Paramount Theatre

1501 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 101 - 125 of 502 comments

kencmcintyre on June 2, 2008 at 11:30 am

OK. I took some pictures, but not worth much now. Thanks.

William on June 2, 2008 at 11:25 am

That’s right it’s all a re-creation.

kencmcintyre on June 2, 2008 at 11:19 am

I was in front of the Hard Rock yesterday. If I understand correctly, the marquee is a re-creation and not the original? Also the Paramount lettering on the building?

edblank on May 30, 2008 at 2:41 pm

Thanks for all of the extra information, Warren. I didn’t know enough then to be impressed by the combined Dorsey bands, and I’m guessing Joey Bishop was no more to me than someone who turned up on Ed Sullivan occasionally. I even enjoy knowing what we had trailers of that day.

edblank on May 27, 2008 at 9:45 pm

Do I remember correctly that Frank Sinatra appeared here during the engagement of his “Johnny Concho”? He (oddly enough) co-produced this minor western, which he later dissed on the TV special “Ol' Blue Eyes Is Back."
I saw "Johnny Concho” at the Paramount and vaguely recall Sinatra making a live appearance.
Also caught “The Carpetbaggers” here on a mobbed Saturday night in the summer of 1964.

jflundy on May 25, 2008 at 9:45 am

Great pictures Warren !
Here is a lesser quality image from election night of 1928 showing part of the marquee as well as the Rialto vertical in the distance:
View link

The crowd in the square is there to see the election results as hometown favorite Al Smith was defeated by Herbert Hoover.

ErnieN on May 7, 2008 at 9:18 am

Great picture. I attended that show. Estrogen was rampant.


Ernie Nagy

kencmcintyre on May 2, 2008 at 8:14 pm

This 1944 photo from the NYT may have been posted before. Apologies for any duplication:

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 29, 2008 at 6:50 pm

Cooper’s subdued laconic on screen style doesn’t strike me as one that would have effectively translated on stage. I wonder how well it went over in the upper reaches of the Paramount. If his claims of exhaustion are to be believed (and there’s no reason to doubt it), I wonder if he didn’t tucker himself out from having to project to the theatre’s back rows. I can’t make out the details on the ad… does it say how many performances were scheduled for the day?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 10, 2008 at 7:04 am

I suspect that since Hollywood was producing so many pro-Soviet films during the war at the government’s request, it was a worthy investment at the time.

SPearce on January 9, 2008 at 9:52 pm

In my May 10, 1946 copy of the NYC edition of the (Communist) Daily Worker are some select movie ads (obviously not all theaters in NYC advertised in this newspaper), including one for Paramount Times Square indicating:

Paramount Presents Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, William Bendix in “The Blue Dahlia” A George Marshall Production, Doors open 8:30 a.m., then a musical note separating columns and on the right side of the ad:

In Person DUKE ELLINGTON and his Orchestra, Stump & Stumpy, Extra The Mills Bros. (This is the show I would have wanted to see.)

I look at this historically as someone then determined it was worthwhile to run this ad for this show in the Communist Daily newspaper. If it wasn’t for the content, then perhaps management had a vested interest.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 4, 2008 at 1:43 pm

The engagement was three weeks but it was hampered by a weak film title (Columbia admitted it was expecting Sinatra to bring in the crowds) and missing dates when Sinatra developed laryngitis shortly after opening.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 4, 2008 at 11:49 am

I’ve read that those Capitol Theatre shows drew disappointing attendance. As I indicated above, Sinatra saw his popularity tail-off around this time and I’m curious as to just how well (or poorly) these shows at the Capitol were received by the public. Do you have any B.O. figures, Warren?

JohnMLauter on January 3, 2008 at 7:31 pm

Sonnyboy—the war ended in 1945, some men like my uncle stayed in Germany as occupation troops, but my Father came back home in 1945, his tour of duty having been satisfied as the war had ended. He was in the service from 1942-1945, and that was about the normal duration of service. Was your father a career man?

sonnyboy on January 3, 2008 at 6:45 pm

Fantastic. I think we may have it. My parents are going through their memory banks to see if it was Benny G or Johnny L with that extra added attraction: Young Blue Eyes.

Personally, I’d rather have been at the Benny Goodman, Jack Benny show.

And I am going to buy Pete Hamill’s book to make sure we know just who’s horse head it was.

Thanks all. I believe the investigation is being erased from the board.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 1, 2008 at 9:17 pm

PARAMOUNT December 30, 1942-January, 1943
BENNY GOODMAN and his Orchestra
Extra added attraction! Frank Sinatra
January 26 at 6pm only – Extra! JACK BENNY

PARAMOUNT January 27, 1943- February 23, 1943
JOHNNY LONG and his orchestra
Extra added attraction! Frank Sinatra

JohnMLauter on January 1, 2008 at 8:08 pm

The story has grown out of proportion as a great American urban legend, read Pete Hamill’s great book “Why Sinatra matters”. The much-discussed and embellished story of a contract Sinatra had to get out of was his contract with Tommy Dorsey, the band he sang with after leaving Harry James. Harry basically just let Frank go and wished him well, realized what an opportunity Dorsey was offering. Dorsey was not so easy going, signed hungry young talent to iron-clad contracts giving himself a healthy cut of that performer’s pay should they elect to leave (in Frank’s case, almost 55% of all future earnings) Frank signed to just get free and start pursuing the opportunities that were being offered. The contract was re-negotiated by his agents at MCA (the Music Corporation of America) joined by an army of lawyers. The proceedings were a matter of public record in the courts. Frank ended
up paying Dorsey $60,000 lump-sum to get out of the contract. I’m sorry if that’s not as romantic, but them’s the facts.
Frank was Italian, which for decades before he reached his initial popularity meant they weren’t even considered WHITE by wasps, it took the massive numbers of Americans of Italian descent fighting in WWII to begin the change of opinion against such prejudice. There were many figures in organized crime Frank knew, he sang in nightclubs for a living, and such establishments aren’t owned by conservative wasp businessmen, they were owned by gangsters. No credible researcher or author (including the notorious Kitty Kelley) could find any concrete link to this urban legend.
As an aside, Frank was quoted as being very sad when the Paramount was gutted, and wished that he had a souvenir from the building, even if just a knob from a dressing room door.

HowardBHaas on January 1, 2008 at 7:10 pm

Horse’s head in the bed!

sonnyboy on January 1, 2008 at 6:53 pm

I have a revision that makes more sense given everyone’s feedback. I was wrong about the dates. I thought I heard my parents say they went to the show at the Paramount before they were married in 1947. My parents just told me that there first date was before my father enlisted and went into the Navy… in the Spring of 1943! My parents were married in 1947 after my father returned from the war.

My father just told me about how Frankie got out of the Harry James contract with a little help from some friends. He also told me how the story was retold within “The Godfather.”

sonnyboy on January 1, 2008 at 5:56 pm

Fantastic leads. I am going to have to check both my parents stories again. I feel like a detective trying to get to the bottom of a big mystery. They saw one of the two, but maybe it wasn’t at the Paramount.

Maybe I am not their son. This is getting me all nervous.

This is fun. Thanks for all of your help. I will keep digging.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 1, 2008 at 10:00 am

I can’t find any record of Frank Sinatra performing live at the Paramount in 1947 but he did appear at the Capitol in November of that year with “petite comedienne” LORRAINE ROGNAN and SKITCH HENDERSON & his piano & orchestra.

How about SAMMY KAYE and his orchestra with IT HAPPENED IN BROOKLYN starring Sinatra at the Capitol in early March?

THE INK SPOTS and ELLA FITZGERALD took over the Paramount in February of 1947 with EASY COME, EASY GO on the screen.

Rory on January 1, 2008 at 7:58 am

Sonnyboy, does your local library have The New York Times on microfilm? If so, I’d just go look through the dates you think it was, go to the entertainment section and look for an ad.

sonnyboy on January 1, 2008 at 7:53 am

Gee, Ed. That does help. But now I have a dilemma. Do I fess up that you were good enough to provide me with an important piece of info or do I go on letting my parents believe there is a chance they are both right? What if this bit of disagreement busts up their marriage after 60 years, 4 kids and 8 grandkids. Yikes.

Seriously, thanks for responding and helping me get at the truth.

Now I can focus my research on one or the other but not both at the Paramount.

I have to admit, I believe my mother’s version with Frank Sinatra, even if it was the swoon you mentioned and his last year before the Mob (how exciting) helped him re-start his career. Whether he got help or not, Frank was a fantastic performer.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 1, 2008 at 12:57 am

Hey sonnyboy – HAPPY NEW YEAR! Frank Sinatra was basically “discovered” by Harry James and sang in his orchestra in 1939 before famously (or infamously – depending on the story you read) defecting to the Tommy Dorsey Band within a year. I don’t think you’d have found Old Blue Eyes singing with James in 1947, so the performance your grandparents saw at the Paramount was either one or the other! I suppose either artist might have topped the bill in ‘47 – although Sinatra’s career started to swoon a bit that year and wouldn’t fully recover until after his successful dramatic turn in FROM HERE TO ETERNITY in 1953. Hope that helps just a smidge!

sonnyboy on December 31, 2007 at 8:31 am

Help, please, to answer a 60 year old question:

My parents just celebrated their 60th Anniversary and were asked what was their first date. They both agreed on the train ride from Long Island to the “big” city and they both agreed on their terrific dinner at Romeo’s which consisted of spaghetti and a meatball for only 39 cents (my mother remembered it was more… 45 cents)! They also remembered going to the Paramount and seeing a fantastic show. Here is where I need your help. My mother remembers seeing Frank Sinatra. My father remembers seeing Harry James. They both remember it vividly. The simple, everyone is right answer, would be of course, Frank singing for Harry’s band. Could be. I would love to verify what happened.

The show would have been around February of 1947… 9 months before they were married.

Thanks to any and all who could answer the question or lead me to a place where I can do further research.