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A photo of a fire-scarred exterior wall of Loew’s Kings can be found about midway through this article entitled “Slow Fade”:
Unfortunately, the postcard in the introduction shows only half of the original proscenium arch, which resembled a stone bridge connecting the two sides of the auditorium. Further helping the illusion was a magnificent hand-painted safety curtain showing a river winding off into the distance through mountains. A B&W photo can be found on page 219 of David Naylor’s “Great American Movie Theaters.”
The 1931 Film Daily Year Book lists a 200-seat Arab Theatre as the only theatre in Arab, Ala. By the 1941 FDYB, the name had changed to Ritz Theatre. Could Arab and Ritz be previous names for the Arabian Theatre? The theatre looks older than one that would have first opened in 1947.
Bob, thanks for clarifying. I’d still like to know if the Scarsdale Picture Theater was just remodeled into the Plaza Theatre, or another theatre entirely at a different location? That “reborn in its permanent location” doesn’t make sense to me. Did the writer mean “original” instead of “permanent?”
I’m suffering further confusion from a report in The New York Times of August 22, 1951, that Leo Brecher “will open the Plaza-in-Scarsdale next month, thereby adding a seventh house to the chain he operates. The new theatre is scheduled to run two shows each afternoon and two in the evening.” Does that mean “new theatre” in the literal sense, or merely a new addition to Brecher’s circuit?
I’m bewildered by the statement in the introduction that, in 1931, “the theater was reborn in its permanent location on Garth Road.” Does that mean that the earlier Scarsdale Picture Theater was at a different location? Also, what was RKO’s connection with the theatre? I never knew that it had a theatre in Scarsdale, though in the early 30s, RKO did take over a few “indies” that it quickly disposed of due to Depression conditions.
The stage alteration took place in 1955, according to David Naylor’s “Great American Movie Theaters.” However, most key theatres around the USA switched to wide screens in 1953. One might wonder why the Arlington waited two years (if, indeed, it did).
The Embassy Theatre had an invitational unveiling on March 31, 1929, and opened to the public on April 1st, according to a report in The New York Times at the time: “In type of construction and interior decoration, the theatre closely follows the lines of the Italian Renaissance. It is a three-story structure of gray terra cotta. The ceiling of the auditorium is richly decorated with modeled plaster panels in polychromatic blending of Roman blue, crimson, and gold, while the side walls give the effect of highly polished Sienna marble. The Embassy is owned by the Theatres Development Corporation, of which Henry Botjer is president. The seating capacity is 2,500. Percy Viverttis was the architect and Henry G. Auf der Heide the builder.” As I noted above on 11/17/04, Loew’s Theatres took over the operating lease in June, 1930.
Here’s an auditorium view showing changes from the original decor displayed in the postcard in the introduction:View link
Here’s an auditorium view: View link
Three color images can be found here: View link
Here’s a photo of the current auditorium: View link
Three images of the current auditorium can be found here: View link
Auditorium restoration: View link
In a New York Times review yesterday of the the new DVD of Fritz Lang’s “Man Hunt,” critic Dave Kehr wrote: “Imagine how it must have struck the audience on June 13, 1941, when ‘Man Hunt’ opened at the Roxy in Times Square.” Give us a break!
Here are new links to vintage photos copied from a now long defunct trade journal. I’m told that the Reading Historical Society has a large collection of photos and other material about the Embassy.
No, certainly not. Those reproduction restrictions refer only to material created and owned by the newspapers. The newspapers do not own or control the rights to advertisements that ran in their issues. Ads of that long ago are considered in the public domain. It is doubtful that many, if any, ads were even copyrighted at the time by the advertisers.
The introductory remarks would benefit from mentioning the gala world premiere (not just “the premiere”) of “Gone With the Wind” at Loew’s Grand. It was one of the most-publicized events of the 1930s, with press coming from all over the USA, Canada, Latin America, and even England. Producer David O. Selznick flew in two plane-loads of Hollywood celebrities, including Clark Gable & Carole Lombard, Vivien Leigh & Laurence Olivier, and Olivia de Havilland. Atlanta was awash with parades, parties, and balls for several days.
“Ken mc,” aren’t those photos copied from the recently re-published “American Theatres of Today?” The book is being sold exclusively through Theatre Historical Society of America. Did you obtain their permission to put up those photo links? It seems like the links might cut into sales of the book, which was out-of-print for decades.
“New Age” superstar Yanni played to 86% of capacity in two RCMH shows promoting his latest CD, “Voices,” on May 1st and 2nd, according to Billboard Magazine. 9,607 tickets were sold out of a possible 11,117, for a total gross of $778,540. Tickets were priced from $125 down to $55.
When I passed by yesterday, THEATRE CLOSED had been removed from the attraction board, which is now totally blank. A sign in the lobby for a nearby technical college suggested that the school may have taken over the site, perhaps to use as an auditorium or to convert to some other use. But that’s only a guess.
This is guaranteed to blast your socks off!!!
The seating capacity needs to be corrected. Records kept by Theatre Historical Society of America give 3,880 seats, which made the State the 21st largest movie/vaudeville theatre in the USA. #20 was the St. Louis (current Powell Hall) in that Missouri city, with 3,881. #22 was the Chicago Theatre in that Illinois city, with 3,869 seats.
The Kingsway also had a smaller marquee on another side of the building. RKO Century was just the name of the operating company. The theatre was now known as the RKO Century Kingsway as the result of a corporate merger: