Comments from Mike (saps)

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Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Rivoli Theatre on Jan 19, 2005 at 3:47 am

So, the Royale should have a page of its own.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about AMC Empire 25 on Jan 14, 2005 at 4:39 am

Here are some comments about this theater posted on the Cine 42 page:

About the most impressive thing – heck, make that the ONLY impressive thing – in the Arnold Schwarzenegger flick ‘The Last Action Hero’ are the multiple shots of the 42nd Street (and Deuce-area) grindhouse marquees illuminated at night.
posted by br91975 on Jan 13, 2005 at 10:13pm

I recall that they created an elaborate facade for the Empire, which they crashed into or something. It was a beautiful version of how the Empire could have looked at one time.
posted by saps on Jan 13, 2005 at 10:23pm

There was also a scene – if memory serves, the one following the scene saps makes mention of – set within, I believe, the interior of the then-rundown Empire (or at least a fascimile of a theatre which had seen better days).
posted by br91975 on Jan 13, 2005 at 10:48pm

Just a random thought – I wonder what ever became of those beautiful street-entrance doors which once graced patrons and passersby of the Empire (tossed in a dumpster, I fear, but I hope I’m wrong). By the time I became aware of them, they were coated with years of grime, but that didn’t take away from their unique detail.
posted by br91975 on Jan 13, 2005 at 10:53pm

It’s nice to discuss something other than the Roxy and the Music Hall.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Cine 42 on Jan 14, 2005 at 3:23 am

I recall that they created an elaborate facade for the Empire, which they crashed into or something. It was a beautiful version of how the Empire could have looked at one time.

It’s nice to discuss something other than the Roxy and the Music Hall.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Cine 42 on Jan 14, 2005 at 3:02 am

The marquee of the New Amsterdam in the pic above must have been dressed for a movie shoot, because the N.A. always played double features, and always breathlessly described their movies right on the marquee. And I don’t think they owned letters that big or in that style.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Cine 42 on Jan 14, 2005 at 2:58 am

Like all 42nd Street box offices, you bought your ticket outside and then entered a narrow plexiglass door into a long and narrow lobby, with one sheets on each side usually advertising upcoming releases but sometimes displaying movies that had long come and gone, an that intixicating smell of fresh popcorn in the air. Midway down the lobby there was a concession stand on the right hand side. To the right of the concession stand was a small passageway that led to the rear of the downstairs cinema and a staircase up to the second show. If you continued past the concession there was another entrance to the theatre, where you’d go up a few steps and wind up at the front of the theatre, in front of the screen. I always felt a little self-conscious coming in this way, as everone in the theatre could see you. Being in the white minority at this time I wanted to minimize my presence! And that reminds me, the concession girls here always treated me and my friend Anthony extra special for some reason, and I think it was because they realized we were sort of strangers in a strange land, and they were helping us get comfortable. Or maybe they just thought we were out of our minds coming here! In any case, we were always real nice back and eventually developed a nodding acquaintance with each other. And I have to agree that this was probably a re-purposed commercial space, because I can’t imagine building a theater from scratch on this tight piece of land.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Cine 42 on Jan 14, 2005 at 2:21 am

I think this was once a single screen with a balcony, because when I was going, there was one cinema upstairs and one downstairs. I much preferred the upstairs because the seating was raked, or stadium as they call it now, so every seat had a good view and if it wasn’t crowded you could hang your feet over the seats in front of you. This was also one of the narrowest cinemas I’ve been in, being only one lot wide, about 20 to 25 feet. The audience was usually drinking and smoking their heads off.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Cine 42 on Jan 13, 2005 at 7:11 am

The Cine 42, which can easily be seen from the movie Taxi Driver is actually still in tact. The building sits to the right of the New Amsterdam and is probably the most hidden theatre on 42nd street. Disney’s giant billboards cover the facade and what used to be the theatre’s lobbies is now the new amsterdams box office. The street level of the theatre was actually a disney store until some months ago when it closed down. What is Disney doing with this theatre if their even in charge of it? It probably has been abandoned now for 13 years and I can only imagine what lies behind the giant lion king billboard and inside the walls of this enchanted theatre space. Anybody have any info??
posted by caspers42 on Jan 13, 2005 at 1:44am

Enchanted? Like from a Grimm fairy tale. There was no charm in this barely functional grindhouse, whose seats were not even upholstered and whose patrons had wandered in from a Monogram horror movie. That said, I too wonder what is behind the facade.
posted by saps on Jan 13, 2005 at 2:08am

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Peepland on Jan 13, 2005 at 7:10 am

PS, caspers42, your comment and my response seem to be posted on the wrong page. I’ll repost them on the Cine 42 site.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Peepland on Jan 13, 2005 at 7:08 am

Enchanted? Like from a Grimm fairy tale. There was no charm in this barely functional grindhouse, whose seats were not even upholstered and whose patrons had wandered in from a Monogram horror movie. That said, I too wonder what is behind the facade.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about New Amsterdam Theatre on Jan 13, 2005 at 7:03 am

About the rooftop at the New Amsterdam, I read somewhere that there are no viable entrances and exits that would comply with the current fire codes. There’s one or two small elevators that wouldn’t be able to handle the audiences, so Disney is not really able to use the space.

As to the Cine 42, where I spent many happily intoxicated hours watching some wild triple bills, I too wonder what is up there. Although I was a frequent patron here, it was my 2nd least favorite grindhouse (the Anco was worse); the seats were molded plastic without any cushions or padding, which I guess cut down on vandalism. As it was, my friend Anthony and I used to joke that it seemed Rondo Hatton (or his spawn) was always in the audience!

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about UA Cinema 150 on Jan 12, 2005 at 12:15 pm

The best 70mm prints I’ve seen were at the Virginia Theater in Champaign, Illinois, during the Roger Ebert Overlooked Film Festival…crystal clear and amazingly detailed viewings of Patton and Lawrence of Arabia. Both truly stunning.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about UA Cinema 150 on Jan 12, 2005 at 6:03 am

The first time I saw Gone With the Wind was here in the late 70s/early 80s, with a wretched 70mm print that cropped the image at the top and bottom and seemed to be terrbily out of focus, even after changing my seat several times and complaining to the manager (who stated that was because of the curved screen!) I couldn’t believe that this was the number one box office attraction of all time. I was really disappointed, until I saw it again years later in the proper ratio and clarity. Of course it’s magnificent.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Member Comment Histories Will Return! on Jan 12, 2005 at 5:51 am

I’d like to see a longer list of recent comments, because if you miss a comment, it’s gone unless you go to that theater’s page, but unless you have already commented about that house, you’d never know a comment was made.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Uniondale Mini Cinema on Jan 11, 2005 at 6:14 am

Weird.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Radio City Music Hall on Jan 10, 2005 at 3:45 pm

Good movie with wonderful Sandy Dennis, but maybe wrong for the Music Hall.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Rockville Centre Cinema on Jan 7, 2005 at 11:30 pm

Long and narrow, but if the projector light is bright enough it’s OK for a move-over from the Fantasy or for a new B-pictue.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Roxy Theatre on Jan 7, 2005 at 7:38 pm

I’m a little dizzy reading all this.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Ramrod Theatre on Jan 7, 2005 at 5:00 am

No porn at the New Amsterdam. Thank God!

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Roxy Theatre on Jan 7, 2005 at 4:56 am

Some really heartfelt writing here. Thanks, guys.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Lyric Theatre on Jan 6, 2005 at 9:45 pm

Although it may have shown a soft-core adult movie from time to time (when porn flirted with mainstream acceptance) the Lyric was never a porno house.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about City Cinemas Cinema 1, 2, and 3 on Jan 6, 2005 at 9:36 pm

I saw the original Rocky here at a 2:00am showing, with the usher crying, Don’t you know you won’t be out until after 4am? I guess he wanted to go home a little earlier. We smoked some weed, right in our seats, and had a great time.

I also saw The Elephant Man here…the movie took pains to carefully show the sight of him bit by bit. Well, by the time he was fully revealed we were sort of prepared for it, and we watched in quiet amazement. However, some ladies had arrived late and hadn’t been prepared, so when he came on screen again they started shouting and carrying on at the top of their voices, much to the annoyance of the upper eastside types that otherwise filled the theater. I had to laugh because I felt like I was across town on 42nd Street. Those Deuce audiences always expressed their opinions loud and clear, unlike their staid eastside counterparts!

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Bryant Theatre on Jan 1, 2005 at 8:25 pm

It was here on 42nd Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, where in the late 1970’s my girlfriend and I saw our first and only live sex show. Oh, brother.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Apollo Theatre on Dec 30, 2004 at 10:58 pm

Good article, too.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about AMC Empire 25 on Dec 30, 2004 at 10:50 pm

>>All that’s left is the front facade. a shame
posted by D on Jul 25, 2004 at 6:53pm

The entire theater was restored: Walls, balconies, murals, proscenium arch; and is now used as the lobby of the new AMC Empire 25.

I agree about the eclectic billing here. Once in the early 1980’s the second or third feature was Hitchcock’s Psycho from 20 years earlier. At a rock-bottom evening price of 85 cents, who could resist going in. It was the first time I’d seen Psycho on the big screen, and what a setting! I think half of Norman Bate’s family was in the audience. We all go a little mad sometimes, no doubt.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Bryant Theatre on Dec 30, 2004 at 5:25 pm

There’s nice clear film of this theater’s adult film marquee in that Travel Channel doumentary.