Roxy Theatre

153 W. 50th Street,
New York, NY 10020

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Showing 176 - 200 of 1,153 comments

bigjoe59 on September 4, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Hello To My Fellow Posters. the Roxy was torn down the summer of 1960 and i doubt everything was going along swimmingly and a month before someone said-“oh lets tear down the Roxy”. so i’m hedging the bet the decision to do so was decided upon years before. so when exactly was the decision to tear it down decided on? in 1956 the Roxy had 3 big Cinemascope hits from 20th Fox-CAROUSEL, ANASTASIA and THE KING AND I. so could the decision have been made as early as 1956?

Ed Miller
Ed Miller on September 3, 2011 at 11:44 am

If this was “Jeopardy,” lonixcap would have the correct answer.

William on September 3, 2011 at 7:07 am

Yes, the film “Wilson” did have it’s World Premiere in Wahoo, Nebraska. But the word Premiere in the movie business can have multi meanings. World Premiere being held on both coasts or different regions like Northern California (San Francisco) while the main premiere would be held in Hollywood. The Roxy Theatre engagement of “Wilson” did hold a house record for the most tickets sold for the theatre at that time.

lonixcap on September 3, 2011 at 12:48 am

I thought the Wilson premier was in Zanuck’s hometown of Wahoo, Nebraska.

Simon L. Saltzman
Simon L. Saltzman on July 26, 2011 at 11:45 am

As a former Roxy usher 1956/1957, I was wondering if there is any interest in a reunion of ushers and/or staff who still might be around.

Ed Miller
Ed Miller on July 18, 2011 at 9:56 am

What an extraordinary shame that here in the United States, we don’t preserve our history. That the Roxy, “the Cathedral of the Motion Picture,” should have been demolished is beyond criminal.

Scorpionfury on June 28, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Thanks guys! This is just one of those buildings I can’t get enough of. Love that shot from the stage with the orchestra

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 23, 2011 at 2:03 am

Here’s Mark’s link to the photo from Life.

Cinema Treasures doesn’t currently support bare links. If you don’t know HTML, you can use simple Markdown code to embed inline links. Put the text for the link between square brackets, followed by the url between parentheses, with no space between closing bracket and opening parenthesis. Presto, an inline link just like the ones in this comment, with only four extra keystrokes.

MarkDHite on June 22, 2011 at 10:06 pm

(How do you add a live link to a message?) Thanks.

MarkDHite on June 22, 2011 at 10:02 pm

I think this is what you were looking for:

There are more shots of this as well. Search Google images for “roxy+source:life” to find all of the Roxy photos in the online LIFE archive.

Scorpionfury on June 21, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Somewhere in the internet universe I came across a photo, shot from the stage during an orchestral performance, that showed a great shot of the tiered balconies. I meant to save the photo so I could share it, but have since lost my browser bookmark. If anyone knows where to find it online, it’d be a great addition to the photo page for the Roxy.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 21, 2011 at 5:02 am

Joseph: Thanks so much for sharing this treasure trove of Roxy photo materials with us.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 31, 2011 at 6:36 am

I don’t think Warner gutted the Beacon interior. I suspect they redesigned it for sound.

MarkDHite on May 30, 2011 at 11:10 pm

I don’t have any proof regarding the architect of the Beacon except my eyes. It sure looks a lot more like Ahlschlager than it does Rapp and Rapp. If the Rapps created that design then it was amazingly atypical for them. My guess is that the design is Ahlschlager’s and the Rapp Bros. supervised whatever additional work that was needed to open the theatre. Why would Warners waste money completely gutting and rebuilding the interior of a new theatre, especially in late 1929? But we may never know for sure.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on May 30, 2011 at 8:03 am

Ziggy: I think it is possible. My whole point is that it isn’t a certainty.

Ziggy on May 27, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Re: The comment by Life’s Too Short, I think that architect’s are capable, and likely, too develop emotional attachment to their creations, especially if you read how poetical Eberson could get about his theatres.

When the Hotel “La Posada” was being dismantled in the 1960’s the architect (whose name escapes me) was present at the auction of all the furnishings and art works she had chosen for the structure she designed. When asked for a reaction to what was going on her reply was “I now know that it’s possible to live too long”.

Joseph on May 27, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Another ROXY view, 1954:

View link

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on May 27, 2011 at 1:24 pm

You guys are looking at it from the standpoint of the emotions you have for these buildings (which I share, by the way).

My grandfather, Mason Rapp, was the last to run the firm of Rapp & Rapp. It was work to those guys. It was a way to support their families. The guys at B&K would call and say: we need a theater of so many seats on such and such a site. Then Rapp & Rapp would go to work.

If the firm were in business today they would be designing multiplexes, because that is what the market demands. Or they might be doing something else altogether. In fact my grandfather had to find other things to do after the big theater work dried up in the 1940’s. He designed bank buildings for instance.

While I don’t think it exactly thrilled him to see movie palaces demolished in the 50’s & 60’s, it also didn’t give him much pause. He went on about his life with only slight reflection on the glory days of the 1920’s.

Good times come and go, and you roll with the punches.

Joseph on May 27, 2011 at 6:16 am

Re:I beg to differ. This was not an office building he created but what was the largest theater built at the time dubbed “The Cathedral Of The Motion Picture”. The Roxy cannot fade in anyones mirror . We are all entitled to our opinion . We will never know. At least Lamb was long gone before they started an all out assault on his theaters.

I agree.

The NYT’s very brief obituary for Ahlschlager in 1965 noted that his most famous of many buildings was the NY ROXY, “now demolished”. No mention was made of the NY BEACON, which still stands and was recently restored.

WilliamMcQuade on May 26, 2011 at 3:15 pm

I beg to differ. This was not an office building he created but what was the largest theater built at the time dubbed “The Cathedral Of The Motion Picture”. The Roxy cannot fade in anyones mirror . We are all entitled to our opinion . We will never know. At least Lamb was long gone before they started an all out assault on his theaters.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on May 25, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Not to be a downer, but it is possible that he was not destroyed by this fact. He was paid well to contruct his buildings. By the time of his death, assuming he was retired many years, it all may have faded into the rear-view mirror.

WilliamMcQuade on May 25, 2011 at 7:03 pm

I read that Ahlschlager died in Texas in 1965. I wonder what his feelings were when he heard his masterpiece would be torn down.It had to be a huge blow.

Bruce Calvert
Bruce Calvert on May 4, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Here’s the cover for a Roxy Theatre program from July 11, 1930. THE ROGUE SONG starring Laurel & Hardy was playing that week. You can see the entire program at The Silent Film Still Archive.

Joseph on April 10, 2011 at 3:28 pm

RE: Watch the move The Naked City

In the very beginning are shots of people toiling at various jobs at night. One small bit is a single woman with a pail & mop mopping the floor in that huge rotunda.

Talk about thankless jobs

Why do you not use search feature, this has been already mentioned several times above!