Roxy Theatre

153 W. 50th Street,
New York, NY 10020

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Showing 1,101 - 1,125 of 1,150 comments

Vito on July 1, 2004 at 1:50 pm

Yes Warren, Cinerama was best used for travelogs, feature films like “How the West Was Won” did not work for me, I found the two seams very distracting, and if the projectionist did not set the carbons properly and keep them in the proper relationship with the aperature and reflector, there would be an annoying diference in the color and brightness in the three panels. Later with
“Mad Mad world” and “2001” which was filmed in 70mm single strip Cinerama was much more enjoyable.

William on July 1, 2004 at 1:19 pm

You’re right about how stereo added to the impact of those early CinemaScope films. Yes, Cinerama arrived alittle earlier than CinemaScope. But the CinemaScope films were feature films with stories and plots. The Cinerama films were mainly travelogs to showcase the format, but they still made an impact too. As for the early 3D films from Warner, they used a double-system format just like Cinerama.

JimRankin on July 1, 2004 at 3:28 am

Doug: if you are not in NYC, go to your local library and ask them to order in the microfilm of that date of any NYC newspaper such as the Times, and look at their movie listings. The listings for the ROXY will be there, plus the Theatre Historical Society of America has extensive data about the ROXY as well as a great many photos of it. Contact them at:

douglasmmessier on June 30, 2004 at 11:32 pm

I’m writing a bio of someone. I know he saw a show at the Roxy in New York on March 17, 1931. Was wondering if there was any way to find out what he saw that night. I’m also looking for pictures that could be reproduced in the book.

Vito on June 30, 2004 at 1:00 pm

You are right Warren,I forgot about Cinerama which was an 8 channel magnetic track interlocked with the three projectors, as opposed to 3-D which was an optical photographic track, I seem to recall the stage speakers were recorded on the left print and the surrounds on the right in a 3-D config. Correct me if I am wrong.

Vito on June 30, 2004 at 3:53 am

William, I worked for fox in the 50s on 50th St near 10th ave.
Many a morning was spent at the Roxy opening new Fox films. I remember the magnificent marguee which advertised CinemaScope in huge neon letters:
The reference of course, to the 3-D movies playing at the time which required poloroid glasses be worn. Movie goers were astonished at the size of the screen and the magnificent 4 track sound, the thunder and lightning sequence was especially impressive with lightning striking thru the surrounds all over the theatre. Although WB had played around with stereo a little less than a year earlier with some 3-D films at The Paramount such as “House Of Wax” and later with “Charge at feather River”, it was “The Robe”,
I think, that really impressed moviegowers with stereo sound. Agree?

William on June 29, 2004 at 5:14 pm

The Roxy Theatre was the Best place to see CinemaScope in the city because, it was Fox’s premiere showcase house for it. It was premiered for the industry there and the public. Just like Todd-AO was the premiere showcase at the Rivoli Theatre.

bbin3d on June 29, 2004 at 5:11 pm

In reading one of the prior comments made in February, I remembered going to the Roxy to see LIL' ABNER with my parents. I didn’t realize that was the last Xmas show to play this theatre. The following year I did see THE LAST VOYAGE at the theatre. I wish I could remember more about what the inside of the theatre looked like. Those pictures posted bring back some memories. I guess I was a bit young and it has been a long, long time. I vaguely remember the outside.

EMarkisch on June 29, 2004 at 4:27 pm

Bit of useless trivia. Although the mighty Roxy is gone some 43 years already, about 100 seats live on in the lodge room of the Floral Park Masonic Temple in Nassau County, Long Island, NY. The end stancheons (spelling?) display the distinctive “R” initial associated with the Roxy. Legend has it that one of the Masons had a connection with the Roxy and obtained the seats for their lodge room when the theater was going to be demolished.

Incredible that “Cathedral of the Motion Picture” is gone such a long time already. My first encounter with the Roxy was around 1950 when my father took me to see Walt Disney’s “Peter Pan” and an ice show on the stage. An experience not to be forgotten. Sitting in the balcony watching the ice light up in different colors from florescent tubes buried under the ice. A few years later seeing Sonja Heinie in person with her ice revue was another memorable experience.

The Roxy, in the mid 50’s was also the best theater to see CinemaScope, especially in four channel magnetic sound. The screen had a slight curve and was quite large. Memorable films were “The Robe”, “There’s No Business Like Show Business”, “The Rains of Ranchipur” and “The Egyptian”. At times, the rear channel sound, used mostly for effects, seemed to come from the very top of the

William on April 10, 2004 at 5:27 am

As in my earlier post of Feb, 11th.
The Roxy Theatre was operated by the Roxy Theatre, Inc. company. Which was controlled & owned by National Theatres Inc. of Los Angeles. National Theatres was the parent company for Fox. So the Roxy was the show case house in New York for Fox product.

RobertR on April 9, 2004 at 12:01 pm

Although at the end they did play a few double features I think I read.

RobertR on April 9, 2004 at 11:27 am

Wow Monogram and Republic seem like low end product for the Roxy

Roxymusicco on April 9, 2004 at 11:23 am

I’m pretty sure that the BEACON was supposed to be called The Roxy Midland or Midtown. Roxy actually apporved of the design and W. W. Ahlschlager wa the architech. The rotunda is a smaller version of the Roxy’s and the BEACON, too, is uilt on an angle with a triangular stage. The theatre building extorior is very similar in design to the Roxy. I think it was around that time that Roxy got involved with Rock Center. From what I could find the Roxy played mostly FOX products along with Monogram and Republic.

BBssbsc on March 26, 2004 at 1:20 pm

Does anyone have insight, information, documentation, etc. on the whereabouts of the grand piano used for stage presentations at the Roxy. Any help would be most greatly appreciated.
Thank you.
Bill B.

dickdziadzio on March 18, 2004 at 8:43 am

On the DVD of WEST SIDE STORY after the music overture – when the overhead camera shots begin -DVD chapter 2, 37 seconds in- freeze the dvd- in the lower right hand corner- they had just demolished
the roof and walls of the ROXY but you can see the orchestra seating grid built at that 45 degree angle between 50th and 51st street. The MUSIC HALL roof can be seen in the left part of the letterboxed image.

richklein on March 18, 2004 at 6:49 am

What was the name of the organ player who played beforw the film

William on February 13, 2004 at 5:36 pm

The man whose name appears on most of the Cinemiracle patents was Russell H. McCullough. He was the director of research and development for National Theatres. National Theatres developed marketed and released the Cinemiracle process. They would later sell the patents to the Cinerama Corp. They opened “Windjammer” in their two high-profile showcase houses the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood and The Roxy in New York City. Each of the theatres closed for about a month to install the new projection booths and the new screens. The Cinemiracle screen was made of conventional seamless material and was substantially less curved than that of Cinerama, being about 120 degrees instead of 146. The benefit of the 120 degree screen is that cross reflections are not as severe, thus the louvre type screen used in Cinerama wasn’t necessary. Century Projector Corp. built the Cinemiracle projectors and have a mechanism considerably altered from the standard 35mm machine to provide the drive for movement of film at Cinemiracle’s 146.25 feet per minute and to handle 8000-foot film reels. To bring Cinemiracle to the public National Theatres spent upwards of a half-million dollars to prepare the Roxy and the Chinese theatres. At the Chinese Theatre, National Theatres put in new seating and recarpeted as well as installing the equipment.
“Windjammer” would play about 23 weeks at the Roxy from 4/9/1958 to 9/17/1958. The Chinese Theatre’s engagement was 4/8/1958 to 12/17/1958 for a total of 36 weeks.

PAULB on February 13, 2004 at 4:38 pm

Well, actually, WINDJAMMER played here in Sydney at the 1150 seat spanish style PLAZA CINERAMA in about 1961 and ran for 6 months. I did see it and have fond memories probably becuase it was a big event at the time. The screen here was 100ft wide; the cinerama films all played long runs here and WINDJAMMER was helped enormously by the visit of the Chilean windjammer ship The Esmerelda which docked in Sydney Harbour at the time. The Plaza on the inside looked like the pic of the exterior of the Roxy above, it was opened in 1933 and closed during the colour TV boom of 1977. It was a breathtaking luxury house and home of long runs BUT the mid 70s were its worst years and it was all over with a lame screening of Mr Billion. Today it is a Macdonalds. An insult to what should still be one of Sydney’s 4 genuine pic palaces. Two survived The State and the Capitol, and two were lost: the Plaza and the Regent.

VincentParisi on February 13, 2004 at 11:29 am

I’ve heard it was pretty good. Is there anyone out there who saw Windjammer and liked it?

Vito on February 13, 2004 at 10:42 am

Warren reminded me of that awfull destruction of the Roxy made in 1958, the 100-foot screen installed for Cinemiracle swallowed up the Roxy’s vast proscenium arch, the ornamental boxes and staircases, and then hardly anyone came to see this silly movie

William on February 11, 2004 at 10:20 am

The original stret address of the Roxy Theatre was 153 W. 50th. Street.

William on February 11, 2004 at 10:18 am

The Roxy Theatre was operated by the Roxy Theatre, Inc. company which was controlled and owned by National Theatre, Inc. of Los Angeles, California. National Theatres operated select locations under special companies or corperations. Even after the Paramount decree in 1946. Other National Theatre holdings were the Fox West Coast Theatres Corp., Fox Midwest Theatres, Inc., Fox Inter-Mountain Theatres, Inc., Fox Wisconsin Theatres, Inc., Evergreen State Amusement Corp.. National Theatres controls Fox Michigan Corp., which operates the Fox Detroit, Roxy Theatre, Inc. operating the Roxy, in New York and Fox Philadelphia Building , Inc. operating the Fox Phildelphia. National Theatre would later be known as National General Theatres in 60’s and later be sold to Ted Mann in the early 70’s, to become Mann Theatres of California and later to Paramount and Warner Studios to become CineAmerica Theatres.

RobertR on February 10, 2004 at 1:47 pm

I remember reading a story once that studios would delay a release months just to get the Music Hall or the Roxy. This was also true in the 60’s and 70’s for Cinema 1 and 2 when they were the premiere art houses in the whole country. Sadly it seems there are no theatres that have that clout anymore.

William on February 4, 2004 at 12:58 pm

The Warner’s Beverly Hills Theatre was equipped with a pair of Century VistaVision projectors and they also had a pair of Simplex XL machines too. When they pulled the VistaVision projectors out they installed a pair of Norelco DP-70’s, this was a major Road Show Theatre.