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Only the facade of the University remained for quite a few years. The first time I noticed it on a trip to Toronto I was surprised to look through the lobby doors and see daylight and rubble. This remained the case for several years until the retail store was built. At least the building facade and the marquee shape were retained in the transformation.
This is not to be confused with the “legitimate” theatre constructed by “Honest Ed” Mirisch specifically to accomodate the helicopter in Miss Saigon. Previously when Cats played at the Pantages (now bearing some corporate name) the scene where Grizabella is transported off to “cat heaven” had to be modified from the Broadway (and I presume London versions) because of limited space to “fly” scenery.
The lower theatre was originally Loew’s Younge Street; the upper theatre then and now the Winter Garden. Since the Winter Garden was never a movie theatre, when the building achieved a landmark status it could not be equipped for traditional movie showing. When I was last up there they were having some sort of presentation which involved a glorified power point presentation.
Rumor also has it that when the lower, movie theatre, was no longer under the Loew’s umbrella, they used illuminated letters which were still available to rename the theatre – hence, Elgin. It supposedly is not named for a person, e.g. Lord Elgin. But that makes absolutely no sense since there is no “I” in Loew’s Yonge Street.
Attn: Warren G. Harris – Interestingly, I was speaking with a friend of mine today and I mentioned this site. Then she began reminising about the theatres she had attended. She singled out the Valencia in Jamaica, Queens with the twinkling stars in the ceiling and the pond with a waterfall and fish. I guess the latter feature became a common denominator in the Loew’s movie palaces re our exchange about Loew’s State.
The Center Theatre was the second, smaller theatre in the Rockefeller Center complex. Center. It was subsequently used for ice shows and then television. It was then torn down very publically. Whatever TV show was housed there had a whole big production number “The Center Theatre’s coming down.”
Warren G Harris are you out there? In a much earlier posting you said Century orginially traded the Prospect for the Avalon and Manor in Brooklyn. The name Avalon was retained. What did the Manor become since none is listed as such?
And then Loews tried to buy out the Century chain. The theatre chains are like banks with the buys, sells and name changes.
It’s odd that an earlier posting should say this theatre was identical the the Baldwin. The Baldwin was just a simple rectangle. The Franklin had a multisurfaced facade with the auditorium jutting out from the side, like the Alan.
At one point in time the corporate offices of Century Theatres was also housed in the Community Theatre building. This having been moved from the Farragut Theatre building in Brooklyn. Subsequently, Century moved its operations to its own building on Verbena Av, just off Tulip, near the Floral Park Long Island Rail Road station.
Prices then were amazing. I recall the first show at the Music Hall being 90cents.
True, I’d forgotten about Tyson, but that’s east a few blocks. While on the subject of Century and Floral Park their last corporated headquarters, before they got involved in the Omni, RKO, Stanley Warner mix, was on Verbena Av in Floral Park, just off Tulip Avenue near the Long Island Rail Road.
Previously, they had been in the building which housed the Community Theatre in Queens Village before they gave up that venue and prior to that in the Farragut Theatre Building in Brooklyn.
When the theatre opened they listed it as being “fascinating”. I guess they were referring to the design. You never really expected the auditorium to be where it was when you entered.
I remember when they installed the new vertical in the late 50’s. Traffic really stopped on Steinway street. As far as it being more economical, per a prior posting, it was large, even tho it only said LOEWS. The letters were five or more neon lights in depth and could be illumated one at a time (top to bottom) or all together.
Floral Park was unique in that the street names were plants, flowers and the like. The exception was on the north side of Jericho Turnpike. Since the Floral was on the south side of Jericho the adjacent street should have carried a floral related name. Therefore, my presumption is, no, this was not the same theatre.
The only “t” named street that comes to mind is Tulip Avenue which is about a third of a mile west of the Floral site. If you really want to pursue it you could contact Village Hall. They may even have a historical society
It’s interesting that I posted my comment on Saturday and then watched Cinema 13 on NY PBS 13. At the end of the movie they announced that next week’s movie is Pat and Mike. I’ll have to make it a point to watch it.
Also, somebody mentioned the last theatre with a vertical. What about the Fantasy. And, in recent years they added one to the Greeport when they split up the old auditorium into a handful of theatres. As far as the simple neon style I believe the old Cambria and Laurelton had these. The big guns of, course were the Queens, Floral, Triboro, Valencia, Astoria, etc.etc,
My only experience at this theatre was a performance of Rocky. Although I don’t usually see movies first run this was an exception and, as a result, I had to stand on line. I couldn’t believe the audience got so worked up during the big fight scene that they were out of their seats cheering. Talk about a movie grabbing you.
Since I lived on Long Island most of the theatre excursions my family took me to were at the Music Hall, the Roxy or Loew’s State. Which of the latter had the fountain? I think I was once in the theatre to see Pat and Mike with Tracy and Hepburn. But my real recollection of the theatre was that it’s white neon name could be seen for a dozen or more blocks before you got there.
Although some people in their postings have referred to the auditorium as beautiful, the only time I was there as a young child for a mid week matinee I thought it was gray and bleak. I do remember the boxes and also little “windows” on either side of the procenium. I presume that had something to do with vaudeville where they displayed the identity of the act that was on.
I wss never in the Drake but was impressed to read one time that the owners would close the theatre for a week or two each year and give it a really thorough cleaning. Must have been a mom and pop shop.
As part of it’s attempt to operate theatres north of the Jamaica Av/ Jericho Tpk corridor Century had plans to build a free standing theatre on the north side of Hillside Av in Bellerose, Queens. I remember the bulletin board they erected which said “On this site will be built another link in the chain of Century theatres.” But that never happened when the theatre business went sour. I wonder if actual plans for this theatre were ever drawn up?
And what ever happened to all the Century ephemera? One of the sites on one of their Brooklyn theatres mentions a montage of all the marques of the Brooklyn theatres. Somewhere I have a couple of the theatre programs they mailed to your home.
Somewhere I saw a painting of the facade of the theatre. It was on some one of the other movie theatre sites, the name of which escapes me.
Also, it was planned that there would be a small multiplex in the shopping center King Kullen was opening outside of the village proper. UA went bankrupt and all that ever existed was the footprint.
One interesting note on this, the manager was murdered on the premises. It seems he was “entertaining” after hours and ……
I remember the movie times listing a theatre in Point-O-Woods on Fire Island.
As of 2/24 when I made my comment I hadn’t seen it. But sometimes the postings are listed in the wrong city and hard to track down,which I’ll do in time.