Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre

707 Seventh Avenue,
New York, NY 10036

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Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 28, 2006 at 1:06 pm

I don’t like to make a re-tread post, but here again is a 1963 ad for the upcoming reserved seat engagement of Otto Preminger’s “The Cardinal” at the Demille:
Daily News 11/25/63

What I failed to note the first time I posted this ad is that “The Cardinal” represented a milestone in the history of theatrical presentation of motion pictures; it was the first 35mm production ever to have been presented in 70mm blow-up prints.

Here’s a page on the wonderful Widescreen Museum site featuring a contemporary article heralding the new process.

AlAlvarez on August 22, 2006 at 4:48 am

Thanks guys. That makes perfect sense.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 21, 2006 at 4:50 pm

The Columbia ceased to exist when it was replaced by the Mayfair. The 1934 Columbia was the ex-Central Theatre on the west side of Broadway at 47th Street. In that year, the owners re-named the Central the Columbia for a revival of burlesque, but they were shut down by the police. The theatre kept the name Columbia when it returned to films, but soon went back to Central. The original Columbia and the Mayfair were actually on Seventh Avenue, and not Broadway.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 21, 2006 at 4:49 pm

Al. The Columbia discussed above was gutted to make way for the RKO Mayfair, so it must be a different theater altogether – particularly since you reference the film as a move-over FROM the Mayfair. Actually, it is probably the old Central Theater right across Duffy Square that you are talking about. It was later known as the Forum and closed as Movieland under B.S. Moss, but did operate for a time in 1934 as the Columbia.

AlAlvarez on August 21, 2006 at 4:24 pm

In May 1934 the Columbia was showing a move-over from the Mayfair of HITLER’S REIGN OF TERROR. Although it rarely showed films, they seems to have co-existed or there was another Columbia on 47th and Broadway.


veyoung52 on August 21, 2006 at 10:11 am

“Thanks, Warren. That Kinopanorama ad is great.” You should also take a look at the opening day ads. Initially, the Russians called the process “Kinorama.” The Cinerama folks complained loudly, and the next day the process was renamed “Kinopanorama”

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 20, 2006 at 8:46 pm

Ed, I have yet to find evidence of the Columbia Theatre ever presenting anything but “live” burlesque, which was tame in comparison to the type pioneered by Minsky’s with strip-tease performers.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 20, 2006 at 7:28 pm

Thanks, Warren. That Kinopanorama ad is great.

And I have to wonder, how “beautiful” and “perfect” could the old Columbia have been if it was to be completely gutted just a couple of years later?! Does the Columbia have a page here? Or was it strictly a live performance venue?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 20, 2006 at 1:49 pm

Here’s an ad from July, 1959 for the Russian equivalent of Cinerama:
And here’s an ad for the Columbia from October, 1927, roughly three years before the grand opening of its replacement, the Mayfair. The Columbia probably closed in 1929, but that’s only a guess: www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/columbia47.jpg

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on August 17, 2006 at 4:47 pm

The front of the Ziegfeld’s marquee, which you could only really see from the other side of 54th St., said “THE ZIEGFELD A Walter Reade Theatre” for several years after it stopped being a Reade theatre. That part of the display is now covered up by a Clearview Cinemas sign.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 17, 2006 at 3:23 pm

Thanks Bill. I remember the Ziegfeld having that distinctive Walter Reade font in movie ads from the ‘70’s and early '80’s (ditto the Little Carnegie and New Yorker Twin). I was just curious as to the origins of the Reade chain in NY, particularly during the '63-'64 time frame from which the clippings I posted came. Warren’s response helped me out with that one. I’m also curious about the geographic territory. I know there were a number of Manhattan houses over the years (inlcuding the Waverly, later on, and one on W. 23rd Street) and a couple in Queens, but did Reade ever run any Brooklyn houses or theaters further out on Long Island?

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on August 17, 2006 at 1:37 pm

Ed: The Ziegfeld was a Walter Reade theater too, for many years. It opened as a Reade theater in 1969 and I think it stayed that way into the early ‘80s when Cineplex Odeon took it over.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 17, 2006 at 11:30 am

GWHIZ, should I take it as a compliment that you have adopted part of my e-mail address for your signature? Have you abandoned your previous “Lost Memory?” I believe that it’s against the rules-and-regulations for members to use more than one signature at a time.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 16, 2006 at 8:29 pm

Ed Solero asked about “the extent of the Walter Reade chain,” so I answered him. If that is of no interest to you, “Lost Memory,” perhaps you have joined the wrong website. Please go and pollute another website with your pathetic babblings.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 16, 2006 at 6:05 pm

During founder Walter Reade’s lifetime, most of the Reade theatres were in New Jersey. The few that he owned in NYC were usually leased to others. After Reade Senior died, Reade Junior began to concentrate on “art” theatres, especially first-runs in NYC, but the company still had the majority of its theatres in New Jersey, many with mainstream rather than “art” policies.

AlAlvarez on August 16, 2006 at 4:26 pm

Ed, they had the 34th St East and, of course, the Baronet.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 16, 2006 at 2:31 pm

Correction… the above image should be captioned “Daily News 9/21/63”.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 16, 2006 at 2:28 pm

McQueen and company day-and-dating the Demille and Coronet:
Great Escape – Daily News 5/18/64

Reade’s Baronet is listed in the ad above “The Great Escape” in the clipping. I know Reade also operated the Little Neck and Continental theaters in Queens during this period… Were these 5 theaters the extent of the Walter Reade chain at the time? If not, what other theaters did they run?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 16, 2006 at 1:56 pm

This striking ad from March, 1935, neglects to mention the movie’s now legendary director. At the time of the ad, owner Walter Reade had taken back the Mayfair from RKO Theatres and was operating it himself: www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/mayfair335.jpg

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 5, 2006 at 1:23 pm

Before setting the World Theater back on the path of righteousness, Embassy ran the former Trans Lux West/Trans Lux 49th Street on Broadway (which also did some XXX time as the Pussycat and Grand Pussycat) under the name Embassy 49th Street. I think for some reason discussion of the Frisco can be found on the Rivoli Theater page.

AlAlvarez on August 5, 2006 at 8:11 am

You will find discussions on both those subjects elsewhere on this site but it looks like there were two Embassy 49’s, and the Frisco was the DEEP THROAT/MISS JONES record holder.

veyoung52 on August 5, 2006 at 8:04 am

DennisZ, you bring up an interesting point. I cant answer your question, but can throw another one at you. What was the name of the Times Square theatre that ran a double-feature of “Deep Throat” and “Devil and Ms Jones” for practically 10 years? It began sometime in the mid-70’s and ran well into the 1980s. I would bet that this would be the longest-run engagement of all time in New York City.

dennisczimmerman on August 5, 2006 at 2:18 am

Was not the Embassy 49th Street originally called The World Theatre where “Deep Throat” had a rather lengthy engagement? Then all of a sudden it was renamed the Embassy 49th Street and its first film attraction under the new name was a Disney movie?