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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…
bijoe59… the film would have been a United Artists property, if not owned by Kramer himself. MGM’s ownsership of UA (and therefore IAMMMMW) would not have occured until some 15 or 16 years after the film was edited for general release.
Probably the 4K version of the general release that is the basis of the forthcoming Criterion Blu-Ray release, I suspect. The Blu-Ray, will evidently include a hi-def digital transfer of an even longer approximation of the roadshow cut, in a 197-minute version, assembled by Robert A Harris (natch). It is said to include scenes that have been returned to the film for the first time since its original release. I wonder if this includes an audio-and-stills-only recreation of the lost phone call between Spencer Tracy and Buster Keaton. The material for the release also says that both versions of the film will feature 5.1 surround audio.
I’ll be 3000 miles away in NYC, so, whichever version is screened at the Dome, I’ll have to settle for Criterion release in January.
I smell a new listing forthcoming…
I seem to recall there might have been a bit of a platform stage in front of the screen, but certainly nothing by way of theatrical facilities. Didn’t stop a hell of a show from going down in front of numerous Rocky Horror screenings, back in the day! If my memory is correct, it was no more than a slight, raised platform, maybe a few inches above the floor ahead of the first row. I could be completely mistaken about that.
Stevenle… Back around that same period, I sometimes gobbled those microdots, 5 and 6 at a time. I watched the Earth split open and melt on several occasions. But, gotta say, I enjoyed the ride – and emerged from the smoking ashes, unscathed. Thankfully, particulary for those dearest to me, I haven’t travelled down that rabbit hole in a couple of decades, now.
Coincidentally, this pic, also from October, 1931, and posted back in May of 2012, shows the marquee advertising what appears to be essentially the same bill. Barto & Mann seem to be listed on the marquee in place of Al Trahan?
Wow… 1931! I wonder how big that “giant” television screen was – not to mention how grainy or fuzzy the image was, at that size!
I remember, when I was a kid, those lines used to zig-zag along a cordoned off path in the plaza between 51st and 50th Street, like the queue for a popular theme park ride. I’m pretty sure it fed from the plaza directly onto 50th Street and then up to the main box office. I suppose that helped contain the line as much as possible from having to use precious cross street sidewalk space. Of course, the crowds were no where near as large in the ‘70’s as they probably were during the Hall’s height as a cinema.
Yes, I should have clarified that. National Amusements (at least when Sunrise Cinemas opened in Valley Stream) was last 8 rows, if I recall. I remember you could look back and see the blue fog of cigarette smoke swirling in the light from the projector.
Agreed. I did rotate the view all the way around. Interestingly, the view facing east must be an older image, because the larger warehouse isn’t there. A couple of smaller buildings are depicted, which must have been razed to make way for the warehouse. The office structure appears pretty much the same from all angles.
I remember that smoking policy was pretty standard in most chains. Or up in the balcony only, where they had them.
In your Bing Map link, there is a blue circle marking the approximate location of 14 Geddes. If you move to the right there are two buildings with peaked roofs. The second one, the smaller of the two, with a grey roof – which appears to have a rear bay door open – is the one I presume to be the original Hollywood Theatre structure. It seems about the right size for a small, single level, 300 seat movie house. And this is the building that now has a VP Supply Corp sign hanging above its entrance, as can be viewed from down the block in the street view set at the top of this page (if you were to zoom-in).
But, as you say, still not sure which building is number 14.
Thanks for that info, RK. It was getting awful lonely in here, all by myself. Territory Wholesale Supply lives on, sort of, via acquisition by the company VP Supply. They list a Holley address at 14 Geddes Street, but I am unsure if this was the exact location of the former Hollywood Theatre. It appears that VP occupies two buildings, the smaller of which is the grey one-story building I refer to in the first comment above, with a stepped facade. I believe that this building is the original Hollywood Theatre structure. VP also owns the larger grey building just next door, with peaked roof. This is likely their warehouse, and appears to be a much newer structure. I’m not sure which of these belongs to the address of 14 Geddes. Either way, a street view along this portion of Geddes, is still not made possible by Google maps, so we can’t get a good look at the building.