobbyS on November 5, 2012 at 8:50 pm

Tinseltoes, you and your boxoffice magazine are the best!!! A light comedy for “ANNE FRANK” WOW!! I can’t see it as a comedy…..First time in Palace was for Liza in a tribute show to her father and the “WILL ROGERS FOLLIES” which was a perfect show for that wonderful vaudville theater…

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 5, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Wow, Al… That’s a pretty remarkable ad for this movie!

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on November 5, 2012 at 4:43 pm

bigjoe, according to Variety “ANNE FRANK” only did well in New York and Miami Beach, which means it did not work without a significant Jewish audience. In Miami Beach it was advertised as a feel-good light comedy.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on November 5, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Everyone had already seen the bootleg.

bigjoe59 on November 5, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Hello Again-

thanks for the info. said info prompts another question. i always assumed when a film had a decent run in its original exclusive reserved seat engagement that said decent run was prompted by box office returns rather than any contractual obligation to run the film for x number of months regardless of the box office. therefore i’m hoping that the film’s 6 month run in its original reserved seat engagement was prompted by the box office.

the reason i asked the question is simple. assuming i correctly understood what i read online it appears the film’s sole exclusive first run engagement in San Francisco wasn’t even an reserved seat engagement but a two week run at the S.F.Fox.

CSWalczak on November 5, 2012 at 1:48 pm

“Anne Frank” opened on March 18, 1959 at the RKO Palace according to the IMDB.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on November 5, 2012 at 1:31 pm

bigjoe, “ANNE FRANK” played here for six months.

rivoli157 on July 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm

August 1965 saw the premiere of the Joseph E. Levine/Paramount production of HARLOW starring Carroll Baker. The film did not play long and the theatre after being bought by the Nederlanders quickly took the HARLOW marquee down and put up the SWEET CHARITY starring Gwen Verdon marquee-even though the stage musical was not to open until late 1966 or 67.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on April 7, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Those are two gorgeous pictures, Brian.

techman707 on April 7, 2012 at 1:39 am

rivoli157, I agree with you. I HATE the way they used the air space above the Palace to build that hotel. All I can say in favor is that at least they didn’t demolish the theater, like they’ve done to the rest of them. I only wish they would have saved the Loew’s Capitol that way.

rivoli157 on November 17, 2011 at 9:19 am

techman, I too enjoyed “Mr. Chips. Hey, I was 13. And although not the best film, I did rather think it interesting the way the songs(not all of them ) were used, as if we were in their minds, thoughts if you will. I do have the say that the London is London number is one of my favorites. Thank you for clarifying the "Ben -Hur” dates, I took and still have) a photo of the marquee then ,but there was no date.

Btw, I hate how the hotel has been built around the theatre , yes, it saved and retained the theatre, but we lost the facade and great marquee! Just waht they did to the Broadway as well.

techman707 on November 14, 2011 at 9:44 pm

The film version of “Phantom” was a great musical. Minnie Driver as Carlotta was great. That was the best role she ever played.

They only come out with a “decent” picture every few years. I think the last one before that was “Forest Gump”. I really liked that.

robboehm on November 14, 2011 at 8:41 pm

What didn’t get any respect is the other Phantom musical. I’ve only seen it in local productions but found some really good stuff in it. The Carlotta part is a hoot.

techman707 on November 14, 2011 at 4:11 pm

saps-I never had must respect for critics of films and that goes double for Vincent Canby. While it’s not the BEST musical ever made, and is no My Fair Lady or Camelot, for what it is, it was a sad but enjoyable musical. Like I said, I happen to like musicals, like the ones they DON’T make anymore. I also loved Phantom of the Opera, and believe it didn’t get the respect it deserved.

telliott on November 14, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Me too Techman707, one of my favourite musicals!

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on November 14, 2011 at 1:47 pm

The problem with Mr. Chips is not that it was a musical but that, according to Vincent Canby’s NY Times review, “Everything [except the restrained, affectingly comic performance of Peter O'Toole in the title role] in this British public-school romance is either out of symmetry or out of date…so much of the film [is]so bland…all of which brings me — unfortunately — to the score by Leslie Bricusse.

“The 12 songs haven’t been so much integrated into the book as folded into it. Like unbeaten egg whites in a soufflé, they do nothing for the cause of levitation. The lyrics mostly depend on the numbing repetition of words like "together,” “someday,” and “flowers,” and the tunes are, at best, reminiscent.

“Let me put it another way: When I returned to my seat after intermission, I found myself trailing a gentleman who was humming a song from ‘Camelot.’”

techman707 on November 14, 2011 at 10:52 am

Rivoli157 – The 70mm re-release of Ben-Hur opened at the Palace on June 18, 1969. And, was followed by “Goodbye Mr. Chips”, on November 15th, 1969. Tomorrow will be the 43rd anniversary of “Mr. Chips” premiere. Had Mr. Chips not been booked to open in 70mm, Ben-Hur would have never been shown at the Palace in 70mm, since, Mr. Chips was the reason the Cinemechanica 70mm Victoria VIII’s were installed, not Ben Hur. I remember when I was at the MGM studio in Culver City in January 1969, the big water tower was painted with the wording “THIS IS THE YEAR OF MR. CHIPS”. While the film was a big disappointment to MGM, I happened to like it, but, then again, I like musicals.