Beekman Theatre

1254 Second Avenue,
New York, NY 10021

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Showing 176 - 200 of 396 comments

Astyanax
Astyanax on August 19, 2005 at 6:26 am

I’ve seen enough autopsy photos of the Beekman. I’d rather see photos of the theatre in its heyday, either of the marquee or of the interior. We love movies and the theatres because of the unique way in which they transport us and expand the way we see the world. A des-truction site can be seen anywhere. Let’s move on.

bazookadave
bazookadave on August 19, 2005 at 5:59 am

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It’s a word-for-word rehash of one of Clearview’s press releases regarding the Beekman closing…about the landlord exercising the lease option, etc.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on August 19, 2005 at 1:54 am

In those photos, the right poster case has a sign with Clearview Cinemas at the top. What does it say?

savethesutton
savethesutton on August 18, 2005 at 6:32 pm

Gustavelifting:
What information do you have on that theater in Brooklyn?

savethesutton
savethesutton on August 18, 2005 at 6:31 pm

Gustavelifting:
What information do you have on that theater in Brooklyn?

bazookadave
bazookadave on August 17, 2005 at 7:17 am

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Registered for class at Hunter College today, walked the few blocks to the Beekman, took these pics.

Orlando
Orlando on August 16, 2005 at 2:50 am

They are already installed as stated several comments before. If you want to see them, I will tour the theatre on Sunday, September 11, 2005. See the Lindenhurst Theatre on this site for information.

uncleal923
uncleal923 on August 15, 2005 at 4:45 pm

Luis;
I can’t take you personally, but I know that myself and the rest of the town will be glad to see you.

Orlando;
When will they be installed at the Babylon? I live on Long Island.

bazookadave
bazookadave on August 13, 2005 at 10:30 am

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I went to the Beekman on the hazy, sweltering morning of Saturday, August 13 to take these pics. The marquee is gone. Note the severed steel I-bars. :–(

01081956
01081956 on August 12, 2005 at 12:20 pm

Re: Gustavelifting: Thank you very much. I think I`ll be there by 2006. In the meantime, I hope not a single one more movie theater will be closed!
The Glunch minimovie is touching. Great drawings!

Orlando
Orlando on August 12, 2005 at 8:22 am

The seats of the Beekman Theatre are now installed in the Clearview Babylon Theatre which we will be touring Sunday, September 11, 2005.
(See Lindenhurst Theatre site on this website for info.

br91975
br91975 on August 12, 2005 at 4:08 am

Two Beekman tribute sites, posted and created by the same individual and both worth visiting:

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uncleal923
uncleal923 on August 10, 2005 at 6:04 pm

Come to New York, Luis, if you like old movie houses there are plenty, and some of the best like Radio City Music Hall. You are right, though, it’s sad to see great old buildings go.

01081956
01081956 on August 8, 2005 at 2:58 pm

Authentic Disaster. It’s probably 20 years now that I last visited New york, and never went to the Beekman. But here in Guadalajara, México, there are theater “deaths” as unfortunate as this, one each year. Recently one rather smallish and not too ineresting building was razed: named “Reforma”, a parking lot is in its place. In México City, another landmark by the name of “Arcadia” (incidentally had more or less the same age as the Beekman)has been recently demolished.
I realize that your Beekman was both interesting as a building, historically relevant, and a good place to watch excellent movies, unlike other poor movie houses doing porno in order to survive.

RobertR
RobertR on August 8, 2005 at 12:50 pm

To me the Beekman was worth saving, Cinema 1-2-3 are unrecognizable from the days they were the Eastsides premiere houses.

bazookadave
bazookadave on August 8, 2005 at 10:13 am

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I found this online…scroll down to the bottom of the page for a photo of the Beekman script logo being removed from the marquee. Powerful image, puts my pics to shame!

Astyanax
Astyanax on August 6, 2005 at 4:42 pm

Old Bos was merely a product of his time. He was instrumental in promoting foreign films in the 60’s and when he retired thought that he would devote his time to concentrating on Indian cinema. He fell out of favor when he lambasted “Bonnie & Clyde”, leading to his being rushed off to pasture. No surprise that he would enjoy the Modernist design of the Beekman, and discount the ornate movie palaces that preceded it. Although I cannot recall what his stance was regarding the demolition of the old Penn Station, it was in keeping with the sense of tear down the “old” and bring in the “new”. No one will lament the MSG complex that replaced Penn Sta. when it finally meets its fate. From his reference to “people of better taste” one gets the distinct sense of elitism. Clearly the old movie palaces were large enough to appear more egalitarian, and served as a symbol of neighborhood identity. Nonetheless, the Beekman will be sorely missed!

bazookadave
bazookadave on August 6, 2005 at 2:29 pm

Re the Bosley Crowther quote: I wish I could see one of those vast ornate barn-like picture palaces he refers to. I have only seen them in photos. On this site there is a page for the RKO Proctor located on Third Avenue and 58th. From the description it must have been something to see!! I wish there was at least one of these left to us.

bazookadave
bazookadave on August 6, 2005 at 1:46 pm

Hi dave-bronx, you’re welcome for the pics. I hope no one is having trouble viewing them, I rezzed them down and the photobucket album views shows the complete image, but sometimes only half the image loads.

In the second sentence of the “New York 1960” excerpt I posted before, “beanck” is supposed to be “branch.” Horrible typo. How embarrassing! Please excuse the other typos too, and the double post…I spazzed out big time.

One block uptown from the “New Beekman” 1&2, there is a sign in a store window announcing that it is soon to be the location of a new branch of North Fork Bank. Perhaps the bank next door to the true Beekman will be moving there.

I saw one of the old Beekman photos from its opening in 1952…so weird to see the cobblestoned Second Avenue! It brought back memories, at 43 I still recall quite a number of streets on the Upper East Side being similarly paved…or unpaved. I am sure they have all been tarred over by now.

If anyone wants high-resolution files of any of the images I have posted here, let me know and I will email them to you. Each is about 1.1 megabytes. They might take some time to travel through cyberland.

br91975
br91975 on August 6, 2005 at 6:18 am

From Lou Lumenick’s NY Post this past January 6th, primarily discussing the closure threat looming over the Cinema 1-2-3:

“Miramax honcho Harvey Weinstein said he will fight to keep the theaters open.

“‘I spent my formative years as a teenager haunting these movie theaters (the Beekman and the Cinema 1-2-3),” Weinstein told The Post from Paris, where he was attending the European premiere of 'The Aviator.’

“‘I used to take the train from my home in Flushing when movies like 'Raging Bull,’ ‘Rocky,’ and ‘Midnight Cowboy’ would open exclusively at the Cinema 1.'

“Weinstein vowed to do ‘whatever I have to do, including financially’ to save the endangered theaters.”

So… what exactly happened, Harvey to your vow to do “whatever I have to do, including financially” to save, for immediate starters, the Beekman? Sure, you’ve been occupied with negotiating the terms of your and your brother Bob’s divorce from Disney and laying the groundwork for your new film company, but the same was true in January, when the danger the Beekman was facing became public news. You’re one of the few New Yorkers who has the financial clout AND the name which could have ensured the Beekman being saved and your words at the time left little room for interpretation… so what’s the story, Harvey?

br91975
br91975 on August 6, 2005 at 2:37 am

What an insult that would be, if the North Folk Bank is preserved as the Beekman is demolished. There are, what, some 100-150 North Folk Bank branch locations, but only one Beekman (no matter the re-named New York One and Two across the street)…

Speaking of the New York/Beekman One and Two, newspaper display ads and movie clock listings are still referring to it by its old name. I wonder if Clearview is waiting for some sort of ‘grand opening’ before making the name change formal, despite the recently installed and unobscured new signage…

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on August 5, 2005 at 11:31 pm

Thanks, davebazooka, for the additional photos. I’m beginning to wonder if the building will be demolished with the bank section left in place and incorporated into the new structure. The scaffolding is probably going to be installed around the building as a sidewalk-shed, to protect passers-by from any falling debris during the demolition. The clue will be if they don’t install it around the bank, then the bank will be retained.

The “free-form, undulating bank of seating” referred to in the comments of Mr. Crowther in davebazooka’s post above, was last seen in the lower lounge area of the Gramercy Theatre on 23rd St. I don’t know if it’s still there or not.

I should have known better than to hope that Clearview/Solow would do the right thing and install one of those Beekman signatures on the twin across the street. At the very least they could have used that style of lettering on the existing sign instead of a plain sans-serif type style.

uncleal923
uncleal923 on August 5, 2005 at 5:45 pm

Sometimes progress isn’t always better.

Astyanax
Astyanax on August 5, 2005 at 3:19 pm

Yes, the signage is dreadful, and the choice of movies will not insure much business; definitely not in keeping with the quality programming that was presented by the original theatre across the way. Clearview can do better.

bazookadave
bazookadave on August 5, 2005 at 11:29 am

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On Friday, August 5, a work crew was at the Beekman, setting up a scaffold directly beneath the marquee. Either the marquee is going to be taken down, or the scaffold is being built to conceal the demolition of the interior.

I also included a pic of the new Beekman 1&2…definitely should have used the old script for the name. After looking at the front of the hideous glass building the theater occupies, I see very little room for where the original metal and glass Beekman signs (removed from the Beekman marquee weeks back) might have been placed. Maybe those two signs were brought into the Beekman once they were removed, just to store them until they can be taken away.

Here is an excerpt from the massive tome “New York 1960: Architecture and Urbanism Between the Second World War and the Bicentennial.” Published by The Monacelli Press. Second edition, 1997. Page 842:

New York Life’s plans for Manhattan House also included a two-story commercial structure, built to preserve the views from the apartment building. Designed by Fellheimer & Wagner and completed in 1952, the low-rise building contained a beanck of the Corn Exchange Bank on the northeast corner of Sixty-fifth Street and Second Avenue, and the Beekman Theater, at 1254 Second Avenue. The theater, which featured art films and served coffee in the lobby, lent a note of sophisitication to the area. The New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther applauded the decision to include the theater: “Despite all the dire prognostications of the ruinous competition of TV, not to mention the mischievous rumors that the public is getting tired of films, the big New York Life Insurance Company had the courage to go right ahead and back this new theater construction, to the tune of a million or so.” The theeater’s Modernist design, Crowther said, was a vast improvement over the previous era’s vast and ornate picture palaces and an overdue response to public preference. “For a long time it has been apparent,” he asserted, ‘that one of the several things that have caused a decline in movie-going, especially by people of better taste, has been an increasing aversion to the older downtown and neighborhood 'barns’….Clean and respectable though they may be, they are achitecturally passe and dull.“ In contrast, Crowther said, the Beekman was "tastefully planned and decorated in sleek but not ostentatious style, with plenty of room for lounging, having coffee and stretching the legs, as well as for freedom pf passage in and out of the widely spaced rows.” All in all, he said, the theater had an “air of refinement, elegance and chic that bathes the discriminating patron with a relaxing warmth.” The lobby was redesigned in 1962 by Rolf Myller to include a free-form, undulating bank of seating that accommodated up to seventy-five people."