Roxy Theatre

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

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Showing 151 - 175 of 1,385 comments

MarkDHite on June 23, 2011 at 6:06 am

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

MarkDHite on June 23, 2011 at 6:02 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 11:03 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 1:02 pm

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

Tinseltoes on June 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Some views of the Roxy’s marquee can be seen midway through this silent B&W newsreel footage of 1948 street demonstrations over the upcoming 20th-Fox drama, “The Iron Curtain”: britishpathe

AlAlvarez on May 31, 2011 at 2:36 pm

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

MarkDHite on May 31, 2011 at 7:10 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 4:03 pm

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

Ziggy on May 28, 2011 at 2:25 am

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 28, 2011 at 2:13 am

Another ROXY view, 1954:

View link

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on May 27, 2011 at 9:24 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.

Tinseltoes on May 27, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Ahlschlager may have made only a limited contribution to the Beacon Theatre. Some historians claim that only the lobby rotunda, which reminds of the Roxy Theatre, was designed by Ahlschlager. When S.L. Rothafel dropped the project (which was to be called the Roxy Midway), Warner Brothers took over and reportedly gutted the still unfinished auditorium for a new one designed by Rapp & Rapp.

Joseph on May 27, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Re:I beg to differ. This was not an office building he created but what was the largest theater built at the time dubbed “The Cathedral Of The Motion Picture”. The Roxy cannot fade in anyones mirror . We are all entitled to our opinion . We will never know. At least Lamb was long gone before they started an all out assault on his theaters.

I agree.

The NYT’s very brief obituary for Ahlschlager in 1965 noted that his most famous of many buildings was the NY ROXY, “now demolished”. No mention was made of the NY BEACON, which still stands and was recently restored.

WilliamMcQuade on May 26, 2011 at 11:15 pm

I beg to differ. This was not an office building he created but what was the largest theater built at the time dubbed “The Cathedral Of The Motion Picture”. The Roxy cannot fade in anyones mirror . We are all entitled to our opinion . We will never know. At least Lamb was long gone before they started an all out assault on his theaters.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on May 26, 2011 at 3:09 am

Not to be a downer, but it is possible that he was not destroyed by this fact. He was paid well to contruct his buildings. By the time of his death, assuming he was retired many years, it all may have faded into the rear-view mirror.

WilliamMcQuade on May 26, 2011 at 3:03 am

I read that Ahlschlager died in Texas in 1965. I wonder what his feelings were when he heard his masterpiece would be torn down.It had to be a huge blow.

Bruce Calvert
Bruce Calvert on May 5, 2011 at 4:19 am

Here’s the cover for a Roxy Theatre program from July 11, 1930. THE ROGUE SONG starring Laurel & Hardy was playing that week. You can see the entire program at The Silent Film Still Archive.

Joseph on April 10, 2011 at 11:28 pm

RE: Watch the move The Naked City

In the very beginning are shots of people toiling at various jobs at night. One small bit is a single woman with a pail & mop mopping the floor in that huge rotunda.

Talk about thankless jobs

Why do you not use search feature, this has been already mentioned several times above!

AGRoura on April 7, 2011 at 10:48 pm

If I remember correctly, Rose Marie was the first MGM musical in CinemaScope.

WilliamMcQuade on April 7, 2011 at 10:48 pm

Watch the move The Naked City

In the very beginning are shots of people toiling at various jobs at night. One small bit is a single woman with a pail & mop mopping the floor in that huge rotunda.

Talk about thankless jobs.

Tinseltoes on April 7, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Fifty-seven years ago today, 20th-Fox’s “Prince Valiant,” a CinemaScope and Technicolor epic based on the famous newspaper comic strip, opened its NYC premiere engagement as the Roxy’s Easter holiday attraction. Robert Wagner, wearing a pageboy wig that reminded of Jane Wyman, played the title role, co-starred with James Mason, Janet Leigh, Debra Paget, Sterling Hayden, and Victor McLaglen. Ads prominently displayed the honorary “Oscar” that had recently been presented to the CinemaScope process. The Roxy had gone to a “films only” policy with CinemaScope, so the only support to “Prince Valiant” was a CinemaScope short subject featuring the Roger Wagner Chorale and a Terrytoon entitled “Arctic Rivals.”…Down the street, RCMH was also offering CinemaScope with MGM’s “Rose Marie,” plus a two-part Easter spectacle on the stage.

Tinseltoes on April 4, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Fifty-nine years ago today, the Roxy opened its 1952 Easter Holiday Show with 20th-Fox’s Jane Froman biopic. the Technicolored “With A Song In My Heart,” on screen. Susan Hayward, with her singing voice dubbed by Froman, played the leading role, co-starred with Rory Calhoun, David Wayne, and Thelma Ritter. The Roxy’s stage show featured TV singer Bill Hayes, ballerina Nanci Crompton, ventriloquist Clifford Guest, and the singularly named Divena in an underwater ballet. The Gae Foster Roxyettes, dressed as Easter bunnies, did their famous routine of balancing on huge rubber balls…This year, the Roxy had strong musical competition from RCMH, which had MGM’s “Singin' in the Rain” for the screen portion of its Easter show.

Tinseltoes on April 3, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Seventy years ago today, the Roxy Theatre made history with the opening of the world premiere engagement of UA’s “Pot O'Gold,” the first movie ever produced by the son of an incumbent President of the United States. James Roosevelt’s B&W romantic comedy starred James Stewart and Paulette Goddard, with a plot spun around the popular radio program of the same title. That show’s Horace Heidt and his band, the Musical Knights, also appeared in the movie. The Roxy’s stage bill was topped by harmonica virtuoso Larry Adler, with support from Al Bernie, Ann DuPont, Weldon Barr, the Gae Foster Girls, the 12 Esquires, and the Roxy Orchestra.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on March 29, 2011 at 11:15 pm

This photograph of the Roxy Theatre was taken in 1937 by George Mann of the comedy dance team, Barto and Mann.

Joseph on March 29, 2011 at 7:46 pm

the Sommer Bros purchased the ROXY site from Zeckendorf and bulid the office buiding current on the site. The Sommer’s were influencial in building 1950’s “car ready” shopping malls in upsate NY as the following 1952 article states:

View link

100,000 Visit Thruway Plaza Opening

An estimated 100,000 persons arriving by autos, buses, and on foot invaded the new Thruway plaza at Walden and Harlem yesterday afternoon and evening in what plaza officials called the most spectacular opening of any building development of its kind.

The crowds saw the $7,000,000 plaza – the largest in the state and second largest in the country – sprawled on its 69-acre site exactly as it lookedo n the architect’s drawings.

Police Chied Walter J. Marynowksi of Cheektowaga said the 3,000 car parking area in front of the plaza was filled within 50 minutes after opening ceremonies at noon. A police detail of 50 kept traffic moving smoothly and directed the overflow of about 1,000 cars to the rear parking area. Marynowski estimated 50,000 persons visited the plaza within four hours after it opened.

“Shopping once was a chore and burden,” declared Sigmund Sommer, president of teh Sommer Bros. Construction Co. of Iselin, N.J., which built and will operate the plaza. “In design of this new plaza and of each store, we have tried to turn shopping into fun for the whole family.”

The carnival atmosphere at the opening was aided by the presence of the Cisco Kid, Western television star, who gave out some 25,000 autographed photographs. He left the Thruway site briefly to visit patients at Children’s Hospital and at Immaculate Heart of Mary Orphanage.

In the “bit top” behind the plaza, children watched animal acts offered by Gengler Bros. Circus. The circus and the Cisco Kid will remain at the plaza through tomorrow.

Also present for the opening ceremonies were Abraham Sommer, vice-president of the construction company, executives of the firm who have stores in the plaza and supervisor Benedict T. Holtz of Cheektowaga. Holtz cut the ribbon and accepted a television set from the Sommer brothers for the orphanage.

Several stores in the plaza are not yet completed and a 30-acre adjacent lot is reserved for possible later additions. A department store is scheduled to be added to the plaza next year.