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I passed by the Metro last night and there was something in Spanish on all three sides of the marquee, with no mentioning of space still being available for lease, leading me to think a Latino restaurant or grocery or clothing store is moving in. When I’m in the neighborhood again this weekend, I’ll write down and later post on this site the words on the marquee, hoping someone can translate them. (Upon first look, from what limited knowledge I have of the Spanish language, there wasn’t any definite indication on what’s moving in, but I might be wrong.) Also, the tarp covering the view from the box office window and the doors were removed; there’s now a sheet of lumber obscuring the view from the box office, but the doors now offer a clear look at the interior of the theatre – it’s been all but gutted to the bare four walls, with a false stage at the front of the former downstairs auditorium, and construction lights throughout.
The Manhattan 1 & 2 was showing Bollywood films in 1998; Cineplex Odeon’s run ended in October of 1997 with the Tupac Shakur-Jim Belushi flick ‘Gang Related’ running on both screens. The theatre, I seem to remember, sat empty for about two years before being demolished sometime around 2000 or 2001; for the longest while before then, while the property owner was either trying to lease the cinemas or gather interest in their planned redevelopment, the marquee (at least on the side facing 3rd Avenue) gave a phone number prospective leasees/tenants could call for information.
There are a couple of photo tours posted at http://www.cinematour.com/tour.php?db=us&id=7236 AMC assumed control of the Beverly Connection after the Pacific Theatres at The Grove had opened – the titles in the marquee shot consisting of move-overs or films Pacific Theatres took a pass on. It’s unclear when the General Cinemas photos were taken – both those and the AMC shots were most likely snapped on weekday afternoons – but, and absolutely no offense intended towards Scott Neff who snapped the GC-era images and for which we’d otherwise have no photographic images online from those years (and who has done tireless work taking pictures of cinemas across the US), they don’t capture the electric atmosphere of the Beverly Connection during its best times.
The idea of one of those sleazy electronic stores possibly moving into the DeMille/Embassy space makes my stomach churn, Warren. Gutting a classic, 98-plus year old cinema for something so useless is truly regrettable.
I know it’s happened to hundreds of multiplexes since the stadium-seating trend took hold, but I really felt sad when this particular theatre closed. I had only been there twice – on consecutive nights in March of 1996 to see ‘Flirting with Disaster’ and ‘Girl 6’ – but there was a vibe of excitement surrounding the theatre and the near-capacity crowds I saw those films with were really into them; I especially remember people roaring with laughter at ‘Flirting’ – a great comedy and the kind of audience that made the experience all that much more memorable.
It seems like a distinctive possibility an electronics store might be moving into the former DeMille/Embassy, as well as the gutted retail space located next door to the left. According to an item in Steve Cuozzo’s Realty Check column in yesterday’s NY Post, sources in the Times Square area have identified Hersel Torkian, who has operated electronics stores and currently owns several properties in the area, as the leasee. (The Post piece does misidentify the DeMille/Embassy space as having been vacant for seven years; the theatre actually closed in late 1998.) Torkian did not return a call to the Post to confirm his status as the leasee – or, presumably as well, his plans for the space(s).
The most recent development I’ve seen, Astyanax, was the carpeting at the top of the staircases to the two cinemas having been torn out, but no substantial work having been done to the concession stands (at least from what I could tell from peering in outside). My guess – and I wish I had something more substantial to go on – is the theatre will re-open by the holidays.
To Lost Memory: yes, that’s at least what the Campus Theater looked like not long after it closed; does anyone know if anything has become of the space since?
As santo26 noted in his August 8, 2005 post, the Campus only has (or had) one screen; does the shortening of the building account for the seating capacity reduction from 850 to 400+? What other interior alterations were necessitated and/or caused by the shortening of the building?
Any word on whether the Cinema 1, 2, 3 is still living on borrowed time? I saw ‘The Brave One’ in Cinema 2 a few weeks back and wasn’t surprised (this is, as well-documented above, City Cinemas we’re talking about – a.k.a., NYC’s finest ‘unofficial’ real estate developer) to find the auditorium was looking a bit run-down and shaggy…
Continuing the trend in recent years of booking the 72nd Street East with mostly Universal product, ‘American Gangster’ is opening there on November 2nd.
I wonder if there was any way to retain the Modern/Mayflower Theatre or if it fell into a state of hopelessness from years of neglect…
To JKane’s posting from last November 22nd: the Criterion always benefited from its location, especially after the lounge/basement area was carved up into auditorium space. After the Criterion was sub-divided, it was mostly the crowds who made it a fun place to see a film, not the quality of the theatre itself; it MIGHT have survived if it was allowed to double-book with the E-Walk and the Empire 25, but likely not for long…
To Howard, from earlier today: I think someone might have mentioned it in an earlier post, but the Bond 45 restaurant (with its entrance on 45th Street) occupies the section of the former Criterion (the screen and where the front rows were) orchestra auditoriums.
I should have mentioned: Blender is a music magazine which features the types of artists and performers who have and are being booked into the theatre…
The owner of Blender magazine purchased the naming rights for the theatre, Warren…
Was the Forum Theatre ever a film venue of note in Philadelphia? I passed by it when I was in town on business a couple of months ago and didn’t see it posted on this site…
All I could think from my Upper Reserved box seat at Shea Stadium last Sunday, while the Mets completed the implosion of their season, was how ironically appropriate it was that Melinda Katz, of all people, was chosen to sing ‘God Bless America’ during the 7th Inning Stretch…
Posted last night by Michael Torgan, Sherman’s son, on the New Beverly website:
Due to the sudden and completely unexpected passing of my father Sherman, the New Beverly’s programming will be cancelled until further notice.
Sherman was my father and my best friend, and his passing has left me and my family completely devastated. He was the main force behind the New Beverly from May 5, 1978 until the present. I simply do not known when I will be able to fill his shoes. My pain and sorrow are truly too much to bear right now. He was still so young and full of life, and was doing what he loved so much, riding his bike on the Santa Monica bike path, when he died. My mom and I am in utter shock.
Thank you to everyone for their support during this difficult time.
Please check this website for any updates on public memorials and the future of the New Beverly Cinema.
I stopped by after work yesterday to snoop around and the young guy who I spoke with mentioned the theatre would be re-opening in a month after some renovations, would be run, in his words, by the people who run the theatre on 58th Street (the Paris? Or maybe he meant the Imaginasian on 59th? It wasn’t entirely clear… ) and would specialize in indie and foreign films… but why do I get the sense that, from what dave-bronx has described, that this won’t exactly be the last operator of the New York/Beekman One & Two? (Also, another thought: why doesn’t the landlord just operate the theatre himself as an indie? Sure, there’d be the issue of not collecting rent from an outside operator, but he’d be able to collect any or all of the profits for himself… )
I heard from Adam Sands at Clearview Cinemas and he responded that “effective today July 2, 2007 Clearview Cinemas will no longer operate this location”; the question is, will another operator re-open the space?
I walked by the Beekman One & Two about an hour ago and it was closed. The marquee still listed its most recent attractions, ‘The Golden Door’ and ‘Waitress’, but the signage above the exterior entrances to both cinemas which listed which film was playing in which cinema and the showtimes was taken down, and there was a construction-type guy behind the cinema two concession stand (the popcorn side was empty, but the candy part was well-stocked. Did anyone hear anything about this theatre closing (for renovations, Clearview Cinemas or the landlord deciding to terminate or not renew the lease, etc.)? I had a feeling either way the theatre was closing at least for a time when both ‘Ratatouille’ and ‘Sicko’ were both booked into the First & 62nd Street Cinemas, and what I just saw confirmed my suspicions. (The Beekman One & Two are also not currently listed on Clearview Cinemas' website; I’m going to e-mail them and, unless someone has an update first, will post what I find out.)
I stopped by the RKO Keith’s Saturday afternoon and saw a decent amount… that is, the ‘decent amount’ one could glean from peering in through the chain-lock holes at the theater’s entrance. The ground marble-trimmed squares with interior circle designs which greeted guests as they arrived are still intact, as are the marble(?) rectangles above the entrance doors. There’s a wooden, windowless door at the far right, while the area at the left entrance interior is being used as a contruction staging area, consisting of some kind of chair or step-ladder made of lumber and the type of table a person would find in a school cafeteria or at a bake sale. The wall behind it was, I think, mostly white, but in pretty rough shape, with no visible blueprints or notices posted; to the left, just outside the doorway, there were some graffiti-covered remnants of one of the previous attempts to board up the theater.
I stopped by the Plaza this weekend and found it’s being used as a Spanish-language church (with services Sundays at 10 am and Wednesdays at 7:30 pm). The only architectural changes I could see the church made was painting the left wall of the entrance hallway an off-white, with a gold-orange stripe across and about 60% down from the ceiling and two wooden doors (more appropriate for a church than a movie theater) at the end; also, the one-sheet display cases on the exterior right have been boarded up and covered with banners listing information about the church services. There’s also a likewise banner on the front of the marquee, while the left and right sides contain lettering mentioning the office space for lease (albeit with no square footage; previously, 10,000 s.f. were listed as being available) and, at the bottom, the name of the church.
I walked by the Rosemary the other night and got the sense that it’s either in line for a pretty extensive renovation project or is being prepared for demolition. I thought I saw some permits posted, but didn’t stop to read them; I’ll do so soon and see if I can provide some more definitive details.
I walked by the Broadway Theatre this past summer and didn’t notice any construction going on; how are the plans for Mudflat to renovate and open in the space progressing?