Roxy Theatre

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

Unfavorite 79 people favorited this theater

Showing 101 - 125 of 1,153 comments

Joseph on August 5, 2012 at 3:43 pm

interesting marquee photo here:

Vito on July 21, 2012 at 8:47 am

Tinseltoes thanks so much for that link to the Box-office magazine archives. I have often wished I had saved my original copies. I recall how I would look forward to the new addition and now I can relive those wonderful glory days of movies.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on July 19, 2012 at 10:02 am

Tinseltoes, thanks for going through the effort of extracting the most interesting and pertinent articles.

But it’s a double-edged sword, since almost every article is interesting and I have spent many, many (wasted?) hours perusing the back issues that you have selected. So, thanks so much and thanks for nothing!

BobbyS on July 18, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Thanks Tinseltoes for your article on Cinemascope one year old and your terrific magazine as always.

bigjoe59 on July 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm


sorry about that. i thought anything to do with motion picture exhibition was a legitimate topic. oh, well. never said i was perfect. :–)

therefore since this website is apparently only for the discussion of actual physical theaters rather than motion picture exhibition policy do you know where i could discuss the topic of souvenir programs? thanks in advance.

HowardBHaas on July 16, 2012 at 8:47 am

I’m not speaking for Ross & Patrick, but a discussion of a collection of souvenir programs that don’t relate to a particular theater IS going off topic. Ed, some of your post above would seem relevant to the Radio City page on this website. There are conversation threads over at cinematour

bigjoe59 on July 15, 2012 at 2:10 pm


as always i thank my fellow posters for their replies. today i have an interesting two part question. hear from you soon.

*i have a decent size collection of souvenir programs. i think approx. 120? these are actual souvenir programs that were sold in the the theater lobbies and not the thin but colorful leaflets or pamphlets theaters often gave out
during a film’s run. here’s part one- for all of you with a sizable collection of actual souvenir programs which are your favorites? now this has nothing to do with the quality of the film itself just how well designed you think the program is. my top 3 are “The Greatest Story Ever Told” which may be the most elaborate souvenir program in my collection.“Don Juan” starring John Barrymore. not only is the program itself in mint condition but its a complete program in that is still has the separately printed colorized full length portrait of Barrymore that was placed in the middle of the program. then i would choose “The Ten Commandments” from 1956 which rather than have photos from the film had full color paintings of the scenes. so for people with sizable collections what are your favorites?

*part two. everyone who collects x,y or z whether it be coins, stamps, 1st edition books has a “Holy Grail” that one item they have always wanted but never been able to locate. for movie souvenir programs mine would be the one for “The Birth of a Nation”. i believe TBOAN was the 1st film to sell a souvenir program in the lobby. i found a copy in a movie memorabilia store in L.A. a few years ago but it was in such frayed worn condition there’s was no point in spending the $35. i would be willing to spend a reasonable amount for a near mint if not a mint condition copy.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 13, 2012 at 5:05 am

The practice of selling souvenir programs continued on a fairly widespread basis, as far as I can recall, into the early 1980’s. In fact, even some local theaters (such as the UA Lynbrook and the Century’s Green Acres, in my neck of the woods) sold them at the candy counters. I recall picking up booklets for a number of films, including the original “Star Wars,” “1941,” “Rocky II,” “The Empire Strikes Back,” “Dawn of the Dead,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Return of the Jedi,” and “Reds.” I believe I still have a number of these – albeit in pretty worn condition – stored away in a bin somewhere in my basement.

Joseph on July 12, 2012 at 6:59 pm

The Roxy sold souvenir programs for ALL ABOUT EVE, THE ROBE, THE EGYPTIAN, THE BIG CIRCUS, LIL ABNER, 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD, KING AND I, THERE’S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS and CAROUSEL. ALSO multi page programs for THE RAZOR’S EDGE and GIANT. I am not sure if these 2 were available to general public or just distributed to premier audiences. Does anyone know of any others? A special program for LOUIS ARMSTRONG’s 1957 appearance was also available. And of course WINDJAMMER. Does anyone know of any others?

Joseph on July 12, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Souvenir programs were not “exclusive” to the location they were being sold in. Rather they are publications like any book or magazine. The publisher would get a license from the movie company, in this case 20th Century Fox and publish and print the book to be sold at the theatre at the time it was playing. The Robe booklet probably sold for 50 cents with the Roxy keeping a percentage of each copy sold. Although there may have been “left overs” at the locations, generally the unsold copies would be the property of the publisher and should have been returned to them. The publisher (also known as vendor) would be responsible for distribution of the book. Running operations like this would be difficult and expensive in the fast moving age of the multiplex.

bigjoe59 on July 12, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Hello to Simon S.

thanks for the info about the engagement of “The Robe” at the Roxy. now the film had a souvenir program of which i picked up a almost mint condition copy of in a memorabilia store about ten years ago. which leads to this question-if a film playing at the Roxy had a souvenir program when the film ended its run would the Roxy send all the unsold copies back to the studio in question or did they keep a few? i have always wondered about that.

the reason i ask is simple. in early 1966 i was at my friend’s house after school and noticed a souvenir program for “The Great Race” on the bookshelf. he mentioned his parents had gotten it when the film played its first run engagement at Radio City Music Hall. when TGR had played my local theater they didn’t sell the program. so i said “oh,well”. the next week i had an idea. i wrote a letter to RCMH and inquired as to whether they had any copies left. now this was several months after the film had left the theater. i included a $1 for the program and $1 for s&h. guess what? the next week i received a package from RCMH which contained not only a mint condition copy of the souvenir program but the two $1 bills. :–)

Simon L. Saltzman
Simon L. Saltzman on July 12, 2012 at 1:03 pm

That’s an easy one as anyone who knows and loves the Roxy will know. Stage shows were dropped when the house converted to Cinemascope. “The Robe” opened in mid September 1953 and played 13 weeks. It was only exclusive, however, in the Metropolitan area as it also opening gradually throughout the country in select theaters. It was following by “Beneath the Twelve Mile Reef” as the Christmas attraction. “The Robe” grossed $264,000 in its first week, the largest gross for one theater in one week anywhere in the world (seven shows a day)beginning at 9 AM. with a midnight show. Prices were Weekday $1.00;1.50; 2.00 weekdays; 1.50; 2.00 and 2.50 weekends. At the time the top price at other mainstem houses were $1.80 with a top of $1.50 at RCMH.(Previous record holder was “Forever Amber” which grossed $163,00 opening week and had a five-week run in 1947)

bigjoe59 on July 12, 2012 at 11:36 am


the first Cinemascope film “The Robe” debuted at the Roxy. but how long did it run on what i assume was an exclusive engagement? the reason i ask is simple. in the approx. 50+ years it was a first run venue even the most successful films ran just so long at Radio City Music Hall.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on July 3, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Maybe they never played a B movie, but they sure played a lot of forgettable films.

Simon L. Saltzman
Simon L. Saltzman on July 2, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Bigjoe59, You’re question opens a can of worms as to what constitutes an A Level film. Among (of course debatable)the A level films that played the Roxy during its last year included “That Kind of Woman” (Loren and Hunter)“Lil Abner”, “This Earth is Mine” (Rock Hudson),“The Big Circus” (Victor Mature) and the last film “The Wind Cannot Read” with Dirk Bogarde….and to be factual as well as fair, the Roxy, except during the Depression Era, never played a B level film.

bigjoe59 on July 2, 2012 at 11:39 am

Hello- the Roxy was torn down if i remember correctly June/July of 1960. which prompts this question-

at that point Hollywood was still operating on the A level and B level movie system. so does anyone know what the last successful long run of an A level film was a the Roxy?

Simon L. Saltzman
Simon L. Saltzman on July 2, 2012 at 7:46 am

Adding to the great photo sent by Tinseltoes: “Ten Gentlemen from West Point” was a great hit for the Roxy beginning the post war boom of movie going along the stem. It ran an unprecedented four weeks in June beginning with an opening week gross of $55,000. The stage show featured the Stuart Morgan Dancers, ballet soloist Carol King, impressionist Cookie Bowers and the Gae Foster Roxyettes all of whom participated in a spectacular salute to the United Nations in which the entire company descended a huge stairway waving the flags of all nations. This, in the light of stiff competition from the Music Hall where “Mrs. Miniver” also opened ($100,000 opening)and was destined to run a record-breaking 11 weeks. That same week, “In This Our Life” broke the house record at the Strand. What a week! Wish I was there.

bigjoe59 on June 8, 2012 at 6:45 pm


i thank my fellow posters for their replies to all of my questions. its been most helpful.

as you know for the past several weeks i have been browsing a neat list this site complied of all the movie theaters that ever existed in New York State. the purpose being to find the oldest built from the ground up or to use the more proper term purpose built built movie theater in Manhattan. to which on the list i just looked up the theaters listed under New York,New York. now for some time the furthest back i could go
using my criteria was the Regent and the Bunny both of 1913. then i found out the late Apollo of 42 St. was built in 1910 to exhibit both movies and vaudeville. well i found an even older theater that was built to exhibit both films and vaudeville. the Cresent later known as the Gem was built at 36 West 135 St. it opened on Dec. 16, 1909 with a program of both movies and vaudeville. now whether in the design and construction stages the builder intended to show films well who knows. it may only have been a thought after the construction was finished. but the important fact remains that on the opening night the program consisted of movies as well vaudeville. the theater ceased operation in 1937 and for many years the building was used by a community organization. the building is now demolished.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on June 4, 2012 at 12:02 pm

As Joseph mentioned, the Roxy had some first rate product. They just weren’t big hits.

bigjoe59 on June 4, 2012 at 11:35 am

Hello Again-

in the last say year and a half of the Roxy’s life i was under the assumption that in the movie industry at the time it was quite clear what was considered an A film or a B film. for instance both the Loew’s Capitol and the Paramount went out playing A films. so it would have been nice if the Roxy’s final film had been a big A film.

Joseph on June 4, 2012 at 9:21 am


“The Roxy closed in March 1960, but its fate was probably sealed much earlier when it was purchased by Rockefeller Center in 1956.”

Very true. If the Capitol and the Roxy switched places, the Capitol would have been the first to go. Rockefeller Center was certainly thinking future expansion when the Roxy property was purchased in 1956.

Joseph on June 4, 2012 at 9:06 am

To bigjoe 59 –

I am not sure what you mean,consider or understand what are “A, B or C” films. But the last several movies to play the NYC ROXY include DAMN YANKEES, RIO BRAVO, IMITATION OF LIFE, LIL ABNER, and others, all major product. Covers of several of the programs are in the photo section.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on June 4, 2012 at 7:43 am

The last film was “THE WIND CANNOT READ”.

I am not sure what qualifies as ‘A’ level but the “THE WRECK OF THE MARY DEARE” played in late 1959.

bigjoe59 on June 4, 2012 at 7:21 am


as i said in my previous post in its last days the Roxy was playing many B if not C films. in fact the last film to play the Roxy was what a friend of my parents referred to as a C film. i forget the title but in had “Wind” in it. to which what was the last first run A level film that the Roxy played?