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On August 11th, 1939, Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland did a full day of stage appearances at Loew’s Poli, trying out songs and routines for their forthcoming engagement at the Capitol Theatre in New York City in conjunction with “The Wizard of Oz.” In Hartford, the young stars performed between showings of “Lady Of The Tropics” & “Miracles For Sale”:
Under its final name of Embassy 5, the theatre closed forever on October 19th, 1981.
The last booking was Michael Laughlin’s “Strange Behavior.”
A capsule history and vintage photo can be found here: View link
Starting in April, 1958, with the NYC premiere engagement of “The Young Lions,” the Paramount took on a “New Look,” which included free parking for patrons at a garage on West 41st Street. Other innovations were “High-definition CinemaScope projection on the enlarged ‘crystalite’ screen,” a rejuvenated Marie Antoinette Powder Room for the ladies, free coffee in the Elizabethan Lounge, re-opening of “the luxurious ‘Blue Rhapsody’ Music Room,” and re-arrangements of the Paramount’s “magnificent $500,000 collection of objets d'art,” many of which hadn’t been on display since they were placed in safekeeping during WW2.
In the introduction, how can “Current function” be “unknown?” The Fox was demolished in 1980.
Erwin is correct. That signage at extreme left belongs to the Jamaica Savings Bank. The taller brick wall beyond that is part of Gertz Department Store. The Jamaica Theatre was west of this location, just below Jamaica Avenue’s junction with Parsons Boulevard. The subway train had already passed that spot.
The second paragraph of the introduction needs correcting. In 1915, the financially-strapped Hammerstein sold the Victoria to a syndicate which intended to replace it with a movie palace similar to the Strand. The new owners then hired S.L. Rothafel away from the Strand to run their new theatre. Rothafel himself did not “take over” or “demolish” the Victoria property. He was only an employee of those that did.
Many “legit” theatres showed movies at one time or another, but that doesn’t qualify them for listings at Cinema Treasures. I don’t know the minimum amount of time that’s required, but if it was up to me, I would say for at least one third (33.333%) of the theatre’s existence.
A recent photo of the Harbor Theatre as a physical fitness palace can be found about midway through this article about Fort Hamilton: View link
Here are new links showing the size of the Roxy’s screen BEFORE conversion to CinemaScope in 1953:
Here’s a new link to a 1974 view of the corner entrance. Loew’s had never bothered to change the original marquee display system, using frosted white letters against a black background:
An illustrated article about the new “green” theatre can be found here: View link
Re a comment in the introduction, the Capitol Theatre in NYC was well above Times Square, situated on the west side of Broadway between 50th and 51st Streets.
The “Some Like It Hot” of 1939 should not be confused with the later and more famous Billy Wilder comedy with Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. The 1939 “SLIH” was a Bob Hope-Shirley Ross comedy. After Wilder acquired the right to use the title, the Paramount release was re-titled “Rhythm Romance” for TV and home video.
This 1933 photo was previously posted, but now has a fuller view of the vertical sign and top of the building: View link 324
Is the main name in the introduction correct? Currently listed as Bellmore Movies here:
The Alden’s listings in Film Daily Year Books always gave an address of 1981 Broadway. I suppose the entrance could have been moved when the theatre later re-opened as the Regency…The ground site is again under re-development, following demolition of the building used by Victoria’s Secret. The new construction is from the corner of 67th Street up to the building that includes Ollie’s Restaurant.
Here’s a grainy newspaper photo showing the twinned Cinema Studio just before closure in March, 1990. The final bookings were “Too Beautiful For You” and “Cinema Paradiso.” It first opened as a twin under the direction of Daniel Talbot in December, 1978, with “Dossier 51” and “Rain and Shine."
65th Street is known to many New Yorkers as the route for a crosstown bus, which is probably why the number 65 was once used as part of the name. Management hoped to attract patronage from the East Side. I don’t think the 65 was used for too long. It might have caused more confusion than it was worth.
October 2001 was nearly eight years ago. The screening description suggests a “special event” for one time only, not an actual engagement open to the public…I doubt if those people saw “West Side Story” at RCMH in 1961. The movie had its NYC premiere engagement as a roadshow at the Rivoli Theatre.
The introductory address is incorrect, placing Cinema Studio south of 65th Street and on the west side of Broadway. The theatre was actually just above 66th Street on the east side of Broadway. Barnes & Noble currently occupies that corner and uses an address of 1972 Broadway. The next store up is a Banana Republic at 1976. So perhaps we could settle for 1974 for Cinema Studio? If not, then just Broadway & 66th Street, which it used in advertising.
When was the last time that they ran a “Big Screen Movie Classic?” I think that practice is gone with the proverbial wind.
I’m not sure of the exact number of theatres in midtown in 1934. I would guess somewhere between 50 and 100, including “legit,” in the area bordered by 42nd-57th Streets and Sixth to Eighth Avenues. Some of the signage in that montage was for nightclubs, not theatres. The next time I’m at the Lincoln Center Library, I’ll try to find a 1934 directory for playhouses and cinemas in midtown.
Starting in 2011, Cirque du Soleil will be presenting an annual four-month summer extravaganza at RCMH. Without Rockettes, but populated with acrobats and clowns: View link
Thanks for sharing, Gabe. In the opening montage, I also spotted marquees of the Palace, Capitol, Rivoli, Republic, Winter Garden, Mayfair, Loew’s State, and Loew’s New York. The entire sequence is taken from “Kid Millions,” a Samuel Goldwyn production starring Eddie Cantor.