Guild Theater

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

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Showing 101 - 111 of 111 comments

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 21, 2004 at 5:15 pm

In its last years, the Guild usually ran its movies simultaneously with other Manhattan theatres. Most people would rather go to one in their neighborhood. Rockefeller Center is not a residential area, and mainly visited by tourists during the daytime. At night it’s deserted unless the RCMH is operating.

Camden
Camden on July 21, 2004 at 5:05 pm

I think I saw the last film shown at this theatre, or one of them, which was a distressingly mild Albert Brooks comedy called “The Muse.” The theatre was excellent, but the seats and carpets were astonishingly threadbare given the theatre’s superb location, and now that I’ve read about the 25-year lease expiring, I finally understand why. Reminds me of Hong Kong being turned over to mainland China, although instead of a single hundred-year lease, it had successive 25-year ones. I was fascinated to learn on this site that the theatre started as a “newsreel house” (something I never even suspected existed; sort of the 1930s version of CNN, I guess). I don’t quite understand why the theatre wasn’t more successful toward the end, since the attendance seemed fairly sparse to me, given its wet-dream of a location smack in the very middle of Rockefeller Center. I miss the place, and resent the Nautica store every time I see it, which is several times a week.

Camden

Camden

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 9, 2004 at 3:26 pm

The current Nautica marquee uses just the framework of the original, which was similar to those of Radio City Music Hall and the Center, but of course much smaller. The theatre was a completely separate structure from Radio City Music Hall.

stukgh
stukgh on July 9, 2004 at 3:02 pm

I believe that in its final years the Guild concentrated mainly on childrens' films and family fare.
My main Guild memory is of subwaying into the Manhattan to see “Planet of the Apes” which, if memory serves, had a very long run there.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on March 26, 2004 at 10:55 pm

I don’t believe the U.S. release of AIDA was of a subtitled print at all. While indeed sung in Italian, there were sporadic bits of “summarizing” English narration for each episode and no subtitles provided. The 1982 re-issue (same version) at the Guild was with reserved performances, but not reserved seats. The original opera was heavily truncated, with startling jumps, even within arias, where music was cut out. In his review for the New York Times for the 1954 opening, Bosley Crother referred to the then virtualy unknown Sophia Loren as “a handsome woman”!!!

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 26, 2004 at 9:44 pm

“Aida” had its American premiere in November 1954 in New York City at the Little Carnegie, where it broke the house record in its first week and ran for several months. Concert impresario Sol Hurok “sponsored” the opening engagement, after which the Italian distribution company, IFE, released “Aida” across the USA, with an eventual 250 engagements, mostly at “art houses,” that netted rentals of about $300,000. All of those bookings were the original Italian version with English subtitles, though Sophia Loren and some of the supporting cast were dubbed by Italian opera stars.

againsam
againsam on February 4, 2004 at 9:18 pm

“Aida” was a revival. I remember it shown in the early 50’s. Renata Tebaldi did the singing and Sophia Loren was Aida. Lois Maxwell, the original “Moneypenny” was also in the film. You are right, the theatre was a gem. I remember seeing Frankenheimer’s “The Young Stranger” there in 1957

RobertR
RobertR on February 4, 2004 at 4:42 pm

I loved this theatre I first discovered it in the seventies when it ran a reserved seat engagement of an Italian version of Aida with Sophia Loren lip syncing to someone elses voice. It was made in the fifties and never released here until then. A truely bizzare film, I have not heard of it since then. If I am correct the distributor was 21st Century Distribution who released all those dubbed Italian horror films.

SwankyJohn
SwankyJohn on January 30, 2004 at 8:56 pm

This was a great little theater with a curved standing section in the back. It was a simple, sleek art deco theater with a lot of warmth. I miss it – the last film I saw there was the romantic comedy WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING.

William
William on November 15, 2003 at 5:29 pm

The Guild Theatre’s address was 33 W. 50th Street.