Roxy Theatre

153 W. 50th Street,
New York, NY 10020

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Showing 76 - 100 of 1,153 comments

Simon L. Saltzman
Simon L. Saltzman on January 1, 2014 at 4:08 pm

There are many answers to Bigjoe’s question. The Roxy played only A films from the time it opened in 1927 until the Depression years between 1931 and 1937 (assuming that means films produced to be the top of a double feature in subsequent release). Between 1933 and 1937 the Roxy severely lowered its admission prices and economized on the stage shows. During that time, the major studios balked at having their major films play there. It was only after/when Twentieth Century Fox contracted with the Roxy to supply it with their major films did the 6,000 seat theater regain its status. Between 1937 and its closing, the Roxy was consistently an outlet for A films. Your rating of films is presumably based on the intention of the studio and not the quality of the film. This does not take into account the many modestly produced “sleepers” that needed critical approval to succeed and a Roxy premiere was a help.

bigjoe59 on December 31, 2013 at 10:50 am


I didn’t start going into Manhattan by myself to see movie still the fall of 1965 at which point the Roxy had been gone 5 years. to which a question- in its 33 year life would you say the Roxy played as many B level or even C level films as it played A level films?

Joseph on December 30, 2013 at 6:04 pm

The TGI Friday’s was preceded by another restaurant. I believe a Child’s was on the corner of 50th and 7th for at least a couple of decades before the Taft was closed and re-modeled into the Michelangelo Suites during early/mid 1980s. The Roxy ticket lobby is the space currently occupied by TGI. The Roxy Rotunda, which was behind the ticket lobby was destroyed along with the auditorium and the rest of the Roxy building in mid-late 1960. The THS Roxy annual, published in 1979 or 80, claims that the Rotunda was to incorporated into the Taft Hotel expansion design William Zeckendorf was supposedly planning at the time. Of course this never happened. In fact I cannot locate any reference to the Hotel Taft expansion after the Roxy building was sold by Rock Center to Zeckendorf. Zeckendorf’s visions were constantly filled with hyperbole, which probably led to his bankruptcy and downfall. Rather than expand the Taft, the partially demolished Roxy was later sold by Zeckendorf to a couple of amateur NJ real estate developers (their first venture into NYC real-estate) in order to raise cash for his crumbling empire.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 30, 2013 at 5:30 pm

I highly doubt that the TGI Friday’s retains any elements of the old Roxy lobby and foyers. I would imagine that the space was entirely gutted, with the upper portion of the rotunda converted to office space, and the ground floor reserved for retail usage. Does anyone know if this has always been a restaurant of some sort? I’m sure the TGIF chain was not in existence when the space was converted back in the early 1960’s.

moviebuff82 on December 30, 2013 at 1:47 pm

I know where TGI Friday’s is..but didn’t know that the famous Roxy theater was once in that restaurant. It’s probably one of the bigger ones in the tri-state area owned by the franchise.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on October 30, 2013 at 2:59 pm

I walked past this place last night and my heart was broken. TGIFridays, indeed.

While the main auditorium was demolished, is there anything left to see of the foyer, reception hall or grand foyer?

rivest266 on September 25, 2013 at 2:06 pm

At last the grand opening ad has been uploaded by me.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on July 6, 2013 at 4:23 pm

She retired from pictures in 1933 and moved to her husband’s ranch, so I wonder how many personal appearances she was making that year.

modlrfleck on July 6, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Thanks.The only part left of the Playbill shows Clara’s image above the title “Compliments of the Roxy Theatre” so, at some point, she must have been a headliner there. It is possible that my relative attended the Roxy on a date other than March 26, 1933 because that date is written in ink on the backside. It could help if anyone could verify that Clara was on the bill at the Roxy at some point in the general time frame. The DNA testing might be a bit over the top for my budget, assuming someone, somewhere has a confirmed “piece” of Clara.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 6, 2013 at 10:46 am

Clara Bow was at the Roxy in person on Tuesday, November 29, 1932 when her film “CALL HER SAVAGE” was running there.

modlrfleck on July 6, 2013 at 7:57 am

In the effects of a recently passed family member, we have found a playbill for the Roxy Theatre in New York City, dated Sunday, March 26,1933, autographed to the deceased by 1920’s silent film star Clara Bow. The signature matches examples of Ms.Bow’s signature that I have located online. In addition the envelope contained a lock of (Ms.Bow’s ?) hair. I am trying to confirm that Ms. Bow was at the Roxy on that date. Any help would be appreciated.

Mike Fleckenstein, Virginia USA

MarkDHite on May 22, 2013 at 9:20 pm

The Roxy was very much in existence in 1956 when the original My Fair Lady musical opened at the Mark Hellinger Theatre. And I’m sure many people who attended the Roxy had seen the Broadway musical or would later see the movie. (That’s about as close as the Roxy gets to a connection with My Fair Lady!)

Vito on May 9, 2013 at 7:55 am

Indeed, sadly the Roxy was dust by the time MFL opened. Still it’s nice to reference the great lines from the movie here and there.

Vito on May 9, 2013 at 2:58 am

Oh Mike, that’s cute you can never go wrong with a “My Fair Lady” reference :)

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on May 8, 2013 at 6:20 pm

And as Eliza wondered about her late aunt, “what become of her new straw hat that should have come to me?”

MarkDHite on May 8, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Sorry if this is disappointing. The great oval rug got worn out after 20 years and millions of feet took their toll. It was replaced with regular carpet in the sometime in the 1940s.

hanksykes on May 8, 2013 at 4:16 pm

How about the answer to where the huge rotunda rug went?

DavidDymond on February 11, 2013 at 8:48 am

I totally agreed with Mark Hite’s comments. Mark is a member of Theatre Historical Society for years!

Joseph on January 17, 2013 at 8:52 am

I vaguely recall seeing a vintage 1920s or 30s architecture magazine article which described Roxy Rothafel’s NYC apartment (the actual home, not theater) in which he proudly displays a grilled doorway. Wish I could remember the exact details. These may be those doors, in which case the EBAY listing is somewhat incorrect.

MarkDHite on January 16, 2013 at 8:08 pm

I’m not saying those gates aren’t from the Roxy, but I’d be more convinced if they said “Rambusch” instead of Tiffany. Too bad they don’t have a photo of them in the theatre. Just saying they came from the Roxy isn’t exactly “great provenance” in and of itself.

Joseph on January 16, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Take a look at this EBAY listing:

Bronze Tiffany Studio Doors

According to the listing they originate in the NYC ROXY. Does anyone know where in the building they were originally located? My guess is in a non-public area.

WilliamMcQuade on December 2, 2012 at 10:18 am

Look at the original movie Naked City. In the opening minute is a scene of NY while the city sleeps.A quick shot shows a cleaning woman with a bucket moping the rotunda . Talk about thankless jobs

Simon L. Saltzman
Simon L. Saltzman on August 9, 2012 at 4:33 pm

BigJoe, My guess would be “The King and I” (9 weeks), “Bus Stop” (6 weeks), “Giant” (9 weeks) “Anastasia” (8 weeks) all in 1956. There were many A films after that but these had the longest runs and made the most money and were critically acclaimed. Next case.

bigjoe59 on August 9, 2012 at 10:33 am

Hello Again-

as i mentioned in previous posts in the late 50s Hollywood was still operating on the A movie and B movie production level. now just because a film is a A level picture doesn’t mean its going to any good or receive critical acclaim or be a hit at the box office. to which what was the last A level picture to play the Roxy that was both critically well received and had a healthy run?