Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre

707 Seventh Avenue,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 101 - 125 of 1,094 comments

techman707
techman707 on April 12, 2013 at 6:37 pm

“Since the locals rented and never owned, they were the first to go when the slum lords sold out.”

SAD, BUT TRUE.

However, you’ll note that I never referred to anything below 42nd Street. And, 11th Avenue was in a class by itself….and I doubt that there were many people that would go down there alone at night.

When “On the Waterfront” was filmed, my father was a Custom’s Agent on the docks and I watched some of the filming there. In fact, one of the goons in the film who was a friend of my father’s was a Longshoremen that worked on the docks and who they hired for the film.

The politicians have made it sound bad enough so they could rape this city, please don’t make it sound worse then it actually was.-LOL

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on April 12, 2013 at 4:43 pm

39th Street to 36th Street wet of 9th Avenue to eleventh was mostly brothels and crack houses. Most of the area west of ninth avenue from 36th Street to 54th Street was full of street walkers and drug dealers. The locals stayed indoors after dark while the Westies gang ran their trade. Since the locals rented and never owned, they were the first to go when the slum lords sold out.

techman707
techman707 on April 12, 2013 at 4:24 pm

While you might have called the area where Lincoln Center was built a “slum”, I don’t think that the area from 8th to 10th Avenue from 42nd through 57th Street could ever have been classified as a “slum”. The buildings don’t fall into that category. In fact, most are still there today….only the cost for an apartment or value of the property has changed. I guess driving out the area’s indigenous residents changes it from a slum to a whatever?

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on April 12, 2013 at 3:11 pm

There are no “bad blocks” in Hell’s Kitchen anymore. Without cleaning up 42nd street, nothing else would have happened and the area would still be a slum today. Giuliani didn’t cause the Disney effect, that pre-dated him, but he made sure his friends had first dibs on prime real estate.

techman707
techman707 on April 12, 2013 at 2:07 pm

AlAlvarez on April 12,–“I don’t know if we will ever get an honest answer as to why each theatre was treated as it was”

Truer words were never spoken. We will NEVER know the truth, only the result.

techman707
techman707 on April 12, 2013 at 1:59 pm

AlAlvarez on April 12-“Without tourists and day trippers there would be no Times square. I live in Hell’s Kitchen in an area I would never venture into at night before 1999.”

While there have always been some “bad blocks” in the Hell’s Kitchen area that you really wouldn’t want to walk down late at night if you could avoid it, it sounds worse than it actually was. Most of the violence in the area was mostly between competing gangs (which I would guess are still around there “somewhere”. If it is “safe” today, the main reason would be that along with Disney taking over 42nd St., it has also because property values and rents have skyrocketed, driving out most the people you might have not wanted to run into late at night. The same thing has happened to Harlem. As you drive out poor people with “gentrification”, you drive up rents and property values. While it might be good for the people buying up the property, it’s not so great for the displaced people that have lived there their whole life. If Rudolph Giuliani remained as King…I mean Mayor, he probably would have had the poor and homeless people exiled to another country (Although uncle Mike isn’t much better).

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on April 12, 2013 at 1:55 pm

I don’t know if we will ever get an honest answer as to why each theatre was treated as it was. There were political machinations behind the scenes including the legit theatre owners wanting to limit competition, multiplex operators in financial straits, and the 42nd street redevelopment people trying to make room for large new tenants like Madame Tussauds and Ripleys.

techman707
techman707 on April 12, 2013 at 1:39 pm

bigjoe59- “….what was the state of the Candler Theater? was it in such bad shape they decided to demolish it or was it in perfectly renovatable shape but no one wanted to spend the money so it was razed.”

It’s interesting you should ask about the Candler building, since the union I was in, the projectionists Local 306, was located in the Candler building. The only reason they were FORCED to move was because of the demolition. The building was certainly NOT in bad shape. In fact, like so many of the older buildings that have been razed, it was a building that was built for the ages. Like comparing the Empire State Building to the World Trade Center, which building would you select to be in if were going to be hit by a plane?

All this makes me think about the Beacon Theatre, where I worked a number of times back in the early 1970’s when Brandt was still operating it as a movie theatre. It was, for all practical purposes, A DUMP. Yet, if you look at this fabulous theatre (a smaller sister to the big Roxy theatre**) today after its renovation, the thought of this theatre getting demolished is criminal.

**-The reason I say the “Big Roxy” (6000 seats) is because of the smaller Roxy (3500 seats) that was originally part of the Rockefeller Center complex. They were sued by the then owners of the big Roxy and forced to rename the small Roxy the “Center Theatre, or RKO Center Theatre. To date, it is the ONLY building in the complex to be demolished. When I was young, I remember going there to see the Milton Berle Show, which used the Center Theatre as a broadcast studio. With the size of cameras back then, I can tell you first hand that you could see better at home on the TV. The cameras blocked EVERYTHING.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on April 12, 2013 at 1:33 pm

The Lew Fields (aka Anco) was a featureless pit so it seems like no great loss.

The Candler (known as the Harris since 1921!) was a much nicer house, solid and dependable, and I don’t think I ever heard a satisfactory explanation as to why it was demolished. One of my favorites, and surely missed.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on April 12, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Hello Again-

speaking of the legit theaters that once were located on the south side of 42 St. between 7th and 8th Aves. the Lew Fields Theater was razed because it had been redone so many times there was no point trying to renovate it. the American was razed in 1931 after being heavily damaged in a fire. the Eltinge was renovated and is now the lobby for the AMC Multiplex. the Liberty is now used as a restaurant and the New Amsterdam was renovated back to its 1903 glory. so my question is simple- when the renovation for the “new” 42 St. began in earnest in the early 90s what was the state of the Candler Theater? was it in such bad shape they decided to demolish it or was it in perfectly renovatable shape but no one wanted to spend the money so it was razed.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on April 12, 2013 at 10:24 am

Without tourists and day trippers there would be no Times square. I live in Hell’s Kitchen in an area I would never venture into at night before 1999.

techman707
techman707 on April 12, 2013 at 9:34 am

There’s more to life and living in a city besides pandering to tourists. Especially when it affects the daily life of the people who live and work there. None of this destruction has improved the living conditions for the city overall. In fact, property taxes have soared as services are reduced.

As for Hell’s Kitchen, in the 1960’s, I worked across the street from the Actor’s Studio. I drove into work every day by car and parked in a garage up the street for $125.00 a month. Besides increasing the value of those brownstones ten fold, I don’t see how Hell’s Kitchen has REALLY benefitted? As far as I can see, it has probably PUSHED OUT some of those people because of the EVER RISING cost of rent.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on April 12, 2013 at 9:01 am

techman707, I don’t like it much myself but Times Square is thriving with tourist traffic like never before. LA, like most other US cities' downtown areas, is still mostly empty and crime-ridden at night. Whether the aesthetics please us or not, Times Square and Hell’s Kitchen have benefited greatly economically by the Disney mall concept.

techman707
techman707 on April 12, 2013 at 8:48 am

Al,

It’s just the ENTIRE destruction of the Times Square area over the years that I HATE. Despite what “some” people think, 42nd Street and ALL its historic theatres didn’t need Disney to “save it”. Maybe “some people” like the “new look” of the area, which includes barring traffic, but, I don’t.

The idea that to “keep up with the times” requires everything “old” get demolished, is just bad news. Why don’t they feel the need to demolish all their old movie palaces in Los Angeles? NY could (should) learn from them!

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on April 12, 2013 at 8:35 am

techman707, the Liberty was not demolished, gutted or mothballed as originally planned. Famous Dave’s BBQ uses the interior of the Liberty auditorium the way AMC uses the Empire auditorium as part of the multiplex’s lobby. It is a far more thoughtful way to keep up with the times than the Regal E-Walk across the street which totally replaced several historic buildings.

techman707
techman707 on April 12, 2013 at 7:59 am

AlAlvarez on April 12-“But it does have the historic classic setting and kudos for that.”

I must be missing something. I don’t see ANYTHING involving ANY of the endless demolition that’s been going on in the Times Square area that deserves ANY “kudos”.

However, here’s an idea, maybe we can just do away with electing a mayor in NY and just let the Disney Company run the city….since they do whatever they want anyway.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on April 11, 2013 at 10:17 pm

It is, another run of the mill bad tourist nasty BBQ place.

You would think a decent Midtown BBQ place would eventually emerge. But not so far.

But it does have the historic classic setting and kudos for that.

Astyanax
Astyanax on April 11, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Somewhat ironic that Famous Dave’s BBQ survives the demolition of the DeMille and the re-purposing of the Liberty. Can’t say that I would ever identify the signage of the restaurant, while the memory of the DeMille marquee is hard to erase.

techman707
techman707 on April 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm

“i have been a frequent TKTS booth customer and never remember a sign stating the former theater interior contained such a restaurant.”

I agree, they certainly didn’t make finding them easy. Although I only passed there once in a while, from a distance I didn’t even know they were there.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on April 11, 2013 at 11:02 am

The entrance for Dave’s was on 47th street but the interior looked like it still had remnants of the old lobby waiting areas.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on April 11, 2013 at 10:06 am

Hello Again-

i can see my phrasing was a bit off. i should have asked when the Columbia/Mayfair/Demille/ Embassy 1-2-3- interior was gutted after it closed up shop as a movie theater where exactly was the Famous Dave’s BBQ located? i have been a frequent TKTS booth customer and never remember a sign stating the former theater interior contained such a restaurant.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on April 11, 2013 at 9:57 am

I think I know what bigjoe59 is asking.

Famous Dave’s BBQ moved to 42nd street where it now occupies the interior of the former Liberty Theatre auditorium.

techman707
techman707 on April 11, 2013 at 9:52 am

“….where is the Famous Dave’s BBQ the interior now allegedly contains?”

What a strange question. If the building has been gutted, it was either removed and sold, or junked.-LOL

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on April 11, 2013 at 9:38 am

Hello-

this is a question i have been wanting to make for a while. the Columbia/Mayfair/ Demille/Embassy 1-2-3 may have been gutted but where is the Famous Dave’s BBQ the
interior now allegedly contains?

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on April 10, 2013 at 10:21 am

The huge corner sign is now a vacant space, and the souvenir store is running a “Going Out of Business” sale (apparently a real one this time).