Comments from bigjoe59

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bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Roxy Theatre on Jun 4, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Hello-

as i said in my previous post in its last days the Roxy was playing many B if not C films. in fact the last film to play the Roxy was what a friend of my parents referred to as a C film. i forget the title but in had “Wind” in it. to which what was the last first run A level film that the Roxy played?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Roxy Theatre on Jun 4, 2012 at 2:04 am

Hello- thanks for the info. there were many large grand old movie theaters that continued to operate as single screen first run movie theater for several years after the Roxy was torn down. the Criterion, Loew’s State, Loew’s Capitol, the Rivoli, the Warner the Demille and the Paramount. i guess they were able to survive as single screen movie theaters long after the Roxy was torn down because they were manageably large whereas the Roxy which had like twice the seating capacity of the Paramount was just to frigging big for its own good.

also what are your thoughts on the fact that till the day they closed down both the Loew’s Capitol and the Paramount were still playing first run A level movies. respectively PLANET OF THE APES and 2001:A SPACE ODYSSEY for the Capitol and THUNDERBALL for the Paramount. a friend of my parents said that in its last 2 years or so the Roxy at times played B or even C movies. now this was long before mutliplexes when studios opened a film in 2000 to 3000 theaters on the same day. so if the Capitol and the Paramount were able to book first run A level films till the day they closed why wasn’t the Roxy?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Roxy Theatre on Jun 3, 2012 at 10:57 pm

Hello-

i was able to attend many of the great old movie houses in the Times Square area when they were still more or less in their original condition and they before were twined or torn down. the Roxy wasn’t one of them. to which i have what i hope is a simple question. the decision to tear down the Roxy was made i believe in June of 1960. so as well loved as the theater was and had ornate as it was by June 1960 wasn’t a movie theater as HUGE as the Roxy just plain economically unviable?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about AMC Lincoln Square 13 on Jun 3, 2012 at 7:58 pm

when did the price for shows before 12.pm. go up to $7? i saw MEN IN BLACK 3 last weekend and it was still $6.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about National Twin on May 24, 2012 at 10:18 pm

to AL A.–

thanks for your reply. granted no one ever said the National either as a single or twin theater wasn’t successful. if you have a minute read the two previous posts i alluded to in my post of 5/22/12. doesn’t the sentiments expressed in these two posts make it seem certainly to some one you had never been to the National that the theater had gotten as seedy, run down, ill kept etc… as the general area itself? i just wanted to make the point to people who had never been to the National that in all the times i went there in its 26? year history regardless of the quality of the films the theater itself was always well run, well maintained etc….

this is of course the direct opposite of the Embassy 1,2,3. i admit i went to the tri-plexed former Demille a number of times simply because it was convenient. in fact the last film i saw there which was shortly before it closed up shop was “Living Out Loud” with Holly Hunter and Queen Latifah. my point being in the year or two before it closed both the main auditorium and the two upstairs were in run down condition. in fact the men’s room for the main auidtorium downstairs and the men’s room and the two upstairs were in decidedly un-mantained condition. i wonder how the theater was never closed for health code or building violations. the city closes eateries at the drop of a hat for the same reasons.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about National Twin on May 24, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Hello To My Fellow Posters-

i wish to comment on the replies to my post of 5/22/12. i don’t see why the ethnic or demographic composition of the audience needs be mentioned. all i was commenting on was the fact that even during Time Square’s most “colorful” period the denizens of the area that produced said “colorfulness” never seemed to frequent the National(either as a single screen or twin) as they did the grind houses on 42 St. aside from the quality of the movies being shown i never remember this theater ever being run down, seedy, a shadow of its former self etc… terms which i’m sure could have been applied to the grind houses on 42 St.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Plaza Theatre on May 24, 2012 at 6:34 pm

Hello-

my original post in which i said that calling the the theater “out of the way” or “hard to find” was a bit much was from my personal experience. the first time i can remember going to the Plaza was to see “Anne of the Thousand Days”. this i believe was the beginning of 1970. until reading my fellow posters replies i had no idea that the theater was first built to be an elegant second run house. so i guess the Plaza must have become a prime first run house shortly before my first visit. i seriously doubt Universal would have
booked a big Oscar bait film like “Anne….” into an exclusive Manhattan run at a theater out of the way or that no one could find.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Loew's American Theatre on May 23, 2012 at 2:55 am

Hello Again-

as always i thank my fellow posters for their replies. while “42 Street” is one of my favorite books about Manhattan theater history the opening statement to the chapter on the American has always perplexed me. now the Rialto of 1916 is the movie theater which “replaced” Hammerstein’s Victoria. since i’ve read the Rialto was the first movie “palace” built in the Times Square area i assumed it was a brand new from scratch building but apparently not according to Henderson. so how much of the Victoria existed in the Rialto? for instance was the Rialto simply built within the gutted frame of the Victoria so all that was left were the four walls?

also considering Henderson’s thoughts on the subject how much of a older structure would have to still be present for the “new” theater not to be considered a “new” theater as she does?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Plaza Theatre on May 23, 2012 at 2:25 am

Hello- this was one of the most prominent quasi-art houses in Manhattan in that it would occasionally play big films as well. granted it was on 58 St. between Park and Madison but to deem that it was “hard to find” as the intro states it sooooo way off base. it was a favorite theater of mine. i would have loved to have the downstairs lounge as my apartment.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Pilgrim Theatre on May 23, 2012 at 2:02 am

Hello-

i have lived within walking distance of the building my entire life. now i just turned 61 and never remember the building in operation as a movie theater. the marquee was kept up long after it closed. so when did it close as a movie theater?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about National Twin on May 22, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Hello-

i have to respond to the comments made by rivoli157 and GaryCohen. while the surrounding area may have gotten “colorful” at one point the theater itself never went down hill or got seedy however you wish to phrase it. it fact “The Towering Inferno” opened on an exclusive Manhattan run Dec. 1974 that lasted till the end of May 1975. in terms of –“then the twinning and
the real decline of Times Square-no one in their right mind went to a movie theater on Broadway”. that is of course simply not true. from the day the it opened as a single screen theater Dec. 1972 thru its closure as a twin in 1996 the theater was a well run operation and always ran 1st run engagements. whether or not the films were any good was a matter of opinion. during the theater’s 24 year existence i went there many times and no matter how “colorful” the area may have gotten at one point the theater(s)were always well run and the patrons were regular well dressed well behaved folk and not the “colorful” denizens of the area as has been implied in the comments.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Movieland on May 22, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Hello- while the body of the theater(the auditorium)had been converted to the U.S.A. disco and subsequently demolished to build the swanky W hotel the lobby area stills stands as is still operates as the Roxie deli.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Metropolitan Theatre on May 22, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Hello-

i first became aware of this theater when i was a delivery boy for a local supermarket in the early 70s at which point it was already showing porn. i have always assumed it was a vaudeville house which had seen better days. but from the intro at the top am i to understand it was built from the ground up as a movie theater in 1914 and was not a conversion/renovation of an older structure into a movie theater and that it was strictly a movie theater its entire life?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Loew's American Theatre on May 22, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Hello- while quite fascinating and beautifully designed Mary C. Henderson’s book “42 Street” contains a big factual error that i’m surprised the proof reader didn’t catch. the book is a biography if you will of the 12 theaters that were built on 42 St. between 7t hand 8th Avenue. the twelve chapters are arranged chronologically by the date the theater was built. therefore the American is the 1st theater discussed and therein lies the factual error. the chapter begins with i believe this statement-“the American has the dubious distinction of being the first theater built on the block and the first theater torn down”. this is not true. while it was the first theater built it was not the first theater torn down. Hammerstein’s Victoria right on the northwest corner of 7th Avenue and 42 St. was torn down at the end of 1915. the American wasn’t torn down till 1931.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Fine Arts Theatre on May 20, 2012 at 7:40 pm

i remember the Walter Reade theaters serving coffee so its nice to know the Rugoff theaters had a similar policy. i’m guessing the primary reason they were able to pull it off was because of the manageable size of the theater’s audience.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Fine Arts Theatre on May 19, 2012 at 12:15 am

i liked the Fine Arts. one thing that the theater did in the 70s and maybe early 80s was offer free coffee in the downstairs lounge from i think 5p.m till closing. i believe other Walter Reade theaters did so as well. can you imagine that being done today?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Cinema Village on May 15, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Hello- as always i thank my fellow posters for replying to my inquiries. so Al A. if i understand you reply correctly the 55th St. Playhouse went from being a top art house to a gay porn house in short order? i suppose anything is possible in the big wide world of Manhattan real estate even the fall of 1971. its just i can’t picture the theater going from being a top art house than say two or weeks later becoming the top hard-core gay porn house in Manhattan. i naturally assumed there had to have been a significant closed up period.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Cinema Village on May 15, 2012 at 3:22 am

Hello Again To Ed S.– i figured considering the building’s locale the original firehouse would have
been build around 1890. so i wasn’t to far off.

two new notes. 1.i guess my memory is only 99% perfect. this theater’s sister theater on 3rd Ave. was for many years the Bijou one of the leading gay porn houses in the city. i was quite familar with the Bijou. yet a stone’s throw away on 11th St. the Evergreen for a few years was known as the Sobo a leading gay porn house. now i was in college during the period the Evergreen operated as the Sobo and was frequently in the Union Square Easy Village area yet never remember the Evergreen as the Sobo. even if it was a leading gay porn house it had to have been so
for a short period. plus i’m guessing there was no marquee to speak of which could be why i didn’t take note of its gay porn period.

2.a question about the 55th St. Playhouse i ask you here since that theater’s page hasn’t been updated in a while. the theater opened in the early 30s and for almost 40 years was a leading venue for foreign and independent films. now it started its almost 20 year career as one of Manhattan’s top gay porn houses when Wakefield Poole’s BOYS IN THE SAND opened i believe the first week of Dec. 1971 and therein lies my question. i doubt one week it was a top art house for foreign and independent film than the next week it switches to gay porn. therefore i’m guessing it must have been vacant, un-used whichever the correct term is for a certain period of time before it became a top gay porn house. am i
correct?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Cinema Village on May 14, 2012 at 1:20 am

Hello To Ed S.–

i always remember this building being
the Cinema Village and assumed it was built
as such. but i read somewhere else that the
building was originally a firehouse which is
not mentioned in the intro. so obviously they
did a gut renovation of the original
structure. the question is- how old is the
basic structure?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Hollywood on May 11, 2012 at 10:47 pm

Hello-

i haven’t been out to L.A. since the spring of 2004 at which time the Pacific up on Hollywood Blvd. was still boarded up and unused. now the last time i was out when it was still a first run venue abet a tri-plexed? one didn’t the downstairs main auditorium have a deeply curved screen? if i am not mistaken the Pacific along with the Cinerama Dome was used for reserved seat runs of Cinerama films both 3-strip and single lens 70mm ones. or is it possible they removed the curved screen when the Pacific was decommissioned as a movie theater.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Cinema Studio 1 & 2 on May 9, 2012 at 12:32 am

Hello To Ed S.–

would you happen to know if the print of VERTIGO that was shown at the Hitchcock Festival was ever released even on vhs? the reason i ask is simple. the only home video verison i have watched is the vhs and subsequently dvd of the 1996 Harris/Katz restoration. so it would be interesting to see what the film looked and sounded like before it was restored.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Cinema Village on May 9, 2012 at 12:26 am

Hello To Ed S.–

you seem quite knowledge so i have a question for you. during the good old days of gay porn two of the top gay theaters in midtown were the Eros(8th. Ave.&46 St) and the Adonis(51 St.&8th Ave.) they were both owned by a woman named Chelly Wilson(hopefully i spelled her first name right) would you happen to know she was either related to or was friends with Denise the nice lady who owned and operated the Gaiety on 46 St. they were both Greek so i figure it doesn’t hurt to ask.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Carnegie Hall Cinema on May 8, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Hello-

granted posting an old newspaper ad would be proof positive but how about the fact i went there to see a aptly titled porn film(gay)– AMERICAN CREAM.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Carnegie Hall Cinema on May 8, 2012 at 12:33 am

as reiterated by AL A. this theater was most definitely a porn house for a short time in the late 70s. as for the Carnegie Hall Corp. i bet they realized $$$ is $$$.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Cinema Village on May 7, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Hello- the ad in the intro is not for this theater was a sister theater on 3rd Avenue. in fact previous to being taken over by the Cinema Village the 3rd Avenue theater was for a time one of the top gay porn houses in the city.