Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre

707 Seventh Avenue,
New York, NY 10036

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Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 17, 2006 at 4:38 am

The UA Twin @ Broadway and 49th was the last name used by the great Rivoli Theater – which is very much listed on this site. That theater was actually on a trapezoidal block bounded by the east side of Broadway and the west side of 7th Ave and running from 49th to 50th Street.

The Mayfair/Demille (the theater on this page) was known as the Embassy II, III, IV after it was triplexed and stands on 7th Avenue just off the northeast corner with 47th Street. The Embassy 1 is the former Newsreel Theater adjacent to the RKO Palace just a block to the south (and now the Times Square Visitors Center). The former Gaiety/Victoria theater on the west side of Broadway just south of 46th Street was briefly known as the Embassy V before it was razed (along with the old Astor and several legit theaters to the west) to make way for the Marriot Marquis in 1982. It is listed here as the Victoria.

The RKO Warner is listed here as the Strand Theater and was also known as the RKO Cinerama 1 and 2 during the 70’s and ‘80’s. It was demolished in the late '80’s. The other theater you’re looking for (on the west side of Times Square opposite the Embassy) is listed here as Movieland and was built as the Central and subsequently dubbed the Gotham, Forum, Forum 47th (and possibly one or two other variations) before B.S. Moss dubbed it Movieland in the late '70’s. The former lobby space now houses the Roxy Delicatessen and the old auditorium (which housed a disco for a while) was demolished to make way for the W Hotel on 47th.

hardbop on July 17, 2006 at 4:19 am

I hate doing this writing about one theatre, but not another, but I moved to NYC in ‘82 and distinctly remember seeing movies on the west side of Times Square (opposite from the Embassy). I recently looked up the films I remembering seeing in those venues, but can’t find the listings here. I remember in '87 going to see a movie called BEDROOM WINDOW in one of these theatres. I looked up the BR ad in the Times and it played at a theatre called the UA Twin @ Broadway & 49th, but I can’t find a listing for that theatre? Is it listed and under what name?

And was there ever a third Embassy Cinema in Times Square called Embassy 4? I know the Embassy I was at 46th Street and the Triplex was at 49th Street, but was there an Embassy 4? Or was it simply the Embassy I at 46th Street, II, II & IV at 49th Street?

And I remember in the summer of ‘83 I saw STAR WARS revived in a first-run house on the west side of Times Square. The Times lists SW as playing that summer at the RKO Warner I. Again, no listing for a theatre called the RKO Warner I. Is that theatre listed?

RobertR on July 10, 2006 at 2:49 am

Thanks, it was taken by a friend who managed theatres for many years in Times Square and then on 42 St, he is finally digging through his old stuff and making me copies.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 10, 2006 at 2:27 am

Veyoung, here’s a Bosley Crowther review from the NY Times that states it was 9-channel stereo. I found one more reference to this engagement in the Times when the film “Cinerama’s Russian Adventure” was reviewed, but no mention of the kind of business it did.

RobertR… absolutely awesome photo of the Embassy, Palace and Demille!!! Is it one of your own or did you find it online?

VincentParisi on July 10, 2006 at 1:59 am

Does anybody have a color photo of the Hawaii billboard? That was also pretty spectacular.
The Magnificent Men had moving parts.The planes looking as if they were bobbing in the air and legs spinning.
Thank you RobertR!

veyoung52 on July 10, 2006 at 1:09 am

Does anyone here have stats on the Kinopanorama presentation in 1959. I’ve contacted the Moscow film people, and they even dont seem to know much. The reviews mentioned a 60-plus foot screen, only 7 channels, not 8, being used. After the 2nd week, even “Variety” magazine didnt print the box office stats. Anybody know any more?

RobertR on July 9, 2006 at 1:00 pm

“Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines” at the Demille

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 11, 2006 at 8:42 am

Not sure what went wrong with those last two links. Here they are again:

2002 long shot
2002 marquee and facade

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 11, 2006 at 8:38 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 on May 21, 2006 at 10:41 am

Look at this awesome billboard for the Mayfair.

View link

EMarkisch on May 3, 2006 at 6:00 am

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

AlAlvarez on May 3, 2006 at 5:41 am

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

BoxOfficeBill on May 3, 2006 at 3:41 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 on May 3, 2006 at 1:53 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 1:45 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 on May 3, 2006 at 1:26 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 on May 3, 2006 at 12:48 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 on May 2, 2006 at 9:46 am

Check out this billboard in 1966
View link

veyoung52 on April 30, 2006 at 3:31 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 on April 27, 2006 at 8:02 am

Did the orchestra theater still have roadshow screen?

jamesburt on April 27, 2006 at 6:45 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 on February 6, 2006 at 5:47 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 5:42 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 on February 6, 2006 at 4:18 am

heres a recent exterior shot taken dec 2005
View link

RichHamel on January 17, 2006 at 6:18 am

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