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We treasure all cinemas.
Columnist Liz Smith today (12/23/2005) chimes in on the Christmas show:
EVERY YEAR I go to the Radio City Christmas Show, and I hear people carping and complaining that Radio City ends its extravaganza of sleighs, dancing bears, tin soldiers, Santas by the stageful, Mrs. Claus, elves, skaters, ballerinas and the fabulous Rockettes by staging a tremendous presentation of the Nativity â€" the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. Some object to this religious spectacle with the Magi, the shepherds, the star, the inn with no room, camels, donkeys and sheep all worshipping while over it they run and read aloud the words of James Allan Francis. This pastor of Riverside Baptist Church wrote back in 1926:
“He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another obscure village, where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was 30. Then for three years, he was an itinerant preacher. He never had a family or owned a home. He never set foot inside a big city. He never traveled 200 miles from the place He was born. He never wrote a book or held an office. He did none of things that usually accompany greatness.
“While He was still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends deserted Him. He was turned over to His enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While He was dying, His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had â€” His coat. When He was dead, He was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave.
“Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today, He is the central figure for much of the human race. All the armies that ever marched and all the navies that ever sailed and all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as this ‘One Solitary Life.’ ”
You can still go to Radio City and leave before the Nativity scene if you feel it’s going to offend you. But how could you ever escape the history of that one solitary life even if you felt it has no meaning for you? Well, I always sit there and cry. And I congratulate Radio City for its determination to keep and give Christmas its ultimate meaning.
Will Clearview or United Artists take over the E-Walk?
I think that the 42nd Steet entrance to the “Hilton” (ugh) is the lobby/entrance of the Lyric. There is another entrance further west that used to be the Apollo entrance, but that is not presently used as an entrance; perhaps it is still used as an exit.
They paved Paradise, and put up a parking lot…not! Thank God.
By the time I first came here it was already a twin; then slowly but surely further carved up; the basement was a carnival of lost souls.
This is an amazing theatre from the outside, too. When I drive by I can only stare in wonder.
Lets hope they get some bookings now!
La Dolce Vita is from 1960; when did the newsreels stop?
Chic is chic.
I think that you can see the screen from the end (side?) doors, but the center door views are blocked by the booth. Next time I go I will make some observations.
There is little evidence of the original decor. On the orchestra level the windows are still in the doors, but the wide booth blocks the view of the screens.
I re-posted some of these comments on the Chelsea Theater page.
I also loved and miss this theater. Saw many Marilyn Monroe double features here and they all seemed clear enough; Gentlemen Prefer Blondes practically leapt off the screen into my lap (if only!); I also enjoyed the long snack bar with the homemade goodies.
Re-posted comments from Crossbay Theater page:
I now live in Chelsea in Manhattan and about 15 years ago, Cineplex Odeon opened the Chelsea Cinemas multiplex which, at that time was the largest in Manhattan. Now part of the Clearview chain, it falls into the Ho Hum category as well and, in my opinion, should be torn down and replaced with a modern theater complex similar to Loew’s Lincoln Square, 42nd St and 34th St. showplaces. These theaters are comfortable, have stadium seating, great sound and in the case of Lincoln Square, a unique architectural element that recalls many of Loew’s movie palaces of the past.
Most of my friends only go to Chelsea Cinemas when it is too cold, or rainy to go to the other, much better theaters. We’d much rather walk up to 34th from 23rd at all other times.
posted by LuisV on Dec 5, 2005 at 10:25am
I don’t think Cablevision is going to tear down their profitable Chelsea to re-build. I wonder how many theaters Clearview has built from the ground up, as opposed to purchasing or converting. I do find that although Chelsea has no stadium seating, it is comfortable, with big screens, bright light and good sound, and a friendly staff.
posted by saps on Dec 5, 2005 at 9:57pm
I miss any theater that has closed, never to re-open. They are all “treasures” to me.
I was here Saturday night and was happy to see the place was packed. There’s nothing like the excitement of a crowded movie theatre, everyone there to have a good time.
Meredith has moved on. But I think he reads this page so maybe we’ll hear from him.
Here is a link to a 1948 shot of this movie house.
I love seeing the long lines down 54th Street when this place has a hot booking; everybody there is thrilled to be seeing a picture at the city’s only remaining movie palace.
Enow or meow? Either way, ‘nuff said.
What was the message on the marquee?
Whether or not The Producers is any good, I am happy to see an exclusive booking here for a change, even at inflated roadshow prices. I wonder if that old showman Mel Brooks had anything to do with the booking.
Let’s call the whole thing off!