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Anthony DiFlorio III (who supplied the above photos!) received the below email, and has told me I can post it here:
What a memory! But you must know the Grand is/was at Seventh and Snyder Avenue not Sixth Street. It once was a Baptist Church but as the neighborhood changed before WWI it became a hall and eventually a movie house. It was three-four blocks from where I lived, near Ninth and Wolf Streets. I seldom went to the Grand for one good reason. The fare was nineteen cents because it was air-conditioned! It was tough enough for me to get eleven cents for the Colonial movie house, nineteen cents was beyond my reach. But just to experience the air-conditioning, I very slowly accumulated nineteen pennies and entered the frigid world and saw Spencer Tracy and Bartholmew -what ever the rest of his name- was in some fishing drama. How I accumulated nineteen pennies is another story. Thanks for the memory.
The Synder Avenue Baptist Church was converted into a moviehouse in 1911. The listing above that Hoffman-Henon were the architects is mistaken. Silent films were joined by vaudeville. . Another renovation, by architect W.H. Lee, took place in the 1930’s. The Grand had 850 seats. A retail store took over by the 1960’s.
Current exterior photos by Anthony DiFlorio III are linked below.
Sign proclaims Grand Theatre Talkies Matinee Daily:
Another photo shows corner view, and a sign proclaims Grand Theatre:
There are more Grand signs visible, too, elswhere on the building.
Ah, after some online searching, I can answer my question as to the wallpaper.
Nicotine Room aka Men’s Lounge, in 2006, with same wallpaper, sconce, and some surviving furniture:
Ah, after more searching online, I can answer my question as to the wallpaper.
Nicotine Room aka Men’s Lounge, in 2006, with same wallpaper, sconce, and some surviving furniture:
A family member of decorator Armando T. Ricci (who worked on the Boyd Theatre www.FriendsOfTheBoyd.org)) sent me a 1941 Theatre Catalog article by Ricci. To share historic photos of Radio City Music Hall, I scanned it.
These are likely Opening Day photos with Ricci’s description, of a corner of the grand lounge, and the Nicotine Room!
close-up of Nicotine Room:
Online, here’s Donald Deskey in the Nicotine Room:
corner of Grand Lounge:
I’ve been to Radio City Music Hall, but don’t recall seeing the Art Deco furniture. Does Bouche’s mural survive? Does Deskey’s Nicotine Room wallpaper (assuming that’s wallpaper) survive?
$5 Clearview classics summer 2007 at Clairidge Cinema (973) 746-5564, sponsored by The Montclair Times, Wednesday & Thursday 7:15 PM, Saturday & Sunday 11 AM, June 6-7 & 9-10, Rebel Without a Cause, June 13-14 &16-17 East of Eden, June 20-21 & 23-24 Giant, June 27-28 & June 30, July 1 A Streetcar Named Desire, July 4-5 & 7-8 The Wizard of Oz, July 11-12 & 14-15 An Affair to Remember, July 18-19 & 21-22 Manhattan, July 25-26 & 28-29 Raging Bull
Clearview Classics, June 14-17 Grease, June 21-24 All about Eve, June 28-July 1 Animal House, July 5-8 Superman, July 12-15 What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, July 19-22 Goonies, July 26-29 Ghostbusters, Aug 2-5 The NeverEnding Story, Aug 9-12 Batman, Aug 16-19 Goldfinger
A classic series has been held for $5 admit 7 PM Wednesday & Thursday evenings, in one of the 2 side auditoriums. Casablanca April 11-12, Singin in the Rain April 18-19, Sunset Boulevard April 25-26, Citizen Kane May 2-3, Some Like it Hot, May 9-10, West Side Story, May 16-17, Annie Hall May 23-24, Breakfast at Tiffanys, May 30-31. So far, few have attended, likely due to lack of PR in the Philadelphia area media market.
I’m not sure the email appears properly by clicking my name, so here it is:
it would be great if those original BW photos could be enjoyed by everyone! You can find my email by clicking on my name. I’d be happy to scan them, place them on my flickr site, link those photos to this site as I did with the San Francisco Metro photos, and mail your originals back to you.
Or, maybe somebody in S.F. area can do so?
I meant the 2nd sentence to read “Any redevelopment as a library etc has nothing to do with cinematreasures!”
How much gloating about the destruction of a true treasure can you do??
Why are you polluting this website with this anti-theater nonsense? The theatre was lost. Any redevelopment as a library etc to do with cinematreasures! You people won your fight, destroyed a marvelous movie palace. GO AWAY.
Why are you polluting this website with this anti-theater nonsense? The theatre was lost. Any redevelopment has nothing as a library etc to do with cinematreasures! You people won your fight, destroyed a marvelous movie palace. GO AWAY.
Dave-Bronx, you are a disguntled former employee, perhaps?
I found the C.O. theaters to be much better than the other chains. The Chelsea is currently ranked very good by New Yorker magazine. C.O. made an effort to have much bigger screens and plush interiors long before other chains did.
The Walter Reade organization sold their theaters to Cineplex Odeon, correct? If that is the case, then at the time of the sale, the Reades could’ve then arranged (with the consent of the new owners) to hold back the painting & retrieved it from the theater if they had wanted to do so.
Although you seem to like to bash the Cineplex Odeon founder, that company built better multiplexes in NYC (Chelsea, Worldwide Plaza) and DC (Wisconsin Avenue) then any other national company was then building on the East Coast.
I can’t take on this task, but do wish to advise you that flickr (www.flickr.com)offers free photo gallery hosting. You download your theater photos to it once signing up for your free account. You then label your theater photos, at least with name of city and theater. There are people reading cinematreasures.org who often review those photos and link them to this site to the appropriate theater page. I know you’d like more help than that, but I thought you, and others reading this, might appreciate this advice. There are other photo hosting cites like photobucket frequently linked to, but I myself use flickr.
Free flickr photo gallery limits how many photos you can download per month. One way to get around that is by shrinking each photo’s memory. I use Irfanview to do that, another site that can be freely downloaded and used. However, you don’t have to shrink the photos, especially if there aren’t that many to post.
This was one of my favorite cinemas. I first knew it as the KB Cinema. After the KB chain closed, Cineplex Odeon reopened it and placed their tree-looking sconces on the side walls of the auditoriums. Eventually, C.O. also installed new luxury chairs. In the mid to late 1980’s, it played mainstream blockbusters. After the early 1990’s, it hosted some mainstream films in the summer, but mostly played arthouse films
It had 826 seats. The screen was 40 feet wide and looked even bigger. The screen was perfectly set, for wonderful sightlines! Before it closed, it advertised as having the second largest movie screen in Washington, D.C.
The ability to showcase mainstream blockbusters diminished when Cineplex Odeon opened the Wisconsin Avenue Cinemas, since most blockbusters played there or the Uptown. Later, the Mazza Gallerie opened, so most mainstream films played Uptown, Wisconsin, or Mazza for Northwest Washington and mostly arthouse films were shown at the Cinema. Before the Mazza Gallerie opened nearby, the projectionist told me he didn’t understand why the Cinema would close because it was doing a million dollars business a year. He wasn’t looking forward to Loews taking over, as he thought the Cineplex Odeon concessions including candy had better selections.
The moviehouse’s problem with getting enough people to see arthouse films probably resulted from the openings of the suburban and downtown Landmark multiplexes.
Until it closed, samples of food, gum, etc. were often given out to departing movie patrons.
I saw many movies to sold out crowds in this once very popular moviehouse.
In December, 2006, I visited it in its current form as a furniture store. Staff told me trucks had used much concrete to level the auditorium. They said the store opened in May, 2006. The decorative metalwork and stairs leading downstairs to the former auditorium, now a furniture showroom, survived. Before going downstairs to the main floor is the former projection booth, now a gallery for dining and kitchen furniture.
The 70 mm projectors were retrieved by the Loews Jersey volunteers.
Here’s a photo I took in 2004 when still a cinema:
“A Very Long Engagement” indeed! That was the last film.
This website isn’t about parades or flowers!! It is for people who cherish historic theaters. I didn’t get to the Tivoli when it was open, when I visited Chicago, but it was on my list, and if had been restored, nothing would’ve stopped me from visiting your town. And, many other people reading this website would’ve have visited, paid to see a show, had a meal nearby, etc. Now, I won’t ever visit your town, and my guess is that when most of the other readers of this site visit Chicago and the region, visiting Lombard won’t be on their list either!
your signature of FIENDS tells us all we need to know. Perhaps this weekend you will see the new movie about zombies, 28 Weeks Later, and root for the flesh eating zombies.
Throughtout the nation, many movie palaces that hit their highlight in the 1950’s or 1960’s have been saved, restored, and reopened, as community treasures. This site is for those who respect that history. You are presumably pro-development, presumably seeking something newer, instead- fine. But, there’s no need to gloat on this website over the destruction of a historic building. Surely you must have a community blog where you can do that.
It is truly a sorry day in America when people (3 above) are gloating over the destruction of a once beautiful movie palace, one that meant a great deal to many people in the community.
I am going to guess that Mann is NOT, repeat NOT, reopening the theater. If it is going to reopen soon under a different operator, the newspaper ad is probably simply wrong. Often, the studios that place the ads mistakenly use the former name until they realize otherwise.
Recent exterior photos by Rob Bender of exterior and balcony:
Like the Ziegfeld, the Chelsea West is closed until Spiderman 3 opens.