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And most of the comments on the Manhattan Biltmore page debate that very issue!
DavidZornig, if you’d like to add those images (which I see you’ve already removed from this page) to the correct theater, Here’s the page for the Biltmore in Manhattan.
I’ve commented before that theater preservation under the NYC LPC (after the Marriot Marquis demolitions) has always been all about the legit houses, without any regard to any of the premiere movie houses in the Times Square area. The rich history of motion picture exhibition in this town, and the important architectural wonders in which that history took place, were completely ignored by the LPC. Not a single house on Broadway or Seventh Avenue survives – with the lone exception of the Embassy newsreel theater.
I know that many of the cinemas were shorn of much their original interior design with the wholesale streamlining and updating that occurred during the dawn of the widescreen roadshow era, but seems to me that enough beauty remained in the Rivoli, Loew’s State, Strand, DeMille, and Forum to warrant serious consideration. I suppose we should be thankful for the conversion of the Hollywood, Broadway, and Globe Theatres to legitimate use – surely those transitions played a part in the preservation of those buildings.
It is nothing short of miraculous, that all four of the original Loew’s Wonder Theaters, situated within NYC limits, are still standing and open (or soon to be open) to the public. And that number five is still alive and surviving as an actual movie palace, across the Hudson in Jersey City!
I walk by this building every day, on my way to the office. It is completely covered in scaffolding and dark mesh construction netting, so, impossible to really see what is going on, but from what can be viewed through the peepholes and gaps in the street level shedding, they are stripping all vestiges of ornamentation from the facade. I presume this is in preparation for the dismantling of the building, as I also presume that the any remaining architectural detail within the structure is being carted away as rubble.
Oh, and I’m thrilled to have the name back in place over that marquee. Fitting, since the original Lyric’s entrance serves the same purpose for the new house.
I get the criticism, however. The theater swallowed up a lot of the comedy in Mel Brooks' musical version of “Young Frankenstein.” Admittedly, the show and production did have a few intrinsic problems of their own that had nothing to do with the house, but I felt that the size of the theater (as opposed to the smaller Richard Rodgers, where the more successful – and funnier – “The Producers” ran), caused the performances to reach even bigger and broader than is Brooks' usual style to sell the jokes up in the rafters, which squashed the life out of the humor. The set pieces looked wonderful on that big stage, however.
Hey Guarina… The Wadsworth Theatre would be a completely different structure from the Heights Theatre. The location was across Wadsworth Avenue from the Heights, with its entrance around the corner on W. 181st Street. The Heights would have actually faced the auditorium side wall of the Wadsworth. Whichever year the Wadsworth was torn down, it was definitely demolished to make way for the single-story tax payers that now occupy the lot. More importantly, CT is in need of a listing for the Wadsworth Theatre. Calling Joe Vogel…
I’m not so sure, walterk. The sign for the Airdrome looks like it has a hand pointing towards the theater, next to the word “open.” Hard to tell from the photo, but the hand might be directing boardwalk traffic to take the ramp, shown on the left, down to street level to get to the Airdrome. The buildings on the left side of the boardwalk in the photo look like they might just be retail storefronts. On the closest corner, the sign along the side, partially obscured by the lamppost, might read “druggist,” I think I see a sign for a “cafe” just beyond that, and it appears there was also a bath house along that row.
Of course, I’m just drawing conclusions here, but seems to me, that if the Airdrome were actually ON the boardwalk, there wouldn’t need to be the additional sign pointing passersby in the theater’s direction. I would suggest the Airdrome might have been out of frame here, perhaps just a few steps from the boardwalk itself.
Jack Benny’s radio show may still be the most consistently hilarious variety show ever to have been broadcast – on radio or TV, for that matter.
Abie’s Irish Rose had its Broadway debut on May 23, 1922, at the late Fulton Theatre, according to IBDB.com. Kosher Kitty Kelly followed a few years later, opening June 15, 1925, at the Times Square Theatre, still standing, and in the midst of restoration/re-use, on 42nd Street.
I love that the 1926 ad for “Birth Of A Nation,” posted by Lost Memory, shows a supporting presentation of Kosher Kitty Kelly. KKK? Irony?
The lack of quotations around the title in the ad, suggest this was a live production. KKK was originally a stage musical, although it should be noted that it also had silent film version, (according to Wikipedia) that was produced in 1926, by none other than Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. Unless there is other evidence to support facility at this theatre for live productions, I would assume it was the film that was screened during this engagement.
Hey Bway… The current look is certainly nicer than before, but it doesn’t appear to be a restoration. Seems they eliminated the parapet wall above the entrance and around the perimeter facing Knickerbocker and Starr, and then spruced up the old bare brick wall of the auditorium structure, which was set back with a higher elevation behind the lobby and one-story storefronts. Gives the impression of a vintage restoration, but the old building never looked like that.
Hey Mike, I’m working in Manhattan now, so rarely in my car, during the week. Maybe I’ll try this weekend, if it isn’t already too late, by then, to see anything inside the lobby.
Perhaps they are modernizing, and trying to get a jump on Regal’s proposed reconstruction of the nearby Lynbrook Theatre. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a LieMax screen go in here, with a stadium seating upgrade to the other auditoriums. Not sure what a million dollars buys you, these days, in terms of cinema upgrades.
I thought, perhaps that the small rectangular portion of the “Hall 2nd” structure, just adjacent to the Air Drome lot, might have provided an access hall to the “moving pictures” structure. I believe the broken line that divides this portion from the rest of the “hall,” indicates a frame partition. However, the “S” indication on the map identifies the use as a store, so I think that idea is all wet.
I also considered that the structure might have been some sort of accessory to the Air Drome, perhaps providing a place to watch movies indoors, in the event of inclement weather. Perhaps one day we’ll uncover its history – until then, it’s all conjecture.
According to Lost Memory’s uploaded Sanborn map image, and based on the opening description of the Sun Theatre having been located on Broadway at Varet Street, the movie house would have stood where the gated entrance to the Food Bazarre parking lot is now located. That would be just a bit to the left of the current Google Street View location, directly across from the nothern terminus of Gerry Street, which ends there in a T-intersection. Seems that the demolition of the Sun, along with the construction of the supermarket and parking lot (which serves the adjacent Lindsay Park Houses), involved the demapping of that section of Varet Street that ran between Manhattan Ave and Broadway. As a result, the corner, where the Sun occupied, is no longer in existence.
Good to have you back, Lost Memory, in your original incarnation. Seems that a couple of accounts have been re-animated here, in the last week or two. Anyway, to be on topic, have you any information on the “Moving Pictures” structure located adjacent to the Air Drome site in the Sanborn image you uploaded? Appears to be a small house, with a storefront entrance on Cypress.
If you were to map the location of those lots with street view images on Google maps, it would appear that the Air Drome lot would have occupied what is currently known as 865 and 867 Cypress Ave (a Chiropractor, and Allstate Insurance office, respectively), with the adjacent movie house entrance presumably at 863 Cypress Ave (currently a nail salon). It doesn’t appear that any of the original structures from the Sanborn are still standing – but that’s only a guess, based on the current satellite image.
Joe… Another consideration is that many comments and photos have been deleted by CT members themselves, as they “back themselves” out of CT existence. It seems that some members get so incensed over disagreements or perceived insults or slights, that they then go about systematically removing any traces of their contributions on the site. Most recently, a long time member here passed away, after having contributing over 4000 photos and a great many comments. It seems that, for reasons unknown, the entirety of that person’s photographic contributions were removed by a family member, and, last I knew, all of their comments to theater threads were being eliminated one by one. Sad, but true. I’m hoping that the instances to which you refer are mere technical glitches that can be corrected.
This is another in a list of Brooklyn cinemas, where there are images on the theater’s photo page, but the overview defaults to a street view.
I highly doubt that the TGI Friday’s retains any elements of the old Roxy lobby and foyers. I would imagine that the space was entirely gutted, with the upper portion of the rotunda converted to office space, and the ground floor reserved for retail usage. Does anyone know if this has always been a restaurant of some sort? I’m sure the TGIF chain was not in existence when the space was converted back in the early 1960’s.
I don’t think that’s a sketch, johndereszewksi. It appears to be an actual photo incorporated into the ad.
Seems like a bug in those individual pages… Wonder if there’s anything that these particular theater pages have in common that would cause this disconnect?
I’m curious why the photo Ken posted has not replaced the street view above. It is the only image in this theater’s photo section. I thought the basic logic for each theater overview page in the database was to default to the street view ONLY if there were no images uploaded.
No doubt, this theater’s name change to the President was associated with the opening of the President Hotel, across the street. The Hotel, dating to the late 1920’s – and depicted in the 1935 photo posted above by Brad Smith – is still in operation today, under the Best Western banner.