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I’d like to start an endangered theater list for SPAIN with two grand movie palaces on the Gran Via in Madrid, both of which have been proposed for retail use instead:
Palacio de la Musica
Cine Avenida (which I added to this website so I could make this comment):
Yes, that photo looks like this theater, never mind translations.
here’s some photos of wonderful exterior & even one of the gloriously ornate auditorium.
2007 photo of Facade:
2006 photo of Facade:
2006 photo of Marquee closeup:
2007 marquee: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hitkaiser/384288058/
2007 photo of Exterior showing front & auditorium side:
2007 photo of Auditorium, orchestra, facing curtained screen with side view, too:
Bruce Willis at 2006 premiere of animated “Over the Edge"
When I saw a movie a decade ago, it was an awesome single screen with 2 balcony theater, with 1750 seats. The other 2 screens were present, but not carved from the main auditorium.
Thanks, Lost Memory. I was gathering other photos when you added that one.
I’ve been in the gorgeous Grand Lobby, but can’t quickly locate any photos on the Internet. Many photos of the beautiful exterior are on flickr.
2005: View link
Lights on marquee underside:
Lit at night:
Light Fixture, 2006
Brucec is correct, but let me clarify regarding particular theaters. Nederlander isn’t in Philadelphia. Shubert owns the Forrest Theatre on Walnut Street. The former Shubert is the Merriam Theatre, now owned by University of the Arts. Each of those is too small for large scale musicals as he says. The Kimmel Center isn’t a venue at all for Touring Broadway shows. The Academy of Music is, as he says.
The Friends of the Boyd, Inc., a nonprofit organization, www.FriendsOfTheBoyd.org are most appreciative of this listing!
Please visit our website for more information.
Most cities in the US have saved, restored, and reopened, at least one downtown movie palace. Philadelphia hasn’t yet, and has one last opportunity as the Boyd is the sole survivor downtown. Yet, Boyd owner Live Nation has placed the closed theater for sale, and might be willing to sell it to a developer who like the last one might seek a demolition permit.
Here’s a brief description of the Boyd’s importance:
Built in 1928, the Boyd Theatre is the last surviving motion picture palace of downtown Philadelphia. Acclaimed as an â€œart-deco masterpieceâ€ (Inga Saffron, Philadelphia Inquirer architecture critic, May 7, 2002, page B1) and as a â€œsuburb exampleâ€ of the exuberant Art Deco style of the late 1920â€™s (Dr. David Brownlee, University of Pennsylvania chair of Department of the History of the Art, testimony before Philadelphia Historical Commission, April 2, 1987), the Boyd was â€œone of the worldâ€™s first Art Deco theatersâ€ (Dennis D. Kinerk & Dennis W. Wilhelm, â€œPopcorn Palaces, the Art Deco Movie Theatre Paintings of Davis Coneâ€, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 2001, page 21).
The Boyd was designed by the firm of Hoffman and Henon, Philadelphiaâ€™s premiere theater architects, responsible for 100 theaters in the area. The Boydâ€™s exterior included a towering vertical sign that advertised the theater a mile away, a retail arcade, a ticket booth, and a huge etched glass window with Art Deco motifs. The Boyd has one of Philadelphiaâ€™s grandest Art Deco lobbies, lined with etched glass mirrors. The foyer has dazzling colorful mirrors two stories high, marble fountains, elaborate plasterwork, and suites of restroom lounges. Equipped with an orchestra pit and a pipe organ, the auditorium had 2450 seats and perfect sightlines. The Opening Day program dedicated the Boyd to the theme of â€œThe triumph of the modern womanâ€ seen in the Proscenium Mural by famed artist Alfred Tulk of the Rambusch Company, and by metal silhouettes of women from around the world, including the modern American.
Movie palaces including the Boyd were places where the ordinary man could enjoy entertainment in a regal environment. On opening in 1928, for a mere 35 cents, an ordinary Joe could enjoy Walt Disneyâ€™s debut of Mickey Mouse in â€œSteamboat Willieâ€ and Paramountâ€™s first talking picture, â€œInterference.â€
The Boyd drew patrons from throughout the Philadelphia area for films such as â€œGone with the Wind,â€ 70 mm epics such as â€œBen Hurâ€ and â€œDoctor Zhivagoâ€ and blockbuster movies like â€œStar Wars.â€ Midcentury, the public traveled to the Boyd from a hundred miles away as the Boyd was the only local theater equipped to show Cinerama films. For decades, films began their local runs exclusively at the Boyd. Stars often appeared on opening nights such as Grace Kelly for â€œHigh Noonâ€ in 1950. Hollywood style premieres were public spectacles, including the 1993 premiere of â€œPhiladelphiaâ€ with Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington appearing.
Oh, I just looked, Woody, at your exterior photo, and that photo is a real beauty, too.
Thanks, Woody for that beautiful lobby photo! All too often, exterior photos of theaters are numerous, but no interiors. I like the E-Walk’s lobby. I haven’t tried to photo it, but it deserves photos publicly placed such as linked to this site.
Maybe you’ve got closeups of that ceiling or statues?
Justin, “robots and alien lifeforms”? just how many times did you go to see Blade Runner,the Final Cut?
And, nobody sues? Like I wrote above, I’d love to see these devices banned. People survived for decades without cell phones ringing or text messaging during the movie.
I saw many of those films and agree they were good. The few that I named above were the ones that I enjoyed the absolutely best. My point was simply there are new films, mainstream and arthouse, that are worthy for adults to see.
Jeff, I’m not really trying to be rude, but you said all new movies are nothing but “crap” and the moviegoing experience is so bad you prefer not to attend and there’s no movies for adults.
If others followed your example, there would be no movies theaters left open for daily movies including many historic movie theaters that are still open!
Bill at least recognizes “3 or 4 really good movies per year”
If you don’t enjoy new movies, that’s your problem, and on that point, the best I can say is what the King of Spain said recently to a South American leader “Shut up!”
Just to cite the movies that were indeed VERY worthwhile in the last few months, earlier this year I enjoyed “Ratatouille” at the Ziegfeld, and elsewhere, I saw the remake of “3:10 to Yuma” Though a documentary, “The Rape of Europa” which played the Paris, was great!These movies were just fine for us grown-ups and I didn’t experience any intolerable problems of cell phone/text messaging abuse or coughing, talking, or blocked views, to cite your whines above. I would, though, be happy if movie theaters could employ a system to shut down the cell phones. As to price, movies are reasonably priced. Concessions are too high.
photo of Auditorium facing Proscenium Arch, September 2007:
I’m not Board, but when I receive messages they all have at their end, an option to opt out for that theater. That option always works for me.
Today’s email also announces that Coming Soon will be a 70mm print of Lawrence of Arabia. Blade Runner, the Final Cut is also coming. Currently playing is American Gangster.
oh, never mind, there’s more photo sets.
I must be missing something at the Flickr gallery because I don’t see many photos of what the theater looks like now. I see photos of a few people, a curtain, a platter system, etc.
Last Saturday afternoon, I saw “American Gangster"
There was no preshow, no slides, no trailers (often up to 10 at AMC theaters). The movie was the first presentation on the screen! I thought starting with the movie itself was elegant. The Pearl also employed the usual perfect film projection and surround sound. American Gangster is a very good movie. I didn’t realize until the closing wording that it is a true story (which I confirmed online). After all the credits, there’s another scene.
Hold your angst, we were jesting.
Well, if Roadshow reports that all the chairs are gone, then I guess so!
Thanks for the clarification, but since there’s a private screening, it doesn’t sound likely that the interior is being stripped away (yet).
“The interior hasn’t been touched….”
Roadshow, on November 1, you wrote here
“The demolition may be temporarily halted, but the owners have already begun to strip away the interior of the theatre."
Why did you make that assertion?
Yes, Ron, and no longer listed as Clearview’s. I will send in those corrections.