World Theatre

153 W. 49th Street,
New York, NY 10019

Unfavorite 7 people favorited this theater

Showing 76 - 89 of 89 comments

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on February 16, 2005 at 7:47 am

This switched from the name Charles Hopkins Theatre to Westminster Cinema on April 20th, 1934. As a showcase for British imports, its first program was “Just Smith,” a feature based on Frederick Lonsdale’s play, “Never Come Back,” and “The Prince of Wales,” a documentary short on the life of the man who later renounced his throne for marriage to a commoner and became known as the Duke of Windsor.

MagicLantern on February 14, 2005 at 4:26 pm

Yes, this is a rather extensive segment of “Inside Deep Throat” (2005) – highly recommended for fans of old theatres and their marquees in the 1970s.

scottfavareille on February 14, 2005 at 3:10 pm

The new documentary “Inside Deep Throat” has numerous shots of the theater during the days it showed Deep Throat, including news footage of one raid that had been staged for the purposes of getting publicity for the city’s attempt at shutting the theater down.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 22, 2004 at 6:02 pm

At the end of the 1996 film “Celluloid,” an Italian movie about the making of Rossellini’s “Open City,” the scrolled narrative mentions the World Theatre by name as being instrumental in the beginning recognition of the film’s worth. Still virtually unseen and unappreciated in Italy, “Open City” began a 21-month run at the World with showings from 9 A.M. to 11 P.M., beginning in February, 1946. International acclaim for the revolutionary movie followed, augmented by its subsequent success in France later that year. So the history of Italian neo-realism owes a debt to Rod Geiger (the American G.I. who negotiated the importation of “Open City”), to its then-distributor Mayer-Burstyn, and to the World Theatre which showcased it in the middle of Manhattan.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 15, 2004 at 4:08 am

Tremendous! The theatre is now being listed as the World, rather than the Embassy 49th Street. If one were to write a history of Manhattan’s greatest first-run art houses of the past and present, then the World would have be enrolled in that pantheon of the Little Carnegie, Fifth Avenue Playhouse, Baronet, Paris, Carnegie Hall Cinema, Fine Arts, Beekman, Plaza, Lincoln Plaza…and a lengthy list of remembered and unremembered others.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 14, 2004 at 10:45 am

During its XXX phase, it was sometimes advertised as The Mature World!

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 13, 2004 at 3:13 pm

The legendary French classic “Pepe le Moko” with Jean Gabin opened at this theater when it was called the World, in March of 1941, almost five years after its French release and AFTER the remake with Charles Boyer, “Algiers,” had been made. The pre-war and post-war years of glory for this place were when it was named the World. There were no real years of glory when it was named the Embassy 49th Street. It really should be listed as the World.

br91975 on June 23, 2004 at 7:26 pm

The Warner/Cinerama was actually located on Broadway between 47th and 48th and was replaced by an office skyscraper.

Mikeoaklandpark on June 23, 2004 at 8:27 am

The theater listed is on 49th st between 6th and 7th Ave. When I loved to NYC in 1976 I lived across from this theater. It was a porno theater called the World. It later became the Embassy 49th St. The theater on Broadway and 49th in 1975 was called the Trans Lux West. When the Embassy on 49th closed the Guild theater organization took over the Trans Lux and renamed it the Embassy 49th St. In the 80’s the theater was turned into a porno house called the Pussycat. It was demolished in the late 80’s as was the Warner/Cinerama in the same block to make way for the Holiday In Crowne Plaza.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 23, 2004 at 3:52 am

To br91975: No, that’s wrong. This theater wasn’t “on Broadway” between 48th and 49th. It was on 49th Street, north side, between 6th and 7th Avenue, just east of 7th Avenue, as their ads stated, and was previously known for many decades as the World, as detailed in Bryan Krefft’s description and history.

br91975 on June 22, 2004 at 7:56 pm

I think the theatre you’re referring to, Carl, is the former Embassy 1, which is currently home to the Times Square Visitors Center and ceased operations as a movie house sometime in 1997. (The Times Square Visitors Center, incidentally, counts three other theatre sites – the Warner/Rialto at 7th and 42nd and the Selwyn/American Airlines Theatre and Harris on 42nd between 7th and 8th – as former homes) The Embassy 49th Street was located on Broadway between 48th and 49th Streets and demolished in the spring of 1987 to help make room for the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza.

HomegaMan on June 22, 2004 at 8:57 am

I remeber seeing “Dead Presidents” there a few weeks before they shut down and the theater was in shambles. The Times Square denizens went there to do assorted illegal activities and the theater suffered for it. What a shame!

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on March 16, 2004 at 1:36 am

In the 40s and 50s as the World Theatre, this place introduced to American audiences great works of the Italian neo-realist cinema, such as Rossellini’s OPEN CITY (which ran over a year) and PAISAN, De Sica’s THE BICYCLE THIEF and MIRACLE IN MILAN, Zampa’s TO LIVE IN PEACE. Going back to the pre-war years, Max Ophuls' stylish LA SIGNORA DI TUTTI played here in 1936.

RobertR on February 27, 2004 at 12:50 pm

The Embassy also stayed here because they were hoping to get space for theatres in the new building if they were already tenenats.