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The only picture I saw here was Nighthawks…In 1981 this theatre, probably because of its proximity to the Bahnhof, was run down and had lost its luster…the big big releases went to the Corso 1 and/or the Apollo Cinerama
This is a tidy 200 seater on a nice commercial square around the corner from the Corso…great to see that it has survived the 30 years since I saw Cage aux Folles 2 and Postman Always Rings Twice There…Thanks to Ken Roe for adding this run of Zurich theatres
We saw the last Christopher Guest picture (definitely the worst) in the Picturehouse…definitely a quality viewing experience but restricted in the food and beverages they allow in…a great looking place to see movies overall with showtimes from early morning until very late – the great thing about Singapore is that it practically never sleeps…another treat is in this complex there’s a small exhibition dedicated to Cathay with some cool artifacts on cinemagoing in Singapore
Add to this list Appaloosa (amazing I can’t remember the recent ones), Along Came Polly, Intolerable Cruelty, Stranger than Fiction, United 93,
Essentially my local since its opening in 2001…The streetside marquee is limited, the mall experience so-so (particularly since the Books Etc decamped about two years ago), the popcorn has gotten really bad, the ambience a bit louche – the occasional mobile phone does go off but once you’re in the screen the stadium effect takes hold and it all works as a cinema going experience…but they are generous with coupons as a policy and vouchers if there is a malfunction
The programming for a chain multiplex has not been disgraceful either – the neighbourhood is truly multicultural and they manage to work in the odd art and foreign film and even some studio limited runs…Had the rare and unfortunate distinction of being the only patron for a 7:00 pm show of The Express recently – it’s not a bad picture but the market for movies about dying American footballers is limited
I tend to favor a tube ride to the Gate or Coronet Notting Hill these days and it will be interesting how two multiplexes survive if and when the Cinema De Lux complex in Westfield opens up across the way
A roll call of pictures we’ve seen here would include Zoolander, Seabiscuit, Anchorman, Master and Commander, Big Fish, Bourne Identity, Inside Man, Quiet American, Changeling, The Express, Open Range, Casino Royale, Bruce Almighty, Monster’s Ball, Minority Report, Devil Wears Prada, Capote, Kinsey, Good Night and Good Luck, The Simpsons (interrupted by an alert), American Splendor, The Wrestler, Oceans’s 11, Catch Me If You Can, Lost in Translation, Volver, Hollywoodland (a London Film Festival Surprise Film showing), Flags of Our Fathers, Far from Heaven, Chicago, About Schmidt, In the Bedroom, Sideways, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Little Children, Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, The Walker and probably several more
Add to that a really good long marquee that looked great lit up
I’m now repeating myself but that’s Hollywood for you…this was a really cool theatre probably 10 years behind the times for its own good…Opened at a time when road shows were a thing of the past and where there relatively few big pictures to fill it at 1400 seats…by the time this had opened the State was already a sizeable twin, the Ziegfeld was closing intermittently, the Penthouse/Cinerama was showing dross from American International and the Astor Plaza was the really big showcase theatre on Broadway…so basically it was Poseidon Adventure, Towering Inferno and downhill from there
A shame because the escalator ride was fun, the ticketing with cashier style tickets rather than hard tickets a novelty, and because it was just big…in many ways it could have been as a single as good an experience as the Astor Plaza (and I saw Jaws at the Rivoli, and Star Wars at the Astor Plaza opening weekend) and as a twin not bad at all if it had been part of a better circuit
The oddest most unsatisfactory of several DC theatres I experienced in the mid 90s…Managed to survive Hoop Dreams, Dead Man Walking and American Buffalo in Number 3, Fargo, The Postman and La Haine in Number 1 but you have to wonder how they got away with it not that the Foundry or Dupont were much better…on the other hand they didnt have a pillar in the middle
Actually saw Blue Collar here in 1979…Brussels pre Kineopolis had many more downtown cinemas and even though this felt like a ghost town at night it showed some offbeat less commercial fare…
Oh and the movie of Richard Nader’s rock and roll revival shows Let the Good Times Roll with Chuck Berry and Bill Haley and the Comets with decent sound in the early 70s when they were booking Columbia Showcase product
Another one of my growing up at the movies landmarks…Vivid memories of the Tower East with Fantasia, Yellow Submarine, a couple of dire MGM Showcase runs of Doris Day in Caprice and Tony Curtis in Dont Make Waves, then some real landmarks – Love Story, The Godfather first show opening Saturday weekend, Deliverance, The Great Gatsby (my Dad who wasn’t cheap making faces at the $4.50 ticket price) and actually a better picture in retrospect, The Stepford Wives, All the President’s Men, Mississippi Burning
The programming has always been a mix of arthouse and mainstream showcase and I could never in my mind imagine how they could twin it effectively…in many ways it is lucky it’s in a condo in the basement rather than above ground…one of the reasons for its survival vs say the Beekman…The Upper East Side’s silk stocking needs a theatre like this which can day date effectively with Broadway or the Upper West Side or even the Ziegfeld…what strikes me now is how long pictures stay there…Monster’s Ball was there for nearly 6 months a few years ago…in that way its not unlike the Paris
This is still a great place to see an “event” movie whether on the full screen or “grand large” with the screen dropping down onto the proscenium. When the lights are finally dimmed, you can still make out some of the features of the balconies and are really transported somewhere. Saw Miami Vice and Apocalypto there and the experience was not dissimilar to seeing a great action or blaxploitation picture in the 70s or 80s in say the Criterion or Rivoli. No the neighborhood isn’t one of Paris' best but it is still Paris.
Regret having missed Neil Young live there but bless the French for landmarking it
There has been a talk of a Tesco supermarket in this location for quite some time. It’s a perfectly serviceable fourplex where over the past few years I’ve seen The Fog of War, Scary Movie 3, The Loony Toons Movie, Bad Santa, Mystic River and probably a couple more while I was recovering from surgery.
For anyone resident in the Chiswick corridor this is the closest option besides Richmond, for those of us now closer to Shepherds Bush we have the 12 screen Vue with some brave programming and coming soon a 12 screen National Amusements Cinema delux in the Westfield Mall…So the end may finally be near for this one
Just realized that I posted on this cinema two years ago…my feelings remain the same…now being booked with the Curzons…they are not shy about booking a big box office picture ie a Bond as they are about the right art house product…do wish they were just a bit more fun!
These theaters weren’t glam…but when I lived in Vegas in 96/97 The strip was underscreened i.e the UA Showcase was just opening, the Orleans and Palm screens hadnt opened and as previous correspondents remind us…these showed independent pictures that no one else picked up…It was odd stepping out of When We Were Kings and Slingblade onto a tired casino floor but was grateful to have them there
Am surprised that with Vegas' growth, Landmark hasn’t gone into to Henderson to deliver some indy films
Great list and subject for discussion…I’ll go out on a limb and say the one most missed of the post Times Square era is the old Cinema I and Cinema II with snippets from reviews
Assume that this is the last year for the London Film Festival screenings here…Coming down to Leicester Square is increasingly a stressful experience…as if they opened a tip of humanity local and tourist to crowd too small and not that attractive a space…a visit to Paris and some rigorous zoning at the risk of knocking out some small merchants is required by Westminster Council…
Newman also did a number of films – Hud, Hombre, Cool Hand Luke, Slap Shot, Butch Cassidy – where he came off as an anti-hero setting the stage for the much more ethnic Pacino types and Nicholson. Times change so do our stars and leaders. Let’s celebrate the ones we lose like Newman and appreciate the ones that still have some hopefully great work ahead of them – Tom Hanks largely as a producers, Denzel Washington think Training Day, American Gangster and the relatively underrated Antwone Fisher, Russell Crowe in Cinderella Man, even Matt Damon…And not forget that some genuine movie stars – I said stars and not great actors like Richard Gere, Harrison Ford can still give us moments of pleasure on the screen when they choose the right material and we bother going to the movies
Should add that over the years enjoyed The Producers here in its opening run…I believe a holiday mid-morning show with my mom and think we stayed twice…a school Saturday trip to see Charge of the Light Brigade…Fritz the Cat…Truffaut’s Two English Girls…and am sure a couple more
The Manhattan that I grew up is much different than it is today…There was no cable or home video, little twinning or multiplexing, and movies played out at a much diffent pace into the neighborhoods and suburbs, and the “silk stocking district” off of Park Avenue stretched out into the mid-50’s encompassing these theatres the Fine Arts, Plaza, Festival and Paris. The first three could run an exclusive, a showcase run, sometimes a roadshow or daydate with Broadway.
The pictures that the Fine Arts would pick up in solid runs are the kind today that open at the Lincoln Plaza and daydate with screens in the Village i.e. Sunshine or Angelika
Anytime a theatre closes it’s a shame. This is a particular shame because of the failure of a theatre in a mixed use facility where going to the movies was part of a travel, shopping, dining, after work experience. And the theatres were an above average of their time multiplex.
I ran restaurants in Union Station 10 or so years ago and the theatres were business drivers and part of the lifeblood of the complex. We ran some classic movie nights together – Citizen Kane, Casablanca and Some Like It Hot. I took over a theatre one night for the team – Robert de Niro in The Fan – ok great idea not so great movie. And took a break for myself to see such classics and non classics alike as Usual Suspects, Leaving Las Vegas, Cable Guy, White Squall, Mission Impossible, Species, The Quick and the Dead, Extreme Measures, Ace Ventura 2 and The Quest. The AMC management at the time was positive and proactive and much as we could joke about the level of the movies sometimes, there was a theatre there.
I remember taking calls the day of the blizzard asking if the theatre was open and sure enough with a skeleton crew they opened for a couple of shows.
RIP Union Square 9
Pre-refurbishment and plexing, this was a great single screen experience. A great shame that London could not support it as a single screen once the 90s kicked in. Had a great time here for Terminator 2 and The Doors…both pictures which had the right scale for the place. It is now a plex with very tight stepped seating suffered thru Speed 2 and enjoyed Full Monty and Tailor of Panama in spite of the discomfort
I lived in DC 1995-6…this theatre was caught out for being just that bit out of the way…the West End 1-4 had a decent restaurant next to it and the 5-7 seemed to just get moveovers from there or from the heinous Janus
A great little arthouse where pictures seem to run and run…saw a Werner Herzog picture here back in 1979
In my day – 1979 – this was the Leroy with three screens…From my understanding they merged with the Vendome on the much posher Avenue Louise which had at the time 4 screens…back in 79 the Vendome was primarily arty and French product with the occasional American picture – saw Norma Rae there
The Leroy handled a lot of mainstream United Artists, Paramount and Fox product and the main screen was the place to see things like Deer Hunter, Alien, Moonraker, Escape from Alcatraz and Ralph Bakshi’s Lord of the Rings (my Xmas evening movie)…also saw Manhattan and a reissue of Breathless in the smaller screen
The current Vendome appears to do mostly arthouse product and is in roughish commercial street