Showing 176 - 200 of 232 comments
Veyoung: “The Happiest Millionaire” played on roadshow at the Boyd Theatre in Philadelphia from Oct. 20, 1967 to Jan. 17, 1968. I attended the Tues. 8:30pm performance on Jan. 2, 1968. Sat in Row AA of the Loge and the tickets were $2.50! I remember it was one of the first times I saw a film at the Boyd that there was considerably more empty seats then occupied ones. Still waiting to hear from you that you can receive the pictures I have to send you!
In response to a comment made on this thread early on, I think “Judgement at Nuremburg” played on reserved seat at the DeMille Theatre (Embassy 2-3-4). I am not 100% sure and maybe someone else would be. When that movie was released, I was in high school. However, I remember being in NYC during its release and I thought I remember walking past the DeMille and it was showing there. Anyone else want to hazard a guess?
Writing about the preview boxes sitting in front of the Times Square theatres, does anyone remember the tripod signs for roadshow attractions with the “box attached” with ticket order forms in them?
It was just this past weekend going through some of my “treasures” of old newspaper ads and found a couple of “Ticket Order Forms” for the reserved seat engagement of “Hawaii” at the DeMille Theatre. Does anyone also remember the free programs handed out at the roadshow attractions. In this same “treasure” I have any ample supply of “The Program” from “Doctor Zhivago.” It is just one folded page with the movie’s logo on the front, the double inside has the cast of characters and the back has a synopsis of the film. Of course, you could also purchase the souveneir programs which I think back in those days were $2.00 to $5.00! All this and the thrill of seeing the film in a “palace”. Those were the days!
It is nice to know that theatres are still capable of 70mm projection with the equipment in the booth. However, what theatre still has – other than the Ziegfeld, which I have never been in, have the screen size to utilize the 70mm presentation? 35MM or 70MM to me makes no difference if the screen in the theatre is the size of a TV screen in relation to the size of the theatre compared to your living room.I would imagine you could count on your two hands – and maybe a few toes – the number of theatres remaining that would have the size screen to utilize 70mm. (Not counting Imax Theatres.)
I think the first time I was in the DeMille theatre was to see the two part “War and Peace” presentation. I remember thinking it was a large theatre, but nothing out of the ordinary. It was certainly no Rivoli or Capital. I also remember that the usherettes wore Russian style outfits. However, being the last standing “movie palace” in the Times Square area qualifies it for restoration. In one of my comments on the Capitol Theatre page, I opinioned that the developer and architect should loose their licenses for replacing the Capitol Theatre with the boring non descript Uris/Gershwin Theatre. It would certainly been a better idea to redo the Capitol as a Broadway stage theatre than what “we” ended up with! I think Reade operated the Ziegfeld and DeMille theatres for many years before moving out of the Demille. Seeing that ad for “War and Peace” the remarkable thing to realize is how many of those Walter Reade Theatres have faded into history that are listed in their directory ad. May the DeMille be reborn!
CConnolly: So glad you got the picture. I was beginning to have my doubts at 1am this morning when I decided to send it when I went on line to check for any email messages. As I mentioned, I have some other pictures which I would be more than happy to email you. P.S. I was the one to take all the pictures. Way back in 1968 with my little instamatic camera! Everytime I went to New York City I would photo the theatres. Little did I know then that years later they would no longer exist. I am especially pleased with my picture of the Rivoli during the engagement of the 70mm version of “GWTW.” And the Criterion during the “Funny Girl” engagement. My picture of Loew’s Capitol would almost duplicate the one shown on this websites listing for the theatre. I have other snapshots of the DeMille during the Reade engagement of the Russian two part “War and Peace.” That picture shows the entire billboard and just the marquee in the corner of the snaphot. However, I am still searching the house for the other pictures I know I have somewhere. I have only managed to find pictures of 7 Time Square Theatres and 7 Philadelphia center city theatres. We can only hope that the Mayfair/DeMille can be spared and come back to life again!
CConnolly: I have a picture of the Demille Marquee from 1968-1969(?) when “Shoes of the Fisherman” was showing on a roadshow engagement. You can see the entire marquee and just a corner of the big billboard on the corner advertising the movie. My email address is
Adding some more to my two cents…..moviegoing has changed because people have changed. No one complains about being hearded like cattle into a hallway of the local megaplex to wait for the theatre to clear. Then when you finally get in to the stadium seating area of the shoebox, you are bombarded with 20 minutes of commercials that you could stay at home and see on your TV. Then there is the eight or so trailers that are shown. Then the movie finally starts. As someone commented earlier, most people think they are sitting in their living rooms. They talk amongst themselves or on their cell phones, make upteen trips in and out of the shoebox. And God help you if you sit near someone who has seen the movie before and is explaining everything ahead of time to the person or people they came with this time! When I think of the dignified manner people attended the movie palaces most of the time. You were out in public and on your best behavior. Now is there such a thing?! So as long as the moviegoing public is willing to put up with today’s presentation standards it will continue. Perhaps that is why the money taken in at the box office may increase,mostly due to higher ticket prices, but the number of admissions decreases. Even with today’s gas prices, I would still travel the 60miles to Center city Philadelphia to see a film in 70MM Stereo Sound!
I am going to add my two cents to this “roadshow/reserved seat” discussion. When I was growing up in the 50’s and early 60’s, this was a big deal. My parents would take us from Lancaster, PA to Center City Philadelphia to see “My Fair Lady,” “Cleopatra”, “Around The World in 80 Days”, etc. etc. Simply because you knew the film would not be shown in the “hinderlands” until much later and the running time would be cut for continuous showings at these hinderland theatres. No theatres in Lancaster had 70mm, Cinerama, stereo sound capabilities. So we would make the 60 plus mile trip one way and many times, if it was a Saturday spend the day in Philadelphia. We would shop, eat dinner in some restaurant, and then go to the movie. They even supplied you with a “program” and you could also buy the souvenier programs from someone in the lobby. That was when moviegoing was special. People actually went to the movie to see the movie. Now they spend half the time talking, walking out to the rest room, refreshment stand, and just generally bothering the other people around them. Many people think they are still sitting in their living rooms! Of course, back then, it did not cost 100-200 million dollars to make a movie! So there was no need to have a 30-40 million opening weekend! Well, I have added my two cents. I personally miss the “event” method of film presentations! When the curtains, yes curtains, opened on that 70mm or Cinerama sized screen, you knew you were in for something special!
My quess, as only a occassional visitor to New York City over my many years, would be that it is what later was called the Forum 47th St. Theatre and even later the B.S.Moss Movieland Theatre. That theatre was located between the Strand and the Victoria and Astor Theatres on Times Square. Once again, this is only a quess. Anyone have any other ideas?!
I too would love to see the Boyd restored to the days of the Stanley Warner ownership and see the three panel Cinerama films again, in addition to all the 70mm epics shown there over the years. However, I also know that even though there is a great many of us who feel that way, it would not be enough to keep the Boyd Theatre operating. I look forward to some day in the not too distant future walking back in the Boyd and seeing whatever Broadway touring show they are presenting. And maybe, just maybe, entering again sometime and taking our seats in the “loge” to watch an epic film. At least we will be able to enter this theatre again! That is more that what
can be said for the Stanley, Fox, Randolph, Goldman, and even the
Midtown. One restored movie palace is better than none. It is unfortunate that we cannot go back again. New York City does not even have one of the Times Square area movie palaces still taking up space, except for the Mayfair/DeMille which is sitting there rotting away. The number of people who remember what movie going was like just thirty to forty years ago are dwindling. For most people the megaplexes are what they have grown up with. It’s a shame. But shopping in Center City USA is also history. Time marches on and maybe not always for the better. Sitting here waiting for the opening day of the Boyd!
“Fiddler On The Roof” premiered at the “New Sameric” (AKA Boyd) on
Dec. 14, 1971. It moved over to the Eric’s Mark 1 on June 21, 1972. At that time it changed from a Reserved Seat Engagement to a Reserved Performance engagement. It was still separate showings, but not reserved seats. It closed at the Mark 1 on Sept. 26, 1972. Can anyone tell me where an “outsider” – not living in Center City – get any pictures of the Boyd during its times of using the Cinerama screen. The pictures on the Save The Sameric website are great. But they are either from the opening years of the theatre or after the 1971 change to the Sameric. I am more interested in interior pictures from the 50’s and 60’s showing the screen and interior. I would also love to have some interior pictures of the Stanley, Fox, and other long gone center city movie palaces. I have many pictures of their marquees that I took when attending those theatres. But have none of their interiors. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
I started seeing the roadshow attraction films back in the 50’s with my parents. The Cinerama Travelogues, “Ben Hur”, “Grimm”, “How The West Was Won”, “Circus World”. However, my ticket stub collection only started in the 60’s. Here is a list of the 70mm epics seen at the Boyd and the date I saw them.
“The Greatest Story Ever Told” 5/31/65
“Doctor Zhivago” 5/29/66
“The Bible” 3/21/67
“The Happiest Millionaire” ½/68
“Goodbye, Mr. Chips” 12/31/69
and at the “Sameric"
"Fiddler On The Roof” 2/26/72 – Which was a reserved seat showing as the ticket stubs indicate our seats were Left Center, Row E, Seats 118 and 120 in the balcony. When “Fiddler” moved over to the Mark 1 on Market street, the reserved seat policy was discontinued I believe.
I have the souvenier programs from “Ben Hur” and the later Cinerama films, but since my Father bought the tickets I was not old enough the think I would really appreciate them in later years! As I have said many times, I still miss the movie going experience of the reserved seat Cinerama/70mm presentations. There was something magical about them, especially the movie palace surroundings. Thanks to this website, I realize I am not the only person that feels this way!
P.S. – I am finding out through this site that I am not the only person who misses the movie going experience of the roadshow attractions. We did not have any movie palaces in Lancaster that projected in Cinerama or 70mm. And, after 1967, all the movie palaces located in one block of downtown (4 of them) were torn down in the name of urban renewal! I have photos of the outside of many of the theatres in Center city which I took when going there for their latest reserved seat attraction. However, I wish I was able to have a collection of photes of the interiors of those marvelous palaces. I have collected many books of the movie palaces, but very few have many interior pictures of Philadelphia Theatres. I walk through the “hallways” of the multiplexes and think how boring! Then walk into one of the theatres with a small bare screen hanging on the wall showing 20 minutes of commercials and think, why bother?
It will be out on video soon and can watch it in the comfort of my own “in home theatre set up” without the hassle of talking neighbors, cell phones ringing, people constantly getting up during the film. I could go on and on, but thanks for letting me know I am not alone in missing the “good old days.”
TJ; The Midtown Theatre is listed under the name Prince Music Theatre on this web site. The Midtown was originally called the Karlton before it was purchased by William Goldman Theatres. Then the name was changed to Midtown. However, it is currently operating as a live performance and film festival location under the name Prince Music Theatre. Check it out on this site and it also has its own website.
The Trans Lux Theatre was on Chestnut St. It was closed before United Artists purchased the Sameric chain of theatres.
My parents started me on traveling to Center City back in the 50’s to see the original Cinerama travelogues at the Boyd. We went to the Boyd many times. I continued traveling from Lancaster after I was old enough to drive. Saw many films at the Boyd, Stanley, Midtown, Fox,Goldman, and Randolph Theatres. Some of my friends thought I was crazy to drive to Center City. However, once they made the trip with me they were hooked. Many times we spent the day in Center City, shopping at Wanamakers, dinner at some restaurant, and then a movie! Have not been in Center City since the last “Indiana Jones” movie played at the Sameric(Boyd) and I saw what a horrible condition they allowed to happen to that movie palace. Going to the movies in today’s world is just not the
same. When you saw a movie in Cinerama or 70MM you saw something. When those giant curtains opened at the Stanley you knew you were in for an experience. As the lights dimmed and the overatures would start, that was movie going first class! I have a book of ticket stubs and a collection of souveneir programs from most of the reserved seat films of the 50’s and 60’s.
According to the info posted on the Stanley Theatre site, it was demolished in 1973. In Jan. 1973 I spent a weekend in Philadelphia. We stayed at the Holiday Inn on Market Street. We could look out our room and see the closed, but still standing, Stanley Theatre below us. I remember thinking at the time of all the movies I traveled from Lancaster to see at the Stanley – “Cleopatra”, “My Fair Lady”, “Camelot,” “Hawaii.” to name a few. That same weekend, we saw “Young Winston” at the Midtown. I still do not believe the New World Theatre was built on the site of the Stanley Theatre.
If the Stanley Theatre closed in 1973, how could the New World open on that site in 1972??????
There was an office building erected on the site of the Stanley Theatre. I think the original World Theatre and the new World Theatre were already history. The Original World Theatre fronted on Market Street. The replacement World Theatre was on 17th or 18th Street off of Market if I remember correctly. I do not think the “New World” theatre was in operation very long.
veyoung: I concede to your expertice. I was only 12 years old when my parents took us to see “Ben Hur” at the Boyd. I remember seeing the Cinerama travelogues prior to that, but do not remember much else.I do not have the resource information a lot of the other contributors to this site have available to them. My resource is my memory, ticket stubs, and the souvenir book collection. Maybe it is just that I was not info savy back then. I just remember the curtain and screen always extending out past the proscenium until the Sameric take over of the theatre. We also sat in either the balcony or loge sections. Either way, it was still an awesome experience seeing the many movies I traveled from Lancaster to see at the Boyd!
The Fox, Milgram and Stage Door Cinema were demolished to make way for a totally different office building than Liberty Place. I believe the Fox, etc, were demolished long before Liberty Place was being planned.
“Patton” played on roadshow at the Goldman in 1970 and they still had the curved screen then I believe. Also in 1970 “Darling Lili” (A dreadful film) I believe played in 70mm. And I am pretty sure it was in 1971 when I saw a revival of “My Fair Lady”. I also remember that the people that went along with me had never seen a movie shown on such a large curved screen. However, as I have been told on the Sameric 4 site, my mind (or anyone’s for that matter) can play tricks on you!
I am not positive, but the logo used for the World Theatre advertising was very similar to the Rugoff Cinema 5 Theatres in New York City. The name World was encased in a rectangular box much the same as the Cinema 1 and 2 and other Cinema 5 Theatres in NYC. The Bryn Mawr Theatre usually played day and date with the World and that theatre was operated by William Goldman Chain.
Maybe we can get someone else to verify which way it is. I am just as fairly certain that the curved Cinerama screen remained until Sameric Theatres took over. I remember walking in for a performance of “Fiddler on the Roof” in 1972 and seeing the proscenium for the first time. They used the red curtains over the flat screen they installed when they took over the theatre. Even living in Lancaster, Pa. I have seen over 25 films at the Boyd/Sameric. From the first Cinerama travelogues that my parents took me to, to “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” I am/was a big fan of Cinerama and 70mm film presentation. Since Lancaster had no theatres capable of that projection, any “big screen” films playing in Center city made a required trip there. Also, people keep talking about the sign that was added on top of the marquee by Sameric. They expanded on it with the addition of the other three theatres, but the sign was there prior to their taking over. Look at the picture of the Sameric in the book “Popcorn Palaces” during the engagement of “Indian Jones and the Temple of Doom.” Even on the Save the Sameric Website they had picture of the premiere of “The Happiest Millionaire” and the sign was above the marquee then. Also their website has pictures from 1969 and later years and even as a single screen theatre there was the sign above the marquee. So, Veyoung, I have to amiably disagree with you about the screen. I remember too many times sitting in the loge section for “Doctor Zhivago,” “Ben Hur”, “The Bible,” and even “The Happiest Millionaire and looking at the curtains opening on that curved screen that covered beyond the proscenium. Is that anyone out there that can help settle this stalemate?! Thanks!