Roxy Theatre

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

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Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on March 2, 2012 at 9:16 am

The Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center has MANY Roxy programmes, including bound volumes from the theatre’s early years. They can also be found in the Library’s clippings files for the Roxy Theatre, as well as in the clippings files for movies that played at the Roxy. And frequently in clippings files for performers who appeared on the Roxy’s stage. Card catalogues are on the Library’s second floor, and the reading room for all materials is on the third floor.

Simon L. Saltzman
Simon L. Saltzman on March 2, 2012 at 8:59 am

Myron, The Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts would be a great repository for the Roxy Programs…as I would (love to have them)…or at least borrow them and then bring them personally to the library.

Myron
Myron on March 2, 2012 at 6:15 am

Love to reminisce about the Roxy, my all-time favorite theatre. My sister always points-out that one of the ice skaters actually fell during the show after the screening of “The King & I” but she got-up and continued. The audience saw blood. I saved the Roxy programs somewhere in my collection (they were printed in green). If I locate these and those for the RCMH, what could I do with them? I’d hate to dispose of these.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on February 29, 2012 at 4:55 am

In the 1930s and 40s, the Roxyettes (sometimes billed as the Gae Foster Girls) were considered superior to RCMH’s Rockettes because they had a larger repertoire and weren’t limited to just high-kicking precision dancing.

Simon L. Saltzman
Simon L. Saltzman on February 29, 2012 at 2:48 am

Hey Housechecker, Yes, indeed, before the Roxyettes (later known as “Blades and Belles”)skated on ice they could be seen not only on roller skates, but balancing and doing formations atop huge balls (an audience favorite). Yes, indeed, Merman sold tickets as a publicity stunt (fact checked from Variety)just for the opening hour.

Housechecker
Housechecker on February 28, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Hey Simon: I was just a little boy when “A Tree Grows” played at the Roxy. I started working there in 1953 on the last day of Peter Pan. Then the Roxyettes were on ice skates. This is not to say when “A Tree Grows” played the Roxy the girls were not on roller skates.

If Ethel Merman sold tickets in the morning on the opening day of “No Biz Like Show Biz,” I never heard about it. That was the kind of stuff locker room gossip was made of. But I was working “Permanent Closing.” However, Johnny Ray did show up drunk in the evening.

Simon L. Saltzman
Simon L. Saltzman on February 28, 2012 at 9:26 am

Hey Tinseltoes, Good job but you might have mentioned that “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” was a major hit and ran an unprecedented six weeks (opening week $105,000)grossing $500,000 during that time. The 24 Roxyettes also did their famous roller skating routine which featured “the whip” requiring the last skater to catch up to the end of the ever spinning line. Next show was “A Royal Scandal” with Tallulah you know who…and a major bomb.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on February 28, 2012 at 5:05 am

Sixty-seven years ago today, 20th-Fox’s B&W “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” the eagerly-awaited adaptation of Betty Smith’s best-selling novel, opened its world premiere engagement at the Roxy Theatre. Directed by Elia Kazan, the nostalgic drama starred Dorothy McGuire, James Dunne, and Joan Blondell, with Peggy Ann Garner in what proved to be one of the all-time classic performances by a juvenile. Heading the Roxy’s stage show was pianist-comedian Victor Borge, with radio/recording songstress Joan Edwards and the Roxy’s resident performers filling out the bill.

Simon L. Saltzman
Simon L. Saltzman on February 27, 2012 at 6:21 am

Just for a chuckle. A publicity stunt: Ethel Merman sold tickets in the box office on opening morning.

MarkDHite
MarkDHite on February 27, 2012 at 4:39 am

There’s No Business, etc… opened at the Roxy on December 17, 1954. (Thx to New York Times online archives)

Simon L. Saltzman
Simon L. Saltzman on February 27, 2012 at 2:54 am

Myron, One of the many informed contributors to this site (wish I could remember who)regularly sent a year by year list of Roxy films and the accompanying stage show. But you have to go back through the archives for this. Also fun is going to the Lincoln Center Library and read all the Variety magazine issues on microfilm from 1927 to the Roxy’s demise. Another source on line is Billboard Magazine and search year by year. The info is out there…just search and ask.

Myron
Myron on February 27, 2012 at 2:31 am

Where can I find a list of films and dates which played at the Roxy. This was my favorite all-time theatre and I was sad when it was demolished. I think that “There’s No Business Like Show Business” sccreened there during Dec. 1954. If so I can’t figure why my family and I never saw it there. We were big fans of Marilyn as well as musicals. Maybe we saw “The Country Girl” at the Criterion instead. As a kid, I saw many films at the Roxy. I often pass the spot where it was located and I get a lump in my throat. So many happy memories of great films and then they added ice skaters (Roxyettes) to the bill. I even saved programs which I have somewhere in my collection.

Vito
Vito on February 24, 2012 at 7:59 am

Simon I would like to point out that although CinemaScope 55 was projected in 35mm we had the advantage of the higher resolution quality from the 35mm reduction prints. Much like VistaVision which Paramount abandoned in 1963 the standard 35mm vertical reduction prints from the horizontal VV negative was rather good. I can only imagine what those images would look today projected thru the much improved Schnieder Isco lenses we have today which are a cut above the Bausch and Lomb.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on February 16, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Paul… You hit the nail on the head. And I say “ditto” with regard this theater. The same greed, crooked politics and destructive insanity has happened in so many American cities, especially San Francisco’s awesome FOX. Enough is enough… we MUST save these magnificent theaters for the future generations to come!

paullewis
paullewis on February 16, 2012 at 3:14 pm

“The city and the movie palaces have never been the same” quotation from the above description of the Roxy says it all! N.Y.C. had a unique position in the pantheon of world cities and they could not wait to destroy it’s character for just another bland version of glass and steel boxes seen in and 2nd rate place on earth. Just look what is on the site of the legendary movie palace now, a building that could just as well be in a third world country and could disappear overnight without a single word of complaint,such is the banality of what we have today. As long as I live I shall NEVER forgive the perpetrators of such vandalism no matter what the circumstances.

ERD
ERD on February 16, 2012 at 12:12 pm

As a youngster, it was a wonderful experience to see “Carousel” and a stage show at this magnificent entertainment palace. The Roxy was my favorite theatre in Manhattan. Some other musicals I saw there were “The King & I” & “Damn Yankees. (You are right Simon, it was not “Oklahoma!”)

Simon L. Saltzman
Simon L. Saltzman on February 16, 2012 at 8:01 am

Sorry ERD, but Oklahoma premiered at the Rivoli in Todd AO on reserved seats. Also interesting is that Carousel was never actually shown (although it was advertised) in the CinemaScope 55 process (more info on the Wide Screen Museum)

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on February 16, 2012 at 6:20 am

Fifty-six years ago tonight, 20th-Fox’s “Carousel,” the first motion picture in CinemaScope 55, opened its NYC premiere engagement at the Roxy Theatre. Promising more clarity than the original CinemaScope process, the Deluxe Color version of the Rodgers & Hammmerstein Broadway hit starred Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones, with Henry King as director. On stage, the Roxy offered a skating revue, “Spring Time,” featuring the Ice-Roxyettes with soloist Joan Hyldoft. Music was provided by the resident Roxy Orchestra.

AGRoura
AGRoura on December 1, 2011 at 1:42 am

Thanks, Ed Miller.

Ed Miller
Ed Miller on November 26, 2011 at 5:48 pm

Mark and Paul, I agree wholeheartedly with your comments about the Roxy, as well as our other criminally destroyed landmarks. AGRoura, any IMDB member can update and correct, simply by going choosing the update option. I do it frequently.

MarkDHite
MarkDHite on November 25, 2011 at 11:18 am

In some fairness to the folks who were around at that time, it’s important to remember that the movie palaces were seen as commercial venues, much like today’s big multiplexes. They were places to exhibit movies and make a lot of money. When the movies, and the people that watched them, moved to the suburbs, it just seemed that the movie palaces' day was done. That they were also architectural masterpieces (some of them) and venues capable of being retrofitted for a future as arts centers and community treasures was never thought of, except by a very few. It took another generation to make this discovery, by which time so many of them were gone.

MarkDHite
MarkDHite on November 25, 2011 at 11:00 am

Yes it’s a criminal loss. The early 1960s was s time when the past seemed immaterial and nothing mattered but the future. The loss of Pennsylvania Station and the Metropolitan Opera House followed closely on the disappearance if the Roxy. The only bright side is that these horrendous losses opened some minds and spurred some to action. Today we do have a restored Grand Central Terminal, Radio City Music Hall and a landmarked Broadway theatre district because of it. But what a heavy price to pay.

paullewis
paullewis on November 25, 2011 at 10:46 am

Just been looking (again) at the photos of the incredible Roxy, makes me so very ANGRY that my and future generations were denied the chance to experience the greatest movie theatre ever built. I would like to personally lynch those responsible but they are probably gone now (to eternal hell, hopefully). New York City lost it’s soul when the great theatres were torn down and it will never be the same again, I’m so depressed that this was allowed to happen.

MarkDHite
MarkDHite on November 25, 2011 at 10:45 am

Thanks! No worries, the internet can be a very dicey place. Best wishes.

Vito
Vito on November 25, 2011 at 10:38 am

Thanks Mark I dont know why I did not just do that. Appperently the image hosting site I used hosts pornographic material as well as he more family suitable images, I was not aware of that till now and will of course never use it again. I still do no understand how the link went that image instead of the movie poster I put up, a very sick joke if you ask me My aplogies once again to those of you who clicked on that link. Meanwhile yes indeed “Tunnel Of Love” was shot in CinemaScope and Black & White