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Thank you for your kind comments about the Boyd Theatre. The City did not feel “compelled to maintain its grandeur.” Three owners in a row fought historic designation. With designation denied, and the theater closed, and the owner obtaining a demolition permit, the Art Deco showplace appeared doomed. I organized the Committee to Save the Sameric, and later, the Friends of the Boyd, and countless hours later, the Boyd, under new ownership, will reopen, and the Friends of the Boyd continue to assist for a comprehensive restoration, and a program to include films, public tours, and exhibits of the theater’s history. www.FriendsOfTheBoyd.org
As to the Orleans, I think you are correct. I went to see it as after it had been divided. From what I know, the Cine Capri was nicer.
Closed, site waiting for reuse.
Let’s clarify. Are you saying the federal government agency should move into the former movie theater, and then that the former movie theater should be demolished???
It will be interesting to see you convince the City of Philadelphia to provide “the cost of its full restoration and day-to-day operational expenses”
It would be equally interesting to see pigs fly.
Maybe we can all clap our hands and make it happen?
Anybody who wants to help Friends of the Boyd with our mission for the Boyd Theatre can visit www.FriendsOfTheBoyd.org
To answer recently asked frequent questions, the Boyd will likely reopen in 2007. What used to be 3 small auditoriums next door has been gutted to become a big space for retail or restaurant, still owned by the former owner of the Boyd, the Goldenberg Group.
The Boyd Theatre is owned by Live Nation, the spinoff company from Clear Channel. Friends of the Boyd are helping in any way we can.
Ok, great, if we are in fantasyland, maybe for Christmas, Santa Claus can bring a magnificient single screen movie palace to the area!! And, maybe he can stand in front and let everybody in for free and give them super cheap refreshments! Why not?
Or, if we want to live in the real world, and if we are lucky, a new stadium seat multiplex might arise somewhere in the area if the Orleans closes. Otherwise, people will need to travel some distance to a movie theater.
Wow! In the closing weeks of the Loew’s Astor Plaza, employees told me not to continue photographing the interior. However stupid for a closing theaters employees to object, that was their right. And, keep in mind, there weren’t exactly treasures in the Astor Plaza that anybody would be stealing after seeing photos.
Ridiculous for an employee of the New Metro to object to your photograping the exterior! They truly needed customers- and good PR, so badly that they should’ve brought you coffee! And, of course, on a public street, you had the right to photograph commercial buildings.
That’s a wonderful photo at night.
New Yorkers should lobby the owner to keep the interior decoration, and if won’t again be a moviehouse, double up your efforts to patronize the surviving historic venues! And, yes, by historic, I mean those post WW2 houses such as the Ziegfeld, the Paris, Tower East, City Cinema 1,2,3, etc.
Mr. Elson is to be commended for his valiant attempt, his redecoration and reopening of the Metro, even though it didn’t succeed.
He may not have been able to obtain more popular arthouse films, due to competition from other venues, or may have believed that if he had those films, the other venues would have drawn off many of the moviegoers. So, he tried arthouse films that would be more unique, but, as we know, didn’t have enough drawing power. It may be not enough moviegoers from other places in New York wanted to attend movies in the neighborhood that the Metro was in.
I love old theaters, Art Deco, and theaters that use the curtain, so I was eager to visit, and snapped my photo. The film choices weren’t to my liking, so I wasn’t able to revisit.
Did the prior chain operators program mainstream fare? but not enough people attending?
It is tragic that so many single screens (and divided up theaters)have closed!
If the Metro doesn’t reopen as a moviehouse, let’s hope the Art Deco plasterwork and decorations can be kept.
And, we should all patronize those remaining survivors! Classic film series soon at the Ziegfeld! Great arthouse movies at the Paris! And, the others.
Not known yet. Clearview may not be expanding, but Regal, National Amusements, and Crown would all seem to be possible.
I’ve added my May 2005 interior & exterior photos here, adjoining this photo:
It would be terrible to lose the Art Deco plaster and other beautiful touches. A restaurant or retail store could be enhanced by those details.
A January 12 post above says the Loews State is now closed, but it is stilll listed with movies on Loews site as of today. Same post says Regal will operate Loews E-Walk. Is that mere speculation? Besides Clearview, there are other companies such as National Amusements or Crown that are in the general region that could do so.
As to the Beekman demolition photos, yes, thanks, Dave, for the photos of this sad story.
I miss John Wanamaker’s, too, and wish the huge department stores were still here, too!
There’s lots of reasons why studios don’t relese most movies with downtown exclusives or roadshows anymore. If studios did so release in major cities throughout the US, then surely, the Boyd would be in contention. But, they don’t.
We are working hard to return film, including 70 MM, to the Boyd.
There’s many reasons why film attendence is down now, but one might be that this year’s films don’t exactly equal Ben Hur, Doctor Zhivago, or Lawrence of Arabia!
Of course, it is true that many chain theaters have lousy environments. I prefer single screen theaters, but will note that the two biggest auditoriums of the Bridge are good venues, certainly compared with other multiplexes of our area.
This website discusses the pending classic series at the Ziegfeld in New York. 35 MM, but they are films that belong on the large screen. I hope people attend, to encourage more there.
Anybody doubting the libel can review Holme theater Philadelphia postings on this site, where Mr. Buff goes so far as to say that Northeast Philly is run by “America’s Taliban” and goes on and on about every politician, civic leader, and others, in the area.
He also asserts the politicians “scared” Disney from 8th and Market. That site was and is owned by the same developer who when he owned the Boyd obtained a demolition permit for the movie palace, but not to place blame where it doesn’t blame, Disney wasn’t scared away by politicians. The company tried “Disneyquest” elsewhere, it didn’t work, they discontinued interest in trying it in Philadelphia.
I see up to 100 movies a year, and have too many favorites to list. I see them mostly at the classic moviehouses, and somehow I doubt you are ever there.
You are a minority of one in your neighborhood, spouting hot air while whatever happens to your theaters happens without you.
Whatever happens to your theaters, though, is not a “beautiful frame” but as you say “crappy” uses, and often such theaters lose more and more of their original architecture inside and outside, until demolition.
You accomplish nothing except to annoy people who are working- or volunteering- to make this City a better place!
Your “involvement” , Mr. “Buff” is to libel people including city and church leaders, but not to show up at meetings. NO business expert, planner, or anybody agrees with your “theories” Go away, already, plague our house no longer.
Now, that’s wonderful news! I’ve been in the Palace, even saw movies there, before it closed. Glad to hear it keeps its historic name, and thrilled to hear about the marquee.
The theater was renamed the “Detroit”? Are you sure that’s not temp for a movie being filmed that is set in Detroit?
Labor costs have risen so high that studios can’t afford to film a movie with Ben Hur quality anymore! But, even if the could, one difference is that there were no megaplexes back then! MOST people on this site prefer movie palaces, but we aren’t most people in America. Most people in America visit megaplexes, and once they find one they like, return again and again.
As to filling the Boyd daily, United Artists Circuit didn’t expect huge crowds Monday to Thursday. In the glory days of movie palaces, from before TV, and also during Cinerama in the Boyd’s case, they were filled seven days a week, and scheduled movies from early in morning to late at night. TV killed many downtown moviehouses, and 90% of neighborhood moviehouses. What TV didn’t kill was killed over time by the mass move to the burbs and the development of multiplexes and megaplexes.
There’s no effort to prevent the Boyd from being a success! The new owner operator is investing more than $30 milion to revitalize the movie palace!
I’ve never met the above correspondent at one of our film fundraisers so far, and we’ve had six at International House (which is single screen, though not a daily moviehouse). And, I didn’t meet him at any of the many tours of the Boyd that I led, to show people what it looked like, and discuss the plans. Nor was he in our Saturday afternoon Vigil protests in 2002 EVERY Saturday from May to the end of the year, to protest the then owner’s plans to demolish. Numerous of our volunteers have generously donated their time to assist to ensure that the Boyd will be a tremendous asset to Philadelphia! Where’s he been?
Of course, the movie experience was superior in a single screen movie house! We are just not going to return to those days.
There were a few downtown movie PALACES that studios tolerated if they didn’t make a profit, but any single screen neighborhood moviehouse, like the Mayfair, had to make a profit or CLOSE.
The Ambler isn’t single screen. There are two “black box” (megaplex style) auditoriums carved within it, and the main, middle auditorium not yet restored or reopen will make a total of three.
The Colonial, which I frequent, is nonprofit and also has live events.
The choice for the Boyd was demolition or reinvention to being a viable theater, just as the choice was for so many nationwide. I’ve spent 4 years leading a group fighting to save it, see it properly restored, and working to include a film series, public tours, and exhibits of its history. Those four years are volunteer, and cost my income, savings, and free time dearly and the correspondent calls ME arrogant! So, far as I know, the extent of his effort is taking a
few photos of the exteriors of theaters, and ranting on this site.
I don’t mean that no single screen theater is viable, as there are some I can think of that are making money. But, many neighborhoods can’t support a single screen theater.
The City has no money to invest, not even in the Boyd, because over the last half a century rocket scientists like you bled it to death by imposing high taxes. Even if the City had money, would you have it invest in typewriters, horses and carriages, and phonographs? Single screen theaters aren’t viable anymore in most places, including most of Philadelphia.
There is nothing I’d like better than to see the Boyd as a daily moviehouse again, but it isn’t possible! I was a customer until it closed, but too few were for the last couple decades! You just can’t keep a movie palace built for about 2400 open daily as a single screen in the US except Los Angeles. It has been my honor to lead a group to save the Boyd from demolition, and to assist the current owner who is pouring money to restore and revitalize the Boyd. Its survival, like that of hundreds elsewhere in the US, depends on live events. The Friends of the Boyd are working to ensure film (classics, festivals, premieres) can return as well. Now perhaps the above correspondent can return to haunting the pages of various closed theaters in NE Philly with the same unrealistic rant.
I had someone inquire. The new operator told us they run another theater at or near Harrisburg, PA. I don’t think this theater is stadium seated, so with audiences flocking to theaters that are stadium seated, Regal must have decided to not renew the lease, and the shopping mall operator must have looked for another theater operator.
Jack’s photos of the marquee in 1984 look great. Today’s movie theaters don’t look so good in comparision. My guess is original marquee sign’s letters are in a “storage facility” but one called a dump, unless anyone has a specific reason to think they were stored away somewhere.