New Amsterdam Theatre

214 West 42nd Street,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 126 - 150 of 226 comments

JKane
JKane on January 12, 2007 at 6:57 pm

Re 42nd St. retitlings, my fave was when the Harlan Ellison-based sci-fi film A BOY AND HIS DOG was rechristened PSYCHO BOY AND HIS KILLER DOG. Nothing like a “Lassie”-sounding title to drive customers away, despite the lurid standees, lobby cards, et al to the contrary.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 19, 2006 at 2:22 am

Some shots I took the other night:

Through a porthole window of the New Victory
Facade 1
Facade 2
Poppins marquee
Outer vestibule

I love that look from the New Victory port hole window (which is in the stairwell going up from the mezzanine to the upper balcony) – it almost looks like the marquee is on fire.

Compare that last shot of the current-day vestibule to this 1962 grind house shot! The wall on the right, which at one time housed a large display case and the rounded corner of the box office, has been broken through to allow passage into the current spacious New Amsterdam box office.

I also cropped this shot of the vestibule from the other night to approximate the view of this shot I took back in 1993. Interesting contrasts, eh?

Also… I noticed that the letters on the blade sign have changed their appearance over the years. The 1953 image posted by Warren above shows thinner and more rounded letters, which had been replaced with squared-off neon letters by at least 1958.

42ndStreetMemories
42ndStreetMemories on December 14, 2006 at 12:55 pm

I always loved this shot. 3D on the Deuce. Like it wasn’t scary enough. Also, if you look at the Lyric, there’s an example of how they would frequently alter the titles on the marquee to make them more 42nd Street type fare. Here, a harmless western comedy “ALONG CAME JONES” became “Along Came KILLER JONES”. jerry

RobertR
RobertR on December 14, 2006 at 12:37 pm

I don’t think I have seen that one before Warren.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 11, 2006 at 2:53 pm

Warren… that’s definitely the New Amsterdam. The curvey deco pattern on the box office (to the right under the marquee) is the definite giveaway.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on December 11, 2006 at 2:31 pm

Is this the “New Amsterdam” which is mentioned in Counting Crows' first big hit single “Mr. Jones” (I was down at the New Amsterdam/Mr. Jones strikes up a conversation…“)?

LuisV
LuisV on November 17, 2006 at 2:02 am

I just came back from Opening Night of “Mary Poppins” at The New Amsterdam! Lots of celebs, but the real star for me is this theater. I went with a friend who had never been to this theater and so I was able to see it anew through his eyes. He was awed at its beauty, as was I. This truly is one of the most beautiful and unusual (there are few art noveau theaters) that I have ever seen. While I give the show a “6”, the theater gets a perfect “10”. A nice touch after the performance….as we were leaving we all got Mary Poppins umbrellas……and it had just started to rain!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 3, 2006 at 8:08 pm

Here’s an image peeking under the advertising into the outer vestibule of the New Amsterdam, circa October, 1970. Here’s another shot from the same image stream showing more or less the same. The movie advertised is Broadway Joe Namath’s “CC and Company”.

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim on August 21, 2006 at 10:56 pm

Just got my socks knocked off over on eBay. I put in a search for Famous Funnies Comics. Up pops FF #210, beautiful Buck Rogers cover by Frazetta, CGC 9.6 NM+ condition. Buy It Now price through 8/30 – with no interest until 2007???

$5,700.00

choke

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 3, 2006 at 4:21 pm

Yes, Jerry… I was going to add that the look is very similar to the Heavy Metal magazine covers that Frazetta painted, but I couldn’t think of his name. An amazing artist, Frazetta suffered a stroke some years back and lost a lot of fine motor skill in his right hand and so had to teach himself how to paint with his left! And he seems to have mastered it.

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim on August 3, 2006 at 3:27 pm

Score one for 42nd Street Memories*Jerry Kovar! In the mid-1950s, the highly-talented Frazetta did a series of covers (including Buck Rogers) for Famous Funnies Comics, a monthly 10-cents reprint book of Saturday/Sunday newspaper continuities. When in decent shape, these FF artwork gems have soared into the low four-figure category. (And that’s without decimal points…)

42ndStreetMemories
42ndStreetMemories on August 3, 2006 at 2:14 pm

Ed,

The artist was the great Frank Frazetta. I have the half sheet from The Gauntlet hanging in my garage. jerry

Here’s a couple of websites: http://frankfrazetta.org/ AND http://frankfrazetta.com/

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 3, 2006 at 1:57 pm

Clint at the New Amsterdam in 1978:

The Gauntlet – NY Daily News 1/25/78
A rare listing for a major studio release that includes a 42nd Street grind house booking in addition to one of the big houses on Broadway (in this case the Embassy 2). I remember this style of artwork was in vogue in the late 1970’s into the 1980’s. I seem to recall the “Conan” movies in particular having a similar look.

DonRosen
DonRosen on June 28, 2006 at 2:22 pm

“Mary Poppins” in next.

Bway
Bway on June 12, 2006 at 3:00 pm

I guess the New Amsterdam will be closed the whole summer then? I guess it will take the summer to get ready for the new show.

Bway
Bway on June 12, 2006 at 2:53 pm

I believe Disney is putting Mary Popins into the New Amsterdam.

Bway
Bway on June 12, 2006 at 2:34 pm

The Lion King has officially left the New Amsterdam. It is now playing (starting June 13th) at the Minskoff Theater.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 27, 2006 at 7:26 am

I have read that 42nd street theatres in the seventies grossed as much as the rest of Manhattan put together. Based on the concept of an economy of businesses that pays its own way, these crap houses with their exploitation, sexploitation and blaxploitation certainly appeared to accomplish an economic success model. No matter what one feels about crack whores, the Shuberts, crooked politicians, pimps, Disney, the police, male hustlers, the Brandts or Popeye’s Chicken – 42nd Street may have been the first true experiment in undisturbed capitalism. It should have been preserved and studied.

For the Hollywood version, see IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, not ILSA, SHE WOLF OF THE SS.

rlvjr
rlvjr on May 27, 2006 at 3:52 am

I saw Connie Stevens and Vincent Price in “Two on a Gillotine” plus another picture here in the 1950’s. The New Amsterdam charged the highest price on 42nd Street, 99c at night (compared to $1.80 to $2.00 at Radio City, Rivoli, and other Broadway first run houses.) Like all New York theatres, patrons could smoke in the balcony. (Yeegads!). The theatre was run-down then, but plenty of moviegoers always. Shows ran from about 8 AM continuous to about 4:30 AM.
Don’t let anybody tell you TV closed down the 42nd Street theatres, or the beautiful movie palaces on Broadway. It was bad government, and New Yorkers' blind determination to re-elect bad government at every opportunity. If drug sellers, pimps and prostitutes take over a neighborhood and are not interfered with by the legal system, then family entertainment dies. They had crack whores by the dozens on Broadway and 7th Avenue in the Times Square area in the 1970’s and not even police-in-pairs entered 42nd Street in those days. It was New York’s choice to let their beautiful city go straight to hell back then. New York lost 20% of its population and literally went bankrupt, to be bailed out by loans from Uncle Sam. Happily New York came to their senses and cleaned up their act —– but the loss of virtually every great movie palace was part of the price of their insane foolishness.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 26, 2006 at 3:40 pm

Yes. And Lee Major’s film career really took off after that, didn’t it? Remember “The Norsemen”, the ridiculous Viking epic he starred in with Mel Ferrer and an aging Cornel Wilde? I also seem to recall some sort of horrible killer piranha movie he was in around this same time. I guess they made for a few decent paychecks between the end of “Six Million Dollar Man” and the beginning of “The Fall Guy”!

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 25, 2006 at 8:40 pm

I remember STEEL as one of those “so bad, it is good” films. It is the story of construction workers putting up a high rise and fighting all kinds of silly problems, personal or otherwise. The soundtrack treated the climax as if it was a ROCKY type triumph with a lot of whoppin' and hollerin'. A real redneck saga from the “who cares?” genre.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 25, 2006 at 7:22 pm

Double feature ad from the Daily News (12/12/80) listing the New Amsterdam as well as the RKO Cinerama and a number of neighborhood grinds:

Steel/The Children

Of course, all three Manhattan theaters opted for a different 2nd feature. I saw this pairing as advertised either at the RKO Lawrence or the Studio 1 in Lynbrook.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 24, 2006 at 7:43 pm

Below are a few shots I took in 1993 of the New Amsterdam facade and entrance. It appeared at the time that some work was going on within, as one of the doors was ajar and some lighting and light construction equipment could be seen down the outer lobby hall.

The front door
Marquee and blade sign
New Amsterdam and Cine 42

I think its interesting to compare that first shot of the theater entrance with the somewhat wider angle view of the same area (from almost the same vantage point) taken some 30-plus years earlier that Warren posted a while back:

Exploitation Mania

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 9, 2006 at 12:46 am

Had to reorganize my photobucket account so the link to the photo I posted above has changed. A couple of recent night shots of the New Amsterdam marquee can now be found here.