Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre

707 Seventh Avenue,
New York, NY 10036

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Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 11, 2006 at 11:38 am

Below are a few shots I took of the theater back in 1993 when it was still in operation and then again in 2002 when it was not:

1993 Long shot with Show Follies
1993 Marquee and facade
2002 Long shot
2002 Marquee and facade

The marquee for the Show Follies porn palace is still in place, though it is now over the entrance to a typical Times Square gift shop. You can’t make it out in either 2002 photo, but I seem to recall that you could make out the marquee lettering from the Will Smith & Gene Hackman flick “Enemy of the State” under the white canvas sheets hung over the marquee with the rental contact information. Assuming that was one of the last films to play here would place the closing of the Embassy 2,3,4 sometime in late 1998 or early ‘99.

RobertR
RobertR on May 21, 2006 at 1:41 pm

Look at this awesome billboard for the Mayfair.

View link

EMarkisch
EMarkisch on May 3, 2006 at 9:00 am

I agree.
First line reads: On Screen ITS COLOSSAL
Second line reads: KILLER “KRONOS"
Third line reads: 8 ACTS VAUDEVILLE

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 3, 2006 at 8:41 am

I think it is KRONOS listed as KILLER KRONOS.
May 12, 1957, Jeff Morrow, Barbra Lawrence, plus 8 Vaudeville acts.

BoxOfficeBill
BoxOfficeBill on May 3, 2006 at 6:41 am

According to ibdb.com, “Plane Crazy,” devised by Suzy Conn, never opened on B'way. “Boeing Boeing,” a play similar in theme, had a disasterous run at the Cort in Feb. ‘65, folding within three weeks; erstwhile MGM teen throb Carleton Carpenter was reduced to playing stand-by for its star, Ian Carmichael.

“A Face in the Crowd,” advertised on the Mayfair’s billboard in RobertR’s photo album on the Victoria’s page, opened at the Globe on 28 May ‘57. The Palace was still offering “8 Big Acts” of Vaudeville in '57. Squint as I might, I can’t make out the film’s title on the Palace’s marquee—to me, it seems to have the words “Killer Racoons” in it, but I can find no listing for any movie with that phrase in the streamer; nor for any movie beginning with “It’s” and including “Kill[er[[s]]].”

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on May 3, 2006 at 4:53 am

On the Victoria page they have the actual photo. The billboard is actually displaying A Face in the Crowd. So they got the decade wrong.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 3, 2006 at 4:45 am

I suspect that’s a “doctored” photo used to publicize a proposed stage musical called “Plane Crazy,” which takes place in the 1960s. Check out: www.planecrazythemusical.com

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on May 3, 2006 at 4:26 am

The billboard seems well before ‘66. Maybe someone cane tell us what year Plane Crazy came out.
'66 had the great 3D billboard for Hawaii. I would love to see a good color photo of that!

jamesburt
jamesburt on May 3, 2006 at 3:48 am

Thats true, while it was a large screen, it was only a fraction of the available space. There was a LOT of dead space around the projection area.

RobertR
RobertR on May 2, 2006 at 12:46 pm

Check out this billboard in 1966
View link

veyoung52
veyoung52 on April 30, 2006 at 6:31 am

If you mean did it have the same size screen it had before it was triplexed…absolutely not. Because of the position of the projection booth for the downstairs auditorium, it became one of the smallest screens I have ever seen in a large theatre.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on April 27, 2006 at 11:02 am

James,
Did the orchestra theater still have roadshow screen?

jamesburt
jamesburt on April 27, 2006 at 9:45 am

I worked for Guild theatres in the early 1980s, and was the manager of the Embassy 2,3,4. I also workes at times at the Embassy I, the Forum, and another theatre that Guild theatres operated.

I always enjoyed the many interesting architectural features of this theatre, and often wandered about the parts of the theatre that nobody else got to see. I recall a lot of space behind the screen from the original stage, with much of the equipment still in place. I recall several floors of dressing rooms on either side of the stage, and those horrendous labrynthian fire escapes… which were inside the building, but open to the sky.

When I was there, the original curtain still worked, and we would occasionally close it at the end of a film. I recall a some of the stage still projected in front of the screen and curtain, but do not know if the entire front part of the stage remained.

Hibi
Hibi on February 6, 2006 at 7:47 am

I hope at least they de-twin the upstairs and leave that as one theater. Hope they can make a go of it. Some good news at least.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 6, 2006 at 7:42 am

There’s a news item on the home page here announcing someone’s desire to take this theater over and revive it as a center for live performance and independent film house. The plan is to have several auditoriums. I’m happy someone has interest in the place, I just wish there was a viable plan to restore it to single screen use and as a showcase for Cinerama presentation. Whatever the outcome, I hope it involves restoration of any original architectural character that might have been buried behind modernizations and multi-plexing that occured over the years.

woody
woody on February 6, 2006 at 6:18 am

heres a recent exterior shot taken dec 2005
View link

RichHamel
RichHamel on January 17, 2006 at 8:18 am

Vincent—Ted Turner claims to have lost most of his money in the AOL-Time Warner debacle. Better look elsewhere.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on January 17, 2006 at 8:09 am

I wonder as well about Ted Turner. How would he like a restored honest to god movie theater in Times Square named after him?

Andres
Andres on January 15, 2006 at 7:29 am

It’s funny, Vincent, that you mention and have mentioned Scorsese because a friend of mine from LA suggested to me yesterday that we should contact him. Scorsese has a good comment about Cinerama on the Cinerama Adventure web. Does anyone know how to reach him?
Or De Niro? He has a restaurant and lives downown in Tribeca, doesn’t he?. Andres.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on January 15, 2006 at 6:08 am

As I have written many times on this and other pages Martin Scorsese would be a very important person to have help build at this site an American Cinemateque as they have in CA. But as opposed to the one in CA or the MOMA and Film Forum in New York this would have an impressive screen maybe 70 feet or more enabling them to show the great wide screen films as they were meant to be seen, not letterboxed as they are shown at the two NY screening rooms mentioned above. And wouldn’t it be wonderful if the space were adaptable to 3 screen Cinerama as well? Of course this would involve a lot of donations help from the city and many important film and theater people involved for publicity sake(maybe De Niro would join in?) The old Mayfair would be the perfect space but it seems that the few of us who visit this site are the only ones who think this way.

Andres
Andres on January 13, 2006 at 11:49 am

Well, Koch said no. Here is his e-mail:

Thank you for your e-mail. I suggest that you write to Katherine Oliver, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting, 1687 Broadway, New York, New York 10019. She is in charge of movie production in New York City. Also, you should renew your correspondence with Chrystine Nicholas. It is not a matter that I plan on adding to my own plate.

All the best and good luck.
Ed Koch

Let’s bombard Ms. Oliver and Ms. Nycholas (at NYC&CO) with letters on saving the DeMille/Embassy 2-3-4. Andres.

RichHamel
RichHamel on January 13, 2006 at 5:26 am

Yes, Bond 45 has a great sign. I’d like to see more like it.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 13, 2006 at 5:17 am

I was going to mention that, Warren… but I figured that should be a discussion for the Criterion site. Not that discussing L.I. malls has much to do with the old Mayfair either!!! The place is called Bond 45 in a nod to the famous clothing store and discothèque than had shared occupancy of the building with the Criterion over the years. The red and blue block neon lettering over the entrance is very much in the spirit of the old Times Square (a welcome respite from the blinding electronic video displays that dominate the area). Sort of reminds me of the old Jack Dempsey’s that occupied a corner of the Brill Building once upon a time.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 13, 2006 at 4:02 am

A portion of the auditorium that had a wall on 45th Street is now occupied by a restaurant called Bond’s. I don’t know how deeply the restaurant extends into the ground floor of the auditorium, but I would imagine pretty far.

chconnol
chconnol on January 13, 2006 at 4:00 am

Again, this is way OT and I’m just waiting for someone to object but I have to say that the “Source Mall” is one of the worst most depressing malls I’ve ever been in. There’s no central feeling to the place. It’s just kind of like a bunch of stores haphazardly stuck together with a tiny common space. I remember when the original plans were put forth for the mall, it was supposed to be HUGE. But the neighborhood objected and it got reduced in scale. Because of the poor layout, people don’t spill over to the Virgin Megastore while waiting for the overpriced food at Cheesecake Factory or PF Changs.