Paris Theatre

4 West 58th Street,
New York, NY 10019

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Showing 176 - 187 of 187 comments

emilymcmaster
emilymcmaster on October 20, 2004 at 11:40 am

I am doing an article on the Paris Theatre…does anyone have any personal stories or anecdotes involving the theatre (or any unknown tidbits)? Any information would be much appreciated. Please let me know how I can contact you. Thanks!

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on March 17, 2004 at 11:30 am

And when Jean Renoir’s lovely THE RIVER played here for thirty-four weeks beginning in September, 1951, it was given a roadshow treatment, two shows daily (2:30 and 8:30) and reserved seats. Classy treatment for this 99 minute non-blockbuster work of poetry!

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on March 16, 2004 at 8:20 am

The 586-seat theatre opened on September 13, 1948 and was the first of the post-war movie houses constructed in Manhattan. The first five films shown were LA SYMPHONIE PASTORALE (34 weeks), DEVIL IN THE FLESH (36 weeks), then in 1950 Bresson’s LES ANGES DU PECHE (2 weeks) the original French GIGI (7 weeks), Clement’s THE WALLS OF MALAPAGA (10 ½ weeks). Films that ran for a year or more (up to 1989, according to Variety Magazine, February 22-28,1989) were Germi’s DIVORCE-ITALIAN STYLE; Lelouch’s A MAN AND A WOMAN, Zeffirelli’s ROMEO AND JULIET.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on March 13, 2004 at 3:45 pm

The Paris Theatre figures in one of the most significant events in cinematic exhibition history in the United States. It involved the Italian film of Roberto Rossellini, THE MIRACLE, a 40-minute piece that was part of a distributor-concocted 3-featurette package shown under the title WAYS OF LOVE. The other two parts of the program were Renoir’s A DAY IN THE COUNTRY and Pagnol’s JOFROI. When the program opened in New York at the Paris Theatre in December, 1950, Rossellini’s episode caused a storm of protest, similar to that which would greet Scorsese’s LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST. Religious groups considered the film “blasphemous”; it dealt with a poor peasant woman (Anna Magnani) who believes the child she is carrying is the baby Jesus. She had been seduced by a wandering shepherd, played by Federico Fellini, who also co-wrote the screenplay. The protests were organized mainly by Catholic organizations like the Legion of Decency, which ‘condemned’ it, the Knights of Columbus, which organized protests in New York and pressured the New York State Film Licensing Board into withdrawing a previously-granted exhibition license, preventing the film from being shown in theatres. Cardinal Spellman denounced the film (unviewed) from the pulpit of Saint Patricks’s Cathedral. The decision was appealed by Lillian Gerard, manager of the Paris Cinema. The case ultimately went to the U.S. Supreme Court where it was ruled that film is a form of free speech and that the banning of this movie had no legality. The whole story of this episode and the landmark case it led to can be read in “American Film”, the issues of June and July-August, 1977. The long article was written by Lillian Gerard herself.

Orlando
Orlando on March 9, 2004 at 12:16 pm

The Paris Theatre appears in two movies with Walter Matthau, in “Cactus Flower” (1969) when he and Goldie Hawn exit the theatre lobby after a showing of “Romeo and Juliet” (1968) and in “Plaza Suite” (1971) after the last trilogy ends when his daughter and newly married spouse take off on a motorcycle past the Paris' facade and Walter states “She was better off in the bathroom, better off in the bathroom!” The movie on the Paris marquee was “Something For Everyone” (1970) with Angela Lansbury which was playing at the time of the film shoot.

RobertR
RobertR on March 9, 2004 at 11:48 am

I remember “A Room With A View” playing here for almost a year to packed houses.

Ross Melnick
Ross Melnick on October 24, 2003 at 2:51 pm

This theater opened in 1948 and was intended to be part of Charles Pathe’s reemergence in the American market.

unknown
unknown on October 24, 2003 at 11:12 am

The engineer was Rutherford L Stinard who worked with Maxon,Sells and Ficke

unknown
unknown on October 24, 2003 at 11:08 am

I recently discovered that my house was built by the same architects as the paris theatre. The firm Maxon,Sells and Ficke was in NYC on fith avenue in the 1950’s. I also have documentation about it.

David10465
David10465 on June 8, 2002 at 9:14 pm

The Paris had been owned by Pathe Cinema of France. In 88 or 89 the landlord decided not to renew their lease, and Pathe left with their Paris name intending to re-open at another location. The landlord made a deal with Loews to run the theatre Under the name Fine Arts, but that didn’t last long, and now the landlord runs it himself. Meanwhile, Pathe fell on hard times in Europe and scrapped their plans for a new location in New York. Then the Paris name went back on the theatre.

SethLewis
SethLewis on April 24, 2002 at 9:55 pm

This theatre has been known as the theatre for people who wouldn’t otherwise go to the movies. Posh, with discerning mostly foreign programming was the Paris for 40 odd years before Loews took it over for a short time in the late 80s early 90s as the Fine Arts (there was a Walter Reade Fine Arts a couple of blocks away which closed in the early 80s).

In peoples minds it was always the Paris and retook that marquee in about 92.

Among the long runs this theater has had are Zeffirellis Romeo & Juliet, much of Merchant Ivory including The Bostonians, A Room with a View and The Remains of the Day, Life Is Beautiful.

My own great nights at the Paris have included Coup de Tete, Romuald et Juliette, a revival of Tom Jones and surely a few others from the early 70s

Patrick Crowley
Patrick Crowley on April 28, 2001 at 10:19 pm

The premiere of the new Laz Burhmann film, “The Moulin Rouge” (starring Nicole Kidman), recently took place at The Paris.