Paris Theatre

4 West 58th Street,
New York, NY 10019

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BoxOfficeBill
BoxOfficeBill on August 17, 2005 at 7:26 am

Here’s a Showbill from November 1960.

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“Picnic on the Grass” was a minor Jean Renoir film, but a Renoir film nonetheless, with the added glory of having been filmed in glorious color at the Renoir estate near Cannes. The silly plot focuses on an aloof professor who spends a weekend with young people at a country estate, where he unbuttons his collar and learns to enjoy life. It’s not “Rules of the Game,” but it’s nice to look at.

The accompanying essay on dubbing vs. subtitles has Bosley Crowther ludicrously arguing on behalf of dubbing as a “commercially advantageous way of presenting” foreign films, because [in 1960 figures] dubbing would earn a dubber $12,000-25,000 per film whereas subtitling would earn a subtitler only $2,500-4,000 per film. (In all fairness, he also argues that distributors prefer the cheaper method to maximize their profits.)

I include the “Now Showing At” page to recall what was available at these theaters that Thanksgiving-Christmas season in 1960.

BoxOfficeBill
BoxOfficeBill on August 17, 2005 at 7:22 am

Here’s a Showbill from November 1960.

View link

View link

View link

“Picnic on the Grass” was a minor Jean Renoir film, but a Renoir film nonetheless, with the added glory of having been filmed in glorious color at the Renoir estate near Cannes. The silly plot focuses on an aloof professor who spends a weekend with young people at a country estate, where he unbuttons his collar and learns to enjoy life. It’s not “Rules of the Game,” but it’s nice to look at.

The accompanying essay on dubbing vs. subtitles has Bosley Crowther ludicrously arguing on behalf of dubbing as a “commercially advantageous way of presenting” foreign films, because [in 1960 figures] dubbing would earn a dubber $12,000-25,000 per film whereas subtitling would earn a subtitler only $2,500-4,000 per film. (In all fairness, he also argues that distributors prefer the cheaper method to maximize their profits.)

I include the “Now Showing At” page to recall what was available at these theaters that Thanksgiving-Christmas season in 1960.

evmovieguy
evmovieguy on August 4, 2005 at 6:26 pm

What’s the deal with the Saturday midnight shows? ‘North By Northwest’ has been held over for a third week. It’s doing that well? The night I was there it was a good crowd, but it wasn’t sold out. Are these guys having trouble getting a new film to show, or is NxNW doing that well? I’m chompin at the bit to see another film there.

hardbop
hardbop on August 4, 2005 at 7:44 am

I agree that there is something intangible about seeing a film at the Paris. You almost feel like you are entering a cathedral. I was there for the first time in awhile Friday night for BALZAC AND THE LITTLE SEAMSTRESS and there is an ambiance. I may be imagining it, but the theatre seems almost circular.

BoxOfficeBill
BoxOfficeBill on August 3, 2005 at 3:58 am

Here’s a Showbill from the Paris in April 1960:

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High Culture, this filming of a stage production by the venerable Comédie française. The Franco export evidently aimed to hit school markets around the world as teachers of French might bring their students to it for a cultural experience.

The Paris accommodated such events. Eight years later, in the winter of ‘68-’69, my wife organized an excursion of some 500 high school students to see a showing of Franco Zeffirelli’s “Romeo and Juliet” which had been playing at that theater. That production we had seen live in its stage version at the City Center some five years earlier, and now in this film the director was recreating his magnificent stage effects set against location photography in Verona.

As luck would have it, a huge snowstorm closed NYC schools the day before and day of the showing. Panicked with 500 tickets in our hands, we ran announcements on the major NYC radio stations instructing students to show up at the theater for the scheduled 10:00 am special showing. We set out for the theater from Queens two hours early, snowstorm be damned. About a hundred kids eventually showed up. The school then soaked up the losses.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on July 23, 2005 at 9:49 pm

The club that you mention is actually underneath the Paris auditorium. Originally, the Paris had a big lounge in the lower level, similar to the 57th St. Playhouse. In a lease negotiation about 30 years ago, Pathe Cinema gave up that space in lieu of a rent increase, leaving the theatre with only the microscopic restrooms and lobby-ette downstairs. The space given up became a restaurant, and now, apparently, a night club.

evmovieguy
evmovieguy on July 23, 2005 at 9:11 pm

Just came back from tonight’s screening of ‘North By Northwest’ at the Paris. GREAT! I hadn’t been there for quite sometime, and it was great to be back. It was really cool to be watching ‘North By Northwest’ only steps away from one of the film’s locations. There’s Cary Grant hanging out at The Oak Room at The Plaza….literally right around the corner from the Paris. COOL!

These Saturday Midnight shows seem to be pretty successful. The place wasn’t full, but I counted at least 60 or so people in the floor seats, and there must have been more in the mezz. Not bad for a midnight revival screening in Mid-town on a Saturday night. After the show there was a guy in the lobby who works for the Paris talking to people about the midnight shows. I overheard that they showed ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ in 70mm a few weeks ago. DAMN! I wish I was there for that one. When I asked what was on deck for next week, he told me there is no schedule, just check the New York Times or the Village Voice for the midnight show advertisements. The Paris is a great theater, my only complaint which has nothing really to do with the theater itself, was that the music from the club next door, Frederick’s can be heard thudding through the walls from time to time during the film. Not too overwhelming, but even though it was noticeable it didn’t take anything away from the experience of seeing the film there.

If tonight is any indication it looks like the midnight Saturday shows will be happening for at least the foreseeable future, and that my friends, is a very cool thing.

SJLinNYC
SJLinNYC on July 22, 2005 at 5:48 pm

Does anybody know where to find a listing of the upcoming Saturday night revivals at the Paris? By the time the Village Voice comes out, it’s usually too late for me to pull something together with friends; I’d be there early and often if I knew what was showing… I’m still kicking myself for not making “Rebel Without a Cause.”

moviesmovies
moviesmovies on July 21, 2005 at 10:18 am

This happened to me during the engagement of ‘Doña Flor And Her Two Husbands’ here.
A friend and I were seated in the balcony’s front row watching the film and I was smoking a cigarette I dropped onto the orchestra.
We went downstairs immediately and encountered an irate couple in the lobby.
I apologized over and over and offered to pay for salon services.
They wanted to call the police. They observed our sincere concern
and all returned to their seats.

RobertR
RobertR on July 13, 2005 at 11:30 am

The Paris on a Taiwan site
View link

moviesmovies
moviesmovies on July 13, 2005 at 6:30 am

saw many fun art/foreign films here

evmovieguy
evmovieguy on July 9, 2005 at 7:58 pm

If anybody has any info on further Saturday Midnight screenings at the Paris, please post them here. I was unable to go tonight to see ‘Rebel Without A Cause’, but I want to start going to these Midnight screenings to support the theater and this kind of program. Hey Paris Theater management, keep up the good work and continue to do the Saturday midnight screenings!! If you need some assistance in programming the screenings, let em know!! I would be more than happy to get involved.

Shade
Shade on July 9, 2005 at 12:40 am

The Paris continues its 2005 Saturday midnight screening series with Rebel Without a Cause.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 6, 2005 at 1:39 am

There was a Fine Arts Theatre farther east on 58th Street:

/theaters/6371/

Coate
Coate on July 5, 2005 at 9:23 pm

“It’s probably worth pointing out that the Paris is one of the few remaining theaters in the city equipped for 70MM. ‘Howard’s End’ and Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Hamlet’ were both presented in 70MM at the Paris.” (ErikH, Mar 21, 2005)


During the time of the “Howards End” engagement, the theater was called the Fine Arts.

Coate
Coate on July 5, 2005 at 9:22 pm

Shade, you sound bitter.

Shade
Shade on July 5, 2005 at 8:47 pm

Nope, and after the smaller turnout for Dog Day Afternoon last Saturday, it’s not certain whether the midnights will be continuing.

I love this site, but boy, it sure would be nice to see people LEAVE THEIR COMPUTERS and GO TO THE THEATERS AND SUPPORT THEM from time to time…

evmovieguy
evmovieguy on June 28, 2005 at 2:22 pm

Is there a schedule posted somewhere for the midnight Paris shows?

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on June 28, 2005 at 1:59 am

Does the PAris have curtains or do they use those tacky slides?

Shade
Shade on June 27, 2005 at 8:29 pm

This weekend is DOG DAY AFTERNOON, Saturday at midnight.

First weekend of All the President’s Men had about 90 in attendance. 2001 had about 80. Not bad at all for being in dead just west of east side midtown next to a dead hotel. It’s great fun seeing real movies in a real theater with real fans of film. Almost feels like the mid-‘80s.

evmovieguy
evmovieguy on June 27, 2005 at 6:24 pm

I heard that The Paris played Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ this past weekend at midnight. Damn! I hate when I miss stuff like that. Anybody have any idea what they are going to show this weekend at midnight?

hardbop
hardbop on June 13, 2005 at 5:48 am

I noticed that the Paris has started a midnight screening on Saturday nights. They screened ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN this past weekend and had a fairly big ad in the times trumpeting the screening. The ad was no doubt placed to trigger awareness because I doubt the outlay for an ad of that size in the Times could be recouped with ticket revenue from one screening.

That is a tad too late for me, but I’ll keep tabs on it.

RobertR
RobertR on June 9, 2005 at 3:00 pm

In May of 1969 Paramount took a huge ad for Zeffirelli’s “Romeo & Juliet” which was then in its 34th week at The Paris.

Don K.
Don K. on May 27, 2005 at 10:08 pm

The Paris Theatre rivalled my affection for the Beekman Theatre during the years that I lived in New York. Technically, the Paris Theatre is a West Side house, since it is located west of Fifth Avenue. Fortunately, I saw a number of films there and I always found the presentation to be very good. My only complaint was that the auditorium tended to get very warm at times.

The Paris' understated simplicity always had a very sophisticated New York quality about it. It would be a shame if it falls victim to some real estate developer. If the worst happens, this theatre will live on in my memory.

As Bogart said in CASABLANCA, “We’ll always have Paris.”

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 20, 2005 at 8:03 am

Opening publicity in 1948 claimed that the Paris was designed by the architectural firm of Warner-Leeds. It occupied the first three floors of a new sixteen-story office building. The ground site was formerly occupied by a mansion owned by Charles B. Alexander, said to be an uncle of Eleanor (Mrs. Franklin D.) Roosevelt. The Paris' opening price scale was 85 cents for matinees, $1.10 after 5PM.