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Yes, it happened rather quickly with little or no fanfare. Of course the Fox Fanfare will forever ring in memory of the great roxy
I can still hear it as the great curtains parted.
Thanks for the laugh Vincent, to see the threads on the Astor Plaza closing you would think it was the greatest ever. Please, I can only guess all those people crying over the loss of the Astor Plaza never saw a real movie palace like the Roxy.I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m sad for the loss of the Astor, it represented one of the last single screen theatres in NY, but there is, of course, no comparison to the closing of the Roxy.
Vincent, my Italian heritage says it like this,
“I got ya front row tickets rii here” :)
I actually watched a bit of the game on MSN Friday, it’s sorta like a car wreck you pass on the highway, some how you just have to stop and look at it. They had chairs set up in the wings for people to watch the carnage, oops, I mean game and the players were actually gushing about playing on the worlds greatest stage. The whole thing made me sick.
Come on guys, you know it upsets Warren when you ad THE to a theatre name. He has told us often enough :)
mjc, I wondered about that rolling the reels around on the floor. I somehow did not think that happened at RCMH.Thanks for clearing that up.
mjc, Very few theatres run reel to reel carbon arc now a days, but some remain with Xenon reel to reel. Everyone has gone platter happy, even the single screen Zigfield, which has two projectors in the booth, uses a platter. What a boring job that projectionist must have.
I was just thinking, RCMH could have presented “Kiss me Kate”
in 3-D without intermission, since they had enough projectors to make a 3-D reel changeover. That is what the Paramount, with four projectors, did with “House Of Wax” and “Charge At Feather River”
That closing night was dedicated to the 50s, where patrons were encourged to drive and display their vintage 50s cars. Many patrons dressed the part, and one couple got engaged with the man proposing to his future wife on film at the start of the show.
I visited the RCMH booth just before the restoration and wondered about what has changed. At the time there were 5 projectors, 3 of them were Simplex 35/70 and the other two were Simplex XL 35. All were equipt with a Xenon light source, the carbon arc lamps having been removed a while ago.Dolby Digital had been installed and they were running on 6k reels. No platter in site ,thank heavens, I hope it stayed that way. At one time RCMH employed multiple union projectionist on each shift, two would monitor the changeovers, one calling out the que marks as not to miss them. A chief projectionist was also on hand.The reels were rewound by hand and inspected after each showing. Any one with more info?
Re-opens Friday, July 23 with a double bill, “Bourne Supremacy"
and "Anchorman”. This is the first drive-in movie showing in New Jersey since 1981. Capacity is 700 cars, and the screen is an awesome 120 feet wide. Admission will be $6 for adults and $3 for children which is rather a bargain for a double feature. I would be wonderful if the public were to turn out to support this wonderful piece of Americana.
National Amusements buys only the best in projection and sound. In addition, the equipment is kept in top form thru a maintenance agreement with a projection survice company. The condition of the theatres is monitred regularly, nothing in the booth or anywhere else in the theatre is allowed to deteriate and must be kept in tip top condition at all times.
OH MY GOD! Did anyone else see those pictures of RCMH on television last night? The stage is a basketball court. They built some sort of hidious frame around the stage and hoops were installed and I saw men playing basketball. The image of that has been burned into my mind and I am cursed to see that forever.
How dare they do such a thing? obviously they have no respect at all. Do yourself a favor and do not allow yourself to see the hall in her present state.
National Amusements has a second complex of this type in White Plains, the design is called “Cinema Delux”.
The 15 White Plains cinemas cinemas are equiped with huge wall to wall screens and state of the art Dolby Digital sound. The concession stand features “Directors Hall Express Service”. Ushers will also show you to your reserved seat. This concept brings a little class back to the movie going experience.
Ahhhh a time machine, lets see, take me to Christmas 1954 to see “White Christmas” in VistaVision at RCMH
Holmes, I think the ship has sailed on that.
The Paramount sat for several years with no one interested in saving it, and now someone has purchased the building who has no interest at all in keping it as a theatre…. no interest at all
I have difficulty even driving by, it’s just too sad
Nice job Ron!
Thank you for sharing
Yes Simon, I remember the coming attractions made exclusivly for RCMH,I used to think it lent a certain amount of class to the show. I also remember Radio City Music Hall news which was a compulation of the best stories from two or three different news reels.The news began with a wonderful RCMH opening folowed by the best clips from News Of The Day, Warner Pathe and Movietone news. I wish clips were available of those wonderful previews and news openings.
The curtain at the hall does appear to raise differently as well, I remember visiting the stage being shown the many motors required to raise her. As we know the curtain can be raised in many different ways it all depends on the ways the motors are programmed. I don’t like the way she raises now, it seems to eliminate most of the waterfall effect and it goes up all at once. Even in the full up position it’s almost a straight horizontal line across.
Oh my gosh, go right now to Bob Ketler’s home page and read the magnificent article he wrote on RCMH. I also want to thank Simonl for the walk thru memory lane. I attended just about every new show from the mid 1950s thru the mid 1970s We always tried to see the stage show in the front row behind the lighting guy and then rush up to the top mezzanine to watch the movie.We would sit right under the projection booth. What I would not give to go back there and see one more movie and a stage show for a buck twenty five.
Yes Will, you are correct, two prints were run in case of a film break or malfuntion. In those days a blank screen, or white sheet, as it was called then, was a projectionist worse nightmare.
Bill’s comment said it well. Curtains, missing now from our theatres, for me added to the granduer of the movie going experience. When I worked as a projectionist during the 50s and 60s, we always closed the curtains at the end of whatever preceeded the main feature, (cartoon, tralilers etc), and reopened them at the start of the feature, most imes the stage lights were also raised and then lowered again. THAT was showmanship. The showing of a white screen was not permitted, as well as showing the screen masking moving going from one format to another, it was timed so that the curtains hid the movement of the masking. The audience never saw the masking move or a white (blank)screen.In addition the curtains had to be timed, thru the use of a cue mark on the film, to be fully closed at the same moment the movie faded out.
Yes, the wider the screen and the longer the throw from the booth to the screen, the worse the digital image is. Perhaps that is why the Ziegfeld took the equipment out and now shows only film.
Yes Warren, Cinerama was best used for travelogs, feature films like “How the West Was Won” did not work for me, I found the two seams very distracting, and if the projectionist did not set the carbons properly and keep them in the proper relationship with the aperature and reflector, there would be an annoying diference in the color and brightness in the three panels. Later with
“Mad Mad world” and “2001” which was filmed in 70mm single strip Cinerama was much more enjoyable.
You are right Warren,I forgot about Cinerama which was an 8 channel magnetic track interlocked with the three projectors, as opposed to 3-D which was an optical photographic track, I seem to recall the stage speakers were recorded on the left print and the surrounds on the right in a 3-D config. Correct me if I am wrong.