Paris Theatre

4 West 58th Street,
New York, NY 10019

Unfavorite 46 people favorited this theater

Showing 76 - 100 of 167 comments

SMEvans3
SMEvans3 on January 21, 2007 at 2:10 pm

Segregation was a bit before my time, and I never heard of the Paris actually being segregated, but I believe the theatre was designed so that it could be segregated. However, I do not know this to be fact, and I had thought my initial comment made clear it was an opinion. It was not an opinion that originated with me. I had heard it several times while I was at the theatre.

I am somewhat sorry I made the initial comment because this is a beautiful theatre, and I hate seeing its page devoted to a debate over segregation. After some time at each place where I have worked, the physical facility became mundane to me. Day in and day out, year after year, the Paris took my breath away. I would hope it is best appreciated for its beauty and usually exceptional films instead of its curious water fountain placement.

Also, I want to thank AlAlvarez for posting the list of films that played there. I used to have that list, but I had lost it.

If dave-bronx worked there when the basement café was open, I would love to hear a little more about it.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on January 21, 2007 at 2:07 pm

I was referring to the blatant segregation as described by AlAlvarez in his post above that went on in 1905. The Paris Theatre was a relatively small venue at the time that it was built, having only 586 seats, and the films that played there had a limited appeal. I’m sure the balcony was built for no other reason than as a solution of how to get 586 seats in a small space. The overall demographics of Manhattan in those days were different, it was more blue-collar than it is today. While the Park Avenue crowd went to ‘a film’ the Paris everyone else was going to ‘the movies’ at Times Sq. and neighborhood theatres.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on January 20, 2007 at 6:39 pm

Yeah, but wasn’t that foolishness over with in Manhattan by 1948 when the Paris opened? I worked at the Paris when Pathe & C5 were still running it but I never heard that story.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on January 20, 2007 at 2:22 pm

“When (Ethel) Waters lived in Harlem she recalled that 125th street was still a ‘white boulevard’ and that the theatres on the street were segregated. ‘Colored people could only buy seats only in the peanut gallery in B.F. Keith’s Alhambra, and none at all in the other white show houses’. “

“Despite civil rights statues in northern cities that prevented racial segregation in theatres, the laws were rarely enforced and managers evaded the law. In 1905, two African Americans sued unsuccessfully when they were not permitted to buy tickets to New York’s Circle Theatre. On another occasion black patrons who obtained orchestra tickets were prevented from sitting in the white-reserved section when the manager broke the seats and ordered them to sit in the gallery. Racial segregation in the big-time venues as well as prejudice against black performers contrasted with the circuits’ publicity which celebrated vaudeville as a ‘democratic’ entertainment open to everyone."

from VAUDEVILLE WARS by ARTHUR FRANK WERTHEIM

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on January 19, 2007 at 2:06 pm

Really? Take a black friend for a drink at a Bay Ridge Bar at night.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on January 19, 2007 at 1:22 pm

I can’t imagine the owners expecting black audiences to fill the balcony of SYMPHONIE PASTORAL but perhaps the French owner thought all American theatres were segregated and prepared himself for this.

Let us not forget that most American troops were segregated during the war (unlike in the movies) and NYC was hardly a bastion of freedom for black people. In 1951 The Stork Club refused to serve Josephine Baker and unofficial “no-go” areas can still be found today.

SMEvans3
SMEvans3 on January 18, 2007 at 4:39 pm

I managed the Paris Theatre during the Sony Theatres years. I will try to answer a few questions and share a few memories.

The Paris Theatre is a labor of love for its landlord, billionaire Sheldon Solow. He expects the theatre to turn a profit, and he has shrunk the size of the theatre, but so long as he is alive, the theatre probably is safe from eviction or closure.

The original marquee for the theatre is on display in the American Museum of the Moving Image. The current marquee is a reproduction.

I believe that when the theatre first opened, it included a management office which has since been rented out as office space(a Reebok design studio was in there during my time at the theatre). The basement was a large café in which theatre patrons could have coffee before the show. The landlord has attempted to rent out that space as a restaurant. As a result, the theatre essentially has no lobby. The restaurants had difficulty because there was little street access. The landlord made a larger street level restaurant entrance and further reduced the floorspace in the Paris Theatre in the process.

The popularity of the balcony seating is ironic. I believe the balcony was initially intended for “colored” audience members, and the balcony has a separate water fountain.

The theatre still uses a beautiful curtain instead of a slide show.

Someone at Miramax booked the revival of BELLE DE JOUR into the Paris allegedly against the wishes of Harvey Weinstein. The film went on to set the record for the highest gross on a single screen of a foreign language film. The single-screen Paris Theatre was one of the top ten grossing theatres in the nation, outgrossing most multiplexes. After that engagement, Harvey Weinstein often wished to play the Paris.

Merchant-Ivory usually want to play the Paris, and even their commercial disappointments usually have high grosses at the Paris.

The terms for booking a film into the Paris are tough and include costs for making a lobby display. For the right films, the grosses at the Paris are worth the difficult terms.

Celebrities can be found in almost every show. Former New York City Mayor Ed Kotch always attends the opening night show. Sylvester Stallone has seen virtually every foreign-language film at the Paris, but not the English-speaking films.

The theatre has appeared in many films.

The theatre appeared in a fashion shoot for the May 1996 MARIE CLAIRE(I am in the background of one of the photos).

I have plenty of photographs of the theatre if anyone is interested.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 5, 2007 at 1:04 am

Here is a short article from Time about the opening, dated 9/20/48:
http://tinyurl.com/yk92mu

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 11, 2006 at 11:55 pm

A major motion picture (despite being something of an experiment from director Steven Soderbergh) opens on a day-and-date exclusive run at the Paris and Angelika this Friday.

Good German – NY Times 12/10/06

I think I might make the trip in to see it. I only hope the film is half as good as the poster! Shades of “Casablanca” here, eh? The movie is shot in black & white using the techniques and equipment that were available during the 1940’s (no zoom lenses, no wireless mics). I understand there were a few modern post-production elements employed, but the concept sounds interesting and refreshing all the same.

Coate
Coate on November 16, 2006 at 12:28 am

What company currently owns and operates the PARIS?

CelluloidHero2
CelluloidHero2 on September 7, 2006 at 2:56 pm

Just watched Cactus Flower, which I thought held up pretty good. Enjoyable. Anyway, in one scene Walter Matthau and Goldie Hawn take in a movie (Romeo and Juliet) at the Paris. Exterior and the small lobby.

RobertR
RobertR on August 30, 2006 at 11:13 pm

Odd to see the Paris day and dating with Embassy 46th Street.
View link

Shade
Shade on July 9, 2006 at 4:28 am

Great news! At the Raiders of the Lost Ark screening tonight it was announced the Paris Theatre would continue showing classic films and would be getting a new website soon: www.paristheatre.com

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 21, 2006 at 5:55 pm

According to Al’s list above, this classic pulled into the Paris for quite a nice run in December of ‘80:

Mon Oncle – Daily News 12/14/80

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on February 18, 2006 at 11:45 am

The Paris in the nineties…
04/13/90 MAMA, THERE’S A MAN IN YOUR BED
05/18/90 WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN
05/25/90 JESUS OF MONTREAL
06/29/90 CHILDREN OF PARADISE
07/13/90 LIFE IS A LONG QUIET RIVER
08/03/90 METROPOLITAN
09/07/90 (name change to LOEWS FINE ARTS)
11/02/90 VINCENT AND THEO
12/28/90 ALICE
04/12/91 DADDY NOSTALGIA
05/24/91 AN ANGEL AT MY TABLE
06/28/91 MY FATHER’S GLORY
07/26/91 MY MOTHER’S CASTLE
09/13/91 DOGFIGHT
10/04/91 THE MAN IN THE MOON
11/15/91 MEETING VENUS
11/29/91 THE INNER CIRCLE
01/24/92 KAFKA
03/13/92 HOWARD’S END
10/30/92 THE LOVER
11/13/92 (renamed LOEWS PARIS FINE ARTS)
05/28/93 (renamed PARIS)
06/04/93 THE MUSIC OF CHANCE
08/20/93 KING OF THE HILL
09/24/93 JAMON JAMON
11/05/93 REMAINS OF THE DAY
03/11/94 GERMINAL
05/13/94 WIDOW’S PEAK
08/12/94 A LA MODE
09/30/94 PLAYTIME/ JOUR DE FETE
10/14/94 THE BROWNING VERSION
11/04/94 THE LAST SEDUCTION
12/23/94 DEATH AND THE MAIDEN
02/24/95 ONCE WERE WARRIORS
03/31/95 JEFFERSON IN PARIS
06/30/95 BELLE DE JOUR
09/29/95 PERSUASION
11/10/95 CARRINGTON
12/15/95 OTHELLO
03/08/96 THE STAR MAKER
04/12/96 JANE EYRE
05/17/96 THE HORSEMAN ON THE ROOF
06/28/96 PURPLE NOON
09/20/96 SURVIVING PICASSO
12/27/96 HAMLET
04/04/97 ANNA KARENINA
05/02/97 closed?
07/25/97 DAY FOR NIGHT
08/22/97 FACES
08/23/97 SHADOWS
08/24/97 HUSBANDS
08/25/97 LOVE STRANGERS
08/26/97 MINNIE & MOSKOWITZ
08/27/97 A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE
09/05/97 LAWRENCE OF ARABIA
10/03/97 WASHINGTON SQUARE
12/26/97 THE WINTER GUEST
02/13/98 VIEWS OF MERCHANT IVORY (14 FILMS)
03/13/98 AMISTAD
03/27/98 A PRICE ABOVE RUBIES
05/01/98 WILDE
06/12/98 THE LAND GIRLS
07/10/98 A NIGHT AT THE OPERA/ A DAY AT THE RACES
07/31/98 THE GOVERNESS
09/18/98 A SOLDIER’S DAUGHTER NEVER CRIES
10/23/98 LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
04/09/99 FELLINI’S 8 1/2
05/21/99 BESIEGED
07/09/99 THE DINNER GAME
10/29/99 THE LEGEND OF 1900
11/19/99 MANSFIELD PARK
12/17/99 TOPSY-TURVY

Sunsetbue
Sunsetbue on February 3, 2006 at 11:49 am

Being an Argentine I remember seeing THE OFFICIAL STORY (Oscar Winner for Best Foreign Film) back in 1985.
Great memories.
Kind regards from Buenos Aires

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on January 23, 2006 at 1:12 pm

Thank you, Al, for all your hard work – I love seeing lists like this.

Amazing that “A Man and a Woman” played the Paris for a year and three months. My own best memory of the Paris is seeing “Another Woman” there in 1988, and hearing the audience laugh at it. Not with it – at it. Woody Allen had fallen out of favor with the so-called sophisticated New York audiences that used to worship him as a genius only a few years before. I thought that was one of his better movies, too.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 23, 2006 at 9:32 am

Thanks Al… Scanning through the titles, I might have only visited the Paris twice in the ‘80’s… far less than I would have thought. The only titles I can absolutely be sure about are “Fitzcarraldo” and “The Gift” – both within a few short months of each other. A foreign movie entitled “Bolero” – and, no, not the Bo Derek exploitation flick – had a limited release engagement in Manhattan around '83 or so and I thought I might have also seen that movie here, but perhaps it was the Plaza or one of the 57th street theaters.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on January 23, 2006 at 6:02 am

Oops. Make that MANON OF THE SPRING above.

BoxOfficeBill
BoxOfficeBill on January 22, 2006 at 8:21 pm

AlAlvarez—

Many, many thanks for a superb contribution to this site!

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on January 22, 2006 at 7:09 pm

Thanks Ed, here they go…
01/30/80 COUP DE TETE
03/05/80 MY BRILLIANT CAREER
07/16/80 PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
08/27/80 MAKE ROOM FOR TOMORROW
10/15/80 BYE BYE, BRAZIL
12/17/80 MON ONCLE D'AMERIQUE
05/06/81 I SENT A LETTER TO MY LOVE
08/26/81 HEARTLAND
10/14/81 THE WOMAN NEXT DOOR
02/03/82 closed
02/10/82 CIRCLE OF DECEIT
03/31/82 A WEEK’S VACATION
05/05/82 SMASH PALACE
06/23/82 LA VIE CONTINUE
08/25/82 BIRGITT HAAS MUST BE KILLED
09/15/82 JOSEPHA
10/13/82 FITZCARRALDO
12/22/82 COUP DE TORCHON
03/02/83 THE GIFT
04/27/83 LA TRAVIATA
08/17/83 I MARRIED A SHADOW
09/14/83 HEAT AND DUST
11/23/83 LA BALANCE
01/25/84 CONFIDENTIALLY YOURS
04/04/84 LES COMPERES
06/20/84 CAREFUL, HE MIGHT HEAR YOU
09/19/84 SWANN IN LOVE
11/21/84 A SUNDAY IN THE COUNTRY
03/06/85 A PRIVATE FUNCTION
05/29/85 DANGEROUS MOVES
07/24/85 THE MAN WITH ONE RED SHOE
08/07/85 THE LAST METRO/ THE WOMAN NEXT DOOR
08/14/85 DANCE WITH A STRANGER
11/07/85 THE OFFICIAL STORY
03/12/86 A ROOM WITH A VIEW
11/12/86 THE DECLINE OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE
02/11/87 ONE WOMAN OR TWO
03/11/87 SALVADOR
03/18/87 KANGAROO
04/29/87 L'ANNEE DES MEDUSES
07/01/87 JEAN DE FLORETTE
09/16/87 MAURICE
01/27/88 THE GRAND HIGHWAY
03/23/88 BEATRICE
04/13/88 CONSUMING PASSIONS
04/27/88 JEAN DE FLORETTE/ MANON OF THE SPIRIT
05/04/88 DA
06/29/88 A HANDFUL OF DUST
08/31/88 BANDITS
09/21/88 MILES FROM HOME
10/26/88 ANOTHER WOMAN
01/11/89 THE DRESSMAKER
03/15/89 HANUSSEN
04/05/89 CRUSOE
04/19/89 A FEW DAYS WITH ME
05/10/89 THE RAINBOW
07/12/89 LES MISERABLES (1957)
07/26/89 EAT A BOWL OF TEA
08/23/89 A CHORUS OF DISAPPROVAL
09/20/89 TOM JONES (1963)
10/18/89 FIGHT FOR US
11/01/89 ANIMAL BEHAVIOR
11/15/89 HENRY V
12/27/89 CAMILLE CLAUDEL

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 22, 2006 at 3:51 am

Once again (as on the Beekman site) tremendous job, Al, getting these bookings posted. You’re almost up to my era with respect to Manhattan art house movie going — the ‘80’s. I look forward to your continued contributions here and elsewhere on the site!

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on January 21, 2006 at 6:06 pm

You have to hail the film buyers of the Paris. They booked the classics before anyone knew they were classics. This is, without a doubt, New York’s primary “arthouse”.

The Paris filmography may by off by five days.

02/03/71 SAY HELLO TO YESTERDAY
03/03/71 ROAD TO SALINA
03/24/71 FRIENDS
06/23/71 THE CROOK
08/11/71 DEEP END
09/15/71 THE BEAR AND THE DOLL
10/13/71 IT ONLY HAPPENS TO OTHERS
11/24/71 KING LEAR
16/02/72 BARTLEBY
23/02/72 WITHOUT APPARENT MOTIVE
19/04/72 MY UNCLE ANTOINE
10/05/72 THE SORROW AND THE PITY
09/08/72 LA SALAMANDRE
04/10/72 WEDNESDAY’S CHILD
29/11/72 WHY
06/12/72 A MAN AND A WOMAN
13/12/72 CESAR AND ROSALIE
28/03/73 MONEY MONEY MONEY
04/07/73 MONSIEUR VERDOUX
22/08/73 THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG
26/08/73 THE WILD CHILD/ STOLEN KISSES
29/08/73 JULES & JIM/ SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER
31/08/73 THE TALL BLOND MAN WITH ONE BLACK SHOE
21/11/73 ENGLAND MADE ME
01/02/74 CHILDREN OF PARADISE
01/23/74 THE EXORCIST
06/26/74 A FREE WOMAN
08/14/74 HARRY & TONTO
10/30/74 THE PAHNTOM OF LIBERTE
12/18/74 EMMANUELLE
04/23/75 DON’T CRY WITH YOUR MOUTH FULL
05/14/75 LE SECRET
07/02/75 CHARLOTTE
09/17/75 JUST BEFORE NIGHTFALL
10/15/75 LIES MY FATHER TOLD ME
01/28/76 SCENT OF A WOMAN
02/25/76 GREY GARDENS
04/28/76 BAMBINA
06/02/76 CHILDREN OF PARADISE
07/28/76 COUSIN COUSINE
04/13/77 BLACK AND WHITE IN COLOR
10/26/77 THE MAN WHO LOVED WOMEN
03/01/78 DONA FLOR AND HER TWO HUSBANDS
07/12/78 VIVA ITALIA!
10/04/78 VIOLETTE
12/27/78 GET OUT YOUR HANDKERCHIEFS
05/23/79 THE TOY
06/13/79 DOWN AND DIRTY
01/08/79 WHY NOT?
10/10/79 THE EUROPEANS

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on January 13, 2006 at 9:16 pm

Paris Filmography.
May be off by five days.

09/12/48 SYMPHONIE PASTORALE
05/15/49 DEVIL IN THE FLESH
01/22/50 ANGELS OF THE STREET
05/02/50 GIGI (French)
03/26/50 THE WALLS OF MALAPAGA
06/11/50 CITY LIGHTS
08/27/50 PARIS WALTZ
10/08/50 SOUVENIR
10/29/50 PARIS 1900
11/19/50 LAST HOLIDAY
12/17/50 WAYS OF LOVE
02/23/51 (Ways of Love segment called THE MIRACLE banned)
03/02/51 THE MAGNET
04/06/51 GOD NEEDS MEN
04/20/51 MINNE
05/04/51 THE SECRET OF MAYERLING
06/15/51 FOUR IN A JEEP
07/27/51 MARIE DU PORT
09/14/51 THE RIVER (Roadshow)
03/07/52 THE RIVER (Continous)
05/09/52 UNDER THE PARIS SKY
06/20/52 WAYS OF LOVE (without THE MIRACLE)
08/01/52 THE STRANGE ONES
08/22/52 CASQUE D'OR
10/03/52 SAVAGE TRIANGLE
10/31/52 THE THIRST OF MEN
07/11/52 YOUNG WIVES' TALE
11/28/52 HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSON
05/01/53 THE FRESHMAN
05/15/53 THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS
10/02/53 THE CAPTAIN’S PARADISE
04/30/54 THE MOMENT OF TRUTH
05/28/54 CAROLINE CHERIE
06/18/54 HOBSON’S CHOICE
09/24/54 BREAD, LOVE AND DREAMS
12/31/54 ANIMAL FARM
02/18/55 WAGES OF FEAR
05/06/55 HEARTBREAK RIDGE
05/27/55 THE GREAT ADVENTURE
07/29/55 THE MAN WHO LOVED REDHEADS
09/16/55 OTHELLO
10/07/55 ONE STEP TO ETERNITY
10/21/55 THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY
12/23/55 LETTERS FROM MY WINDMILL
04/06/56 THE BALLET OF ROMEO AND JULIET
06/01/56 THE PROUD AND THE BEAUTIFUL
08/10/56 THE DOCTORS
08/31/56 PAPA, MAMA, THE MAID AND I
09/28/56 THE SILENT WORLD
01/11/57 WE ARE ALL MURDERERS
02/15/57 THE GOLD OF NAPLES
06/21/57 JULIETTA
07/05/57 FERNANDEL, THE DRESSMAKER
07/26/57 PASSIONATE SUMMER
09/20/57 THE GIRL IN BLACK
10/25/57 …AND GOD CREATED WOMAN
07/18/58 THE MAN IN THE RAINCOAT
08/22/58 THE AGE OF INFIDELITY
08/29/58 LUCKY JIM
09/19/58 CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
10/17/58 THE SEVENTH SEAL
11/14/58 THE HORSE’S MOUTH
05/15/59 HEROES AND SINNER
06/12/59 WOMEN ARE WEAK
07/24/59 THE POSSESSORS
08/14/59 THE MAN UPSTAIRS
09/11/59 BACK TO THE WALL
10/30/59 THE LOVERS
03/25/60 THE WOULD-BE GENTLEMAN
04/29/60 PRIVATE PROPERTY
06/10/60 BABETTE GOES TO WAR
07/01/60 THE TRIALS OF OSCAR WILDE
09/02/60 END OF INNOCENCE
09/30/60 THE OSTRICH HAS TWO EGGS
10/14/60 PICNIC ON THE GRASS
11/25/60 GENERAL DELLA ROVERE
03/03/61 LOVE AND THE FRENCHWOMAN
06/09/61 THE CHEATERS
06/30/61 THE TRUTH
10/20/61 FROM A ROMAN BALCONY
11/24/61 ZAZIE
12/22/61 LA BELLE AMERICAINE
03/23/62 VIRIDIANA
05/04/62 A TASTE OF HONEY
08/24/62 THE GIRL WITH GOLDEN EYES
09/21/62 DIVORCE, ITALIAN STYLE
09/27/63 MY LIFE TO LIVE
10/18/63 THE DEVIL AND THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
11/15/63 THERESE
11/29/63 SOLDIER IN THE RAIN
12/20/63 AMERICA, AMERICA
03/27/64 OF WAYWARD LOVE
04/17/64 BANDITS OF ORGOSOLO
05/01/64 CHILDREN OF PARADISE
05/29/64 DISORDER
06/12/64 THAT MAN FROM RIO
10/16/64 THE SOFT SKIN
11/27/64 BAY OF THE ANGELS
12/25/64 SWEET AND SOUR
01/22/65 THE BANANA PEEL
04/02/65 NOT ON YOUR LIFE
04/23/65 MALE HUNT
06/18/65 THE COLLECTOR
08/27/65 RAPTURE
10/29/65 ALPHAVILLE
11/19/65 SWEDISH WEDDING NIGHT
12/17/65 LIFE AT THE TOP
02/04/66 THE FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX
03/25/66 LA FUGA
04/22/66 CLOPORTES
05/20/66 UP TO HIS EARS
07/15/66 A MAN AND A WOMAN
10/13/67 THE SUCKER
11/10/67 THIS SPECIAL FRIENDSHIP
12/22/67 THE STRANGER
03/01/68 THE TREASURE OF SAN GENNARO
03/29/68 BENJAMIN
05/31/68 THE LONG DAY’S DYING
06/28/68 INADMISSIBLE EVIDENCE
07/26/68 THE STRANGE AFFAIR
08/16/68 THE VIOLENT FOUR
08/30/68 PARIS IN THE MONTH OF AUGUST
10/11/68 ROMEO AND JULIET
08/10/69 OH! WHAT A LOVELY WAR
12/24/69 GOODBYE, COLUMBUS/ IF…
02/18/70 THE MOLLY MAGUIRES
02/25/70 TROPIC OF CANCER
04/01/70 ROMEO AND JULIET
04/22/70 BROTHERLY LOVE
06/03/70 THE MAGIC GARDEN OF STANLEY SWEETHEART
07/08/70 HOROSCOPE
07/15/70 THE BOYS IN THE BAND
07/29/70 SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
10/14/70 FIRST LOVE
12/02/70 HOMER
12/30/70 I LOVE MY …WIFE…?

I want to point out that this website is really buggy, never responds and I have been trying to post this for several days.
Also, finding the Paris on this website has become a journey. Get your act together, this the Radio City music Hall of Arthouses and the damn Patis is still there showing movies! SUPPORT THE LIVING CINEMA!!!