Showing 76 - 100 of 341 comments
like you I miss the great old movie theaters
of the Times Square Area. fortunately the Capitol
was never twinned like the Rivoli of triplexed
like the Demille. as much as these theaters were
loved by movie buffs isn’t the primary reason
for their demolition is they were economically
unviable as a single screen movie theater. for
instance the Roxy’s huge size was great for
1927 but by the spring of 1960 said size was its
own worst enemy.
thanks for your reply. the Castro is indeed alive
and well but doesn’t qualify since like many grand
old movie theaters built 1914-1941 was built from
the get go as a 2nd/3rd run neighborhood theater.
I am specifically looking for theaters built 1914-
1941 that were built from the get go as 1st run
venues and have continued to operate as such since
the day they opened. the only one I have come
across is Grauman’s Chinese in Hollywood.
also while I’ve been to San Francisco I’ve neverbeen in the Castro Theater. what’s inadequate aboutthe restrooms?
to Al A.–
thank you for your thoughts on the book “Movie
Roadshows” by Kim Rolston. would you happen to
know if “Roadshow: The Fall of Musicals in the
1960s” by Matthew Kennedy is better researched and more accurate than “Film Roadshows”?
i am writing to you on this page because i can’t
seem to find the page for the 58th St. off of
Lexington Fine Arts.what does one type in the search box?
hello to Robert E.–
thanks again for your reply. now I apologize for
asking this question since I asked it on this board
sometime ago. was Mark I, II and III ever actually
on the marquee? as I said I have been using the
TKTS booth since the day it opened and never remember
the marquee ever having that name.
as always thanks for your assistance. I knew my
memory wasn’t that faulty. just out of curiosity
do you know the book? its fascinating for me since
i well remember reserved seat runs. as I stated
there are many inaccuracies in the book. whether
this is a result of inadequate research or the
proof reader being drunk, who knows? for instance
in the chapter on the 60s author Rolston states
that Gypsy(which looks and sounds great on blu-ray)
opens on roadshow runs but doesn’t state where. it
certainly didn’t in Manhattan.
if I could contact Rolston I would ask why was
The Trojan Women left out? there is an appendix
which lists films that during pre-production and
production were intended for reserved seat runs
but weren’t released that way. so obviously he did
a certain amount of research which makes the
omission of The Trojan Woman bizarre.
to Robert E.–
thanks for the info about the former Columbia/Mayfair/
Demille’s almost life as an adult theater. now exactly
when was it almost an adult theater? I have been
using the TKTS both since it opened June 1973 so
when i’m online I am looking right at the theater and
never remember any signage of any kind that an adult
theater was coming. if I understand the info correctly
its almost life as an adult theater existed solely in
the negotiation stage that never came to pass. I never
remember it being anything than a mainstream movie
you have been most helpful in the past so i have
another question for you.i know time does funny
things with one’s memory but i am 99% certain
that “The Trojan Women” starring Katherine Hepburn,
Vanessa Redgrave, Genvieve Bujold and Irene Papas
open at this theater on a reserved seat engagement
or at least a reserved performance engagement
Nov.of 1971. i just read the book “Movie Roadshows:
Limited Run Reserved Seats Engagements 1911-1972”.
the author Kim Rolston includes reserved
performance engagements as well. yet TTW is nowhere
to be found in the book. unfortunately its not
the only inaccuracy in the book.
to Ed S.–
you have been most helpful in the past.
so here goes. how is the late but great
Fine Arts Theater on 58th St. off of
Lexington Ave. listed on this site? if you
type in Fine Arts all you get it the Paris
opposite the Plaza Hotel.
Hello from NYC-
i have greatly enjoyed browsing this site since
i came upon it the end of Jan 2012. so i set up
a little project for myself. the golden age of
building grand old movie theaters or palaces as
some were was approx. 1914-1941. so i have a very
specific question- of such theaters built in
Philadelphia from the get go as venues for 1st run exclusive engagements how many have continued to
operate as such since the day they opened? Manhattan
doesn’t have any nor does San Francisco. so i was
wondering if Philadelphia did.
i saw Thoroughly Modern Millie during
its reserved seat engagement at the Criterion
Theater on 44 St.. but i was not aware Flower
Drum Song which is one of my favorite musicals
opened on a reserved seat run.
this building was built as a movie theaterfor the Parkchester community 74 years ago.i don’t understand why Bow Tie closed itto begin with. was it not doing well?
one problem with lengthy trailers is that in
many cases they’re very condensed versions of
the film. so there are no surprises sometimes
when you see the film.
I live in NYC and always tried to attend a movie
at the Chinese whenever I came out to L.A.. to which
my question- has the IMAX-ing of the theater really
increased the patronage to any great extent? if I am
not mistaken I remember reading a post from someone
who attended a Sat. afternoon performance of
Catching Fire the weekend after it opened and they
stated there were only like 12 people in the
I thank Simon S. for his reply. the reason I asked
the question was simple. during the theater’s 33 year
lifespan Hollywood operated very much on the A,B or
even C movie production levels. so i’m guessing for
every Carousel or Anastasia they also played B or C
films between the bookings of A level films.
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
the title of the “oldest continuously operating
theater” in North America might go to the New
Victory on 42 St. in Manhattan. it opened as
the Theater Republic in 1900 five years before
this theater. the New Victory as operated as
a theater of some sort since then -live theater,
films, burlesque, adult films and after being
beautifully renovated back to live shows.
LuisV’s statement about that few if any “big” films
open in limited release is quite true. even after
the studios discontinued the roadshow policy for their
“big” films they still would open such films in
one maybe two theaters where it would play for weeks
or months before going to neighborhood theaters.
the advent of t.v. in almost every home was the death
nell for many grand old movie theaters and the
multiplex era where a film opens in 2,000-3,000
on the same day was the death nell for many of the
grand old movie theaters that remained. i love going
to the Ziegfeld and am constantly amazed its still
i think pc is haunted,either that or i
need new glasses. yesterday when i looked i
did not see a Astor Theater listing for New
York, New York. but there it is today. no one’s
as always I thank you for your reply. I was always
under the impression that Ben-Hur opened at the Astor.
so the fact it opened at the Cohan is a perfect
reason for The Big Parade’s quite long run at the
to answer your question. since we have communicated
a great deal on this page that’s why I posted my
question on this page. also under what name is the
Astor listed. if you type in Astor Theater in the
subject search box office on the home page the theater
which existed at the nw corner of Bway & 44 St. does
not show up.
you have always been helpful so i have a
question for you- do you know of a website that
lists how long the exclusive 1st run engagements
of prominent silent films were? the reason i
ask is simple. last month in the Sunday Times
they had a review of The Big Parade blu-ray
disc. in said review they mention the initial
roadshow run at the Astor lasted almost 2 years.
but i am positive Ben-Hur which opened Dec.
1925 opened at the Astor. so how could The Big
Parade have played there almost two years.
again thanks for your reply. a quick two part
follow up question.
*since IAMMMMW has a direct link to this theater
having been its premiere attraction I have a
question for you. with the Criterion Blu-ray
coming out in January would you prefer the longest
version possible with actual footage approximating
the original roadshow cut or do you not mind
stills taking the place of lost footage.
*at the end of your last post you said-“while
Cleopatra bankrupted many a theater it was a
grand and glorious time”. how did Cleopatra
bankrupt many a theater? in played its roadshow
run in L.A. and Manhattan for just over year.
I can’t imagine a premiere 1st run theater
keeping a roadshow engagement for a year let alone
over a year if it wasn’t doing reasonable
business. also I wish people would stop referring
to the film as a flop, bomb etc…… as corny
and hokey as it is its still one of the best
historical epics in film history. the only reason
people have referred to it as flop, bomb etc… is
because it cost to frigging much for the dollar
value of the day, in this case June 1963.
Hello to RogerA.–
many thanks for your follow up e-mail. if I might repeat
myself-when roadshow runs finished films would then go
to “continuous performances at popular prices” in one
of the many 1st run theaters in Manhattan.in most cases
the films were shortened by simply cutting out the
overture, intermission, entr'acte and exit music. then
went the films went to neighborhood theaters around
NYC the films themselves would be tweaked. to which i
don’t understand why films would be tweaked in their
roadshow runs. wasn’t the whole point of the roadshow
policy to have 2 shows a day? so why did it matter
how long the film was?
unfortunately IAMMMMW was one of the films that was
tweaked when it was still in its quite popular road-
show run. something I don’t understand since again it
only had 2 shows a day anyway.
other films that opened on 2 a day roadshow run that
were unfortunately tweaked shortly after they premiered
were Cleopatra and Lawrence of Arabia. again something
I don’t get. fortunately in the case of Cleopatra the
footage that was cut within weeks from the premiere
roadshow print of 4hrs. 6 mins. was properly preserved
so the recently released stunning blu-ray disc is the original premiere roadshow cut. sad to say this isn’t
the case with any of the home video versions released to date of IAMMMMW.
its interesting most 2001 devotees probably don’t know
that Kubrick’s original cut was 20mins. longer. what
i’m not sure about is if the longer cut was ever actually used in the premiere roadshow run at Loew’s
Capitol. if the 20mins was cut out say the day before
the film’s premiere was it preserved or just tossed?
one last thought and its about an interesting fact you point out. The Sound of Music was one of the very few
roadshow films that played its second run continuous
performance engagements and its neighborhood theater
runs with the exact same cut that played the Rivoli
for a year and a half. the only difference being the
film played straight thru without an intermission.
thanks for your reply but I am still a bit confused.
I understand the studio’s mindset of tweaking a film
when it finished its roadshow run and went to a 2nd run theater. then when it went to the neighborhood theaters
around NYC being tweaked further. but i don’t understand
tweaking a film when it was still in its roadshow
run. at that stage it only had 2 shows a day anyway
so what was the point? making a film 15mins. shorter
say seems bizarre if they still only had 2 shows
to Peter A.–
thanks for the info about roadshow run of IAMMMMW.
you seem quite knowledgeable so I have a question
for you. in the prime roadshow period of Oct. 1955
thru Dec. 1972 it was common practice to tweak a film
after it finished its initial roadshow run and opened
on a popular prices continuous performance run at
another theater. this was done in many cases by simply
deleting the overture, intermission and exit music.
then when a film went to neighborhood runs around NYC
they would actually tweak the film itself to get in
more performances per day. this is where my question
comes in- what in God’s name was the point of tweaking
a film when it was still in its quite popular
roadshow run? there were only 2 shows a day anyway.
this was also done to “Lawrence of Arabia” and
“Cleopatra”. makes absolutely no sense to me.
also on this page a fellow poster noted that this
coming January 2014 the Criterion Collection was
going to release a Blu-ray of the film in the
longest version available that approximates the
original roadshow cut. Amazon will often list an
upcoming blu-ray disc long before the release date,
sometimes 3 to 4 months. but they have no listing
for a Criterion Collection blu-ray disc of IAMMMMW
at all let alone one with a January date.
thanks for your reply of Oct.11.. while i’m guessing
a decent number of the countless upon countless grand
old movie theaters/palaces that were built in the
prime building period of 1914-1941 still exist many
don’t qualify. for instance the Castro and Balboa in
San Francisco were built from the get go as 2nd or
3rd run neighborhood theaters. i’m looking for theaters
that were built from the get go as 1st run venues
have continued to operate as such since the day they
opened. as i said in my original post the Chinese is
the only one I have found so far on this site. I did
the search you suggested on both Yahoo and Google
but it didn’t help. it would be sad if the Chinese
was the only grand old movie theater/palace built in
the prime 1914-1941 period from the get go as a 1st
run venue that as continued to operate as such since
the day it opened.