Sutton Theater

205 East 57th Street,
New York, NY 10022

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Showing 76 - 100 of 179 comments

BrooklynJim on June 26, 2006 at 12:48 pm

Excellent story, ErikH. It made my day. We, as NYers (or former NYers) never really know when we’ll cross over the line into TinselTown territory!

ErikH on June 26, 2006 at 6:59 am

Regarding “The Devil’s Advocate.” While the scene may take place in the late afternoon in the film, it was shot in the early morning. I was living in the apartment building next door to the Sutton when the film was being shot. The exterior of my old apartment building (225 East 57th) doubled as the exterior of the hospital in the film.

I won’t soon forget walking through the lobby of 225 East 57th at about 7:00 on a Sunday morning, half-asleep and on my way to pick up a copy of the Sunday Times, and nearly walking into Keanu Reeves, who was covered in fake blood. That woke me up fast.

BrooklynJim on June 22, 2006 at 8:07 am

That was Paul Newman & ROBERT REDFORD. Ay!!!

One movie made late in the 1990s cast a most memorable and eerie glow on the Sutton Theater itself. In the late reels of “The Devil’s Advocate,” lawyer Keanu Reeves leaves the hospital following his wife’s suicide and heads to the offices of law firm president John Milton (Pacino) to confront him. The scene, shot with an overhead crane, with traffic cordoned off out of view by the NYPD, and coupled with a soundtrack piece that deserved an Academy Award all by itself, features the Sutton, late in the afternoon, its former grandeur long behind it, and looking as forlorn and as desolate as Reeves' character. Superb cinematography!

BrooklynJim on June 13, 2006 at 11:39 am

After reading and posting this morning about dads and movies such as “Midnight Cowboy” (which I saw twice here in the same week), I thought this might be a good time to cross the river and bridge and post one here.

It was in front of the Sutton while on line in 1975 that a young lady “forced” me to sign an autograph for her because she was thoroughly convinced I was Henry “Fonzie” Winkler. Aaaay!

Back in ‘69, Newman & Woodward co-starred in a novel western about two minor bandidos of the old wild west. Intentional humor was pretty much a novelty in westerns of any era, so I fell in love with this one. (“Think ya used enough dynamite ther, Butch?”)

My dad was on disability at the time and rarely got out of the house. For his 11/1 birthday, I decided to treat him to subway fare, a cold six-pack of beer to carry with him, and the price of admission to see this movie at the Sutton. To my amazement, he went. To my even greater amazement, he actually LIKED it, this from a man who showed few visible displays of having any kind of sense of humor.

I never regretted that gift. It was the last movie he ever saw in a theater, and he passed away less than two years later, 3 weeks shy of his 60th. Glad you could make it, Dad…

dave-bronx™ on May 25, 2006 at 12:25 am

Ben Schlanger was involved also with the Beekman and Cinema I & II in New York and also The Cinema in D.C.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on March 29, 2006 at 4:00 am

I remember that same “wall-stretcher” ad used at the Avon Cinema here in Providence, where the film played quite a long time. After Marty was becoming very popular, this ad copy must have been sent out by United Artists to the theatres playing the film.

AlexNYC on February 2, 2006 at 10:45 am

This was one of the better theaters in the Manhattan. I saw lots of films here with family and friends in the last 1970s and early 1980s, always an enjoyable experience. I hated it after they divided it into a twin theater, it’s lost all of it’s charm. I rarely went there afterwards. Still, it’s sad to hear of it’s demise.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 3, 2006 at 10:44 am

Woody Allen did open his 1975 “Love and Death” simultaneously at the Sutton and Paramount (the subterranean theater at the Gulf and Western building near Columbus Circle) according to the New York Times online archive of movie reviews. Not the most scientific means of determining what films played where, but the Times often would continue the tradition of listing the premier or first-run house in its reviews through the ‘70’s and very early '80’s – before opening wide became the standard operating procedure. A look at reviews for some of Woody’s other films in the '70’s mention the 68th Street Playhouse, Baronet, Coronet and Little Carnegie theaters, but, interestingly, not the Beekman.

Woody’s contemporary Mel Brooks might have a stronger connection to this theater, opening both “Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein” – widely considered his two best films – at the Sutton, each one at either end of 1974. While his bi-centennial follow-up “Silent Movie” had its NY debut at the Cinema 1 & 2 a few blocks away, Brooks returned to the Sutton for 1978’s “High Anxiety.”

dave-bronx™ on December 20, 2005 at 9:10 am

You’re thinking of the Beekman…

GeorgeStrum on December 20, 2005 at 9:02 am

This was the most comfortable movie house I remember. The seats were so cozy and with ample leg room. No wonder Woody Allen loved to have his movies premiere here.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 10, 2005 at 5:46 am

Now, its just the site for the construction of yet another ugly mid-town high-rise. I’ve been into Manhattan on a number of occasions over the past few weeks and I pass this site every time I make my way back to the 59th Street Bridge. I remember driving by in years past and happily think back on my experience seeing “Animal Crackers” here back in the ‘70’s warmed by the fact that the theater was still in use – even after accepting the fact that it was twinned back in the late 1980’s. Now, I still think back on “Animal Crackers” when I drive by, but it is with a deep sense of loss and sadness. It is amazing that the City (meaning we the people as well as those we elect to oversee its administration) allows the continuation of these acts of vandalism – to paraphrase Ada Huxtable’s memorable description in the NY Times of old Penn Station’s demolition.

jbels on November 9, 2005 at 8:19 am

I remember when they first twinned the Sutton, they had a free day of movie previews where you could go in, sit and watch old and new previews and inspect the new set-up.

RobertR on October 28, 2005 at 2:11 pm

A very simple ad for “Gigi"
View link

RobertR on October 23, 2005 at 6:02 am

Seems 1968 audiences had concerns over ticket prices also.
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PaulLD1 on September 2, 2005 at 2:14 pm

To EdSolero: That remark about the “Sexual Keystone Comedy” was strictly tougne-in-cheek!

I do have my own Sutton story: I saw “The 3 Stooges Follies” on opening day at the Sutton. My visit was not a pleasant one in part because of management, the other, a drunk audience member. Throughout the whole show a drunken patron kept laughing and hollering “HA HA HA—THAT MOE HOWARD!!!”, and even ruined the punch line at least once. The second was the “Krazy Kat” cartoon advertised was not on the bill, when I asked why, some apathetic usher said “you can watch those on TV”. I didn’t have the patience to tell him that this was not a 1960’s King Features TV cartoon, but a 1930’s Charles Mintz cartoon. I don’t think I ever went back to the Sutton again.

br91975 on September 2, 2005 at 4:20 am

The a**clowns at Reading/City Cinemas also still had listed on their website, TWO YEARS after they were demolished and replaced by the NYU Outpatient Cancer Center, the Murray Hill Cinemas as one of their properties.

dave-bronx™ on September 2, 2005 at 3:55 am

I’m not surprised – they haven’t got a clue what they’re doing – and they don’t care….

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on September 1, 2005 at 2:20 pm

City Cinemas website still has the demolished Sutton Twin listed.

Astyanax on August 26, 2005 at 4:41 pm

If I recall, “Going Places” was a Cinema 5 release and premiered at the Cinema II.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 25, 2005 at 7:01 pm

PaulLD1… The tag line “A sexual Keystonecomedy” belongs to a different advertisement (apparently cut off in the image) that was below the one for “Animal Crackers”. I “yahoo’d” the phrase and found it was a quote from Pauline Kael’s review of the movie “Going Places” — a French film of some controversy that was released here in 1974 concurrent with the Sutton engagement of the restored Marx Brothers classic. It starred Gerard Depardieu, Jeanne Morreau and Isabelle Huppert.

Couldn’t tell you the theaters in which “Going Places” was booked. I can tell you that during this time, my Mother worked for Rugoff Theaters and scored some passes for my Grandfather and I to see “Animal Crackers” during this run.

A couple of years later, I caught “Animal Crackers” on the big screen one last time at Century’s Green Acres Theater on a double bill with the bio-pic “W.C. Fields and Me” starring Rod Steiger and Valerie Perine.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on July 26, 2005 at 4:04 pm

From 1955: the little low-budget movie based on a TV play that went all the way to the top prize at the Academy Awards. I like the way the Sutton is mentioned in one of the critics' quotes.

View link

From Shaun Considine’s biography of Paddy Chayefsky, “Mad as Hell”:

In New York, the film continued to run for an unprecedented 39 weeks at one theatre only, the Sutton. “That was the first time that people from the suburbs ever went to a movie on the East Side,” said Bernie Kamber. “They’d come in on the subway from Queens or from the Bronx, get off at 59th Street, walk two blocks south, then stand on line for MARTY.”

PaulLD1 on July 25, 2005 at 4:43 am

Re: the “Animal Crackers ad: Wow!!! I never knew that Marx Brothers movie was a "sexual Keystone comedy”!!!!

Astyanax on July 25, 2005 at 3:33 am

Another great ad is the Christmas 1964 NYTimes full page spread that Rugoff ran after the big brouhaha involving Billy Wilder’s Kiss Me Stupid. UA was scheduled to open the farce at Cinema 1 for the holidays but the wags at the time considered it too risque. The distributer got cold feet and pulled the film at the last minute. Rugoff than rushed Nothing But A Man into release, to fill in the gap.

As a clever PR move, Rugoff ran this full page ad with drawings of quaint Victorian holiday figures, each displaying the presentation at each of the circuit’s ten Manhattan theatres.

Kiss Me Stupid finally premiered in Jan. ‘65, and despite all the fuss is now rated PG13.

Does anyone have a copy of that ad?