Roxy Theatre

153 W. 50th Street,
New York, NY 10020

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Showing 126 - 150 of 1,110 comments

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 27, 2011 at 8:41 pm

The caption on the photo states the year is 1953, during the engagement of “The Robe.” If you click on the “Photo” tab just above the image, you can page through all the images posted here for this theater. Click on the thumbnail image to open any photo full size and you will be able to read any accompanying captions or comments.

Simon L. Saltzman
Simon L. Saltzman on October 27, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Dear Housechecker, If you were at the Roxy the summer of ‘56 then you may have been there for “The King and I” which is when I began and stayed for one year. If this is true then perhaps we may have met or at least stood together for inspection. More importantly, one of the contributors to this site is gathering information about the theater for a book on its operations. Are you a New York or vicinity resident? A reunion of “those still standing” would be wonderful but no one except you has yet responded. By the way, “The King and I” was the beginning of the Roxy’s short but great golden year of hits with crowds like the one in the lobby shown in the photo above for “But Stop,” “Giant,” and “Anastasia.” Does anyone know the date of the photo above????

Housechecker on October 27, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Saltzman—-re: 7-26-11 I was an usher from summer 1953 (Peter Pan) to summer 1955 (can’t remember the film, I wasn’t inside much). The idea of a reunion sounds great, but as Cloris Leachman said in an episode of Two & A Half Men, “Hurry up. I’m not getting any younger.”

Vito on October 23, 2011 at 10:11 am

Copy that Tinseltoes please keep em coming

MarkDHite on October 22, 2011 at 11:49 am

I love your “on this day” comments, Tinseltoes.

Joseph on September 4, 2011 at 7:01 pm

The Roxy was purchased by Rockefeller Center in 1955 with an eye towards future development. Rock Center needed the ROXY site for its air rights in order to build the new Time-Life building, completed in 1959. The Roxy was leased back to its operators. Rock Center had no direct involvement in its operation until 1959, shortly before it closed. Rock Center made a deal with William Zecandorf to sell the ROXY so the TAft hotel could be expanded. However, the TAFT was never expanded, but Zeckendorf proceeded to tear down the ROXY. He had no interest in keeping the ROXY open. Closed, the ROXY was costing thousands of dollars in real esate taxes to NYC. Zeckend orf probaly did not have much choice. The whole closing process appeaerd to be very quick. Perhaps Rock Center insisted the ROXY be closed. However, I have not seen any printed proof of Rock Center’s direct involement in the closing. Variety reported in 1959 that the NY Philharmonic was interested in leasing the ROXY for its home after the philharmonic was ousted from Carniege hall, which was also on the demolition block at the time. However nothing ever came of the ROXY/ Philharmonic deal as Linclon Center was in the early construction stages at the time.

bigjoe59 on September 4, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Hello To My Fellow Posters. the Roxy was torn down the summer of 1960 and i doubt everything was going along swimmingly and a month before someone said-“oh lets tear down the Roxy”. so i’m hedging the bet the decision to do so was decided upon years before. so when exactly was the decision to tear it down decided on? in 1956 the Roxy had 3 big Cinemascope hits from 20th Fox-CAROUSEL, ANASTASIA and THE KING AND I. so could the decision have been made as early as 1956?

Ed Miller
Ed Miller on September 3, 2011 at 2:44 pm

If this was “Jeopardy,” lonixcap would have the correct answer.

William on September 3, 2011 at 10:07 am

Yes, the film “Wilson” did have it’s World Premiere in Wahoo, Nebraska. But the word Premiere in the movie business can have multi meanings. World Premiere being held on both coasts or different regions like Northern California (San Francisco) while the main premiere would be held in Hollywood. The Roxy Theatre engagement of “Wilson” did hold a house record for the most tickets sold for the theatre at that time.

lonixcap on September 3, 2011 at 3:48 am

I thought the Wilson premier was in Zanuck’s hometown of Wahoo, Nebraska.

Simon L. Saltzman
Simon L. Saltzman on July 26, 2011 at 2:45 pm

As a former Roxy usher 1956/1957, I was wondering if there is any interest in a reunion of ushers and/or staff who still might be around.

Ed Miller
Ed Miller on July 18, 2011 at 12:56 pm

What an extraordinary shame that here in the United States, we don’t preserve our history. That the Roxy, “the Cathedral of the Motion Picture,” should have been demolished is beyond criminal.

Scorpionfury on June 28, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Thanks guys! This is just one of those buildings I can’t get enough of. Love that shot from the stage with the orchestra

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 23, 2011 at 5:03 am

Here’s Mark’s link to the photo from Life.

Cinema Treasures doesn’t currently support bare links. If you don’t know HTML, you can use simple Markdown code to embed inline links. Put the text for the link between square brackets, followed by the url between parentheses, with no space between closing bracket and opening parenthesis. Presto, an inline link just like the ones in this comment, with only four extra keystrokes.

MarkDHite on June 23, 2011 at 1:06 am

(How do you add a live link to a message?) Thanks.

MarkDHite on June 23, 2011 at 1:02 am

I think this is what you were looking for:

There are more shots of this as well. Search Google images for “roxy+source:life” to find all of the Roxy photos in the online LIFE archive.

Scorpionfury on June 21, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Somewhere in the internet universe I came across a photo, shot from the stage during an orchestral performance, that showed a great shot of the tiered balconies. I meant to save the photo so I could share it, but have since lost my browser bookmark. If anyone knows where to find it online, it’d be a great addition to the photo page for the Roxy.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 21, 2011 at 8:02 am

Joseph: Thanks so much for sharing this treasure trove of Roxy photo materials with us.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 31, 2011 at 9:36 am

I don’t think Warner gutted the Beacon interior. I suspect they redesigned it for sound.

MarkDHite on May 31, 2011 at 2:10 am

I don’t have any proof regarding the architect of the Beacon except my eyes. It sure looks a lot more like Ahlschlager than it does Rapp and Rapp. If the Rapps created that design then it was amazingly atypical for them. My guess is that the design is Ahlschlager’s and the Rapp Bros. supervised whatever additional work that was needed to open the theatre. Why would Warners waste money completely gutting and rebuilding the interior of a new theatre, especially in late 1929? But we may never know for sure.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on May 30, 2011 at 11:03 am

Ziggy: I think it is possible. My whole point is that it isn’t a certainty.

Ziggy on May 27, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Re: The comment by Life’s Too Short, I think that architect’s are capable, and likely, too develop emotional attachment to their creations, especially if you read how poetical Eberson could get about his theatres.

When the Hotel “La Posada” was being dismantled in the 1960’s the architect (whose name escapes me) was present at the auction of all the furnishings and art works she had chosen for the structure she designed. When asked for a reaction to what was going on her reply was “I now know that it’s possible to live too long”.

Joseph on May 27, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Another ROXY view, 1954:

View link

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on May 27, 2011 at 4:24 pm

You guys are looking at it from the standpoint of the emotions you have for these buildings (which I share, by the way).

My grandfather, Mason Rapp, was the last to run the firm of Rapp & Rapp. It was work to those guys. It was a way to support their families. The guys at B&K would call and say: we need a theater of so many seats on such and such a site. Then Rapp & Rapp would go to work.

If the firm were in business today they would be designing multiplexes, because that is what the market demands. Or they might be doing something else altogether. In fact my grandfather had to find other things to do after the big theater work dried up in the 1940’s. He designed bank buildings for instance.

While I don’t think it exactly thrilled him to see movie palaces demolished in the 50’s & 60’s, it also didn’t give him much pause. He went on about his life with only slight reflection on the glory days of the 1920’s.

Good times come and go, and you roll with the punches.