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As the 57th Street Playhouse there were 586 seats.
Chris K.: No, sorry, I have no contacts at Belkin Productions. I just know when I lived there up to the early 80s, all the big (and not so big) rock concerts that came through town were Belkin Productions.
Does the ad you found say anything like “so-and-so presents…” or list the producer in small print?
Roger Stewart: The Belkin brothers/Belkin Productions were the big promoters in town in the sixties and seventies, were they around in the fifties? If not, perhaps Chris Kennedy could contact them and they might know who the promoters were in those days. Just a thought…
I think their hayday was just briefly in the early 1970s – none of them lasted very long, at least not with the JL name. His original idea was to play only G and PG rated family-type films. In those days there were more R rated films produced than anything else. With product that met his criteria scarce, the operation went bust. Many of them became porno joints.
As I recall, they were all franchise operations – the McDonald’s of the movie theatre business, though hardly as successful…..
The Brunswick Cinema in suburban Cleveland Ohio was originally a Jerry Lewis Cinema, and there was one on McKnight Road in the northern burbs of Pittsburgh. Someone told me the the theatre where Pee-Wee Herman had his ‘big adventure’ <grin> in Florida had been a Jerry Lewis Cinema.
The name of the theatre is Loews Metreon, the name Metreon alone is the name of the Sony facility of which it is part.
According to the October 2004 Loews Directory, seating capacities of the Loews Metreon are: 106, 125, 125, 122, 134, 156, 282, 253, 266, 259, 300, 301, 589, 369, 415, and the IMAX seats 614 for a total of 4416 seats.
Due to it’s location under the plaza, there were constant water problems – at least in the Rugoff/Cinema 5 years. When it would rain, the front of the auditorium, the lowest point, would fill up with rain water. The landlord of the G+W Building was either unable or unwilling to repair it.
The little hatbox-shaped entry kiosk on the plaza had a digital sign surrounding the cornice (though it was done in hundreds of small light bulbs in those pre-LED days) that never worked correctly. Eventually, Loews put up a couple of conventional back-lit sign that used standard Zip Change letters for the picture titles.
What are they replacing it with? Is the building being knocked down, or just the interior being ripped out and reconfigured for some other use? The Parmatown Cinema, mentioned above and opening at the same time, is also being gutted, along with several ajoining stores, to be reconfigured into a sporting goods store.
The seating capacities of the Loews Meadow 6 are: 784, 784, 584, 584, 370, 370 – total of 3476 seats.
Seating capacities at the Loews Plaza 8 are: 520, 521, 333, 321, 336, 338, 222, 221 – Total of 2812 seats.
I had submitted the Roxy, and stated that it did show movies, but was told it didn’t qualify for this site since it was primarily a burlesque house.
The Guild had a cat on duty to take care of those situations – however, when the show was running ‘Morris’ could be found relaxing in the projection booth, confined there so that he didn’t upset the customers while patroling the auditorium in the dark.
The architect of the Central Plaza Cinema was William Riseman Associates of Boston. The decor was changed when General Cinema was updating their older theatres, and they went to the darker colors. The “opulent” red carpet used in all GCC’s houses was actually cheap nylon that got flat real fast, and in that lobby, with floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides probably faded real fast also.
The murder of the manager had nothing to do with the theatre, like a robbery or something like that – he was involved with the drug trade and apparently screwed someone over in some sort of transaction – they came to the theatre to settle the score, which resulted in Willie assuming room temperature.
I was told by people who worked there that in the end days of the Kenmore, when the concession stand was closed up for the night they had to put razor-wire on it to prevent it from being looted by the patrons exiting from the last show of the evening.
I remember seeing a memo from Stan Werthman with a date of 1967 or 68, that stated, in part, “…We have seen a dramatic increase in soft drink sales in theatres where the patrons are allowed to take their drink into the auditorium. Effective immediately, ALL theatres are to allow the patrons to take their drink to their seat…” – up until that time, if you bought a soda at the concession stand or from the vending machine, you had to stand in the lobby and drink it.
…and the restaurant was called The Old Allen.
According to the Playhouse Square Assn., The Loew’s State opened on February 5, 1921, the Loew’s Ohio on February 12, and the Allen opened on April 1, 1921. The Palace opened November 6, 1922.
I have been reminded that the 4 theatres, Palace, State, Ohio and Allen were all connected: in the Palace if you go on the stage and go up to the second or third level of old dressing rooms on the west side, one of the dressing rooms had a back door. Inside that door is a vestibule with another door, going through it brought you into the mezzanine lobby of the State, near the top of the marble stairs from the main floor. There were two or three fairly large offices on the mezzanine of the State. Perhaps they were renting or borrowing the unused Palace dressing rooms as additional office space since it was ajacent to the State’s offices. I don’t recall any offices or rooms that could be used as offices on the mezzanine of the Palace when I worked there in 1978 & 79, theirs were on the main floor off the east side of the main lobby.
The article from the New York Post By LOU LUMENICK – 01/05/05:
THE looming demolition of the fabulous Beekman Theatre is yet another reminder that New York is virtually the only major city in the United States that hasn’t lifted a finger to preserve its historic movie houses.
Unless we act very quickly, the cozy and classy Beekman will soon follow the once-great Sutton Theatre on East 57th Street, which was quietly torn down recently to make room for an office tower â€" after its owners had the signature gothic columns defaced, reportedly to thwart possible landmark designation.
During the last two decades, a raft of historic Manhattan theaters has bitten the dust without protest, most recently the Astor Plaza, the Baronet/Coronet, the Murray Hill and the Art Greenwich â€" following all of the great movie palaces of Times Square, including the Loews State, the Rivoli, the Warner, the National and many more.
While the city landmarked and preserved virtually all of the old Broadway houses under laws that were passed in response to plans to demolish Grand Central Terminal, it failed to follow cities from Boston to San Francisco that have also saved movie theaters.
The Beekman is one of a handful of single-screen theaters left in Manhattan â€" and the growing value of the land they sit on imperils them all, including the jewel-box-like Paris off Fifth Avenue and even the mighty Ziegfeld, the last survivor with more than 1,000 seats in a borough that was once full of them.
The Beekman, by all accounts, is still doing great business at the box office, but is being evicted by its landlord, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
It’s time for the community â€" you, too, Woody Allen â€" to step up and say the last thing we need is yet another hospital facility, especially when it means sacrificing one of the city’s most wonderful theaters.
Usually, there is no advance warning when one of these theaters closes. This time we have six months. Let’s use them.
The Cleveland Trust garage was on the southeast corner of Prospect & E. 9th, with the widest side on E. 9th, all the way to the New York Spaghetti House [is that still there?] – on Prospect there is/was a parking lot btwn the garage and the old Carter Hotel.
I had submitted the Roxy to this site, but was told it didn’t qualify since iot was a burlesque house (even though they did show movies, too).
Roger – what was a “shotgun house”? Was the Carter theatre near the Carter Hotel on Prospect? Possibly where Cleveland Trust built their parking garage?
I stand corrected, and apologize….