Comments from bigjoe59

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bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Jun 7, 2013 at 7:04 pm

Hello From NYC-

i hope this isn’t a silly question. if the auditorium is being done over into an IMAX theater does that mean it can only play IMAX movies? if that is correct then doesn’t that limit the commercial viability of the theater?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on May 13, 2013 at 7:42 pm

“Robin Hood” with Douglas Fairbanks opened in L.A. at Grauman’s Egyptian Theater. in fact it was the theater’s debut film and played there for 2 years.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on May 12, 2013 at 8:56 pm

I saw The Great Gatsby yesterday 5/11 at the 12:00p.m. showing. i arrived the theater a few minutes before film began and was pleasantly surprised how many people were in the audience. in fact the crowd for the next showing 3:15 was a decent size as well. this is notable when you consider how many other theaters in Manhattan the film is playing at.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on May 9, 2013 at 9:46 pm

to Joe Vogel-

thanks for the info about roadshow engagements
in the Hollywood/L.A. area. being a New Yorker
i have always been interested in which theaters
in the Hollywood/L.A. area were the ones traditionally used by the studios for reserved
seat movies as me and my friends called them.

speaking of which. i believe it was somewhere on this site that i saw an ad from the fall of 1960 announcing the start of mail orders for the roadshow run of “Exodus” at the Wiltern Theater on Wilshire Blvd. to the best of your recollection was that the only roadshow enagagement that the Wiltern ever hosted?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on May 6, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Hello From NYC-

a history question. down thru the years Grauman’s Chinese(i refuse to call it by any other name) hosted many exclusive first run engagements of big films when studios still opened their big releases in only one theater. this is where my question comes in- other than the roadshow engagement of “West Side Story” did the Chinese host any other roadshow engagements?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Carnegie Hall Cinema on Apr 30, 2013 at 11:07 pm

hello to Tinseltoes-

you certainly make a valid point. so this past weekend i did some further investigating. the notes of which are posted on the Lyric/Bijou’s own page.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Bijou Cinema on Apr 30, 2013 at 11:02 pm

Hello-

well i was in the area again this past weekend and decided to see exactly what was at 100 3rd Ave.

in my post on the other page i noted there was a fairly tall new structure in the middle of the block which i had viewed from the other side of the street. well guess what? that new structure which is either 6 or 7 stories is in fact 100 3rd Avenue. its now a fancy upscale bar. the door was open and i noticed a doorman/bouncer. its possible he knew nothing about the history of the building but it didn’t hurt to ask. so i asked him if the new structure was in fact a completely new building. well he did in fact know of the Lyric Theater. i hope i correctly understood him in that the trendy upscale bar and the additional floors are built within and upon the original building and not is not completely new.

the famous photo with the Chaplin cut out next to the box office always made the theater look bigger than it actually was. it was viable as a theater in that it was quite long as opposed to wide so a decent number of seats could have been accomodated.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Carnegie Hall Cinema on Apr 25, 2013 at 8:16 pm

to Al A.–

as always thanks for the info. as i said in my previous post i wasn’t completely ruling out the existence of a Lyric Theater on 3rd Ave. between 12th & 13th i just didn’t see how it was possible. all of the buildings on the left side of 3rd Ave. between 12th & 13th St. are rather small/narrow so i do see how only one building could possible have housed a movie theater of any note. is it possible that when it was the Lyric has captured in the famous photo that the auditorium per se was in fact a combination of two buildings? i only remember it as the Bijou a gay porn house and assumed the Bijou was housed in only half of the original building.

also take a look at the photo again. since it was taken in the late 30s shouldn’t there be a shadow from the 3rd Avenue El?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Carnegie Hall Cinema on Apr 23, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Hello to Al A.–

you have been most helpful with questions i have had since i discovered this website. now they say if you search the Internet long enough you’ll find what you’re looking for but that’s not strictly true. this where your help comes in.

there is a well known photo i believe by Bernice Abbot of a Lyric Theater on 3rd Ave. between 12th and 13th Sts. the date the photo was taken is given as 4/24/36. the headline film for the day is a Chaplin flick noted by a cardboard cut out of Charlie himself directly to the right of the box office. my point being i don’t think there was ever a movie theater called the Lyric on 3rd Ave. between 12th and 13th Sts.

i was in the area this past weekend so i decided to investigate. if you look at the left side of 3rd Ave. between 12th and 13th Sts. all the building are older than the theater would have been. there is a newer building in the middle of the block but it only occupies the space between the two adjacent older buildings. also the front is way to narrow when you consider how wide the front of the Lyric is in the photo. also the same thing happens if you look at the right side of 3rd Ave. between 12th. and 13th Sts. all the buildings seem as old or older than the theater would have been. again there is a newer building in the middle of the block but it again only occupies the space between the two adjacent older buildings. likewise the front is way to narrow to be be occupying the same space as the theater’s wide front did.

my point being as evidenced by my survey this past weekend there may very well have been a Lyric Theater with a wide front showing a Chaplin film on 4/24/36 in Manhattan but i don’t see how it could possibly have been located on 3rd Ave. between 12th and 13th Sts.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Carnegie Hall Cinema on Apr 21, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Hello-

oddly enough the Bleeker Street Cinema always played porn during its final years. i believe it was gay rather than straight.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Apr 12, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Hello Again-

speaking of the legit theaters that once were located on the south side of 42 St. between 7th and 8th Aves. the Lew Fields Theater was razed because it had been redone so many times there was no point trying to renovate it. the American was razed in 1931 after being heavily damaged in a fire. the Eltinge was renovated and is now the lobby for the AMC Multiplex. the Liberty is now used as a restaurant and the New Amsterdam was renovated back to its 1903 glory. so my question is simple- when the renovation for the “new” 42 St. began in earnest in the early 90s what was the state of the Candler Theater? was it in such bad shape they decided to demolish it or was it in perfectly renovatable shape but no one wanted to spend the money so it was razed.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Apr 11, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Hello Again-

i can see my phrasing was a bit off. i should have asked when the Columbia/Mayfair/Demille/ Embassy 1-2-3- interior was gutted after it closed up shop as a movie theater where exactly was the Famous Dave’s BBQ located? i have been a frequent TKTS booth customer and never remember a sign stating the former theater interior contained such a restaurant.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Apr 11, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Hello-

this is a question i have been wanting to make for a while. the Columbia/Mayfair/ Demille/Embassy 1-2-3 may have been gutted but where is the Famous Dave’s BBQ the
interior now allegedly contains?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Palace Theatre on Mar 2, 2013 at 6:59 pm

Hello-

i most certainly second Mike’s thought that the “Palace-NYC” photo is in fact an artists rendering of what the proposed building might look like. i use the TKTS booth on a regular basis so i know from 1st hand experience what the Palace looks like. the front office building part was NEVER that wide.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Feb 8, 2013 at 10:19 pm

To Al A.–

thank for mentioning the two/three a day reserved seat engagement of TLTIP at the Trans Lux East.i had forgotten about it. it was always my opinion that United Artists opened the film on such an engagement to give it prestige. such a engagement was certainly not mandated by the cost of making the film.

also thanks about the “party room” mention on ticket order forms for the Demille’s roadshow runs. i can swear i remember seeing “divans” on its ticket order forms. oh, well. i was maybe 99% certain.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Feb 8, 2013 at 8:41 pm

Hello-

i am certain that when the Demille was one of the premiere roadshow houses in the Times Square ares they also had “divans” listed as a section on the ticket order forms.

if i am not mistaken after the roadshow run of “Fiddle on the Roof” at the Rivoli the fall of 1971 the remaining such engagements to open in the big Times Square houses were “Nicholas and Alexandra” at the Criterion Dec. 1971 and “Man of La Mancha” Dec. 1972 at the Rivoli. also to be included is the roadshow run of “The Trojan Women” at the Fines Arts the fall of 1971.

i guess the lackluster receipts for the roadshow engagements of “Man…..” was the proverbial final nail in the coffin. the studios subsequently discontinued the policy.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Feb 5, 2013 at 10:47 pm

Hello Again-

the exclusive 1st run engagements of “Ryan’s Daughter” and “Apocalypse Now” were reserved performance engagements. for people not familiar with said runs they were similar to reserved seat engagements in that you could by tickets ahead of time but what seat you got was up in the air. for instance if such a film was quite popular and you got to the theater five minutes before the film began you were guaranteed a seat but in might be all the way in the back in the corner. i’m guessing the studios thought this type engagement up since it had way less overhead then a traditional reserved seat run. for instance you didn’t need ushers.

the first such run in Manhattan i can remember was “Fellini’s Satryricon” which opened March of 1970 at the late but great Little Carnegie.

also to put my two cents in i don’t consider the special two week engagements of “Dreamgirls” or “The Princess and the Frog” before they opened wide true reserved seat runs. so i do believe as i said in my original post that the theater’s opening film “Marooned” was the first and only traditional studio roadshow engagement it has hosted.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Feb 5, 2013 at 6:07 pm

Hello-

i likewise enjoyed seeing Les Miz at the Ziegfeld. speaking of two a day reserved seat or to use the trade term roadshow engagements.

am i correct that the only old style roadshow run the theater has had was its opening film- “Marooned”?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Jan 6, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Hello-

in reference to Bill H.’s Jan 4th comment about the “new ticket price of $14”. the price may be new for the Ziegfeld but the Regal 42 St. and Union Square multi-plexes have been charging $14 on weekends for some time now.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Jan 3, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Hello-

it interesting even people i know who like the film if they have any negative comment per se is that they thought it was a tad long. haven’t they ever seen a stage production?

also there have been countless films in the past say 15 years that were huge box office hits and were longer than “Les Miz”. so if the only negative comment per se that people have about the film is its length i find that interesting.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Jan 2, 2013 at 11:10 pm

Hello-

i am totally confused my raysson’s comment.
at what theater or theaters are they showing the
film with overture,intermission and exit music?

its certainly not at the Ziegfeld.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Costello Theatre on Dec 13, 2012 at 6:34 pm

Hello-

i was looking at back issues of Moving Picture World on archive.org and happened upon a May issue which gave the opening date of the theater as May 20, 1914. it was built to honor star Maurice Costello. also the article gave a different address than the own stated at the top of this page.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Happy 50th, “Lawrence of Arabia” on Dec 11, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Hello-

i recently watched the new blu-ray hd disc and its a revelation both visually and audio wise. in two of the extras-a nice narrated short about the various ad campagins from its releases and in the making of doc. it is noted that almost immediately after its roadshow engagements in the U.S. started up they was a move to tweak the film. the reason given was supposed complaints from theater owners about its length and the number of showings they could schedule. now i know it was common practice to tweak a film after it finished its first run roadshow engagements and was sent to neighborhood theaters around big cities. so why were theater owners so antsy about the film’s length in its original roadshow engagements when they only ran two shows a day anyway. i can think of a number of films released on roadshow runs right before and right after LOA that were almost as long but were not tweaked till they went to neighborhood theaters. so why was LOA tweaked almost immediately after it debuted?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Dec 1, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Hello Again-

as Al A. states i guess i didn’t phrase the question correctly. i suppose i should have said what was the last exclusive 1st run engagement that the Ziegfeld had of a new film. the last exclusive engagement i can think of off the top of my head was the Harris/ Katz restoration of “Vertigo” Oct. 1996. but that was a re-issue not a new film.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Nov 26, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Hello!!!

i have been thinking about the contradiction Henderson makes in her book “42 St.”. she herself acknowledges Hammerstein’s Victoria as one of the 12 theaters built on 42 ST. between 7th and 8th Avenues. yet she says the American of 1893 built close to where the AMC Empire multi-plex is now was the first of the 12 theaters to be demolished. but the Victoria was torn down in 1915 to build the 1st Rialto movie theater which opened in 1916. the bone of contention seems to be whether the Victoria was completely torn down or if some part no matter how small was kept.

which prompts my question- does a theater have to be completely torn down to be referred to as “torn down”? i’m not quite sure what it was but some element of the Victoria must have been left up if Henderson lists the American not the Victoria as the first of the 12 theaters on the block to be “torn down”.