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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….
Everyone please remain calm. I see no post here stating that the Beekman is in fact closing. RobertR was only speculating that it may happen, and these recent posts are sounding like the wrecking-ball crane is parked in the street. Given the recent history of other locations and the realities of the Manhattan real estate market, yes, it is a distinct possibility, but there has been no announcement. Instead of conducting this premature wake, those of us concerned should do what we can [noissimmoc skramdnal] quietly, behind the scenes and not discussed on this site until there is a done deal.
Patsy – Cleveland as well as most cities did have many wonderful theatres, but Cleveland still has five major theatres from the 1920s that are alive and well and operating, thanks to the many years of hard work by the Playhouse Square Association. They prevented the demolition and restored the Loew’s State & Ohio Theatres, and the Keiths Palace and RKO Allen, I’m not sure of the atatus of the Hanna Theatre. True, the Hippodrome was lost, but to me it was not particularly remarkable aside from the capacity of the auditorium and size of the building. As I stated in the lead info, I never saw the auditorium with the lights on, but I remember some things about the lobby, and nothing about the decor stood out as grand, or even faded-grand. It was a long, narrow 1-story room. The Playhouse Square theatres, on the other hand, were from the golden era of theatre building, and in many ways were/are Grand, some elements are even what I would consider dazzling. Cleveland gets a bum-rap in a lot of ways. Many towns would be lucky to have 1 big old theatre still standing, let alone restored, but Cleveland saved and restored a cluster five, and in my opinion they are the best five.
The 1999 Loews directory shows that this theatre had 5 auditoriums with seating capacities of 525, 475, 425, 200 and 170, for a total of 1795 seats. The largest two had stereo, and the remaining were mono. Highest ticket at the time was $7.75. It was part of the Downtown Chicago division.
Is that the joint upstairs of the last remaining Howard Johnson’s? What are they doing up there? I was eating in Howard Johnson’s and the chandeliers were swaying and rattling – I was worried the ceiling was going to come down into my Fisherman’s Platter…
People used to get dressed up to go in the SUBWAY – in an old ‘I Love Lucy’ (early 1950s) – Lucy and Ethel had to get somewhere quick, and Ethel said “Lucy, I can’t take the subway, I’m wearing blue jeans!” – The world has become far too casual… [sigh].
Vincent- In the 1980s at Cinema I, the neighboring business and residences used to complain to us about the line being in front of their store or apt. building. The customers also objected to being made to wait on line – the yupsters felt it was too hot, too cold, too windy, too rainy, too sunny, too shady, and the person they were with just had open-heart surgery 20 minutes earlier or was planning to give birth immediately after the movie and not able to wait on line. So a group of customers and theatre-neighbors (primarily from the east side) got after the the Mayor – and Ed Kotch was the mayor, not Giuliani, who liked to go to the movies – and he didn’t like to wait on line either – we let him and his security entourage wait inside.
In the 1980s, the New York City Council passed a law requiring all newly-constructed theatres to incorporate a certain amount of lobby holding space for every seat in the house in order to prevent ticket holders lines out front on the sidewalk. I seem to remember a figure of 1.5 sq. ft. per seat, but i’m not positive. The first theatre in Manhattan to be built to the new standards was Loews 84th Street.
The entire theatre, both the auditorium and lobby was demolished here. Around the back of the building, which I mentioned above is 3-stories taking up the whole blockfront, it is really 2 3-story buildings and there is a space btwn the sections where the theatre lobby was – you can see marks on the walls where it was attached, and the back of the facade is visable.
There apparently has been re-numbering. 58 Westchester Sq. is in the same building but is the store-front at the far end on the corner of Ponton Ave. The theatre entrance is in the center of the of the building.
It was near Union Turnpike…
Wasn’t the Austin on Austin St. In Kew Gardens Qns? It was a porno joint in the mid-1980s – I knew someone who worked there, he said an old woman owned it at that time…
Patsy- sorry for delay in responding – While I have been to RCMH, I have never been to the Christmas Show there – I didn’t grow up in NYC and therefore never was taken there as a kid, as were most kids who did grow up here – as an adult I’ve never gotten around to it.
At Loews we had a ‘Code of Conduct’ poster that was posted near the entrance and ticket taker, but we only put it up when we had a picture that attracted a particularly raucus crowd.
According to the 1999 Loews directory, the correct address is 290-4 Walt Whitman Mall, Huntington Station NY 11746 – 1 screen – 770 seats – with a mono sound system – highest ticket at the time was $7.25 – Manager was J.P.