Comments from Ed Solero

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Ed Solero
Ed Solero commented about Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Cinemas on Oct 25, 2013 at 9:31 pm

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.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero commented about Stadium Theatre on Oct 25, 2013 at 9:14 pm

I smell a new listing forthcoming…

Ed Solero
Ed Solero commented about 8th Street Playhouse on Oct 25, 2013 at 9:10 pm

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.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero commented about Meadowbrook Theatre on Oct 25, 2013 at 9:04 pm

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.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero commented about Broadway Theatre on Oct 23, 2013 at 5:44 pm

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?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero commented about Broadway Theatre on Oct 23, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Wow… 1931! I wonder how big that “giant” television screen was – not to mention how grainy or fuzzy the image was, at that size!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero commented about Radio City Music Hall on Oct 21, 2013 at 7:57 pm

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.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero commented about RKO Commack Twin on Oct 21, 2013 at 3:52 am

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.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero commented about Hollywood Theatre on Oct 21, 2013 at 1:20 am

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.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero commented about RKO Commack Twin on Oct 21, 2013 at 1:13 am

I remember that smoking policy was pretty standard in most chains. Or up in the balcony only, where they had them.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero commented about Hollywood Theatre on Oct 20, 2013 at 3:01 am

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.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero commented about Hollywood Theatre on Oct 20, 2013 at 1:15 am

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.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero commented about Ridgewood Theatre on Oct 20, 2013 at 12:45 am


Ed Solero
Ed Solero commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Oct 13, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Photos are set democratically by the most # of views for any particular image within that theater’s photo set. I do not believe there is an override available to administrators.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero commented about Lyric Theatre on Oct 11, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Interesting, back in 1914, no representation of the Roman Catholic Church in that statement. Rockville Centre, of course, would become the seat for the Diocese of Long Island.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero commented about Playhouse on Oct 11, 2013 at 5:33 pm

This raises a question as to what remains, if anything, of the theater’s interior? The lower level is clearly a parking lot, with driveway located at what used to be the foyer wall at the back of the house. But, is there anything left above the garage and at the front of the house? Perhaps the proscenium? Ceiling and balcony? Wonder if they’d allow whatever remains to be photographed for posterity.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero commented about International Airport Drive-In on Oct 9, 2013 at 5:44 pm

I agree Ken. This is why I suggested it would make a better submission as a blog item. I miss the old news item feature, where CT members were permitted to post news items, directly. I believe, now, you have to submit blog ideas via email, which would then be written and/or edited by an administrator.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero commented about International Airport Drive-In on Oct 9, 2013 at 4:26 pm

That’s up to the site administrators, robboehm. If you allow this listing to remain, then, conceivably, there could be a spate of new CT listings for proposed theater projects – replete with artists renderings, street-views, articles, etc – for any number of venues that never were in existence. That would indicate a bit of a shift in direction for CT. It might be interesting if there were some way to run a separate database within the site for theaters that never came to be, but I’m not sure its appropriate to celebrate those unfulfilled plans within the current theater database.

I agree, the information presented here is quite interesting, but it probably would be better suited as a CT blog item.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero commented about International Airport Drive-In on Oct 9, 2013 at 4:39 am

Again, thanks for the research you’ve done, Ken. I think you’ve provided plenty of ammunition, here, to sink the notion that this Airport Drive-In project ever got off the ground (groan, if you must). That last item from July 1, 1952, seems most convincing of all.

Of course, this means that all of the fine research, and musings here on this page will soon vanish into the ether(net), and it will be as if this conversation never took place at all.

But, before I shed a tear, I think I’ll clip this page into a scrapbook on my computer. Once this item is deleted, I’ll do my best to summarize on the Whitestone Drive-In page – just to put some closure on the matter (and satisfy my OCD urges).

Ed Solero
Ed Solero commented about International Airport Drive-In on Oct 8, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Thanks for that research, masked man! If there is no further news on the matter, I guess this answers 2 questions: Firstly, it appears that grading of the lanes and ramps is among the first tasks performed in the construction of a drive-in theater, and, secondly, that the theater was never officially in existence.

I suppose that will mean deletion of this post. If that happens, Ken, I think your post above should probably be copied into the comment history for the Whitestone Drive-In, just to close the books on this theater that never was. I point to that listing, only because that was where CT member rivest266 first made mention of the proposed construction for the International Airport Drive-In.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero commented about International Airport Drive-In on Oct 8, 2013 at 3:01 pm

It may well be that this listing gets deleted, but there is physical evidence of construction – or at the very least, site preparation. I think we could afford to sit on the listing just a little while longer, to see if anyone can verify whether or not the facility ever opened to the public.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero commented about UA Lynbrook 6 on Oct 8, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Truth, Mike. Only new seats in the building are those in the two newest rooms – the stage area auditorium, and the tiny auditorium up front in the former retail space. In the 4 main rooms, are the same creaky red seats I remember sitting in for films like “1941,” “Rocky II,” “The Muppet Movie,” and “Dawn of the Dead” back in 1979!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero commented about International Airport Drive-In on Oct 7, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Kong1911, it definitely progressed beyond the mere “talk” phase, as evidenced by that aerial shot. They got at least as far as grading the parcel with the familiar pattern of parking stalls and aisles for prospective patrons. Still, seems odd to me that the grading would have been completed prior to construction of a screen and utility/refreshment structure. I mean, wouldn’t you want your structures in place first, before making the terrain so hilly and difficult for construction crews to maneuver through? And wouldn’t the cables that would deliver sound to the individual speakers be laid out first, before the grading of the ramps? I have no idea how these theaters were constructed, so it beats me.

Excellent point, however, about the airport noise. I used to live directly under a flight path in Laurelton, Queens, and the noise of an overhead jet could be deafening sitting in your living room with the TV on, let alone out in a field with your car window cracked open for the speaker hook. But then, back in the early ‘50’s, how prevalent were commercial jet planes? This theater, if it ever operated at all, would have probably existed at the very dawn of the commercial jet age.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero commented about International Airport Drive-In on Oct 7, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Do you have access to old Long Island Press editions? If this drive-in were to have been advertized in any of the daily newspapers, it would have been in the Press. Not sure if southern Queens had any smaller, more locally targeted publications that might have included listings.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero commented about International Airport Drive-In on Oct 7, 2013 at 5:59 pm

I think the old listing was deleted and a new one created with proper spelling of Conduit and Jamaica, since it was so early in the goings on, Stephenvb. I don’t think there’s any other way to fix the location map.

Pity I wasted all that time cruising from lower Broadway out to the Conduit on the street view feature last night!

Tinseltoes had made a fair point in his comment, that there is really no evidence that this drive-in actually ever opened for exhibition. We can see that the site was certainly landscaped for a drive-in theater, per the 1954 aerial, but it is difficult to make out if there are any physical structures – such as screen, snack bar, projection facility – in that image.