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Al, you sly puss. (Were these hard-core?)
Usually one can find ads in old issues of the Village Voice for the porn theaters —any been found showing this house?
If that is the case, then they must have had to film it twice, using two different systems (as they did when they filmed Oklahoma in two different formats.)
I wonder if the air rights/development rights were already sold when the neighboring tower was constructed.
Posted today by bigjoe59 on the Embassy 1,2,3 page:
My original post was about whether the ornate B.F. Moss Regent and the moderate-sized Bunny, both from 1913, were the first theaters built brick-by-brick from the ground up specifically to show to photoplays or flickers as they were called at the time. I asked this because since movies exploded like fire works after their debut at Koster and Bial’s Music Hall in April of 1896 i simply couldn’t believe that no theater built expressly to show movies were built until the Regent and Bunny in 1913.
Well, they say if you search long enough you’ll find what you’re looking for. I had always assumed that the Apollo on 42 St.(which was torn down with its neighbor the Lyric to built the theater now known as the Foxwoods Theater) was built from the get-go as a “legit” house to use an old term. Guess what? It was built from the get-go to be a combo movie and vaudeville theater.
So, since the Apollo bests the Regent and the Bunny by 3 years, it takes the crown as the oldest theater I’ve found to date that was built from the get-go to show movies.
I don’t know why anyone would pay so much to go here, when the AMC Empire across the street is only $6. for all shows before noon. And if something is playing at the E-Walk and not the Empire, then it’s usually also playing at the AMC 34th Street, only eight short blocks south.
I think Al meant that while there was straight porn on the screen, the all-male patrons themselves were not.
I wish you could post the ads for these bits of history that you provide, tinseltoes. We all seem to love old movie advertising.
There’s an underground bowling alley (San-Dee Lanes)right around the corner — in the Malverne’s basement?
Here is a link to the New York Times review of Strategic Air Command. And here is an excerpt from that review, reporting on both the film and surrounding hoopla. Sounds like it was a helluva night:
“NEVER, in many years of looking at Air Force and aviation films, have we seen the familiar wide blue yonder so wide or so magnificently displayed as it is in the Vista-Vision process used to project "Strategic Air Command.”
“This latest Paramount service picture, which received a full-dress première under the sponsorship of the Air Force Association last night at the Paramount Theatre, is far and away the most elaborate and impressive pictoral show of the beauty and organized power of the United States air arm that has yet been put upon the screen.
“But, certainly, an equal measure of credit for the pictorial impressiveness of this show must go to the Vista-Vision process, which is here being revealed for the second time. The first use of Vista-Vision was in "White Christmas,” several months ago, but that use was technically less finished and on a subject of less scope than is shown here.
“Now the full advantage of the Vista Vision wide film in giving size, depth and clarity, as well as fidelity of color, to big and detailed outdoor scenes is richly and dramatically apparent. The great panoramic shots of air fields, crowded with colorful equipment, betoken the precision and clear focus of the large Vista Vision lens. And the scenes in the air of cloud formations, of planes venting feathery vapor trails and of in-air refueling operations, all graphically shown, attest to the new dramatic potential of the sharp and well-proportioned image on a large scale.
“Vista Vision, in this particular showing, appears as grand as Cinerama, more felicitous and free than CinemaScope.
“But, above all, there are those airplanes, the roaring engines, the cluttered cockpits, the clouds and sky. These are the things that make your eyes bug and your heart leap with wonder and pride.
“The invitational world première of "Strategic Air Command” was held under the auspices of the Air Force Association.
“A large crowd thronged the Times Square area before the theatre, where searchlights heralded the occasion. The spectators watched the arrival of 3,500 guests, who included personalities in the armed services, politics, entertainment and business.
“Interviews with James Stewart, co-star of the picture, and other attending celebrities were telecast from the theatre lobby to a national audience on the Arthur Godfrey program. Mr. Godfrey served as moderator.
“In a stage ceremony prior to the screening, Mr. Stewart accepted a citation of honor from Maj. Gen. C. R. Smith, representing the A. F. A., for "distinguished public service and outstanding artistic achievement” in connection with the film."
I drove by today and saw that two of the front glass doors were busted wide open. Really shocking looking — no plywood repairs or anything.
I wonder who is in control of this theater.
I believe those single seats are for companions of wheelchair patrons, who use those open spaces.
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I added two of Warren’s really nice photos to the photo section before the links are lost.
Link to article about this restoration of this theater’s lobby
Here is the text of the article, which also contains photos of the work-in-progress:
Remodel brings 100-year-old theater lobby back to its youth
In honor of the Elks Theatre’s 100th birthday this summer, owner Curt Small is undertaking a year-long project to remodel the theater’s lobby, restoring it in a way he hopes will reflect the importance of the venue to the city’s history.
“So many cities just let theirs go,” Small said of historic theaters. “There was a time those theaters were the jewel of downtown.”
Most of the first phase was finished last week, removing a 1970s-era drop ceiling from the middle of the lobby and restoring the curved 1929 “barrel” ceiling underneath.
“It will give our customers a good preview of what’s to come,” Small said.
The restoration will continue throughout the year with changes to the lobby’s ticket counter area, concessions sales counter and the stairways leading to the balcony.
Small started working at the theater in 1994 and bought it in 2008. He has been itching to make changes, but said his budget is a fraction of what was available for some of the other major remodeling projects seen in downtown Rapid City in the last few years.
Next door, the north half of the Elks Building saw a major, multi-million dollar gut remodel last year by its new owner, law firm Gunderson, Palmer, Nelson & Ashmore.
Small told his contractor, Remodel-King Construction, “It takes a lot of $4 tickets” to fund his project, Remodel-King owner Scott Sogge said.
Sogge, formerly a member of the city’s Historic Preservation Commission, shares Small’s love of historic buildings and the theater in particular.
“If I want to see a movie, I wait and go to the Elks,” Sogge said, calling the theater “iconic.” The theater is known for showing second-run movies, independent films and classic films through its Sunday-evening Nostalgia Night Film Series.
“The experience is worth it to me,” Sogge said. “It’s the charm and the authenticity.”
Sogge said much of that charm was covered up over the years.
“It’s a sleeper,” Sogge said. “There’s a lot of beauty hidden behind that ceiling that we have now started to remove.”
The Rapid City Elks built their lodge from 1911 to 1912 at Sixth and Main streets, and included in it a large “opera house” for theatrical productions. But while the Elks fraternal organization stayed downtown until 1963, it sold the opera house portion of the building in 1920 to Art Rose, who sold it in 1925 to Black Hills Amusement Company, which brought the first “talkies” to Rapid City.
The theater changed hands again three times before Small bought it in 2008.
He is planning several events for the theater’s 100th birthday in June, including showing an original silent film along with the live piano music that once accompanied it.
Sogge said he’s glad the theater is in Small’s hands.
“He’s got a good passion and he’s there for a reason, and Rapid City’s got to hand it to him for having the perseverance to continue what he’s doing,” he said.
Contact Barbara Soderlin at 394-8417 or
Buffalo, when you find some, please post them here! Thanks in advance.
You remain a pompous boor. You are the only one making personal attacks (calling me trashy, promiscuous, imperious and low-class. I resent being called imperious!)
When it comes down to it, you can get an STD at the Waldorf-Astoria if you'e with the wrong partner, so don’t be so lofty.
Anyway, you said in a previous post that you went to two adult theaters and never touched anyone and never went back. (You went dancing instead — how was all the drug use and unsafe behavior in THOSE venues?)
In reality, you never even considered having your so-called “Times Square Experience” in any event. (It seems every city and town in America had porno theaters at the same time; nothing unique to Manhattan.)
There was (is) so much more to the area than merely hooking up. That is the Times Square Experience we have spent years here discussing. And plenty of our members DID just sit there and admire the architecture. (Ed, that’s your cue…)
MovieMan, too bad you missed the entire Times Square experience — from visiting the Lyric and New Amsterdam on 42nd Street, up the square to the Paramount, State, Criterion, Astor, DeMille, Rivoli and especially the Capitol. And why not stop in at the Adonis, Cameo, Tivoli, Pussycat, World and Victory, all old movie theaters repurposed in their last years for the adult trade. Nobody ever got an STD sitting in a theater seat admiring the proscenium.
That’s the Times Square experience I meant — the lights, the sounds, the sights, with a hint of danger and excitement around every corner. The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd….“Annie” playing next to “Anal Intruders!” It was really unique and will never be duplicated.
I love carbon arc projection (as long as the projectionist is on the ball!)
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Those are two gorgeous pictures, Brian.
As to the illustration currently shown above (Broadway Comes to Broadway) I saw Oklahoma during that series. It was in the upstairss theater, formerly the balcony with a nicely tapered rake and a gorgeous ceiling.
The Oklahoma print, however, was atrocious — completely faded to pink as (Eastmancolor?) tends to do. What a disappointment, as it was my first time seeing the movie. I didn’t go back for any other films in the series.
My question — what year was this series shown?
I was in this house more than once but can’t remember how many seats?
Direct link to Towleroad website and the Bonnie Raitt video.