Paramount Theatre

1501 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Tinseltoes on February 14, 2011 at 5:09 pm

On this Valentine’s Day in 1949, Paramount’s “Whispering Smith,” a Technicolor western with Alan Ladd in the title role and co-starring Robert Preston, Brenda Marshall, and Donald Crisp, opened its NYC premiere engagement at the Paramount Theatre. Performing in person on stage were Buddy Rich & His Orchestra, singer Mel Torme, the DeCastro Sisters, the Four Step Brothers, and comedian Henny Youngman. George Wright was resident organist. Advertising claimed that the Paramount was “The Nation’s First Theatre To Reduce Prices.” All seats were 55 cents from 8:30am opening to 1:00pm on weekdays.

BobFurmanek on February 13, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Boy, Dean and Jerry sure got around!

Tinseltoes on February 13, 2011 at 3:22 pm

On this day in 1952, RKO’s “A Girl In Every Port,” a B&W comedy starring Groucho Marx, Marie Wilson, and William Bendix, opened its NYC premiere engagement at the Paramount Theatre. The stage bill included “Drummer Man” Gene Krupa & His Orchestra, recording stars The Four Aces, comedian Phil Foster, and singer Polly Bergen (described as “That Gal That’s Been Loved By Martin & Lewis”).

Tinseltoes on February 2, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Sixty years ago tonight, the Paramount Theatre, via projection TV, presented General Eisenhower’s 10:30pm address to the nation about his recent meetings with military leaders of the European Atlantic Pact Nations. The “live” telecast made a perfect tie-in with the Paramount’s current movie, “At War With the Army,” the B&W Dean Martin-Jerry Lewis comedy, which was breaking boxoffice records with stage accompaniment by Ella Fitzgerald, Boyd Raeburn & His Orchestra, Steve Condos & Jerry Brandow, and comedian Harvey Stone. To accomodate the crowds, the Paramount was giving six complete shows daily. George Wright played the organ interludes. Admission from 9am opening until 1:00pm on weekdays was 55 cents.

Tinseltoes on January 28, 2011 at 4:11 pm

On this day in 1942, Preston Sturges' now classic B&W comedy, “Sullivan’s Travels,” teaming Joel McCrea with rising “Peek-a-boo Blonde” Veronica Lake, opened its NYC premiere engagement at the Paramount Theatre. On stage was America’s most popular band, Glenn Miller & His Orchestra, featuring Marion Hutton, Ray Eberle, and The Modernaires, plus juggler-dancer Trixie and the comedy team of Lorraine & Rognan. Doors opened at 7:45am, with the last complete stage/screen show starting at midnight.

Tinseltoes on January 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm

A portion of the Paramount’s side marquee on 43rd Street can be seen in this 1956 photo of a failed attempt by the so-called “Mad Bomber” to cause havoc:
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BobFurmanek on January 21, 2011 at 5:08 am

Tinseltoes: you always post such fascinating and important information. Thank you SO much for sharing!

Tinseltoes on January 20, 2011 at 3:16 pm

On this day in 1949, the Paramount made history as the first and only theatre anywhere to present “live” TV coverage of a Presidential Inaugural Address and that night’s Inaugural Ball. Harry S. Truman was starting his second term in office, and his first as an elected President (he’d been Vice-President when FDR died in 1945). The Paramount’s TV coverage, of course, was in B&W, and projected on the same screen used for movies. The speech was telecast at noon, and the ball starting at 10:00pm. In between, the Paramount presented its current program, with Paramount’s B&W “The Accused” (Loretta Young-Robert Cummings) on screen, and the Mills Brothers, comedian Jean Carroll, and Ray McKinley & His Orchestra topping the stage bill. The Paramount’s usual ticket prices prevailed.

Tinseltoes on January 19, 2011 at 6:55 pm

On this day in 1944, one of the funniest movies of all time, Preston Sturges' “The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek,” starring Eddie Bracken and Betty Hutton, opened its world premiere engagement at the Parmount Theatre. The B&W Paramount release somehow managed to get Production Code approval for its audacious treatment of wartime morals and illegitimate babies (in this case, sextuplets born to a dizzy blonde who can’t remember the name of the father). The Paramount’s stage bill was topped by Johnny long & His Orchestra, jazz pianist Hazel Scott, and comedian Gil Lamb.

Tinseltoes on December 26, 2010 at 6:02 pm

On this first day after Christmas in 1952, families heading to midtown Manhattan to see a movie combined with a stage show had five to choose from:
Paramount Theatre, Doris Day & Ray Bolger in the Technicolor “April in Paris,” with Sarah Vaughan, Illinois Jacquet & His Orchestra, and Stump & Stumpy on stage;
Capitol Theatre, Errol Flynn & Maureen O'Hara in the Technicolor “Against All Flags,” with Johnnie Ray, Ray Anthony & His Orchestra, Gary Morton, and Georgia Gibbs;
Roxy Theatre, Clifton Webb in the Technicolor “Stars and Stripes Forever,” and the first skating revue on the newly installed Ice Colorama Stage;
Radio City Music Hall, Esther Williams in the Technicolor “Million Dollar Mermaid.” with “The Nativity” and “Season’s Greetings” on stage;
RKO Palace, Boris Karloff in the B&W “The Black Castle,” and 8 Vaudevile Acts.
The Warner Theatre (ex-Strand) was temporarily closed for conversion to Cinerama.

Tinseltoes on December 21, 2010 at 4:45 pm

On this night in 1949, Cecil B. DeMille’s “Samson and Delilah” opened its world premiere engagement at the Paramount and Rivoli Theatres with celebrity-studded performances covered by radio, TV, and newsreels. Continuous showings started the next day. Due to the Technicolor spectacle’s running time of 128 minutes, the Paramount’s stage show was shorter than usual, presenting only Russ Case and His Orchestra and Chorus. At the Rivoli, patrons received a bonus of magnascopic projection of the climactic scene in which Samson destroys the pagan temple.

wally 75
wally 75 on December 11, 2010 at 7:52 am

Anyone remember or have ever been to the Paramount around 59th st.
It was round and small street level box office, the theatre was about 200 feet below street…

Tinseltoes on December 10, 2010 at 5:39 pm

The introduction’s second paragraph needs to be corrected. The Paramount Theatre closed forever on February 21st, 1966, following that day’s last screening of UA’s “Thunderball.” The James Bond adventure had opened there on December 21st, 1965, as part of an area-wide “Premiere Showcase” engagement (shared in Manhattan with the Sutton and Cinema II). As a promtional stunt, the Paramount exclusively showed “Thunderball” for 24 hours daily thrugh the Chistmas-New Year’s holiday season, then switched to a conventional schedule for the balance of the booking. Between “Carpetbaggers” and “Thunderball,” attempts were made to re-open the Paramount as a concert venue and then with a film/stage policy, but both failed.

Tinseltoes on November 30, 2010 at 3:33 pm

The current marquee is only a simulation of the original marquee, not a “refurbishment,” and far from an exact copy. The original was removed around 1950, and replaced by a much more modern marquee with white glass background and changeable black silhouette letters.

William on November 30, 2010 at 1:54 pm

The old Paramount was gutted for the NY Times. The space they used was large from the former theatre.

wally 75
wally 75 on November 30, 2010 at 6:41 am

I saw it also but, they also had acts on stage at the Hard Rock..

It looked very large….anyone know if they are using the theatre shell of the old Paramount? has any of you been inside?

Just wondering….

Tinseltoes on November 26, 2010 at 8:48 pm

On this day in 1948, the Paramount was in the midst of its 22nd Birthday Celebration, with “Miss Tatlock’s Millions” on screen and a stage show topped by Stan Kenton’s Orchestra with June Christy, comedian Red Buttons, and singer-pianist Nellie Lutcher. Starring John Lund, Wanda Hendrix, Barry Fitzgerald, and Monty Woolley, the B&W screwball comedy was reported to be the 715th feature to play at the Paramount Theatre since its 1926 opening, an average of 33 per year. Most, though not all, came from its parent company, Paramount Pictures, including this one.

lfreimauer on November 18, 2010 at 5:04 pm

I went to the Paramount in the 50’s to see Alan Freed and his shows. I do not believe they also showed ie during the rock,n roll engagements.

I do not believe they had a movie showing during the rock'n roll shows in the 50’s. As I remember, there was only as show.

Tinseltoes on November 18, 2010 at 3:25 pm

On this day in 1936, the Paramount Theatre opened its 10th Anniversary Show, which included the world premiere engagement of Paramount’s B&W “Go West, Young Man,” with a legendary sexbomb seeking satisfaction from Randolph Scott, Warren William, and Lyle Talbot (though not simultaneously). On stage, the Paramount presented Al Donahue & His Orchestra, Paul Draper, Jack Powell, and Louise Massey & Her Westerners. An added birthday treat was “Sindbad the Sailor,” a Paramount two-reel “Popeye” cartoon in Technicolor with 3-Dimensional effects.

Vito on November 17, 2010 at 6:45 pm

I have fond memories of that Gleason show, I took my parents to see it and my mother talked about it for months.
Here is the original ad.
View link

Tinseltoes on November 17, 2010 at 5:04 pm

On this day in 1954, “Drum Beat,” an Alan Ladd western in CinemaScope and WarnerColor, opened its NYC premiere engagement as the Paramount’s Thanksgiving holiday offering. But the big excitement was on the stage, with six performances daily by Jackie Gleason and the entire cast of his CBS television show, including Art Carney, Audrey Meadows, the 32 June Taylor Dancers, and the 50 members of the “Music for Lovers Only Orchestra.” Doors opened at 8:00am, with the last complete stage/screen show starting at midnight.

TLSLOEWS on November 11, 2010 at 4:43 pm

In the late 50,s at the Paramount how is this lineup for a concert?On the marquee,In Person Alan Freed & Holiday of Stars, Fats Domino, Jeery Lee Lewis,The Everly Brothers,Buddy Holly and the Crickets,The Rays,Danny and the Juniors,Paul Anka,on the screen “Its Great to be Young”. September 1957.

Tinseltoes on November 11, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Yes, I did mean “North.” “Lost in Alaska” is where I wish that Sarah Palin would get, preferably under an avalanche.

Vito on November 11, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Sorry William I meant to write Tinsletoes had the title wrong.
I believe he meant “North” and not “Lost”

William on November 11, 2010 at 2:59 pm

vito, your ad post has the same title as I posted “North to Alaska”.