Showing 151 - 175 of 258 comments
i liked the Fine Arts. one thing that the theater
did in the 70s and maybe early 80s was offer free
coffee in the downstairs lounge from i think 5p.m till closing. i believe other Walter Reade theaters
did so as well. can you imagine that being done
as always i thank my fellow posters for replying
to my inquiries. so Al A. if i understand you reply
correctly the 55th St. Playhouse went from being
a top art house to a gay porn house in short order?
i suppose anything is possible in the big wide world of Manhattan real estate even the fall of 1971. its
just i can’t picture the theater going from being
a top art house than say two or weeks later becoming
the top hard-core gay porn house in Manhattan. i
naturally assumed there had to have been a significant closed up period.
Hello Again To Ed S.– i figured considering the building’s locale the original firehouse would havebeen build around 1890. so i wasn’t to far off.
two new notes.
1.i guess my memory is only 99% perfect. this
theater’s sister theater on 3rd Ave. was for many
years the Bijou one of the leading gay porn
houses in the city. i was quite familar with
the Bijou. yet a stone’s throw away on 11th St.
the Evergreen for a few years was known as the
Sobo a leading gay porn house. now i was in
college during the period the Evergreen operated
as the Sobo and was frequently in the Union
Square Easy Village area yet never remember
the Evergreen as the Sobo. even if it was a
leading gay porn house it had to have been so
for a short period. plus i’m guessing there
was no marquee to speak of which could be why
i didn’t take note of its gay porn period.
2.a question about the 55th St. Playhouse i ask
you here since that theater’s page hasn’t
been updated in a while. the theater opened
in the early 30s and for almost 40 years was
a leading venue for foreign and independent
films. now it started its almost 20 year
career as one of Manhattan’s top gay porn
houses when Wakefield Poole’s BOYS IN THE
SAND opened i believe the first week of
Dec. 1971 and therein lies my question. i doubt
one week it was a top art house for foreign
and independent film than the next week it
switches to gay porn. therefore i’m guessing
it must have been vacant, un-used whichever
the correct term is for a certain period of time
before it became a top gay porn house. am i
Hello To Ed S.–
i always remember this building beingthe Cinema Village and assumed it was builtas such. but i read somewhere else that thebuilding was originally a firehouse which isnot mentioned in the intro. so obviously theydid a gut renovation of the originalstructure. the question is- how old is thebasic structure?
i haven’t been out to L.A. since the spring of
2004 at which time the Pacific up on Hollywood
Blvd. was still boarded up and unused. now the last
time i was out when it was still a first run venue
abet a tri-plexed? one didn’t the downstairs main
auditorium have a deeply curved screen? if i am
not mistaken the Pacific along with the Cinerama
Dome was used for reserved seat runs of Cinerama
films both 3-strip and single lens 70mm ones. or
is it possible they removed the curved screen when
the Pacific was decommissioned as a movie theater.
would you happen to know if the print of VERTIGO
that was shown at the Hitchcock Festival was ever
released even on vhs? the reason i ask is simple.
the only home video verison i have watched is the
vhs and subsequently dvd of the 1996 Harris/Katz
restoration. so it would be interesting to see
what the film looked and sounded like before it was restored.
you seem quite knowledge so i have a question
for you. during the good old days of gay porn
two of the top gay theaters in midtown were the
Eros(8th. Ave.&46 St) and the Adonis(51 St.&8th Ave.)
they were both owned by a woman named Chelly Wilson(hopefully i spelled her first name right)
would you happen to know
she was either related to or was friends with
Denise the nice lady who owned and operated the
Gaiety on 46 St. they were both Greek so i figure
it doesn’t hurt to ask.
granted posting an old newspaper ad would be
proof positive but how about the fact i went
there to see a aptly titled porn film(gay)–
as reiterated by AL A. this theater was most
definitely a porn house for a short time in the
late 70s. as for the Carnegie Hall Corp. i bet
they realized $$$ is $$$.
Hello- the ad in the intro is not for this
theater was a sister theater on 3rd Avenue.
in fact previous to being taken over by the
Cinema Village the 3rd Avenue theater was
for a time one of the top gay porn houses
in the city.
Hello- shortly before it closed didn’t this theater
hold a festival of Hitchcock films that hadn’t
been show theatrically for some time because
of copyright issues? i remember two of films were
VERTIGO and THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY.
not mentioned as yet is that for a short period
in the late 70s i believe this theater was a gay
a mistake of sorts in the intro needs to be corrected. true the Capitol was running the
original roadshow engagement of 2001 in the
late spring of 1968 shortly before it closed
and was later demolished. but the roadshow
run of 2001 did not end at this point as well.
said engagement was switched to the Warner
Cinerama at Bway & 47 St. where it continued
to do good business for several more weeks.
Hello From NYC To My Fellow Moviegoers In L.A.–
two quick questions-
1.at the Archlight Cinemas attached to the
Cinerama Dome there is of course a surcharge
for 3-D, IMAX and 3-D IMAX films. but what
is the charge for a regular film? in NYC it
varies. some art houses charge $11 or $12 but
the big chain multipexes are obviously more.
for instance the Chelsea multipex run by
Clearview Cinemas charges $13.25 whereas the
Regal 42 St. and Union Square multiplexes
2.it is certainly worth a trip out to L.A.
to see “The Wonderful World of the Brothers
Grimm” in 3-Strip Cinerama at the Dome.
so is there any real news are the possibility?
i share Bill H.’s sentiment. Nov. of 1982 about
3 weeks before it opened the theater had a special
screening of “Gandhi”. after the film was over
director Richard Attenborough made an appearence
and did a some q & a. at the end when people were
leaving the theater i walked up to him thanked
him for a wonderful film and shook his hand. i
then said “i hope you have your Oscar speech for
winning Best Director ready. he humbly replied
"don’t you think that’s jumping the gun a bit?”.
then he thanked me for wishing him well with
you’ve been most helpful with my inquiries. so
hopeful indepth knowledge will be of assistance
this time as well.
1.in my searching for the oldest movie theater
in Manhattan built from scratch as a movie theater
i came across something quite fascinating. its
been said many times by many people that many
of the grand old movie theaters built in the
approx. 1913-1941 period were killed off either
by the almost effect of t.v. or by neighborhoods
“changing”. what i found interesting were the
decent number of movie theaters in Manhattan
that closed up shop long before anyone ever
heard of t.v. or any neighborhoods “changed”.
of course the stock market crash of Oct. 1929
didn’t help but a number of theaters closed up
shop even before Oct. 1929. and i’m not
necessarily talking about hole in the wall
theaters but decent theaters. so what’s your
take on this most interesting matter.
2.Thomas Lamb designed many grand old movie
theaters in the 1913-1941 period. i always said
“damn that man was prolific”. now about a
month ago i found out that after he made a name
for himself he started up an architectural
firm with many architects working under him.
the article therefore implied that some of the
grand old movie theaters attributed to Lamb
may actually have been designed by other
architects in the firm. now if this is true
how to we know which movie theaters that have
always been attributed to Lamb were actually
designed by him?
interesting discussion. as i said i saw the
theater’s debut film “Marooned” in its roadshow
run. i still have the souvenir program. therefore this theater has always held a special place in
my heart. to which a question- is there any real
danger of the theater closing anytime in the
near future? or is it just rumors/hearsay? in other
words are we perhaps being a bit on the pessimistic side about its future?
i saw TITANIC in Imax 3-D at the 34 St.Multiplex.
it was shown without an intermission which it never
had. why would the Lincoln Square show it with an
Hello To My Fellow Posters-
2 new notes-
*in 1910 “movies” were at the most 22 mins.long?
so i’m guessing they alternated thru out the day
with vaudeville acts.how long the Apollo continued
to show movies doesn’t matter. my point was that
its the oldest theater i have found to date that
was built from the ground up expressly to show
*actually of the 12 theaters built on 42 St.
between 7th and 8th Avenues two were built with
the intend of showcasing “movies”. aside from the
Apollo the other was the Candler. it opened in
1914 with the Italian epic “Anthony and Cleopatra”.
the original intend didn’t quite take hold and a
short while later it became a legit house.
what neighboring tower are you referring to?
if the air rights were already sold a while
back does that mean if God forbid the land was
redeveloped they could only build a new
structure the same size/height as the theater?
i thank my fellow poster for the reply to my
post. well at least i have an answer as to why
the Ziegfeld has never been twinned. this could
easily have been done by separating the elevated
rear section of the orchestra. so my other
question is simple. why haven’t the owners of the
theater sold it? i wholeheartedly thank them for
keeping the theater open but i’m guessing they could
could get a huge truck load of cash even in today’s
economy if they decided to sell the theater and the land for redeveloping.
you have a point but hey i like searching.:–)
my original post/query was specifically about
the first movie theater in Manhattan built brick
by brick from the ground up expressly to show
movies. for the longest period the oldest ones to
fit my criteria that i was able to find were the
ornate Regent and the moderately sized Bunny
both from 1913. yet in the last two days i
found out that the late Apollo on 42 St. was
in fact built expressly to show films as well
as vaudeville in 1910. so it bests the other
two theaters by 3 years. hey you never know maybe
with a little more searching i might find another
Manhattan movie theater that fits my criteria that bests the Apollo.
speaking of the city as a whole(meaning all
5 boroughs) the answer might be The Nicoland Theater
in the Bronx one of the very first theaters designed by renowned architect Thomas Lamb. it was at 768
Westchester Avenue and opened at the end of 1908.
one other note. the Westchester Theater at 2319
Westchester Avenue opened according to its page
on this website in 1914. i then contacted the
Bronx County Historical Society to ask if they
had any additional info/photos on the this
theater. guess what? the society’s reference
librarian sent me an e-mail containing a photo
of the Westchester Theater that existed at 2319
Westchester Avenue. the caption states it was
owned and operated by George Hoffman. here comes
the good part. the Westchester Theater at 2319 Westchester Avenue according to the photo’s caption
opened in 1904 10 years before its page on this
website said it opened. interesting hey?
i do enjoy reading all your replies especially the witty ones. :–)
two new notes-
*regardless of the sexual orientation and gender
of the audience members or whatever activity
they might have been engaged in am i correct in
my statement that in its porn years the Variety
Photoplays never showed gay porn only straight
*my original post was about whether the ornate
B.F. Moss Regent and the moderate sized Bunny
both from 1913 were the 1st theaters built brick
by brick from the ground up specifically to
show to photoplays or flickers as they were
called at the time. i asked this because since
movies exploded like fire works after their
debut at Koster and Bial’s Music Hall in April
of 1896 i simply couldn’t believe that no
theater built expressly to show movies were
built until the Regent and Bunny of 1913. well
they say if you search long enough you’ll find
what you’re looking for. i had always assumed
that the Apollo on 42 St.(which was torn down
with its neighbor the Lyric to built the
theater now known as the Foxwoods Theater)was
built from the get go as a “legit” house to
use an old term. well guess what? it was built
from the get go to be a combo movie and
vaudeville theater. so since it bests the
Regent and the Bunny by 3 years it takes the
crown as the oldest theater i’ve found to date
that was built from the get go to show movies.
i have been a big fan of this theater since
seeing its debut engagement the Dec.1969 roadshow
run of “Marooned”. its always a joy to see a
film here. a simple question- the land under the
theater must be worth a bzallion dollars even in
today’s economy so how has Clearview Cinemas
been able to keep it open? has the chain promised
to keep the theater open and never sale it or tear
down. i have wondered this the last few years especially since this theater and the Paris are i
believe the only single screen movie theaters left in Manhattan.
many thanks for my fellow posters replies to
my inquiry. the first Rialto was torn down in
1932? and the Regent while in good shape as
been renovated/refurbished etc….. many times
for its use as a church. so what either
theater looked like when they first opened is
anyone’s guess. i hedging the bet the reason
they were considered “movie palaces” is they
were larger and more ornate then any other
movie theater in Manhattan at the time of
as the Streetscapes article reiterates many of
the first movie theaters in the first 10 years 1896-1906 were simply converted store fronts,
retail spaces, music halls or stage theaters.
therefore considering how popular movies became
after their April 1896 debut i can’t believe there
weren’t any movie theaters built from the ground
up specifically as movie theaters until the Bunny
and Regent of 1913.
also i greatly enjoy reading the Streetscapes
column every Sunday in the NY Times but in the
older column posted i believe Gray made a
mistake. i have been going into the Union
Square and East Village areas since i was in
college and i never remember the Variety
Photoplays ever showing gay porn. before being
torn down a few years ago it was unused for a few
years and before that it had been converted
to an off Broadway theater like 25? years ago.
now before that it showed straight porn not gay.
the long gone Pocket Theater two blocks down
3rd Ave. showed gay porn.