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No doubt, this theater’s name change to the President was associated with the opening of the President Hotel, across the street. The Hotel, dating to the late 1920’s – and depicted in the 1935 photo posted above by Brad Smith – is still in operation today, under the Best Western banner.
Perusing the photos of the theater, and reviewing the comments history, I think the proper original name for this, as advertized on front of the marquee, was Hollywood Twin Cinema (not pluralized). The marquee appears unchanged from the 1976 image taken from “Taxi Driver,” to some of the early 1980’s images posted from its revivial days. At some point, it appears the marquee was updated to feature yellow lettering over black background (I recall this look on several theaters in the area towards the end of the line), and the name changed to Hollywood Twin Theater. During this period, the side boards for the individual auditoriums were labeled “Cine 1” and “Cine 2.” It also appears that it may have had a go as a Spanish language cinema during this time, as evidenced by this pic, posted by CT member William a couple of years back.
I found an old Hollywood Twin schedule flyer, that dates back to mid-September thru mid-October, 1981. I uploaded images of the flyer to the photo section, above. The full image shrinks down a bit too small to read, so I also uploaded a close-up of the top, plus a bit of the reverse side, showing what the prices were. Apparently, regular admission was $4.00 for a standard revival double feature. However, deep discounts were offered for package deals!
Surprisingly, many of the titles on the schedule were fairly recent releases – some from earlier in 1981 – although, typically paired with much older films. A lot of films from the 1970’s figured into this particular schedule, with only the pairings of “Grand Illusion” with “Paths of Glory,” and “All About Eve” with “A Letter To Three Wives” harkening back to Hollywood’s classic studio era.
The reverse side also had brief synopses for each title listed on the schedule.
My mistake. The photo is dated January 19, 1921, and refers to the theatre opening the following month. So, by April 22, Variety had in the neighborhood of two full months worth of box office figures by which to judge its success. The photo caption also refers to the theatre as the “Albemarle Palace,” suggesting this may have been the name under which it opened.
If spring 1921 was the time of the Albemarle’s opening, then the Variety piece you copied from April 22, 1921, seems a pretty snap rush to judgment on the lack of success for the venue.
Looks like the name Boulevard has returned to this establishment, per this recent photo posted to the Flickr website. Not sure when Natives went down and Boulevard took its place, but seems to be more or less the same business model.
I agree with dallasmovietheaters. It’s confusing that the results return with a definitive sounding “No theaters found,” under the new default parameters, when searching for a specific theater that may be closed. Just earlier today, I searched Jackson Heights, NY, looking for the Eagle Theatre listing, and found myself wondering if I entered the wrong spelling, before I remembered that the results were only giving me the 3 open theaters in that area, and not indicating any of the closed, or even demolished, theaters that used to be included in results.
Articles from this period that announced the opening of local motion picture houses, always seem to read like paid advertisements. In my modest research, I’ve found this to be the case across the board, whether the opening was in the Big Apple, or in the smallest of hamlets in rural upstate New York.
Robboehm… I haven’t had any difficulty on any theater page – I see a comment box on every page. And here we are posting in the closed Lyceum Theatre listing.
If you search for theaters in an specific area or zip code, under the map window you’ll see tabs for “open,” “closed,” etc. It defaults to “open,” but if you click the “closed” tab, you’ll have a list of closed theaters in that zip code or location.
With the College Theatre opening in September of 1926, it may have spelled doom for the older and much smaller Lyceum Theatre, which had been closed and sold by that same October. The introductory description for the Lyceum, contributed by RidgewoodKen, notes that there was a third movie house in College Point, called the Regent Theatre. So far, that cinema has not been listed on CT.
Based on the discussion over at the College Theatre page, the Lyceum would have operated in very close proximity to that newer and much larger movie house, which was located at the archaic address of 319 13th Avenue. In fact, it might have been the opening of the College Theatre, in September of 1926, that led to the Lyceum’s closing.
The building that was the former College Theatre, has a present-day address of 1508 College Point Blvd, and is located a few doors south of the southwest corner of 15th Avenue and College Point Blvd (aka 122nd Street). Who knows if the old street numbering also placed odd and even numbered buildings on opposite sides of the street from each other, but one could assume, that the Lyceum was very likely located on one of the northern corners of this same intersection.
And, now, what of the Regent Theatre…?
“Boggles” my mind how some (or maybe just one) of the more serious contributors here (whether under their original member name, or a new alias) can be among those who stir up the better portion of this pointless drama!
Good call, Ross! I’d hate for these otherwise amiable, and more-or-less on target, conversations to go silent because of the rudeness, and selfishness, of a handful of participants.
Wow. A remarkably well documented expedition into the remains of the Brooklyn Paramount!
I know Jackie Gleason is most famously linked to the Halsey Theatre, but the Normandy would have been closer to his childhood home of 328 Chauncey Street, just 4 blocks up Howard and around the corner. I see how the theater was listed as catering to “Negro” audiences under the name Howard Theatre in the 1930’s, and things being what they were in those days, I wonder if a young Gleason may have ever made his way down to the Normandy – particularly before its changeover to the Howard.
Hey Ross… I probably should have been clearer in my comments – I didn’t mean to infer that anyone at CT was removing Chuck1231’s comments and photos. I actually assumed that it was Stephen (or some other family member with the account password) who had been removing them. Just found it puzzling, since this site obviously meant something to him, that the contributions he left behind here, would be removed in the wake of his passing.
Anyway, I understand these off topic posts will be deleted – and rightfully so. Just wanted to make clear that I did not intend to suggest any favoritism. Apologies for appearances to the contrary!
Stevenvb… I’m very sorry to hear of your loss, and my thoughts are with you and your family. Indeed, as it has been commented elsewhere, CT will miss your father’s contributions. It’s a shame that his legacy of comments and contributed photos seem to be in the process of being systematically eradicated from CT.
Ha… Curmudgeon, I think the Ricky Nelson appellation came long after this space had seen its prime as a porn house! As a matter of fact, I’d be very interested in knowing if anyone had any sort of information regarding the Ricky Nelson Screening Room! What was the story, there? Do we know a time frame for its operation? I’m assuming sometime in the ‘90’s, after the New Victory and New Amsterdam had re-opened? Certainly, after the Duece’s original movie houses were shuttered.
I think Huntington stands apart from the other locations you mention. That strip of New York Avenue, where the Paramount is located, is such a hot spot on weekends, I don’t think it even needs the theater to remain vibrant. Though, I’m sure it helps. I met some friends for dinner and drinks at a local restaurant, just a block and a half from the Paramount last weekend, and the street was hopping. Lots were packed, and local pubs and restaurants all seemed to have good patronage. A significant portion of the crowd at the bar were waiting to go in to the ZZ Top concert at the Paramount, and someone there told me that a few solitary seats were still available for the show. I can recall being on this same strip a few years ago, before the Paramount opened, and when the former IMAC was still shuttered, and the crowds did not seem noticeably smaller, nor the bars and restaurants any less crowded, than they were on my recent visit.
Anyway, point being, you can’t really compare Westbury to Huntington. There really is nothing else going on along Post Ave. In that regard, it probably has more kinship with Riverhead, Patchogue, and Bay Shore – all sleepy little business districts, compared to Huntington.
NYCB Theater, as the Music Fair is now known, is in a fairly desolate (at night, anyway) stretch of office parks and light commercial strips, but it still seems to draw its usual roster of nostalgia acts and comics throughout the summer (and even during other seasons, though not quite as abundantly). I have a feeling, it gets the business it does, because promotors know it, and are used to booking it. It’s like a reliable fixture on the circuit.
Here is a photo of the theater (flat marquee on the left, with New Amsterdam marquee a few doors down on the right), which was erroneously posted to the non-“Gay” Frisco Theater’s page. If contributing member RobertR gets around to moving the photo to this theater’s photo gallery, I will remove this comment.
Nice photo. Here’s an active link.
Sorry, bigoe59… I don’t have any knowledge of such a site. However, it seems that “Ben-Hur” did not open at the Astor, but at the George M Cohan Theatre. I was able to search the NY Times website, and found the original film review for “Ben-Hur” (as it appeared in the December 31, 1925 edition), which not only confirms the engagement at the Cohan, but also references the ongoing engagement of “The Big Parade” at the Astor. By the way, an entry in the trivia section on imdb.com for “The Big Parade” claims that the film played the Astor for 96 weeks.
My only question to you is why didn’t you post this inquiry on the Astor page? I’m sure it’ll be pointed out by others, that this exchange goes off-topic for the Embassy listing!
SWC, I’m thankful that you’ve photographed surviving portions of the Keith’s interior, and that you’ve been kind enough to share them here. Please don’t withdraw any posts or photos based solely on the petty criticisms of others.
Wow… Thanks for sharing this. Nice set of shots of the Duece, just as I remember it. Actually, towards the tail end of the few years I spent going to movies in the area. By ‘86, I was an infrequent visitor – and then, rarely for a flick, anymore. But these are great!
Bigjoe59… The decision to cut “2001” was made by Kubrick, himself, who thought that the film could use a bit of tightening, as well as one or two inserts to connect the monolith with the idea to use the animal bone as a weapon. Similarly, with “The Shining” (which came some years after the age of roadshows), Kubrick decided to excise the film’s original coda, as unecessarily explanatory. In both cases, Kubrick having complete control over the way he intended his films to be shown, the trims were either destroyed or locked away in some personal vault.
If the Kubrick Estate is in possession of this material, it is possible that these will one day find their way into the market, but, thus far, Kubrick’s curators have been very faithful to preserving the presentation of his work in strict accordance with his wishes. I don’t think longer cuts will ever be in order, but I could envision the trims making it into an “extras” feature on future DVD/Blu-Ray releases. It would also be great to see the abandoned pie-fight sequence from Dr Strangelove, while we’re at it…