St. George Theatre

25 Hyatt Street,
St. George, NY 10301

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Showing 176 - 200 of 254 comments

BobFurmanek on September 3, 2004 at 9:03 am

This message is for Warren, and this is the only way that I could contact him.

It appears from your posts that you have some old issues of Film Daily. I’m trying to get some additional information for a few NJ theaters that I recently posted. They include the Orpheum in Paterson; the Palace in Passaic, and the Strand in Clifton. If it’s not too much trouble, could you please tell me the listed seating capacity for these theaters?

Many thanks!


Vito on September 3, 2004 at 8:27 am

Doreen, is the screen still there?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 3, 2004 at 8:06 am

This theatre was one of several built on Staten Island by Sol (Solomon) Brill, who was William Fox’s first partner in exhibition and later formed his own company, Isle Theatrical Corporation. Brill reportedly spent $1 million on the St. George, which included an adjacent six-story office building. Not surprisingly, Brill was bankrupt by the time of his death in 1932 at age 54. His other SI theatres were the Liberty, Ritz, and New Dorp.

Vito on September 3, 2004 at 7:49 am

Well, that is not good new about the speaker. Jean is right, it would take a lot to get it out of the building. However the previous owners (renters) were very desperate for money and I guess stole it. I am very concerned now about what they took out of the booth. I had a complete sound system in the booth which I had upgraded with the help of friends in the industry. I worry now it’s also gone. I will have to take inventory when I get back. I never should have trusted Stephine and her band of thiefs, trouble is I discovered too late what she was up to. Did they take the stage curtain?

Jean on September 3, 2004 at 6:54 am

Yes Doreen, the speaker WAS there before you took the “helm.” I wonder how a HUGE speaker could just disapear? I had posted a magazine page with photos of ceramic fountains above the fountain in the lobby so people touring the theatre could see other styles. In the Staten Island Advance article about the theatre’s opening in 1929, it discusses the colors of the theatre’s usherette’s costumes, as well as where the statuary was. There was a huge one in the inside the theatre in a niche but I have yet to figure out where that would have been. Perhaps where your mom’s desk is today? ( Near where the phone booths are?) The article discusses the tapestries throughout. Did you notice the lion’s head hooks by the upstairs bathroom? Do you think you can get those booths operating again? They are a GREAT piece of history and I would hate to lose them. The architectural items I discussed earlier were located upstairs in a room near the usher’s room. The items were pieces of statues and iron items like chair parts and light parts. Maybe they can be displayed at a later date? I hope yo saved all the postes that were in the transoms, as well as the “Children’s Only Section” sign. These are ALL great items that can be displayed in a minni museum maybe downstairs(?)
I hope you will get good news within the next week or so regarding the organ.

How soon should one purchase a ticket for the 75th anniversary? I would LOVE to be there.

owneroftheatre on September 2, 2004 at 7:25 pm

When did you use that huge speaker — Before we took over? We installed a speaker system—is that what your referring to? The lights in the basement were all inspectected by our tech director and highly qualified theatre engineers. Anything of use was saved. We also lucked out and got a great deal on lights recently. Once phase 2 of electrical updating is complete, we can make use of them. We also spent in the tens of thousands installing stage lights that was completed in June. The fountains have been cleaned, and inspected by our plumbing contractor, Richmond Pl. We’ve been hounding him lately about them, because he said he would get them working for us. In all time that theatre will shine from top to bottom…it all takes time…and money.

Jean on September 2, 2004 at 3:51 pm

Doreen, I KNOW I saw ONE of the theatre’s huge speakers on stage. Matter of fact, we played a cd I made of organ music from that speaker and it sounded great. In addition, there is a room in the basement FULL of lighting equipment. Surely you must have seen it? As for Vito, I am sure he will be of great help to you and the theatre. I KNOW there are other qualified persons who would want to help out as well. The last time I was there, the fountains were not operating. Have they been repaired to working order yet? What happened to all the items that were found under the orchestra seats in the basement crawlspace? I know I for one, went on my hands and knees pulling out old statuary and iron items once belonging to chairs and lights that adorned the theatre walls. I hope these items were not discarded. Maybe they can be put on display if not incorporated in to the theatre’s resoration?

owneroftheatre on September 2, 2004 at 3:27 pm

We haven’t touched the projection room. Everything should be in there from day one. As far are your speaker system, I have a feeling it’s gone. The past owners removed everything from the stage. We found it completely empty with no lights nor speakers when we arrived. You’ll have to stop in for the status. Look forward to your visit when you return.

Vito on September 1, 2004 at 11:06 am

Doreen, I worked for 45 years in theatre exibition. I know several film buyers (bookers) who can give us all the info we need to procure films. I am going on vacation on Monday for two weeks but will start contacting people immediately thereafter and find out what I can. Booking the films is fairly simple, there are many markets which supply classic films in 35mm. Last time I was in the booth everything was working fine, I do wonder however if anyone has
been up there to undue some of my work. In addition, I installed a Voice Of the Theatre A4 speaker system and hope it is still there. I last saw it stage left covered in cloth. The wire connecting to the projection booth is attached to the screen, which had been bolted to the ceiling for safety sake, but the screen once the bolts are removed can be lowered and it is in very good condition. It should be the second fly to the right of the one marked “Rag” which is the
main curtain. Incidently, the curtain is capable of not only going up/down it can, since it is two panels, work as a travel curtain.
the rigging just needs to be replaced. I will talk more to you about this upon my return, meanwhile I encourage anyone else intersted in getting classic movies back to the St George contact Doreen

owneroftheatre on September 1, 2004 at 10:32 am

We would love to show classic films for children as well as adults. Personally, I wouldn’t know who to contact to get these classic films, nor do I know what it entails.
We need a qualified person to run the show as this is not our specialty. Any interested parties should contact me at the theatre 718-442-2900.
We would love to have a series of films run weekly or monthly.


Jean on September 1, 2004 at 4:48 am

Doreen, take a look when you have the chance, at the Carpenter Center for the Performing Arts web site, in Virginia.

I just visited the site myself and was thoroughly impressed with its' beauty and functionality. The theatre will be hosting Blues Clues soon just like the St. George. Mugs, books ( about the theatre )and Xmas ornaments ( architectural designs ) are sold at the theatre.

They also host children’s programing, just like the St. George.

In my opinion, showing children’s films on weekdays, like the ones Bruce ( above ) suggested, or certain designated days, would be a wonderful idea. Staten Island does not have many children’s types of entertainment, unless one takes their young children to the “Carousel for All Children” or the mall. The only other option for “entertainment” is bowling.

bruceanthony on August 31, 2004 at 2:58 pm

Doreen, if you and your family are the owners of this venue you may want to take a trip to another city and see how classic film from all decades can be used in your format as a Performing Arts Center. Radio City is not the example you are looking for. Radio City is unique and very different. The huge Atlanta Fox have a summer film series every year.The Detroit Fox shows classic films evey now and then. The Detroit Fox has beaten Radio City in attendance becuase Radio City is under used and is used for production of TV shows as well as live performance. The Paramount in Oakland has Friday Night classic film series along with Ballet,Concerts,and Symphony.Programming is very important to the success of showing classic fims. Here are a few films that draw a large crowd “Singing in the Rain”,“Gone With The Wind”,“Ben Hur”,“North By Northwest”,“Mildrid Pierce”,“All About Eve”,“Funny Face”,“Its A Mad Mad Mad World”,“Lawrence of Arabia”,“Casablanca”,“Pillow Talk”,“Cat On A Hot Tin Roof”,“Mary Poppins”,“The Ten Commandments”,“The Sound of Music”,“Some Like It Hot”,“Star Wars”,“Funny Girl”,“How The West Was Won”,“Dr Zhivago”,“Charade”,“White Christmas”,“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”,“Double Indemnity”,“Jason and the Arganauts"and many more.If you present these films properly this could be a big asset to your theatre during the dark times when the stage is not used.PS The reason Radio City stopped showing first run films plus stage show was that Radio City was no longer able to get the big movies after 1967 and the studios started opening there films wide and Radio City needed the exclusive run to help pay for the stage show.Vito thanks for your remarks about movies and your passion for the old movie palaces anyone would be lucky to have you.brucec

Jean on August 31, 2004 at 12:58 pm

I know Bernie, whom I have already contacted. I also know the President and VP of the GSTOS. They are the ones working on it.

BobFurmanek on August 31, 2004 at 12:57 pm

I would suggest talking with Bernie Anderson or Nelson Page, both with the Theater Organ Society. I’m sure either one can point you in the right direction.

Jean on August 31, 2004 at 12:54 pm

All roads seem to be pointing in the St. George’s direction, I am happy to say. NOW, if we can only get that organ. ( I am working on it ).

BobFurmanek on August 31, 2004 at 12:52 pm

That would be a terrific 75th anniversary show, and very appropriate. But, as I said in my earlier post, classic film needs to be done right in order for it to impress a new audience. The type of program (and quality of presentation) at the Lafayette in Suffern is a good indication. Dim 16mm projection with tinny mono sound on a temporary screen will not work.

Any 75th anniversary of a grand movie palace is an event well worth celebrating. The Capitol in Rome, New York just had a terrific anniversary show, and should be a blueprint for all theaters considering such an endeavor.

Film is as much an art form as any stage presentation, and should be an active part in any Performing Arts center.

Jean on August 31, 2004 at 12:43 pm

That film was shown on Turner within the last couple of years. I have tried contacting Time warner in Burbank. I am waiting for a response. Meanwhile I will NOT assume that Doreen and her family will want that film for showing. I am merely looking in to it out of my own curiosity. If they are interested, I am sure they will let someone or myself know. I just thought it would be a GREAT idea to show the original film that opened there, if only for the theatre’s 75th anniversary!

BobFurmanek on August 31, 2004 at 12:39 pm

Jean, you would have to set up an account and book the film from the Warner Bros. repertory department in Burbank. I doubt that the AFI will be able to help, let alone have a print.

Jean on August 31, 2004 at 12:36 pm

My own thought about this idea ( which I felt to be lucrative and exciting from the start ) would be to show SO THIS IS COLLEGE, which premiered at the St. George in 1929. This could be shown as the 1st film, along with a 2nd film, cartoons, shorts, and even a dish night or a giveaway of some sort ( raffle ?). Naturally it is understood that this sort of thing could be done once a month or only in Summer, etc. Whichever is best for Mrs. Rosemary’s family and the theatre. I think we all understand that point. Such a showing would not be condusive to the theatre on a regular basis. I believe there are many folks “out there” who would be willing to devote their available time to this sort of function. Think of the advertising the theatre could gain! The Jersey and many other theatres throughout the country offer such shows. Performing Arts shows naturally come first.

I am hoping to be notified after (September 19th) with regard to the GSTOS and an organ for the theatre.

As far as obtaining the film “SO THIS IS COLLEGE” ( 1929 ), that film is part of the MGM library which is now owned by Time Warner. AFI responded to a letter regarding that film. I have contacted them, simply out of curiousity and am waiting for a response.

BobFurmanek on August 31, 2004 at 8:07 am

Don’t be so quick to dismiss the Classic Film programming mix for a Performing Arts (a.k.a. movie palace) venue.

I was the Director of Film Programming at the Loew’s Jersey in Jersey City. (In fact, I introduced the classic film concept to that grand theater.) We had over 700 people for such films as Forbidden Planet, Frankenstein, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and several others. Each film was treated as a special event, with loads of extras including extensive memorabilia displays.

Done right, classic film can be a very popular concept at these great theaters. Several generations have grown up not experiencing the power of film in these venues. With the right programming, you can do very well and sell lots of tickets for shows that are very inexpensive to produce.

BUT, they have to be done right – no shoddy presentations. You need good 35mm prints (I was able to secure many rare archival and vault prints for the Jersey.) Presentation must be top notch, with a clear, bright picture and strong, dynamic sound. If you “wow” the audience with the presentation, they’ll come back again and again. Put on a sloppy show, and you’ll do more harm than good.

Bob Furmanek

owneroftheatre on August 31, 2004 at 8:04 am

We would be grateful if you appointed a group of qualified people and start a Classic Movie Night at the St. George Theatre. I think with your passion and knowledge it can be done. You certainly convinced us and of course, when I was a child my parents took me to the St. George Theatre to see movies. Dozens of spectators visiting us tell us their stories of going to the movies, especially their first dates at the St. George Theatre. You could touch so many lives helping us have such an event. Lets start with one and take it from there.

The Christmas Spectacular will be similar to what you would see at Radio City during the holidays. With a talented cast and crew of 150, we’re sure SI will certainly enjoy this performance.

Vito on August 31, 2004 at 6:57 am

I believe you are missing the point, first of all I am not suggesting the St. George be turned back into a full time movie house, although there are NO movie theatres on the north shore…none, I believe, as many do, people will come from far and wide to see a movie in a palace rather than a small multiplex box which is all that is available at this time. There are many similar venues all over the country which present classic films on a regular basis as well as first run movies, this is done in addition to live events. I would prefer to get involved in this with a group of people who are as passionate about the idea as I am. Respectfully and clearly that is not where you are now, perhaps some day. So I wish you much luck with the theatre, it’s great to see it alive and well and not turned into a parking lot or some such thing. Thanks also for taking the time to discuss this and give us your views.
Tell us more about the Christmas spectacular, what will it be?

owneroftheatre on August 30, 2004 at 7:38 pm

Mark, Vito, Saps,
Come to think of it, if your willing to put your all in this venture, both my mom (Mrs. Rosemary), and myself, would be willing to work with you and have movie night on a regular basis, whether it be weekly or monthly. Are you available this week to set up an appointment? Lets get this rolling.

owneroftheatre on August 30, 2004 at 7:26 pm

The purpose of the theatre is a performing arts / cultural center not a movie house. This is SI’s Radio City Music Hall (which also showcased movies in its heyday, but no longer serves as such). There are an abundance of multiplex movie theatres in and around the island. There is no way the St. George Theatre could survive as a movie house in this modern society. However, offering a classic movie night once or twice a year for nostalgic reasons could be a possibility if you or other qualified person would like to sponsor and promote such an event. Interested parties, please contact me at the theatre.

MarkW on August 30, 2004 at 2:44 pm

What would the criteria be for having a movie night? I was thinking a double feature with all proceeds going to the theatre (Minus the cost of renting the films)