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Posted another batch of images from the end of September, showing some progress, particularly on the new structure that runs along the southern auditorium wall. I’m doubtful of a fall opening for this theater – particularly since we are now in October and I haven’t heard any announcements as to what the headlining attraction will be for that opening.
Al, I was about to post many of the same sentiments, but you not only beat me to it, you elucidated them more clearly than I ever could have.
Thanks for this, Tinseltoes.
You know, re-reading your last comment, Tinseltoes, it occurs to me that you suggest that the Brandon Cinemas 2 is not located where the original Continental Theatre was. I don’t think that’s the case. Unless there was an even earlier Continental, the former Walter Reade house that is depicted in your 1981 image was indeed re-branded the UA Brandon in the 1990’s.
Perhaps confusion arises with respect to the much newer Continental 3, which was opened in nearby retail space on the opposite side of Austin Street in the 1980’s, after the first Continental was twinned.
Tinseltoes, please re-post your image of the Continental from 1981, with “Fort Apache The Bronx” on the marquee. It would be the only photo on CT showing the original neon signage that has since been replaced.
Tinseltoes, the original Continental Theatre (now Brandon Cinemas) was located across the street and down the block from the Continental 3, which was opened in former retail space as a sister to the earlier house, which had been twinned by that time. I had posted a link to your 1981 image in the comment thread of the Brandon Cinemas page. I was hoping you might re-post the photo to the right theater.
This nice image of the original Continental Theatre, circa 1981, was posted by Tinseltoes to the Continental 3 page. If the link no longer works, hopefully, that would be only because he moved it into this theater’s photo collection.
In the image, you can see the old ramp to the right of the entrance that led to a small parking lot behind the building, just up against the LIRR embankment. That area seems to have been improved with a new commercial structure, since the last time I visited this cinema many years back.
That last sentence may be your most salient point, sadly! As for upkeep on this site, I tend not to complain because, after all, this is a free site, and the administration of such a large database must be daunting for the handful of volunteers who tend to their upkeep. For all I know, Ken Roe is the only person who routinely patrols the comments for information on corrections to a given theater’s history or geographic location. I can tell you that I’ve made comments quite recently regarding the Street Views being off on several pages, only to return to those listings within a matter of hours and find them corrected as per my suggestions. So it may be hit and miss, but the comments most certainly are monitored to the best of the staff’s abilities.
The webmaster definitely looks at the postings, robboehm. I’ve seen updates and corrections made very quickly, based on postings made in these theater pages. But, I do agree that it is a lost cause asking for the address headings to be corrected, because I don’t think it’s an easy fix – or even a matter of editing each theater. Seems to me it’s more of an issue with the logic behind how these theaters are organized. Hopefully, at some point, there’ll be an upgrade that will fix the issue (along with the defective “nearby theaters” feature).
Look at the Street View image at the top of this page, Markiebee800. The old Beach Theatre is on the south side of Randall, approximately half-way between Taylor and Beach. The sign above the entrance says “Iglesias de Dios Pentacostal” and the auditorium rises behind the entrance in yellow-colored brick with reddish trim, running parallel to Randall, towards Beach. That Pharmacy & Medical Office is actually across Beach from what would have been the screen wall of the Beach Theatre.
CSWalcsak, I agree with you completely on the value of the “nearby theaters” list. It does seem to me, however, that the way the individual theaters are organized in the database is in need of an overhaul. But, this is a free site, and I’m sure coming up with a viable solution is something that requires more than a little bit of money to solve. It would be interesting to hear an update from site administration as to any scheduled or “wish list” enhancements and modifications to the web site. That sort of communication seemed to die down in the months following the major overhaul of the site a couple of years back.
Don’t forget about the former Loew’s 175th Street and Radio City Music Hall. Not that I disagree with your sentiments, paullewis!
I know this block no longer exists, but the street view places the theater’s location right on the Manhattan Bridge lower roadway! If it could be managed, I’m sure a more suitable view would be from the point where Court Street becomes Cadman Plaza West, facing east across the park, just north of Borough Hall. Based on the pic posted above by johndereszewski, that would be a decent approximation.
The original Loew’s State became nothing but rubble and dust in 1987. The newly built, subterranean State, to which you refer, has its own page right here. That latter theater opened nearly 10 years after the original’s demolition – and bore absolutely no resemblance to its earlier, more famous incarnation.
Just wondering… wouldn’t the nature of the 65mm negative render the aspect ratio 2.20:1, unless the film was matted in-camera? Perhaps PT Anderson cropped the image to 1.85:1 for 35mm and digital presentations and the 70mm prints will be true to their native aspect ratio? Just guessing. My grasp of the technological aspects involved here is not very solid.
There’s a more elaborate history for the Elliot Hall of Music here, identifying the aforementioned RCMH designer as J. Andre Fouilhoux.
SeaBassTian… audience participation is precisely what brought me back to the theaters of Times Square time and again – that and the cheap admissions. Of course, I was a teen at the time. I’ve grown much more conservative in my expectations for movie-going etiquette as the years have passed.
Ken, I did a bit of research on this particular block, since I was so convinced that the furniture store on Beach Avenue was the former theater structure, not the church on St. Lawrence. NYC Department of Building online records would seem to support my suspicions. The entire block of storefronts on Westchester Ave, plus the furniture store on Beach Ave are part of a contiguous lot, improved with a single two-story structure in 1926. The church structure dates to 1925 and is not attached to any of the storefronts on Westchester Avenue.
Unfortunately, there are no viewable certificates of occupancy for the church building (address is 1266 St Lawrence Avenue), and the oldest certificate of occupancy viewable for the Rosedale Theater’s address is an alteration permit for some of the storefronts, dated 1944. However, there is a C of O for the address 1791 Westchester Avenue, dated January 29, 1965 (my exact date of birth, as it happens), showing conversion to “Warehouse for household goods and furniture, loading berth, and store” on ground level, and “Offices and toilets, incidental to first floor” on the mezzanine level.
The name of the furniture store is “New Direct Buy Furniture” at 1785 Beach Avenue. When viewed from the corner of Beach and Westchester Avenues, not only does the elevation of the structure appear theater-like, but there is a structure on the roof of the storefronts that looks like it might have held signage, angled to catch the eye of commuters on the elevated IRT platform of the St. Lawrence Avenue train station.
The street view is off by several blocks to the east. The address must be incorrect, since 1800 Westchester Ave is at the SE corner of the intersection with Beach Ave.
And, Joe… not exactly on the corner, but midway between St Lawrence and Beach Avenues, there is a Dunkin Donuts at 1791 Westchester Avenue (on the north side of the block). If you do a satellite view looking down on the block, you can see that the Dunkin Donuts storefront runs back in a narrow rectangle and appears to connect to a structure that I’m convinced is an old theater building, which then runs to the right, backing up to Beach Ave. A street view down Beach shows what I assume was the back wall of that theater, which now houses a furniture store. This must be the proposed house from that 1926 issue of The Film Daily. I don’t think the theater is listed here on CT.
Surprising that the film isn’t in scope. PTA works compositional wonders on a wide-screen canvas. In fact, I can’t think of a single feature that he’s directed, which hasn’t been 2.35:1 … not even the his first, “Hard Eight,” or the offbeat “Punch Drunk Love.”
This will be a regular engagement as opposed to special screening, correct? The film’s limited release begins the week before, on September 14th (including the Village East booking). According to imdb.com, the 21st looks like a wide release date.
The theater’s official website has a few photographic glimpses of the original auditorium.
I’m sure this must have been mentioned elsewhere in this thread, but it appears that the main room no longer seats 1200. In fact, that capacity seems to have been greatly reduced, due not only to the installation of wider, high-back seats, but the conversion of the orchestra level to stadium-style seating sloping steeply from the base of the stage right up to the facing of the old balcony.
The site notes that auditoriums range in capacity from 70 to 370 seats, and nowhere does it mention anything about having 70mm projection equipment (likely due to a general lack of demand for that kind of facility).
Thumbs way up!
So, it seems Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film, “The Master,” has been scheduled here for a 70mm engagement. Please tell me that the 70mm projectors are for the original 1200 seat auditorium?