Hollywood Theatre

237 W. 51st Street,
New York, NY 10019

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Showing 126 - 150 of 154 comments

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 8, 2005 at 7:25 am

Warren points out the location of the original Lindy’s on Broadway and 51st. Actually, I believe there was a predecessor elsewhere along Broadway, but this was the restaurant where gangster Arnold Rothstein had his own personal booth and where the colorfully crooked characters created by Damon Runyon held court (though it was dubbed “Mindy’s” in Runyon’s short stories). Long after owner Leo “Lindy” Lindemann’s death, the restaurant operated on the corner of 45th and Broadway in the ground floor of the 1 Astor Plaza skyscraper that went up in the early ‘70’s – this is the location you’re thinking of hdtv267 (and the one that remains in my memory).

Last I knew, that location had closed and Lindy’s (now part of the Riese Organization) was up on Broadway and 53rd and I seem to recall there is also a Lindy’s across from Penn Station in the Hotel Pennsylvania on 7th Ave between 33rd and 32nd Streets.

BoxOfficeBill
BoxOfficeBill on December 8, 2005 at 4:23 am

Yes, the Mark Hellinger is still an eye-popper. Last month on a Sunday afternoon at 2:30 pm my car ride from upstate dropped me off just outside the theater as it was filling up with church-goers. I went inside and marveled at the wonderfully bright preservation of the lobby. Ushers were not letting visitors into the auditorium, but I peered through one of the sheer-curtained glass doors and saw that the interior is as splendid as the lobby. It’s very close to what I remember from the days between “My Fair Lady” (‘56) and “Coco” ('69), right down to the sheer-curtained doors. Warren has mentioned an article on the City Section of the NYTimes on 4 December 2005. The color picture of the rear balcony looks wonderful. Bravo!

ERD
ERD on November 9, 2005 at 1:02 pm

The key word is service. As entertaining as it may be, that is not the main goal-obviously. It still is a church. It would be nice someday to see the place return as a fully functional theatre as it was intended to be.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 1, 2005 at 6:19 am

The status should be changed to “open.” If you go during a service, it’s one of the best shows in town, and admission is FREE!

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 3, 2005 at 6:13 am

Here’s a 1940 view of the original entrance on Broadway. Curiously, the marquee gives credit to the movie’s author, but fails to mention the star, who by that time was developing into “boxoffice poison.” The restaurant to the left was the legendary Lindy’s, whose corner site is now occupied by a McDonald’s:
www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/131-3147_IMG.jpg

DonRosen
DonRosen on July 19, 2005 at 1:29 am

Looks like the musical “Times Square Church” is playing. I think “Legs Diamond” with Peter Allen was one of the last big shows here.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 13, 2005 at 9:39 am

The last movie to play at the theatre under its original name of Hollywood was WB’s “Possessed” (Joan Crawford & Van Heflin), which opened on May 29, 1947…The Hollywood was built on part of the corner site of the famous Hotel Albany, which was demolished starting in October, 1928. The site was shared with a new office building that fronted on Broadway. The theatre was actually behind it, but had an entrance lobby on Broadway that cut through the office building. The Hollywood’s boxoffice and marquee were directly opposite the Warner-Piccadilly, which was on the east side of Broadway. The current entrance shown in the introductory photo was originally just a side exit from the Hollywood.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 6, 2005 at 7:19 am

The Hollywood’s name switched to Warner Theatre on August 15, 1947, with the opening of WB’s film version of “Life With Father,” a play that was then considered the most successful in the history of the American stage, with a run of nearly eight years (3,224 performances). In fact, the play’s New York engagment had ended only a month before (July 12). The movie might have seemed an ideal booking for Radio City Music Hall, but WB could earn more by presenting it at its own theatre.

DonRosen
DonRosen on December 17, 2004 at 4:31 pm

The Lyric 42nd St.

chconnol
chconnol on December 17, 2004 at 7:54 am

Someone above mentions “Taxi Driver” and the other night it was on (it’s on a lot lately on cable). Anyway…does anyone know what movie theater Travis takes Betsy to when the go to the porn movie? Just curious what it is now..

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on December 17, 2004 at 7:28 am

If the theatre marquee said “Hollywood,” it was probably the Hollywood Twin Cinemas on Eighth Avenue. Check out the listing here for that theatre.

RobertR
RobertR on December 17, 2004 at 7:23 am

Don

No that is the Hollwywood Twin Cinema on 8th Avenue, which is not that far away from this theatre.

DonRosen
DonRosen on December 17, 2004 at 6:53 am

In the movie “Taxi Driver” you can see the Hollywood marquee in the background when DeNiro is walking. Is this the same theatre?

RobertR
RobertR on December 7, 2004 at 5:19 am

Divinity
I agree, aside from performance venues churches have saved many great theatres.

Divinity
Divinity on December 6, 2004 at 8:25 pm

Robert,

This theater is obviously a success, since it has become a place for people to worship the good lord in such a heavenly atmosphere. At least it wasnt destroyed as the Paramount and Roxy were. The best part is that it is now open for all to see.

RobertR
RobertR on December 6, 2004 at 6:43 pm

If this theatre could have hung on a few years the Broadway boom of the ninties would have probably made it a success.

William
William on August 31, 2004 at 12:49 pm

Last week they re-lamped the lobby chandelier.

William
William on August 24, 2004 at 3:09 pm

They have been doing work in the auditorium and lobby areas on the ceilings in the last two months. They have been doing a few youth programs (music & speakers) and two film screenings (youth church type). I live right next door to the theatre.

Ziggy
Ziggy on August 24, 2004 at 2:25 pm

I noticed that the style of this theatre is given as “art deco”. The facade is in that style, but the interior is done in the same sort of gorgeous french baroque that Thomas Lamb used in San Francisco’s Fox Theatre, and the Loew’s Midland in Kansas City.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 24, 2004 at 1:57 pm

Someone recently asked if the nearby Roseland, at 239 West 52nd Street, was ever a theatre. The answer is “no.” Roseland is a conversion of the Gay Blades Ice Skating Rink. The original Roseland, a purpose-built dance hall that opened in 1919, was on the east side of Broadway, in the same block as the Piccadilly Theatre, between 51st and 52nd Streets. Everything on that site was demolished to make way for the City Squire Hotel. Roseland moved to its current location in 1956.

ERD
ERD on June 24, 2004 at 7:51 pm

This beautiful theatre is the last movie palace still standing in the Broadway area. Hopefully, the building can eventaully be returned to presenting shows. A producer with creative vision could do so much with it.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 31, 2004 at 8:23 am

Mark Hellinger was a beloved Broadway character, a newspaper columnist and writer before becoming a Hollywood movie producer. The theatre re-opened as the Mark Hellinger on January 22, 1949, with the musical revue, “All For Love,” which lasted only 141 performances. The playhouse never had a smash hit until “My Fair Lady,” which opened in March, 1956.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 22, 2004 at 1:54 pm

This theatre deserves to be listed under its original name of Hollywood. The Times Square Church is not a theatre…The Hollywood first opened on April 22, 1930, with the WB movie, “Hold Everything.” Although it had stage facilities, the Hollywood never used them while it was a movie house. The original entrance was on Broadway, with a narrow art nouveau lobby that cut through an office building. This lobby opened into the oval grand foyer. The current entrance on 51st Street was originally just exit doors with a plain marquee as protection from bad weather.

bruceanthony
bruceanthony on November 5, 2003 at 10:35 pm

There is a severe shortage of musical theatres of this size in the theatre district. It would be nice if this theatre could be brought back on line and a new and larger home found for the church who have taken such good care of it.I heard a rumor that Disney was very interested in this theatre. brucec