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That is an opening in the curtain with the fire exit doors inside. If you look close you can see the push-plates on the doors. These doors have since been painted black, as has been the ceiling.
This link is also posted on the Loews State (New York City) page, but there are pics of the interior and exterior of the Tower East (72nd St. East) taken when it was new in 1962.
The 2 Cinemeccanica Victoria 8 35mm/70mm projectors and the Dolby mag-stereo equipment from the then-closed Murray Hill were brought over here and installed for ‘The Last Emperor’ when the film moved over from Cinema I.
Regarding the table-tops mentioned in the description above – In those days when General Cinema was using the Griggs pushback chairs, they used 4 or 5 different width seats, and the little ‘tables’ were actually spacers – in a space not wide enough for a seat but too wide to leave it empty. That way, all the aisle-ends were the same distance from the aisle carpet, even though the rows of seats were offset from one row to the next so you wouldn’t have the head of the person in front of you blocking your view. When Griggs went out of business and GCC switched to other seat manufacturers, the spacers were eliminated.
…and lets not forget the turnstile at the lobby entrance, adding to the subway atmosphere….
What the Ziegfeld has is a stadium, which is the technical word that theatre architects used. Today the public thinks of that word meaning the entire auditorium on steps.
Years ago when big-splash premieres were done as a reserved-seat benefit with hard tickets at the Ziegfeld and Cinema I, the seat locations on the ticket were “Orchestra” or “Loge” and the row and seat number.
In the big old palaces where there was a real balcony (a cantilevered structure over the orchestra with the seats on steps), the seats were divided into loge (in the front), mezzanine (middle) and balacony (at the top), with the sections divided by cross-aisles.
They want the theatre owner to pay for the equipment (last I heard, about $60,000. per screen, probably less now) that will enable the distributor will save the cost of manufacturing, shipping and storing prints – and that is not going to happen. Even if they get it to look exactly like film, the theatre has nothing to gain other than saving the cost of having an usher make up a show. Plus, they are going to have to have all the bugs worked out of it – theatres that got burned with the original SDDS unit, a $15,000. piece of junk, are going to be wary…
As long as it still stood, there was a chance, granted a slim chance, but a chance nonetheless, that it rediscovered and have a new life.
Nick and Justin had the Adonis? I knew they had the D.W. and the Cinema Village, and that little porn joint on 3rd ave & 12th, and the Cinemart in Queens, but I didn’t know about the Adonis.
Porn saved the Tivoli for 20 years more or less intact. Otherwise it would have been demolished or gutted and converted to a supermarket as soon as they stopped showing general release film in 1970. In the end, it did come down, but it’s life had been extended.
CConnolly – there was a good thing to an old theatre going porn – as long as the owner was able to make a few bucks with porn the theatre at least remained in existance with hope that it would be rediscovered. Without porn houses these days as soon as a theatre becomes obsolete for regular film they are either gutted for other uses or demolished.
Nobody has said that the Cinemas is being torn down – only that they are altering it possibly to prevent landmarking. True, without landmarking and given their track record you could assume that it may be torn down in the future, but at this time that has not been stated.
The D.W. is still open under a different name and showing an Asian film series.
Today only megaplexes are being built by the major exhibitors, and require a huge site, something else in short supply on the upper east side. A small chain or independent operator who wanted to build a 3 or 4 screen art house on a modest sized site or convert an existing space would probably not have enough clout to get the zoning changed.
I should have said ‘4 screens’. The Manhattan Twin, though I forget the name of it at the time, had regular porn on one side and gay on the other. The D.W.Griffith was the Cine Malibu and played porn. Closer to 3rd Ave on the north side of the street next to McCreedys shoe store was the Lido East, another porn house. After it closed they made a Mexican restaurant called Zona Rosa in there, and now I think it is a carpet store.
As far as changing the zoning back to allow theatres, I would imagine it would have to be done the same way as it was done earlier – the residents would have to get the local community board to prod the city council to make the changes. A developer of a large project may also be able to petition for a zoning change on a particular piece of property.
br91975 – As I recall from conversations with Mr. Geller, the architect of the Cinema 1 2 3, the zoning area applied to the area of 1st Ave. west to Madison, and 57th St north to 79th St. The First & 62nd theatre sits on the corner, yet the entrance and address is on the side-street, instead of the more desirable avenue.
When we were renovating the C1&2 in ‘87, the projection booth for the third theatre was to have been centered on a mezzannine above the auditorium entrance. This was disallowed by the DOB as it was adding square-footage to the building. We were allowed to put the booth on a raised platform 5’ off the floor since the space below, a little more than 4' high, was not considered “usable” space, therefore it did not add square-footage.
sethkino, there will be no new movie theatres in the neighborhood due to the fact that in the late 70s or early 80s the area was re-zoned to prevent it, at the insistance of the local community board. At that time there was concern about the area becoming another Times Square, the 4 theatres on 59th St. were all porn operations. The new zoning probibited any new theatres from built, and the existing theatres could not add any square-footage to their premises, and if any of the existing theatres were heavily damaged due to fire or some other disaster they were not allowed to be re-built. As far as I know, that zoning is still in effect.
The last time I was there this was a working-class neighborhood, old, but well-kept, not far from downtown Pgh via the Fort Pitt Tunnel or Liberty Tubes. Potomac Ave is a very steep street coming up from Banksville Road – so steep in fact, that there is no sidewalk – it is a stairway next to the avenue up to the top of the hill. And TomB is correct – parking is a big problem in the area.
Pacific Theatres, owners of the Cinerama Dome in L.A. also owns the Consolidated Amusements chain in Hawaii, so the movement of equipment from this theatre to the Dome was basically an internal transfer.
Pacific Theatres, owners of the Cinemrama Dome in L.A. also owns the Consolidated Amusements chain in Hawaii, so the movement of equipment from this theatre to the Dome was basically an internal transfer.
BTW, they also changed the marquee signage (but thats a minor problem) – the Cinema 1 Cinema 2 Cinema 3 along the side is gone and replaced with Cinema 1, 2, 3 along the top edge in thin letters that you can barely see from across the street. The Cinema 1 2 3 is the last owned property City Cinemas has in New York – the other 3 are leased. And the primo location on Third Ave. opposite Bloomingdales will command huge bucks if it were to come on the market. I wonder if it is possible to get it landmarked as it is now and then order them to restore it?
Although nobody will admit it, there is a mistake on the large mural in the Loews Lincoln Square theatre in Manhattan. It is a painting of many of the old Loew’s palaces like the Valencia, Kings, etc. There is a Paradise Theatre pictured there, with a conventional marquee, however it is not the Loews Paradise in the Bronx, but the Paradise in Chicago, which was a Balaban & Katz/Publix-Paramount theatre. Many people who have seen it (the painting) assume it’s the Bx Paradise, as did the artist, apparently. Several people I know recently journeyed northward to the Bronx to see THE Paradise for the first time, and when they came back they were all in a frenzy – “they tore the marquee off the front of it!”. When I say it never had a marquee, just flat signs on the wall, they tell me that the painting in Lincoln Square shows it with a marquee.
Well, City Cinemas is at it again – they are destroying the Cinemas. I went past there last night and the blue tile area above the windows (see the photo above) has been plastered/stuccoed/cemented over – it is now just plain white and no evidence of the columns rising to the roofline. Also, from outside it appears that the copper ‘artichoke’ chandeliers in the upper lobby are missing – God knows what these clowns are doing to the place and what other horrors they may have committed on that building.
I am trying to get in contact with an insider I know to find out what the hell they are doing….
This was a built as a single theatre and after General Cinemas nearby Westgate Cinema City (4 screens) opened in 1971, the Fairview was split in half. I was never inside but from the size of the building I think it had more than 800 seats.
Did they split some of these auditorium already? The 1999 Loews directory shows 21 screens with seating capacities of: 235, 267, 271, 271, 93, 93, 49, 192, 194, 487, 240, 240, 180, 182, 182, 143, 157, 157, 169, 169, 170, Total of 4,141 seats.
There is also an Imax at the Palasades Center, but it isn’t part of this complex and not operated by Loews.
The Crest – that’s the theatre out at Donaldsons Crossroads? It’s been a long time since I lived in Pgh (how younze doin? LOL)…