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39th Street to 36th Street wet of 9th Avenue to eleventh was mostly brothels and crack houses. Most of the area west of ninth avenue from 36th Street to 54th Street was full of street walkers and drug dealers. The locals stayed indoors after dark while the Westies gang ran their trade. Since the locals rented and never owned, they were the first to go when the slum lords sold out.
There are no “bad blocks” in Hell’s Kitchen anymore. Without cleaning up 42nd street, nothing else would have happened and the area would still be a slum today. Giuliani didn’t cause the Disney effect, that pre-dated him, but he made sure his friends had first dibs on prime real estate.
I don’t know if we will ever get an honest answer as to why each theatre was treated as it was. There were political machinations behind the scenes including the legit theatre owners wanting to limit competition, multiplex operators in financial straits, and the 42nd street redevelopment people trying to make room for large new tenants like Madame Tussauds and Ripleys.
Without tourists and day trippers there would be no Times square. I live in Hell’s Kitchen in an area I would never venture into at night before 1999.
techman707, I don’t like it much myself but Times Square is thriving with tourist traffic like never before. LA, like most other US cities' downtown areas, is still mostly empty and crime-ridden at night. Whether the aesthetics please us or not, Times Square and Hell’s Kitchen have benefited greatly economically by the Disney mall concept.
techman707, the Liberty was not demolished, gutted or mothballed as originally planned. Famous Dave’s BBQ uses the interior of the Liberty auditorium the way AMC uses the Empire auditorium as part of the multiplex’s lobby. It is a far more thoughtful way to keep up with the times than the Regal E-Walk across the street which totally replaced several historic buildings.
dannyboy, I think it was called the Central Shopping Plaza.
It is, another run of the mill bad tourist nasty BBQ place.
You would think a decent Midtown BBQ place would eventually emerge. But not so far.
But it does have the historic classic setting and kudos for that.
The entrance for Dave’s was on 47th street but the interior looked like it still had remnants of the old lobby waiting areas.
I think I know what bigjoe59 is asking.
Famous Dave’s BBQ moved to 42nd street where it now occupies the interior of the former Liberty Theatre auditorium.
Another stupid and unfair list.
The Sunshine is a mess of uncomfortable seats and tiny screens playing the latest mainstream crap and trying to market it as trendy before it plays in Brooklyn and Queens ‘arthouses’ a week later.
The Lincoln Plaza has obstructed column views and noisy seniors chatting throughout the basement tube screen auditoria. AMC in the seventies at best.
The Film Forum plays the best films under the worst circumstances with obstructed columns and tiny uncomfortable seats. Wait for the DVD which is usually out a week after this venue shows it to promote its release.
New York has the Lincoln Square, 34th Street East, Kips Bay and Regal 42nd Street E-walk. All the rest are crap and the Ziegfeld is a lottery as it is closed when you least expect it.
NYC theatres are in a self created crisis and the boxoffice grosses show it.
Great stuff, Lloyd38. Thanks!
That is a fantastic story and a
great link to some rare photos.
It opened as the Cinema Take one in 1978.
Ripshin, that’s not so strange. I hardly went to the Gables as a kid either. The family films played mostly at the Coral and Miracle and later at the Twin Gables during that period. The Gables was not booked for kids and it was easier to get into an R rated film downtown.
It was twinned in 1979 by Walter Reade. I suspect the 150 seat balcony became a screen.
The DeMille did not advertise Divans but they had ‘party room’ seats for “THE SHOES OF THE FISHERMAN”.
The last true extended reserved seat two or three a day run I have found in NYC is “LAST TANGO IN PARIS” at the Trans-Lux East (Gotham).
Vito, you forget the extra men in the booth contracted for any movie labeled a “Roadshow”. These extra costs helped expedite the demise of the practice as the box office revenue could not justifying the costs and exhibitors found ways around the union contracts.
I wouldn’t consider the two week price gouging run of “DREAMGIRLS” a reserved seat run but there were several weeks of European style reserved seat runs for mainstream films at the Ziegfeld and the Beekman run as a test during the final days of Cineplex Odeon. They were disastrous as New Yorkers refused to sit in their assigned seats for non-event films.
After “MAROONED” they were all ‘reserved performance’ runs except for the occasional special events like the weekend run of the TV series “CIVILISATION” in 1970 and some of the World Premieres. Most World Premiers are open seating with reserved VIP sections.
That is not a rare event. Trucks hit Manhattan marquees all the time, when there were enough around to hit. Let’s celebrate that too!
Thanks for that, Bill.
The Sunshine is a bogus entry. It is just another overpriced nasty multiplex Manhattan outlet. The film presentation sucks and the film choices are mainstream indie releases you can see anywhere else in New York. What a bunch of pretentious shit!
Hey Louis, I remember that clock. It had a blueish hue that was on all during the movies.
stang119, it has to be uploaded for that to happen and only jeffg718 has that right.