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I stopped by the RKO Keith’s Saturday afternoon and saw a decent amount… that is, the ‘decent amount’ one could glean from peering in through the chain-lock holes at the theater’s entrance. The ground marble-trimmed squares with interior circle designs which greeted guests as they arrived are still intact, as are the marble(?) rectangles above the entrance doors. There’s a wooden, windowless door at the far right, while the area at the left entrance interior is being used as a contruction staging area, consisting of some kind of chair or step-ladder made of lumber and the type of table a person would find in a school cafeteria or at a bake sale. The wall behind it was, I think, mostly white, but in pretty rough shape, with no visible blueprints or notices posted; to the left, just outside the doorway, there were some graffiti-covered remnants of one of the previous attempts to board up the theater.
I stopped by the Plaza this weekend and found it’s being used as a Spanish-language church (with services Sundays at 10 am and Wednesdays at 7:30 pm). The only architectural changes I could see the church made was painting the left wall of the entrance hallway an off-white, with a gold-orange stripe across and about 60% down from the ceiling and two wooden doors (more appropriate for a church than a movie theater) at the end; also, the one-sheet display cases on the exterior right have been boarded up and covered with banners listing information about the church services. There’s also a likewise banner on the front of the marquee, while the left and right sides contain lettering mentioning the office space for lease (albeit with no square footage; previously, 10,000 s.f. were listed as being available) and, at the bottom, the name of the church.
I walked by the Rosemary the other night and got the sense that it’s either in line for a pretty extensive renovation project or is being prepared for demolition. I thought I saw some permits posted, but didn’t stop to read them; I’ll do so soon and see if I can provide some more definitive details.
I walked by the Broadway Theatre this past summer and didn’t notice any construction going on; how are the plans for Mudflat to renovate and open in the space progressing?
I noticed while in town this past weekend the Somerville Theatre is now showing all first-run films, at a second-run admission prices; does this portend the AMC Loews Assembly Square (which now has reduced showtimes Sunday through Thursday) closing soon?
How much of the Commodore was demolished when you passed by, brenograph?
Interesting; thanks for digging up that information, Lost Memory, and thanks to everyone else for their quick responses. This week is bad for me in finding time to head out to the Plaza and gauge firsthand exactly what’s happening, but hopefully I can make a trip there before long and be able to provide a formal update.
Ace is correct; I remember the Coliseum operating as a quad in the summer of 1991 when ‘Terminator 2: Judgement Day’ was booked there.
I had my first chance to see a film (‘Miami Vice’) at the Coliseum this past summer and was as impressed as Ken Roe was during his visit back in May. The theatre was very well-maintained and the staff was nothing but very professional and friendly. Moviegoers in the five boroughs (and visitors from out of town) need to do all they can to support the city’s remaining vintage cinemas (the Coliseum, the Jackson Triplex, the American, the Ridgewood, and any others I’m wantonly leaving out); the subway ride might be a bit long, but the trip is well worth it.
When I last passed by the Plaza, on a Tuesday and then a Monday night in mid-September, the lights were on in the entrance hallway and the lobby; perhaps there are some redevelopment/re-opening/renovation plans in the works?
After a long delay, construction on the ghastly apartment tower (ghastly for those who consider what happened to the Variety Theatre, in the name of creating space for yet another ‘whatever’ luxury living monolith) resumed about 2-3 weeks ago.
I visited the American last Saturday night to see ‘Flushed Away’ and was overall impressed with the theatre (the film was pretty good, too). The lobby is in excellent shape, and while the auditorium I was in – the main right orchestra – was a little run-down (slight water damaged on the ceiling, the floor in need of a paint job in spots), and the men’s room stalls didn’t have doors, it’s obvious Stewart Epstein knows he has a valuable and all-too-rare commodity on his hands (a neighborhood movie house) and does the best he can in maintaining it on a presumably limited – at best – profit margin.
I walked by last night and the marquee was illuminated… not to tout new movies or a grand re-opening as of yet (at least for now), but to broadcast to interested passersby the availability of 15,000 square feet for lease, being offered by Robert K. Futterman. The exterior one-sheet display cases, as they have been for months, were also lit up, while the entrance doors were covered from the inside by a black tarp. Let’s hope, as shaky a proposition as it currently is, that someone swoops in, realizes its possibilities, and reopens it as a cinema.
After several years of lying in wait, the Music Palace has been demolished, presumably to be replaced by the retail/residential development which first came into discussion in the late ‘90s.
Does anyone know if the Plaza is currently being converted – or should I say reconverted? – into a multi-screen cinema or did the people who ran it since it reopened last year pull out altogether?
That appears to be the case, Howard, as both their telephone recording has been turned off and their listing in today’s NY Post Movie Clock advises potential guests to call the theatre for showtimes. Meanwhile, the New Metro Twin website for several weeks made mention that ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, & the Wardrobe’ was scheduled to open there on December 9th, but, sometime last week, that announcement had been removed. I suspect all that evidence points to Peter Elson having given up the fight, not that the Metro had a fighting chance under his management…
According to the June 30, 2005 Canarsie Courier article posted below (http://www.canarsiecourier.com/news/2005/0630/TopStories/016.html), the Canarsie Theater and the other properties within the bulding which houses it may become the new home of the Word Aflame Community Church…
Plans Set To Convert Canarsie Theater Into A Church
By Charles Rogers
If negotiations taking place within the next few weeks go as planned, the Canarsie Theater, with an exterior that has been in a rotting state for more than a year and a half â€" will be turned into a church by next spring.
Rev. Rudolph Mitchell, spiritual leader of the Word Aflame Community Church, at 9530 Avenue L, who recently met with contractors and principles, told the Canarsie Courier that a purchase â€" â€œin the $1 million rangeâ€ â€" is currently in the works.
â€œWe looked at renditions and blueprints for the building, including the group of stores that had been associated, and showed some of them to our congregation at last Sundayâ€™s services,â€ said Rev. Mitchell, â€œand they were not only very receptive, but they were blown away!
â€œDuring our meetings with the other principles, many other facets of what the building would house came up,â€ he said. â€œFor instance, the store that was on the corner of East 93rd Street will be utilized as a Community Resource Center, where there would be social services provided, including administration of after school programs, youth activities and perhaps a day camp facility.â€
The first phase of the construction, which would be completed by March, 2006, will include complete renovation of the front and side of the building. Within that phase, offices, a community day care and learning center and a sanctuary to seat 800 people will be constructed. A book store and community resource center will be completed by November, 2006. Other amenities will eventually be added, such as a banquet hall and conference rooms.
Rev. Mitchell said his wife, Dion, an assistant principal at Bushwick High School, is handling all the aspects of the learning center, including setting up the curriculum.
He said the Word Aflame Church is an Apostolic church and that the physical property of the church itself would be â€œmedium-sized.â€
â€œWe have the support of a bank that has given us tentative loan approval pending a few minor negotiations and we are asking our parishioners and others to offer their support,â€ he added. â€œWe are extremely excited about the project.â€
While not an official landmark, the Canarsie Theater was once the center of community social life here. In recent years, however, it fell victim to a poor economy and falling patronage. The last feature movie, as emblazoned on its decaying marquee, was a remake of â€œCheaper By The Dozen,â€ starring Steve Martin, which played there in December, 2003.
What architectural elements (screens, curtains, concession stands, etc.), if any, remain from the space’s movie theatre days, gmad?
Loews has to be losing money on it, so why not just close it and pay out the rent for the remainder of the lease?
Do you know when the lease is scheduled to run out, William?
I’m certain the color photo in the intro is that of the main entrance to Symphony Space (or, what was at the time, THE entrance to Symphony Space). The Symphony Space marquee was boxy, as is the marquee in the photo above (the two Thalia marquees of recent vintage were both curvy in form) and the first image within the Peter Jay Sharp slideshow on the Symphony Space web page (http://www.symphonyspace.org/institutional/rental.php) illustrates both a downward sidewalk slant and an entranceway similar in form to that of the original Symphony Space.
You caught me, Mark, just as I was typing my message – good eye…
Both Chuck1231 and lostmemory’s recently posted links are actually links to images of the New Beverly Cinema: /theaters/1156/
The color photo in the introduction above actually shows a conversion of the Symphony Space entrance, which is still there and is separate from the entrance to the Thalia.
Why would Clearview be resuming at the Ziegfeld the engagement of a film (‘The Baxter’) which completely tanked in its 47-theatre, tri-state run, and, from all reports, most notably at the Ziegfeld? Seems to be, to say the least, highly unlikely. I suspect, as per Totoro’s post from September 5th, the Ziegfeld will be re-opening on the 23rd with ‘Flightplan’.
Make that ‘decrepit’ from my comment yesterday…