Comments from Mike (saps)

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Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about UA Lynbrook 6 on Jan 28, 2005 at 9:04 pm

I recently had the opportunity to meet the projectionist here, a great guy called Meredith Rhule. He took me to all four (!) projection booths (one for the two orchestra theaters, one for the two balcony theaters, one on the former stage and the last in a former commercial space off the lobby) where I watched him run a grade-A show. We talked a lot about the deplorable state of modern movie presentation and had a few laughs at the expense of the dopes at Regal/UA for some of their arcane practices. Meredith was cool enough to show me around the place as well; we poked around the old backstage dressing rooms and downstairs I got a look at the orchestra pit, which really is a pit nowadays. We searched a bit for any signs of the former ornamentation, but little is left. It was a real treat to shoot the breeze with a true union professional, a man with a sense of history (he also worked the Chinese Theater and at private Hollywood screening rooms for many years before moving east). This guy takes pride in his work and it shows, a precious commodity in a world where the high-school usher often runs the show.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Radio City Music Hall on Jan 28, 2005 at 5:48 pm

I was moved by the narration at the end and felt it was in keeping with the nativity scene. But I seem to remember it even back in the 1970s when I saw my first movie at the Hall, “Bedknobs and Broomsticks.” So my question is, when exactly was this text added to the Christms Show?

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Rivoli Theatre on Jan 26, 2005 at 3:29 pm

Damn you Brian! I just wasted half the morning reading through that Widescreen Museum site. So I guess I really mean thank you, Brian.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Astor Theatre on Jan 26, 2005 at 3:27 pm

I remember those blue sidewalks! Except when I saw them, they were the floor of a souvenir shop. By the time I got to Times Square the Astor was closed, although I knew that the shop had once been a theater, or at least its lobby. I wish I had the wherewithal to try to get a peek inside, but I didn’t.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Sony Columbus Circle on Jan 26, 2005 at 6:19 am

I saw The Graduate here for the first time, during a revival run. I left the theater wanting to tell everyone about this great movie that I’d just seen, but of course the picture was already decades old and there was no one to tell.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Paramount Theatre on Jan 25, 2005 at 5:38 pm

I saw in “Times Square Style” that it was a Publix Theater. I didn’t know they had any houses in New York.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about IFC Center on Jan 25, 2005 at 5:32 pm

Today’s Times article, on page B3, also has several photographs of the theater’s interior and exterior.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Radio City Music Hall on Jan 23, 2005 at 2:58 am

I don’t know, from what I’ve read here and experienced at the Hall, a small screen and bad sound don’t add up to much of a movie-going experience. But I still love the place!

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on Jan 22, 2005 at 1:55 pm

When did this house reopen?

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Best Buy Theater on Jan 21, 2005 at 12:07 am

>>They can’t use the RCMH due to the heavy bookings of shows well in advance.

It seems this house (RCMH) is dark most of the time.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) commented about Victoria Theatre on Jan 20, 2005 at 1:52 pm

By the time I got here in the mid to late 1970’s it seemed like a big box with not much charm.

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.