Comments from bigjoe59

Showing 151 - 175 of 491 comments

bigjoe59 commented about Astor Theatre on Sep 30, 2014 at 6:10 pm

to Howard B. –

i thank you for your take on the statement made in the doc. and the souvenir program. you have to admit said statement could have been worded better since it does give the impression that there were purpose built movie theaters in Manhattan prior to the Spring of 1913.

bigjoe59 commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Sep 29, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Hello to Escott N.–

I am quite familiar with the costumed characters in Times Square since I am an avid theater goer. I am one of those true New Yorkers who never let Times Square’s decadent “colorful” period phase them. likewise today I ignore the costumed characters.

so L.A. residents who are turned off by the costumed characters and crowds etc……….. in front of the Chinese must have the backbone of a jellyfish. even in its decadent “colorful period” the big movie theaters in Times Square still had sell out crowds.

so since the IMAX-ing of the Chinese has gotten A+ reviews all around for L.A. residents to avoid, can’t be bothered with the theater because of the crowds etc….. in front of it well they’re probably afraid of their own shadow.

bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Sep 29, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Hello to All-

I don’t know how many of you subscribe to the page for the Astor but I have come upon a contradictory bit of info about the theater that I would like you thoughts on.

bigjoe59 commented about Astor Theatre on Sep 29, 2014 at 3:04 pm


I recently watched the Blu-ray disc of Quo Vadis from 1951 and own the souvenir program. now both contain a bit of info that doesn’t make sense hence my question.

both the doc. on the Blu-ray disc and the souvenir program state something about the 1912 Italian version of Quo Vadis that doesn’t make sense. both state that the 1912 Italian version which opened in New York in 1913 was the 1st feature film to charge a $1 and the first to open at a legitimate theater. this would imply whatever feature films opened in Manhattan previous to the Spring of 1913 opened in actual purpose built “movie theaters”.

so what purpose built movie theaters existed in Manhattan previous to the Spring of 1913?

bigjoe59 commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Sep 26, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Hello from NYC-

I find all the tech talk fascinating, especially screen aspect ratios. but is my assessment correct that the IMAX-ing of the Chinese though given an A+ hasn’t really brought in the crowds to the extant they thought it would?

bigjoe59 commented about AMC Loews Uptown 1 on Sep 26, 2014 at 4:13 pm

to Coate-

many many thanks for your reply. I figure if anyone could answer the question you could. I didn’t see Circus World in its “in Cinerama” roadshow run at the Warner Cinerama on 47th St. I owned the soundtrack album plus I go the vhs when it came out. admittedly its a corny hokey film and while not Oscar material I still found it an enjoyable corny hokey film.

a good film is a good film. an uneven film is an uneven film and a bad film is a bad film no matter what city its playing in. I am sure NYC, San Francisco and Los Angeles have discriminating moviegoers so if they kept their city’s roadshow engagements running for respectively 19,13 and 16 weeks what gives with D.C.’s 3 weeks? the advance sale being that it was a John Wayne film , that is was “in Cinerama” and Samuel Bronston’s talent at over the top spectacle should have been enough sustain a run of longer than 3 weeks. so the only guess I can make is the same as yours- they waited to long to open its D.C. roadshow run.

bigjoe59 commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Sep 22, 2014 at 4:51 pm

Hello from NYC-

from what I have read on this page the IMAX-ing of the Chinese gets an A+ which prompts an interesting question. three films opening between today and Dec. 31 that can really shine in this theater are Interstellar, MockingJay Pt.1 and The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies. my question being simple- it will be interesting to see what the crowds are like on Sun. afternoon three days after each film open assuming they play here. I found quite fascinating a post on this site made last Nov. 2013. a poster and friends went to a Sun. afternoon showing of Catching Fire only three days after the film opened and were shocked that the theater at the most maybe 20% filled.

bigjoe59 commented about Roxy Theatre on Sep 22, 2014 at 4:31 pm

to Mark D.–

thanks for your reply. it certainly says it all. people how decry the demolishing of grand movie palaces react as if some big orge is specifically targeting grand old movie palaces. the same thing happened with San Francisco’s The Fox which was as large as beloved as the Roxy. it was torn down in 1963 since it had become a huge financial liability which could simply not make it as a single screen movie theater because it was to frigging big.

bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Sep 22, 2014 at 4:20 pm

to Al A.–

you have always been most kind to help me with my inquiries so I have a good one.I hope you don’t mind me posting it on this page since I have no idea what page would be best. do you know of a site that would convert 1916 dollars to 2014 dollars? the reason i ask is simple. as you know at least 50% of feature films from the silent era are lost. one HUGE film from that era I have always wished would be found is A Daughter of the Gods from 1916 starring Annette Kellerman. it cost a cool $1,000,000 the 1st American film to do so. so I always wondered what that $1,000,000 of 1916 would be in 2014 dollars.

bigjoe59 commented about Roxy Theatre on Sep 20, 2014 at 4:42 pm

to LorinW.–

while its sad that a gorgeous movie palace like the Roxy was demolished people forget one very simple fact. at the time it was decided to raze the theater it was a HUGE financial liability for the owners. once t.v. became commonplace in the American home HUGE theaters like the Roxy were doomed. i’m sure in 1960 when it was torn down the weekly operating costs were astronomical.

bigjoe59 commented about East 86th Street Cinemas on Sep 19, 2014 at 4:38 pm

to Ed S.–

you have always been most helpful in the past so I have a good one for you this time. a theater of one sort or another has occupied this location for over a hundred years. now prior to the 86 St. East 4-Plex opening this location was home to the 86 St. East a single house for decades. now was the single screen 86 St. East which was a decent sized building completely demolished or was it simply gutted and the current 4-plex built within said gutted skeletal structure?

bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Sep 18, 2014 at 5:59 pm

Hello to All-

has anyone remembered what the last new studio film to play this theater on an exclusive run was? obviously such films as the restored Vertigo and the special 2 week runs of The Princess and the Frog and Dreamgirls before they opened wide don’t count. I can’t remember so thanks for the assistance.

bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Sep 14, 2014 at 4:03 pm

Hello to patryan6019-

as I said I was 98% accurate in my memory so I
don’t mind you adding new info. to which two new

*the souvenir program I bought at The Lion In Winter was the traditional one with staples in the spine. I bought it at the film’s premiere roadshow run at the Lincoln Art Theater on 57th Street. I never knew it had a hardcover edition as what theater did you by yours?

*also while its not perfect I find Kim Holston’s book “Movie Roadshows” fascinating since its the only book I have ever come across on the subject. now during the silent era the author lists 85 feature films as having opened on roadshow runs
in Manhattan. now whether I own them or have read about them i know of only five souvenir programs- The Birth of A Nation, The Big Parade, Ben-Hur, Don Juan and The King of Kings. i can’t believe of the 85 films Holston lists only 5 had souvenir programs. what’s your best guess at finding out which of the other 80 films had souvenir programs?

bigjoe59 commented about Pantages Theatre on Sep 11, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Hello From NYC-

i recently got the Blu-ray disc of The Great Race which has always been my favorite of the large scale action comedies released in the 60s. if I am not mistaken TGR played at this theater in a traditional roadshow engagement which lased I think between 5 and 6 months.

did anyone happen to see it during said run?

bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Sep 8, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Hello to All-

in reference to Al A.’s comment about the 3 big AMC multiplexes being cash cows. you have to remember these three big complexes have a policy of discount prices before 12:00p.m. on Fri., Sat. and Sun. for any film regular, 3D or IMAX. I’m surprised this theater doesn’t offer the discount.

oddly enough eventhough this policy is the reason for these three multiplexes raking in the bucks for early shows Fri., Sat. & Sun. which they’ve been doing for years the Regal 42 St. multiplex and the Regal Union Square 14 multiplex still don’t offer the discount. I think the only other chain to offer the before 12:00p.m. discount on Fri., Sat and Sun. is City Cinemas.

bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Sep 7, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Hello to All-

we are having a lively discussion aren’t we? Al A. makes some valid points but it is still my belief that the one main reason the Ziegfeld rarely has a full house is because whatever big film plays there is also playing at 12 other theaters in Manhattan. its NOT because of the location. after all if the theater was hard to find why was the 1st show of the day of Les Miserables the day after Christmas 2012 rather well attended? not only that but when I left the theater there was a line half down 54th St. for the next show.

bigjoe59 commented about AMC Loews Uptown 1 on Sep 5, 2014 at 5:22 pm

to richmurphy-

I guess no matter how well reviewed or not a roadshow film was its theatrical shelf life still varied from city to city. now I don’t remember how long Circus World’s roadshow run was at the Warner Cinerama at Bway & 47 St. but it was most certainly longer than 3 weeks. so I’m guessing whatever merits the film may have had were more inviting to NYC moviegoers than D.C. moviegoers. still a roadshow run of only 3 weeks especially for a big well publicized film regardless of whether is was Oscar material still seems inordinately short. hey the biggest roadshow disappointment in the prime Oct. 1955 thru Dec. 1972 period in Manhattan was Half a Sixpence which ran 6 weeks.

bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Sep 5, 2014 at 5:05 pm

Hello to All-

I have an interesting question pertaining to roadshow films. some studios seemed more adept at keeping complete roadshow prints in good condition than others. for instance all of MGM’s roadshow epics released by Warner Home Video first on dvd and now blu-ray are the original roadshow prints. yet on the available dvd and blu-ray of South Pacific and The Sand Pebbles only the general release prints are in good condition. the accompanying roadshow prints are quite uneven. any thoughts?

bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Sep 5, 2014 at 4:54 pm

Hello to All-

I thank all of my fellow posters who commented on my question as to how “off the beaten track” the Ziegfeld is. the reason the Ziegfeld rarely has anything amounting to a decent sized audience is because any “big” film which opens there also opens at a dozen other theaters in Manhattan. my point being said lack of a decent sized audience has nothing to do with it “being off the beaten path” in the strict sense of the term. after all people had no trouble
finding it in the 70s and 80s when it still played exclusive 1st runs.

bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Sep 4, 2014 at 1:55 pm

to CConnolly1-

you certainly make a valid point about the foot traffic around the Ziegfeld once the workday is over. but and there’s always a butt.

though Marooned was the theater’s one reserved seat engagement studios continued to use the theater for exclusive 1st runs even after the reserved seat policy was discontinued. these exclusive engagements were for both new films and restored classics(My Fair Lady, Vertigo etc..). so if people were able to easily find the Ziegfeld when studios still used it for exclusive 1st runs I don’t see why people should have trouble finding it now. plus I bet the foot traffic after the work day was over was no different then than it is now.

bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Sep 2, 2014 at 8:32 pm

Hello to All-

thanks Al for validating my inquiry as to whether CAGS opened at this theater on a traditional roadshow engagement. its possible the recently released blu-ray disc is the general release print since of all the roadshow films i went to I never remember one without an intermission.

also to techman707. I don’t wish to sound vain in my knowledge of roadshow souvenir programs but I am confident that Hawaii was the last such film to have a hardcover one.

also to answer your question. I do not have a souvenir program for The Jazz Singer. my oldest souvenir program is for the silent version of Ben-Hur which opened Dec. 1925.

while we’re on the subject. I am one of the few people I know of who collects souvenir programs that has a complete one for 1926’s Don Juan with John Barrymore. I say complete because in the center of the program they placed a large sized color post card of Barrymore in costume. I should think programs which still have the card are more valuable then those that don’t.

bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Sep 1, 2014 at 9:13 pm

Hello to All-

hey I’m not 19 anymore either but I pride myself on being say 98% correct in my recollections. according to “Movie Roadshows” by Kim Holston CAGS opened at this theater March 30, 1966 on a roadshow engagement. in fact I can remember seeing a full page ad about advance tickets sales in the Arts and Leisure section of the Sunday Times weeks before the film opened.

also I happen to like “Hawaii”. its one of the big roadshow films of the 1955-1972 period that is better than its slightly off reputation. I saw it at this theater during its original roadshow engagement. I just hope at whatever point they release a blu-ray disc of the film it is in fact the complete roadshow print.

also “Hawaii” has interesting distinction. its the last of the roadshow films to have a hardcover souvenir program.

bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Aug 31, 2014 at 3:11 pm


I just watched the Blu-ray disc of Cast A Giant Shadow which was released this past Tues. a very entertaining though fictionalized account of the events. rather a well done grand scale film.

to which my question. the film opened at this theater the Spring of 1966 on a roadshow engagement. the interesting part is that on the blu-ray disc the film has no intermission. I thought intermissions were part and parcel of roadshow engagements?

also the blu-ray disc has a running time of 2 hrs. 18mins.. yet the Wikipedia page on the film gives the film a running time of 2hrs. 26mins. what happened to the other 8 minutes? if you are going to release a blu-ray disc of a roadshow film shouldn’t it be the roadshow print?

bigjoe59 commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Aug 31, 2014 at 2:52 pm

Hello Again to Joe Vogel-

from the wording of your reply about the Fine Arts it appears you might be an administrator of this site. if you are a question for you-

the golden age of grand old movie theater building was approx. 1914-1941. now many of said grand old theaters built during this period were built from the get go as 2nd/3rd run neighborhood houses. the Castro in S.F. a perfect example. which brings me to my question. I created a project to see how many of said grand old movie theaters that were built from the get go as premiere 1st run venues have continued to operate as such since the day they opened. the only one I have been able to find is the Chinese. so is it really possible that of all the grand old movie theaters built 1914-1941 from the get go as premiere 1st run venues the Chinese is the only one in all 50 states that has continued to operate as such? very sad if that’s the case.

bigjoe59 commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Aug 31, 2014 at 2:13 pm

to Joe Vogel-

I looked again at the 1968 page for 70MM in L.A. to make sure I hadn’t gotten the name wrong. but for the Oct.25 opening of The Charge of the Light Brigade it is in fact referred to as the Fox Fine Arts Theater.