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I do not believe that the picture of the Casino posted above is the one in Richmond Hill because as I recall that Casino was a small one level neighborhood theater and never had vaudeville. The picture posted looks oddly like the Casino on the corner of DeKalb Avenue and Broadway, which was originally named the DEKALB and did have vaudeville at one time.
Fellas, sorry but I jumped the gun on this one. The GRANDVIEW was at 663 Grandview Avenue, which is the current location for the Ridgewood Chapels. It does seem odd that two theaters relatively close together ended up as funeral homes.
If I am not totally mistaken, I believe that the name of the theater that “lostmemory” is looking for is the GRANDVIEW. Oddly enough I attended a wake at the funeral home a few years ago and one of the old timers there had mentioned that it was once a movie house named the GRANDVIEW, which dated back to the silent movie era. They also showed movies outdoors (on the roof?) during the summer months.
Make it five. I care too. I enjoy all the postings and have learned so much that I didn’t know before. It’s just great that we can all share our knowledge with one another.
I also saw “This Is Cinerama” early in its run at the Broadway and confirm Warren’s recall that a curtain definitely covered the screen. I remember being somewhat disappointed after the lights dimmed, the curtain parted and Lowell Thomas appeared on a small squarish screen chatting about something or other and wondering… What is all the excitement about ? ?….and then Lowell uttered those immortal words…“and now ladies and gentlemen…This is Cinerama” and the top masking of the picture flew up….the curtains parted..and parted…and parted…the surround sound came on and you were on a roller coaster ride. For me, that was the most thrilling moment in a lifetime of moviegoing that I have ever experienced. I still get goosebumps thinking about it. By no stretch of the imagination could such an effect be achieved without a curtain covering the screen.
My father was a Sunday afternoon regular at the Wagner during the 50’s. Sometimes I would go with him, especially since I had German as a foreign language in high school and needed exposure to the language. As I recall, the interior of the theater was rather plain and nondescript and typical of most neighborhood theaters of the time. The lobby was very small and the restrooms were upstairs right next to the projection booth. They were reached by a staircase in the right rear of the auditorium. Sometimes the booth door would be open and I would be in my glory watching the projectionist do his thing. Do recall that the theater, being relatively small, had an intimate feeling to it.
The Wagner played double features with a short subject and the German version of the Fox newsreel, which was called “Fox Tonnende Wochenschau”, which translates as “Fox Movietone News”. Never had any German cartoons though.
The Soviet Cinerama knockoff, referred to above by BoxofficeBill, was called KINOPANORAMA and played the Mayfair sometime in 1958. I believe the film was titled â€œGreat Is My Countryâ€ and was shown for a relatively short time (two weeks?) in conjunction with the Soviet Trade Exhibition, which was being held at the New York Coliseum at the same time. It supposedly had 9 channels of stereophonic sound. As I recall (46 years later !), the screen was not draped. Probably because the run was so short and drapes were expensive.
As a side note, original ads before the opening called the process â€œCinepanoramaâ€, which did not sit too well with the â€œCineramaâ€ people. The Russians then had to change the name back to their original name â€œKinopanoramaâ€.
The following information was contributed on the CHOPIN Theater (Brookyn,NY) page by cjdv on 8/3/04
â€œThe Irving Theatre opened on April 11th, 1914 with the Irving Airdome next door. The outdoor theatre was listed as being larger with a seating capacity of 1,600 compared to the 595 for the indoor space. It was listed as the Mozart when it closed in 1942.â€
Was the theater or the airdomeâ€™s name listed as the Mozart ? ?
If it was the Irving Theaterâ€™s name being changed to the Mozart, then the change must have been for a relatively short period of time. My parents always referred to the theater as the Irving, which they attended from late 1937 to late 1939. They never mentioned anything about â€œNaziâ€ films playing there, just the usual quota of musical comedies, operetta films, dramas, comedies and inevitable â€œmountainâ€ films. However, since they were made while the Nazi regime was in power, one could classify them as such.
Theatrefan….The following excerpt from the American Theater Organ Society Web Journal dated April 9, 2003 will explain the location of the 5 Wonder Mortons…."
Only one of the five Wonder Mortons, originally installed in the greater New York area remains in its original location at Loew’s United Palace Theatre, 175th Street and Broadway in Manhattan. The one from Loew’s Jersey Theatre in Jersey City is now in the Santa Barbara Arlington Theatre. The Morton from Loew’s Paradise Theatre in the Bronx is being installed in Loew’s Jersey Theatre (where the original home of the Arlington organ). The Morton in Loew’s Kings Theatre in Brooklyn was broken up for parts but its restored console is now part of Paul Vandermolen’s residence organ near Chicago. Lastly, the organ from Loew’s Valencia in Jamaica, Queens is going to be installed in the Balboa Theatre in San Diego".
Warren…You are correct that the Tivoli must have had two entrances. A blowup of the marquee of the March 18th,‘54 photo reveals not the name of the double feature playing at the time but…NOW TWO HITS…BOX OFFICE OPEN AROUND THE CORNER ON FULTON STREET.
The above photo submitted by J.F. Lundy is definitely not circa 1951. It is very late 1946 or very early 1947. I verified this by the release dates of the films listed on the marquees. On the FOX marquee is â€œTHE JOLSON STORYâ€ with Larry Parks and Evelyn Keyes (10/10/46). On the RKO ORPHEUM marquee is John Garfield and Geraldine Fitzgerald in â€œNOBODY LIVES FOREVERâ€ (11/1/46) and â€œPLAINSMAN AND THE LADYâ€ (11/11/46). The MOMART marquee appears to the left of the Orpheumâ€™s, but the lettering is not legible enough.
This exact photo appeared on the cover of a 1999 calendar devoted to Brooklynâ€™s theaters of the past and the marquee lettering was more legible than on the internet photo. However, if you enlarge the internet photo, the marquee lettering becomes legible enough to see that THE JOLSON STORY is indeed playing at the FOX.
Peter K….Strange that you should bring up Yorkville as I was there on 86th Street just a few weeks back. Sad to say that I could not find the Kleine Konditorie, Cafe Geiger, the Ideal or the Mozart Hall. The only German restaurant that I could see was the Old (Alt) Heidelberg on 3rd Avenue between 85th and 86th. The only other German establishment was a Shaller and Weber butcher shop on 86th Street.
Well put Vincent and thanks for filling in some details on the Bolero number.
As you say there is a total lack of “showmanship” at RCMH these days. 76 million dollars to fix the place up and they hardly use the contour curtain, which watching it in the “old days” go up and down in various configurations was almost worth the price of admission alone. Too bad I wasn’t alive for the opening night show where 20 minutes were devoted to watching it do all sorts of tricks to a musical accompaniment.
Recently attended an Andres Rieu concert and the Boston Pops and the curtain just sat there in the upward position and didn’t move once. Also, I think they also screwed up the acoustics because in our seats on the far left of the orchestra for the Rieu concert there was an annoying echo.
Something else to kvetch about is….why do they have to have that gigantic lighting rig hanging in from of the procenium arch, which destroys the whole art deco effect of how it was meant to look? How did the Music Hall staff ever manage to light those four shows a day quite magnificently for some 35 odd years without that thing hanging there?
Rumor has it that an 8-plex is going to be part of the Atlas Terminal development project in Glendale on Cooper Avenue between Woodhaven Boulevard and 80th Street and oposite the southern end of St. Johns Cemetery. At the moment, I do not know who the operator will be.
While we are in RCMH time machine mode, I would pick June 1955. On screen was LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME with Doris Day and James Cagney. Featured in the stage show was the Ravelâ€™s BOLERO production number, which was so incredible to my 15 year old mind at the time that I sat through the movie and stage show a second time just to experience that number a second time. It started with a completely dark RCMH, the low drumbeats started and a pair of dancers was spotlighted center stage in the darkness. As the music kept building in volume, more and more dancers appeared and started to fill the stage. As the thundering finale was approaching, which by that time involved all of the Rockettes, the Corps de Ballet and God knows who else filled the stage. For the final crescendo of the music, huge drums on those mini-stages on the sides of the theater were played. It was quite a spectacle to behold.
They attempted a revival of this number in the late 70â€™s, I believe, as part of one of their summer shows after the screen and stage show combo had been abandoned. However, it was totally unmemorable and a mere shadow of its former self. It lacked the energy and large number of cast members required on stage to recreate that 1955 rendering of RCMH magic.
See my comment under Casino Theater – Brooklyn, NY re cross referencing of theater names.
A listing for the Victoria has been a never ending quest ever since I tried to list it on two occasions and was told by one of the webmasters that they only listed a theater under the name it had when it ceased operation. I still think that an exception should be made and the Embassy Five should be relisted as the Victoria Theater. After all the Astor and the Victoria always went together like Laurel and Hardy, Abbot and Costello and Martin and Lewis.
Perhaps in the future, the powers that be will find a way to cross reference theaters by former names.
ie: Victoria Theater: see Embassy Five
Does anyone have any information about this theater?
I believe that the approximate dating of the photo of the Atlantic City Colonial and Hollywood theaters should be late February to mid to late March of 1947. The clues to this dating being that there is snow on the ground and the main feature on the marquee of the Colonial appears to be “THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS”. This Warner feature premiered on December 25, 1946 and went into general release on February 8, 1947. Although it was reissued by Dominant Pictures in 1956, the name of the theater had been changed to the Center two years prior.
I believe that the approximate dating of the photo of the Atlantic City Hollywood and Colonial theaters should be late February to late March of 1947. The clues to this dating being that there is snow on the ground and the main feature on the marquee of the Colonial appears to be “THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS”. This Warner feature premiered on December 25, 1946 and went into general release on February 8, 1947. Although it was reissued by Dominant Pictures in 1956, the photo looks more 40’s than mid 1950’s.
Hopefully, this one will connect.
Additional recent photos also at this website:
This theater is now a church known as the Cathedral Baptist Church.
Was this theater ever known as Loew’s Bolte??
See this website for a relatively recent photo….http://irmaml.tripod.com/BxPix40.html
I agree with Warren that there should be a listing for the DeKalb,so one can search for it by that name on this site. On the other hand, there should be a cross reference for people looking for the Casino name.
I am the one who listed the Casino because that was the only name that I knew it by and that was from afar. I used to see the theater and its name painted on the rear wall from the Myrtle Avenue el as the train went from the Knickerbocker Avenue station to the Myrtle Avenue station and on down to Bridge & Jay Street in downtown
Is there any reason why the listing cannot be Casino / Loew’s DeKalb?
Some other Theaters that come to mind, which are badly in need of cross referencing are:
Adonis / Tivoli
Adonis / Cameo / Squire / Ideal
Cinemart Cinemas / Inwood / Metropolis
Embassy Five / Victoria / Gaiety
With all names listed, wouldn’t the search engine be able to find the theater under either name an individual would be looking for?
Thanks “scottfavarelle” for the detailed explanation of the “Olga” movies. Now, I don’t feel clueless anymore.
After 1990 the Squire/Cameo went under the name of the Adonis and showed all male XXX films. The name change and programming was a moveover when the Adonis/Tivoli further up 8th Avenue at 50th Street was closed and then demolished.
I may be totally clueless, but what are “Olga” movies???