Showing 176 - 200 of 3,406 comments
Pretty fascinating read, Tinseltoes. Thanks for the link. It must have been a pretty remarkable time to be in the business of motion picture exhibitions, particularly in the big houses along Broadway. The excitement of new technology, tempered by the terror of television’s increasing drawing power hanging in the air… It is regrettable that architectural splendor was sacrificed in the name of progress and trying to breathe new life into grand old theaters like the Rivoli, but in the end, it was all pounded to dust anyway. All we are left today is the melancholy that comes with looking back and reading vintage articles such as this one.
I wonder what the story was over at the Rivoli Theatre that week, as its name is conspicuously absent from the list of averages given on that page.
That article is from April 2009 and was previously linked in a comment back around that time. Sobering to note the lack of movement on any redevelopment in the last three years! In fact, I think that even the retailers who had occupied the former lobby space on short term leases are now shuttered. I wonder if the property is still in the hands of the same owner!
Sorry, A_Mclean, but the only Gimbels store I remember (besides the one near Herald Square) was the one in Green Acres Shopping Mall, in Valley Stream.
Here is an updated and working version of the DGA link I previously posted on April 25, 2011. From that page, one may now also take a 360 degree virtual tour of the auditorium as well as the projection booth.
Bigjoe59… Read my response from yesterday at 5:42 regarding movies being shown as part of some vaudeville bookings from that period. It might help provide some illumination in your search. While you may be onto something with the Crescent, I think determining if there were permanent projection facilities would be key to having something more definitive.
Oh, and hdtv267… Please don’t leave! Post your information and know that it is appreciated by the vast majority of CT members. Let all the other crap just roll off your back and don’t dignify it with a response. Particularly not with a response of quitting the forum! I really hope you have a change of heart. If not, my best wishes for you!
Bigjoe59… Something to keep in mind is that back in 1909, most motion picture production was of the one- and two-reel variety. Additionally, just a few years earlier, it was not uncommon for many vaudeville companies to include their own exhibition of reels between acts, or as an act unto themselves. This included the companies providing their own projection equipment and screen for the show.
I think a key factor in identifying structures that were purpose built with movies in mind (by your own definition) would be whether or not the builders equipped the theater with its own projection booth and screen. That’s probably going to be a bit more difficult to ascertain than finding out when a given theater first opened and whether it was built from the ground up. It might not be impossible, however. Even in those early days, the combustible nature of nitrate prints was well known, and construction projects that included motion picture exhibition booths would have surely been scrutinized by the municipality for reasons of public safety. As a matter of fact, one of the reasons why projection equipment was housed in booths (besides abating the distraction caused by the loud clacking of the apparatus) was to ensure the safety of patrons in the event of a fire.
My wife and sister-in-law visited this theater just a couple of days ago to take the kiddies to see “Madagascar 3.” They report that the auditorium they sat in was quite dirty and overall the theater seems to be running down on the inside, despite the recent of expense of refitting the outdoor vertical sign.
Hey robboehm. Looks like the CT user who posted it, removed the image. I had mentioned on the Henry Miller page that it should be re-posted here. They’ll probably upload it correctly soon enough.
Here’s a porn-era pic that was mistakenly posted to the Henry Miller’s Theatre page.
Hey midnitewriter. Not sure what protocol is, but you should probably contact site administration for such permissions. Several email addresses to contact CT are listed here. I don’t think you’ll have any problems at all.
One of these days, I’ll have to get around to creating an actual listing for the Lyceum. I’ve also seen references to a Plaza Theatre on Merrick Road, that may have been the first purpose-built movie house in Lynbrook.
Here’s a link to a photo of the old Lyceum Hall, that pre-dated the Airdrome. Perhaps this is the very pic that hangs in that hall of St Raymonds Church?
Lynbrook Bagels, diagonally across the street from the former Studio 1, has a pair of flat screen displays in their shop that present a slide-show of images tracing the history of the shop over the years. One of these is a vintage B&W shot looking north on Atlantic Ave that clearly shows the Arcade’s marquee projecting over the sidewalk on the left. I couldn’t stick around long enough to catch the image come around again on the loop, and get a movie title or approximate date. Next time I’m in there, I have to ask the manager if he has an actual copy of that picture, or at least inquire where he found it.
Wally75, if you ever find any of your old pics of the Playhouse, please be sure to post them here (or send them my way and I’ll gladly do it for you)!
Robboehm, here’s a link to a B&W shot of the screen and front of the house from the balcony during the Playhouse’s waning days as a movie house. This link had been erroneously posted on the 8th Street Playhouse page, and I’m surprised it was never re-posted here… until now, that is.
The image is from photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto, who took a series of images at several different cinemas, where he locked down a large-format camera at some central point opposite the screen and then opened the shutter for the duration of the movie. The results were quite lovely. I’m sure if you google the photographer’s name, you’ll find a number of these stills floating around the web.
Since there was a balcony in the original, they’ll stack them and likely utilize basement space. I anticipate at least a few of these rooms will be quite small, but I’m hoping the screen sizes remain reasonable.
Sad that the theater was completely gutted. Seems that Alamo might have employed many of the original architectural features in the new auditoriums. It is heartening to hear that they will research the original decor and use that as a basis to design and trim the new interior.
Al… I wonder if Alamo will be able to succeed where CO wasn’t, based on their being licensed to serve liquor on the premises.
I think that Wally was merely pointing out that there have been cinemas known to operate without the usual downward slope of seating towards the screen. I might add that there have even been theaters where the seats sloped UP towards the screen!
The street view for this theater is off by about a block to the south. I also believe the status of the building should be amended to “demolished.” The northwest corner of Fulton Street and Rockwell Place is depicted in the street view as being vacant and surrounded by construction fencing. The location would be diagonally across from the old Strand Theatre, which is adjacent to the current BAM Harvey.
To correct the street view, turn to the right and head down Fulton to the next intersection (Rockwell Pl). The far corner on the left with the blue fencing should be the site of the late Momart Theatre.
Hey saps… I took the hint and got over to the theater site today. Alas, it was too late to get any image that even vaguely resembles the old gal. Demolition is complete and the process of hauling away the twisted metal and debris is well underway. I uploaded a few shots anyway, showing what the area looked like as of late this afternoon.
Tinseltoes… I know this is a pet peeve of yours (and it bugs me, too) but I think the address ribbon to which you refer is a function of how the database is organized. Not that I have a lot of experience at developing and mapping out websites, but I do believe that it isn’t a matter of fixing the ribbon as it is of getting the database organized into more logical geographic buckets. In other words, it is likely not going to be a quick and easy fix.
Mikeoaklandpark… the representative photo that winds up on the “overview” page is generally the most-viewed image from a given theater’s photo gallery. I’m not sure what logic is employed in the eventuality that more than 1 photo in a given gallery has been viewed by the same number of people, but the actual age or date of the picture has nothing to do with whether it shows up as at the top of this page.
So, Rothafel opened both the Temple and the Cathedral of Motion Pictures. I wonder if he ever got around to building the Mosque of Motion Pictures.