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Here’s a shot of the groundbreaking for the theater. Probably in early 1961. Sign states that opening was scheduled for Easter 1962, they missed it by about 9 months.
Taken from 35mm MovieTone, probably played in RKO theaters hyping the new theater.
Here is the photo that Warren mentioned. A lot of great detail in it. This is the way that I like to remember the Deuce in the 50s. Harmless action flics at most theaters. Desert Rats playing at the Empire, so it does appear to me a 1953 image by William Klein. jerry k
NY Times has a fantastic slide show of Rev Ike’s church.
The article requires a paid subscription but the slide show is free.
I agree, Joe. The article captures my memory of 42nd in the mid 50s to early 60s. The only thing risque that I recall was the Brandt theaters showing Coming Attractions of nudist films during a Audie Murphy double feature. My dad put his fedora over my eyes. The nudist film was probably playing in one of the theaters east of Broadway since the Victory was still showing action and even Bowery Boys double features in the early 60s.
Funny that you mention Cagney. 42nd had all of the old WB films when Dominant Pictures did a mass re-release in 1956-57 timeframe. I remember “The Roaring 20s” with “Black Legion”. And “Capt. Blood” with “Desparate Journey”.
And I would never had walked out on a Bowery Boys epic which they never played my local RKO or Loews.
Great stuff. jerry k
A different angle of the marquee change that I posted above, shows another double feature booking in 1962. Not too long before The Victory went to adult fare. j
An RKO promo in 1958, April 19 to May 31. Flyer with discount admissions to SAturday morning Kid Shows ($.20 instead of $.30). 7 consecutive weeks of a “surprise” film with the regular double feature. And a “star stamp collection”. Great times.
Where were the Squire and Times theaters? I thought he meant the Times Square theater but that was tame action flix in the 50s-60s. Jerry K
How long did you work there, metz?
It must have been 1960 then based upon my memories.
As a kid, Dad would drive us out from NYC and pick from the 3 Drive-Ins on Rt. 3 & Rt. 46 (this one was furthest, The Totawa and the Rt 3 were the other two)
JANE RUSSELL, 38D, in 3D. THREE TIMES! That’s something to cherish, Vito.
As Bob Hope said, “Ladies and Gentlemen, the two and only…Jane Russell”
After all of the RCMH ads, I don’t know why I analyzed this one, but I did:
I’m surprised that doors opened only 15 minutes prior to the first show. Doesn’t seem like enough time to get everyone seated, or encourage visits to concession stands, etc….It appears that the ad was for Wednesday/Thursday only, not a peak period. Was it different for the weekend or Christmas shows?
With a running time of 126 minutes for THE JOURNEY, that left 8 minutes before the start of the stage show. Again, not much time for concession visits….And 44 minutes before the start of the next showing of THE JOURNEY. How long was a typical stage show. 36 minutes? With another 8 minute intermission?
Funny to see start times listed at odd times like 1:19 pm and 4:07. Brought back a memory that we didn’t pay much attention to start times back then, at least at the local neighborhood theaters. We walked in and watched until someone said, “This is where we came in”. Sometimes, with a double feature, you didn’t even know what movie you were watching for a while.
And parking was 50 cents for 6 ½ hours! jk
That picture was posted on the site for the New York, aka Globe, Big Apple theater. jk
Duke, I lived on 24th & 8th and many of my friends were Cuban & Puerto Rican. Whenever we went by the Elgin, I would ask them to translate the titles as I scanned every lobby card. The poster artwork was great.
Thanks for the tip on the book, AlAlvarez.
The RKO ROXY is the focus of a 1933 animated short OPENING NIGHT. It is part of a pre-code DVD compilation called CARTOON CRAZIES – BANNED & CENSORED which we found in the library. Check it out.
Video celebrating the December 27, 1932 grand opening of RCMH.
Saw the excellent film THE QUEEN yesterday and today running through my files, I happened across this booking at the Guild from 1953
Interesting that a “short” playing at the Thalia at the same time was “GENTLEMEN…THE QUEEN”
Demonstrates what life was before cable TV 24/7 news programming.
Happy Holidays, CTers
3D at the RKO….1953. Note the “short”…Nat King Cole in 3D!
Happy Holidays, CTers.
Martin & Lewis on the PANORAMIC Sheridan screen in 1953. Note the emphasis on W-I-D-E screen, Technicolor, and 3-D to combat the evils of television. And COOL at the top didn’t mean hip.
Can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed this site over the past few years. Thanks to everyone providing the site support and thanks to all the great posters who have provided so much history and insight.
Happy Holidays and Have a Great 2007! Peace. jerry
I always loved this shot. 3D on the Deuce. Like it wasn’t scary enough. Also, if you look at the Lyric, there’s an example of how they would frequently alter the titles on the marquee to make them more 42nd Street type fare. Here, a harmless western comedy “ALONG CAME JONES” became “Along Came KILLER JONES”. jerry
Hey, Warren. I thought we had exhausted every internet image of the Deuce. Where did you come up with the new stuff? jerry
Marquee shot from circa 1962
Wonderful 1950s shot a marquee change. Ride Clear of Diablo AND ON THE SAME PROGRAM…The Tall Texan
This is from IMDB…..
Although filmed in the standard 1.37-1 aspect ratio, Thunder Bay was chosen by Universal-International as its first wide screen feature, accomplishing this by cropping the top and bottom and projecting it at 1.85-1 at Loew’s State Theatre in New York City, as well as other sites. Its initial presentation also marked UI’s first use of directional stereophonic sound. jerry
In the latest issue of FILMS OF THE GOLDEN AGE magazine, they published an edited version of an article I did on the old RKO 23rd Street.
On the home page, you can request a free sample. I do not know if you’ll receive this issue, but hey, it’s free.
Keeping the memory alive!