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Hello From NYC-
i hope this isn’t a silly question. if the
auditorium is being done over into an IMAX
theater does that mean it can only play IMAX
movies? if that is correct then doesn’t that
limit the commercial viability of the theater?
“Robin Hood” with Douglas Fairbanks opened in
L.A. at Grauman’s Egyptian Theater. in fact it
was the theater’s debut film and played there
for 2 years.
I saw The Great Gatsby yesterday 5/11 at the
12:00p.m. showing. i arrived the theater a few
minutes before film began and was pleasantly
surprised how many people were in the audience.
in fact the crowd for the next showing 3:15
was a decent size as well. this is notable
when you consider how many other theaters in
Manhattan the film is playing at.
to Joe Vogel-
thanks for the info about roadshow engagementsin the Hollywood/L.A. area. being a New Yorkeri have always been interested in which theatersin the Hollywood/L.A. area were the ones traditionally used by the studios for reservedseat movies as me and my friends called them.
speaking of which. i believe it was somewhere on
this site that i saw an ad from the fall of 1960
announcing the start of mail orders for the roadshow
run of “Exodus” at the Wiltern Theater on Wilshire Blvd. to the best of your recollection was that
the only roadshow enagagement that the Wiltern
a history question. down thru the years
Grauman’s Chinese(i refuse to call it by
any other name) hosted many exclusive
first run engagements of big films when
studios still opened their big releases in
only one theater. this is where my question
comes in- other than the roadshow engagement
of “West Side Story” did the Chinese host
any other roadshow engagements?
hello to Tinseltoes-
you certainly make a valid point. so this past
weekend i did some further investigating. the notes
of which are posted on the Lyric/Bijou’s own
well i was in the area again this past weekend
and decided to see exactly what was at 100 3rd Ave.
in my post on the other page i noted there was a
fairly tall new structure in the middle of the
block which i had viewed from the other side of
the street. well guess what? that new structure
which is either 6 or 7 stories is in fact 100
3rd Avenue. its now a fancy upscale bar. the
door was open and i noticed a doorman/bouncer.
its possible he knew nothing about the history of
the building but it didn’t hurt to ask. so i asked
him if the new structure was in fact a completely
new building. well he did in fact know of the
Lyric Theater. i hope i correctly understood him
in that the trendy upscale bar and the additional
floors are built within and upon the original
building and not is not completely new.
the famous photo with the Chaplin cut out
next to the box office always made the theater
look bigger than it actually was. it was
viable as a theater in that it was quite long
as opposed to wide so a decent number of seats
could have been accomodated.
to Al A.–
as always thanks for the info. as i said in my
previous post i wasn’t completely ruling out the
existence of a Lyric Theater on 3rd Ave. between
12th & 13th i just didn’t see how it was
possible. all of the buildings on the left side
of 3rd Ave. between 12th & 13th St. are rather
small/narrow so i do see how only one building
could possible have housed a movie theater of
any note. is it possible that when it was the
Lyric has captured in the famous photo that the
auditorium per se was in fact a combination of
two buildings? i only remember it as the Bijou
a gay porn house and assumed the Bijou was
housed in only half of the original building.
also take a look at the photo again. since it
was taken in the late 30s shouldn’t there be a shadow from the 3rd Avenue El?
Hello to Al A.–
you have been most helpful with questions i have
had since i discovered this website. now they say
if you search the Internet long enough you’ll find
what you’re looking for but that’s not strictly
true. this where your help comes in.
there is a well known photo i believe by Bernice
Abbot of a Lyric Theater on 3rd Ave. between 12th
and 13th Sts. the date the photo was taken is
given as 4/24/36. the headline film for the day
is a Chaplin flick noted by a cardboard cut out of
Charlie himself directly to the right of the
box office. my point being i don’t think there
was ever a movie theater called the Lyric on
3rd Ave. between 12th and 13th Sts.
i was in the area this past weekend so i decided
to investigate. if you look at the left side of
3rd Ave. between 12th and 13th Sts. all the
building are older than the theater would have
been. there is a newer building in the middle of
the block but it only occupies the space between
the two adjacent older buildings. also the front
is way to narrow when you consider how wide
the front of the Lyric is in the photo. also the
same thing happens if you look at the right side
of 3rd Ave. between 12th. and 13th Sts. all the
buildings seem as old or older than the theater
would have been. again there is a newer building
in the middle of the block but it again only
occupies the space between the two adjacent
older buildings. likewise the front is way to
narrow to be be occupying the same space as the
theater’s wide front did.
my point being as evidenced by my survey this
past weekend there may very well have been a
Lyric Theater with a wide front showing a Chaplin film on 4/24/36 in Manhattan but i don’t see
how it could possibly have been located on
3rd Ave. between 12th and 13th Sts.
oddly enough the Bleeker Street Cinema always played
porn during its final years. i believe it was gay
rather than straight.
speaking of the legit theaters that once
were located on the south side of 42 St.
between 7th and 8th Aves. the Lew Fields
Theater was razed because it had been redone
so many times there was no point trying to
renovate it. the American was razed in 1931
after being heavily damaged in a fire.
the Eltinge was renovated and is now the
lobby for the AMC Multiplex. the Liberty
is now used as a restaurant and the New
Amsterdam was renovated back to its 1903
glory. so my question is simple- when the
renovation for the “new” 42 St. began in
earnest in the early 90s what was the state
of the Candler Theater? was it in such bad
shape they decided to demolish it or was
it in perfectly renovatable shape but no
one wanted to spend the money so it was
i can see my phrasing was a bit off. i should
have asked when the Columbia/Mayfair/Demille/
Embassy 1-2-3- interior was gutted after it closed
up shop as a movie theater where exactly was the
Famous Dave’s BBQ located? i have been a
frequent TKTS booth customer and never remember
a sign stating the former theater interior
contained such a restaurant.
this is a question i have been wanting to
make for a while. the Columbia/Mayfair/
Demille/Embassy 1-2-3 may have been gutted
but where is the Famous Dave’s BBQ the
interior now allegedly contains?
i most certainly second Mike’s thought that
the “Palace-NYC” photo is in fact an artists
rendering of what the proposed building might
look like. i use the TKTS booth on a regular
basis so i know from 1st hand experience what
the Palace looks like. the front office building
part was NEVER that wide.
To Al A.–
thank for mentioning the two/three a day reserved
seat engagement of TLTIP at the Trans Lux East.i
had forgotten about it. it was always
my opinion that United Artists opened the film on
such an engagement to give it prestige. such a
engagement was certainly not mandated by the cost
of making the film.
also thanks about the “party room” mention on
ticket order forms for the Demille’s roadshow
runs. i can swear i remember seeing “divans” on
its ticket order forms. oh, well. i was maybe
i am certain that when the Demille was one of
the premiere roadshow houses in the Times Square
ares they also had “divans” listed as a section
on the ticket order forms.
if i am not mistaken after the roadshow run of
“Fiddle on the Roof” at the Rivoli the fall of
1971 the remaining such engagements to open in
the big Times Square houses were “Nicholas and
Alexandra” at the Criterion Dec. 1971 and “Man
of La Mancha” Dec. 1972 at the Rivoli. also
to be included is the roadshow run of “The
Trojan Women” at the Fines Arts the fall of 1971.
i guess the lackluster receipts for the roadshow
engagements of “Man…..” was the proverbial final
nail in the coffin. the studios subsequently
discontinued the policy.
the exclusive 1st run engagements of “Ryan’s
Daughter” and “Apocalypse Now” were reserved
performance engagements. for people not
familiar with said runs they were similar to
reserved seat engagements in that you could by
tickets ahead of time but what seat you got
was up in the air. for instance if such a film
was quite popular and you got to the theater
five minutes before the film began you were
guaranteed a seat but in might be all the way
in the back in the corner. i’m guessing the
studios thought this type engagement up since
it had way less overhead then a traditional
reserved seat run. for instance you didn’t need
the first such run in Manhattan i can remember
was “Fellini’s Satryricon” which opened March of
1970 at the late but great Little Carnegie.
also to put my two cents in i don’t consider the
special two week engagements of “Dreamgirls” or
“The Princess and the Frog” before they opened
wide true reserved seat runs. so i do believe as
i said in my original post that the theater’s
opening film “Marooned” was the first and only
traditional studio roadshow engagement it has
i likewise enjoyed seeing Les Miz at the
Ziegfeld. speaking of two a day reserved seat
or to use the trade term roadshow engagements.
am i correct that the only old style roadshow
run the theater has had was its opening film-
in reference to Bill H.’s Jan 4th comment about
the “new ticket price of $14”. the price may be
new for the Ziegfeld but the Regal 42 St. and
Union Square multi-plexes have been charging $14
on weekends for some time now.
it interesting even people i know who like the
film if they have any negative comment per se is
that they thought it was a tad long. haven’t
they ever seen a stage production?
also there have been countless films in the past
say 15 years that were huge box office hits and
were longer than “Les Miz”. so if the only negative
comment per se that people have about the film
is its length i find that interesting.
i am totally confused my raysson’s comment.at what theater or theaters are they showing thefilm with overture,intermission and exit music?
its certainly not at the Ziegfeld.
i was looking at back issues of Moving Picture
World on archive.org and happened upon a May issue
which gave the opening date of the theater as
May 20, 1914. it was built to honor star
Maurice Costello. also the article gave a
different address than the own stated at the
top of this page.
i recently watched the new blu-ray hd disc and
its a revelation both visually and audio wise.
in two of the extras-a nice narrated short about
the various ad campagins from its releases and in
the making of doc. it is noted that almost
immediately after its roadshow engagements in the
U.S. started up they was a move to tweak the
film. the reason given was supposed complaints
from theater owners about its length and the
number of showings they could schedule. now i
know it was common practice to tweak a film after
it finished its first run roadshow engagements
and was sent to neighborhood theaters around big
cities. so why were theater owners so antsy
about the film’s length in its original roadshow
engagements when they only ran two shows a
day anyway. i can think of a number of films
released on roadshow runs right before and right after LOA that were almost as long but were not
tweaked till they went to neighborhood theaters.
so why was LOA tweaked almost immediately after
as Al A. states i guess i didn’t phrase the question
correctly. i suppose i should have said what was the
last exclusive 1st run engagement that the Ziegfeld
had of a new film. the last exclusive engagement i
can think of off the top of my head was the Harris/
Katz restoration of “Vertigo” Oct. 1996. but that was
a re-issue not a new film.
i have been thinking about the contradiction
Henderson makes in her book “42 St.”. she herself
acknowledges Hammerstein’s Victoria as one of
the 12 theaters built on 42 ST. between 7th and 8th
Avenues. yet she says the American of 1893 built
close to where the AMC Empire multi-plex is now
was the first of the 12 theaters to be demolished.
but the Victoria was torn down in 1915 to build
the 1st Rialto movie theater which opened in
1916. the bone of contention seems to be whether
the Victoria was completely torn down or if
some part no matter how small was kept.
which prompts my question- does a theater have to
be completely torn down to be referred to as “torn
down”? i’m not quite sure what it was but some element of the Victoria must have been left up
if Henderson lists the American not the Victoria
as the first of the 12 theaters on the block to be “torn down”.