Showing 51 - 75 of 279 comments
Hello to Al A.–
as always thank for the info. i have another
question that i find just as fascinating. my
parents took me to see the roadshow engagements
of both The Wonderful World of the Brothers
Grimm and How The West Was Won at this theater.
i always assumed they had healthy roadshow
runs. to which i was quite surprised to find out
TWWOTBG’s lasted only 33 weeks and HTWWW’s lasted
only 39 weeks. i can see MGM having to pull
TWWOTBG even if it was still doing good box
office to open HTWWW. but why was HTWWW pulled
after only 39 weeks? the roadshow run of HTWWW
in both L.A.and San Francisco lasted a lot
longer than 39 weeks if i am not mistaken. so
I second Chris U.’s comment. its a rather unobstrusive
sign that i’m betting most people won’t notice.
i knew Liz and Dick did not attend the premiere
at this theater but i had not known there was a
protest by an African-American church in Harlem
for casting a white actress in the title role.
the interesting part of that protest is simple-
regardless of what Cleopatra looked like physically
ethnically/culturally she was like 99% Greek.
to Bill H.–
thanks for your reply. five seconds after clicking
on add comment it dawned on me that as well as the
film was still doing MGM had to pull it to open
their big year end “in Cinerama” film Ice Station
Zebra. so while it may not have been “in Cinerama”
or on a 2 a day roadshow policy did the film at
least move to another theater for an exclusive
run in 70MM? the reason i ask is simple.
The Sound of Music ran at the Rivoli on a 2 a day
roadshow policy in Todd-AO from i believe the first
week of March 1965 to the last week of Sept. 1966.
normally it would have then gone to the prominent
theaters in the other boroughs that traditionally
played 20th Century Fox Films after their big 1st
runs in Manhattan. but that didn’t happen. the
film then moved to the Cinema Rendevous on 57th St.
on a continuous performance policy of 3 shows a day
and played there i believe 6 months.
I was fortunate to have seen 2001: A Space Odyssey
twice at this theater during its 2 a day “in Cinerama”
roadshow engagement. I believe said engagement lasted
on 24 weeks due to the Capitol closing prior to
demolition. but the exact same engagement moved 4
blocks south to the Warmer Cinerama where it ran
another 13 weeks. the reason I bring this up is
simple. when I found this out rather recently I
was shocked that the film’s Manhattan roadshow run
was only 37 weeks. compare this to the 2 a day roadshow
engagement at the Warner in Hollywood which lasted
103 weeks and the 2 a day roadshow run at the Golden
Gate in San Francisco which lasted I believe 72 weeks.
and does one explain that?
i was saddened to hear of the theater’s closing.i believe that leaves the Bay Plaza as the onlymovie theater in the Bronx.
but i don’t understand as a Bow Tie spokesperson
said in the News 12 video that he lease can’t be
renewed? it not like the building was something
else previously and the owner wanted to return it
to its original use. it was built as a movie
theater. so i assume we’re dealing with a typical
greedy NY landlord.
Hello from NYC-
I haven’t been out to L.A. in a few years and
did enjoy going to the Chinese. to which my
question- with all the hoopla about the IMAX-ing
of the auditorium while keeping the renowned
architectural design as anyone heard anything
about the 3-D…ing of The Wizard of Oz. if
the retrofit into 3-D of the 1939 film just
doesn’t work that won’t be a good omen for the
i thank you for your help with my previous
questions. in fact you have a detailed knowledge
of this particular theater. to which my new
two part question.
*on page 4 of the photo gallery is an ad for
“Frankenstein” and “Sitting Bull”. so was the
ad for the 1931 horror classic for the original
1st run engagement or a subsequent 2nd run.
also it seems the big grand old movie theaters
of Times Square played as many B movies as they
did A movies. to which i’m guessing the western
about one of the most prominent Native
Ameericans was considered a B movie.
*on the last page of the photo gallery is
a pic of the marquee during the roadshow
engagement of “The Shoes of the Fisherman”
which i believe opened Nov. of 1968. now
the side of the marquee has the title in
the typeface used in the ads with a collage
of the major characters in the film. yet
on the front of the marquee the title is
spelled out in plain ordinary block
letters. wasn’t kind of tacky for a
the last film I saw at this theater before it closed
was “Living Out Loud” with Holly Hunter and Queen
Latifah. i’m 99.9% sure it was in the downstairs
auditorium. to which my question- what was the last
film to play here when it was still a single screen
theater at which point i believe it was still called
I liked going to the Cinema Studio since it played
many prominent low budget indie American films and
top foreign language films. a two part question-
1.i’m guessing that the theater(and the surrounding
buildings)were torn down because eventhough the
theater was quite popular the land underneath it
became worth more than the theater could ever
bring in at the box office.
2.as stated by Al A. it opened as the Arcade in
1919. i’m guessing it opened from the get go as
a 2nd/3rd run neighborhood theater. so when
did it become a 1st run venue? when it became
the Cinema Studio?
I have to be frank and say i find much of the
tech numbers mentioned a bit confusing. admittedly
i’m no techno wiz. to which what I hope is a
simple question- when the 3-D TWOO opens the end
of Sept. will they be able to mask the screen
so all we see is the movie? whatever the dimensions
of a screen it drives me up a ****** wall when
it is not properly masked and you see unused
screen on the top, bottom or sides.
I suppose we shall have to wait and see. I have found
the discussion of the Chinese' new IMAX installation
fascinating to say the least. it kind of resembles
my opinion of the IMAX screens in Manhattan. the only
real or true IMAX screen is the one at the Loew’s
Lincoln Square on Bway and 68th St. the other IMAX
screens in Manhattan are not quite so.
i’m sorry to hear of the theater being gutted
by fire especially since the structure could have
been renovated and saved. as we say in NYC i bet
it was “a business fire”. whenever an historic
renovatable building in NYC is gutted by fire
that always my guess as to what happened.
I would like someone to explain to me how they
can successfully to a 3-D retrofit for a film released
every grand old theater no matter how state of
the art when it opened has to be fine tuned every
so often to keep it viable as a 1st run venue.
to which my question- other than the auditorium
is any other part of the theater being renovated?
from what I have read and from Howard H.’s comments
the Grand Lake in Oakland appears to be a true gem.
so its fascinating that of all the grand old movie
theaters/palaces built in the 1914-1941 building
boom the Chinese is the only one built from the get
go as a 1st run venue and has continued to operate
as such since the day it opened. when you consider
the countless grand old movie theaters/palaces that
were built in all 50 states that the Chinese is the
only one to operate as a 1st run venue since the day
is opened is beyond remarkable.
I also remember the original exclusive 1st runengagement of “Close Encounters”. it was Nov. of1977 and there were lines around the block forjust about every screening on the weekend.
its nice that Bow Tie will continue to operate
this theater well into the future. one would have
thought the age of the multiplex would have
doomed into oblivion theaters such as the Ziegfeld.
how this theater has stayed open when you consider
the land underneath it is worth way more than
the theater could ever bring in is one of the
I thank Robert A. for his reply. while I know of
the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland i wasn’t aware it
opened as a 1st run theater and has continued to
operate as such since the day it opened as has the Chinese.
i thank Howard H. for the info. i was under the
assumption that the Uptown in D.C. had opened as
a 1st run theater but according to you it only
became 1st run in the late 50s.
therefore that makes the Chinese distinctive in
that its the only grand old movie theater/palace
built in the 1914-1941 building boon that opened
as a 1st run theater and has continued to operate
as such since the day it opened.
I have to agree with Escott N. that as long as
the new owners preserve the original architectural
design,ornamentation, elements etc….. while in
the process of upgrading the sound and projection
systems one can’t complain to much.
also there’s one very interesting distinction about
this theater that i’m betting few people realize. the
the heyday of building grand old movies theaters/
palaces was approx. 1914 -1941. when I first came
upon this delightful website I created a task for
myself- to find any grand old movie theaters/palaces
that were built from the get go as 1st run venues
and have continued to operate as such since the
day they opened. needless to say I have centered
my search on big cities. of the searching I’ve done
so far I have found a grand total of 2- the Uptown
in D.C. and this theater. amazing when you think
was the original Vitascope Hall of 1896
built from the ground up with the sole intent
of showing flickers or was it simple a
already existing retail space redone as a
the Crescent/Gem was designed and built to
showcase films as well as vaudeville and as
such opened on the night of Dec. 16, 1909.
so doesn’t that make it the 1st theater built
brick by brick from the ground up in Manhattan
for the purpose of showing movies?
for the next several years after the faithful
night of April 23, 1896 at Koster and Bial’s
Music Hall i should think any “movie theaters”
that existed in Manhattan were simply music halls
and vaudeville/legitimate theaters converted to
show flickers as they were known.
I read the article for which Mike posted the link
in which Charles B. Moss Jr. the CEO of Bow Tie is
interviewed. he states the Chelsea multiplex will
get a redo since unlike the Ziegfeld Clearview has let
let it grow shabby over the years. I just went to the
theater this past Sat. 6/29 to see “I’m So Excited”
and the theater was in fine shape. in fact the
redesign done by Clearview after they took over
from Cineplex Odeon is still in great shape. so how
is the Chelsea in shabby condition?
the Ziegfeld is in fact in “shabbier” shape per se
since they’ve never bothered fixing the curtain.
shouldn’t the last line in the intro be changed?
the original Cinerama roadshow engagement of “2001”
did not end when the Capitol was closed previous
to being demolished. it immediately continued at
the Warner Cinerama at 47th St. and Bway.