New Amsterdam Theatre

214 West 42nd Street,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 201 - 225 of 260 comments

Vito
Vito on October 14, 2005 at 4:38 am

As I posted on other 42nd st theatre sites,I would always marvel at the beauty of all those magnificent marquees, the people who changed them week after week were true artists,the lettering was always perfectly spaced and centered.
Truly a lost art form

DONKIM
DONKIM on October 13, 2005 at 10:20 pm

Photographer Andrew Moore has 2 color photos of the interior of this theatre prior to restoration at www.andrew-moore.info
(Just click on Photography and then Times Square 1995-2005 to bring up the theatres)
The New Amsterdam photos are on the third row.
One is at the far left and another on the far right.
There are also other shots of the Selwyn, Times Square, Liberty and an extrior shot of the Lyric.

spikewriter
spikewriter on October 3, 2005 at 4:36 pm

Bway – “While I think Disney did a fantastic job on the theater in general, the one thing they should have done differently is restoring the exterior to the original appearance rather than the 1930’s look it has now.”

I personally would have preferred the Art Nouveau tower of Ziegfeld’s regime that predated the Art Moderne tower, but I believe the retention of the current tower was dictated not by Disney, but by the preservation board.

The New Amsterdam is definitely on my list of favorite theatres, though I will confess more for its Ziegfeld connection than as a movie house. Ironically, the only glimpses I’ve been able to have of it in real life were in the late 70s as a grind house and in the 80s when it was shuttered. I have not yet had a chance to get to New York and see it in its restored glory.

stevebob
stevebob on October 3, 2005 at 2:24 pm

It looks like pictures I’ve seen of Tokyo. It all seems so fake and calculated. The thing that’s most disconcerting to me is that there’s absolutely no sense of any kind of organic development from what used to be to what it is now.

What I just said is specifically in reference to the Times Square/Duffy Square intersection. (Now that I think about it, it doesn’t hold quite so true for the Eighth Avenue corridor — yet.)

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 3, 2005 at 1:27 pm

Stevebob… you make an excellent point. There is something about that clock and signage that tugs at my heartstrings — as a veteran of the Deuce’s grindhouses from 1979 to ‘86 or so. But I find it completely at odds with the magnificent restoration within. I think it would have been nice to have the restored art-nouveau exterior of the New Amsterdam as compliment to the vintage exterior restorations to the New Victory and Lyric facades directly across the street.

Bway… do you feel claustrophobic when you walk around the area these days? Besides the blinding barrage of lights and video-feeds from all the modern signage and displays, Times Square has completely lost its sense of scale at street level. It’s all so vertical now… they’re just developing everything straight up. Think back to the Square and 42nd Street about 15 or 20 years ago – even amidst the shuttering of the grind houses, the squalor of the uncleaned streets and the come-ons from the live-porn barkers there was at least a sense of space and scale. I miss the days when you didn’t have to crane your neck to appreciate the character of the place.

Bway
Bway on October 3, 2005 at 12:44 pm

I was on 42nd Street last night (I attended a concert in the old Astor Plaza, now the Nokia Theater that opened up Oct 1), and I haven’t been there in about a year. I couldn’t even recognize Times Square! Nothing’s familiar anymore, it seems to be changing by the day!

stevebob
stevebob on October 3, 2005 at 12:40 pm

It surprises me very much that they left the “modern” clock and vertical as part of the restoration. It certainly doesn’t match the art nouveau interior at all, yet personally I favor it. There are so few vestiges left of the old 42nd St., and it is one of them.

Bway
Bway on October 3, 2005 at 12:19 pm

I have to agree with Ed on this one. While I think Disney did a fantastic job on the theater in general, the one thing they should have done differently is restoring the exterior to the original appearance rather than the 1930’s look it has now.
Bob, thanks for the info on the Lion King. I didn’t know it was moving to the Minskoff.

BobT
BobT on October 3, 2005 at 12:03 pm

Thanks EdSolero, buzz on The Rialto is that “The Lion King” is moving to The Minskoff in the spring after “Fiddler On The Roof” closes in January and The New Amsterdam will be the new home of Disney’s London smash “Mary Poppins”.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 3, 2005 at 11:52 am

BobT… I agree with you. A magnificent interior restoration, but – as I commented way back in Feb of 2003 – the decision to go with the refitted art deco marquee rather than replicate the original 1903 exterior facade ornamentation and signage was highly questionable. Perhaps they figured that the clock and illuminated vertical sign have been associated with the New Amsterdam for so long now (at least back to the mid-30’s, no?) and fit in better with the current environment of 42nd Street. The folks who run the New Victory across the street did a wonderful job of recreating the original 1900 entrance while incorporating appropriate modern-day signage. Disney should have taken a cue from them.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 25, 2005 at 6:57 am

The “Movie Clock” in the October 18, 1948 issue of the daily newspaper PM lists the programs for four of the 42nd Street “grind” theatres:
Apollo, “The Damned” & “Blood Red Rose"
Lyric, "Seven Sinners” & “Sutter’s Gold” (reissues)
New Amsterdam, “Dream Girl” & “So Evil My Love"
Selwyn, "Walls of Jericho” & “Deep Waters"
Also, just around the corner on Broadway, the Rialto had the NYC premiere engagement of "16 Fathoms Deep."
The double bill at the Selwyn was simultaneous with RKO neighborhood theatres in Manhattan; the one at the New Amsterdam was a week behind the top Loew’s nabes in Manhattan.

BobT
BobT on September 5, 2005 at 8:53 pm

Such a disappointing facade. Disney did a magnificent restoration but the front of the house is so bland. I know they restored what was there but when you compare it to their El Capitan it just pales. The neon under the clock is out a lot too which just makes it look cheap.

42ndStreetMemories
42ndStreetMemories on July 27, 2005 at 1:13 pm

Here’s that picture that I mentioned earlier and a classic from 1958….with EMERGO! Hey, it seemed at times, that all of the theaters on the Deuce had some kind of audience interaction. j

View link

View link

RobertR
RobertR on July 10, 2005 at 4:28 pm

Tallulah played here on showcase in 1965.
View link

teecee
teecee on May 19, 2005 at 2:53 pm

Restoration information & photos:

View link

Thomas
Thomas on May 8, 2005 at 8:31 pm

New Amsterdam Theatre circa 1980's
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42ndStreetMemories
42ndStreetMemories on April 20, 2005 at 5:42 pm

saps,
I guess in order to get more 42nd St-ish type fare like Columbia’s 1966 Matt Helm flic, Murderer’s Row and The Professionals (seen in the front of Marc Eliot’s book Down 42nd Street), they had to book Columbia’s ‘Roz & Hayley as nuns’ tripe.

The programming of Out of the Past & Tension at Table Rock was what made 42nd special to me. And those double features were the ones not advertised in the papers, so it was a treat to come up from the subway and scan the marquees. Jerry

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on April 20, 2005 at 2:36 pm

Rosalind Russell (as a nun) Hayley Mills on 42nd Street! I guess the times did change after 1966.

42ndStreetMemories
42ndStreetMemories on April 17, 2005 at 12:40 pm

Here is a 1966 shot of the New Amsterdam and a partial view of some of the other theaters on The Deuce. Note the COOLED BY REFRIGERATION sign under the marquee. And CONTINUOUS to 4 AM above it. Grant’s bar & Nedicks to the left.

I won the item on ebay and will be loaded it on to my website soon. Here’s the temporary link:
View link

For those interested, the films showing are:
HARPER & SWINGER’S PARADISE (Lyric), OUT OF THE PAST & TENSION AT TABLE ROCK (Times Square), TROUBLE WITH ANGELS & MYSTERY OF THUG ISLAND (Selwyn), WEEKEND AT DUNKIRK & THAT MAN IN ISTANBUL (New Amsterdam); Apollo appears to have a Gina Lollobrigida film.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 16, 2005 at 11:57 am

The Billy Rose Theatre collection at the Library of the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, NYC, has bound volumes of Cue Magazine, but they are of the Manhattan edition only and do list movie theatres in the other boroughs. They also usually don’t list 42nd Street theatres except for the NA, Lyric and Apollo…Also, it’s possible that Cue is now stored “off-site” by the Library due to lack of demand. That means that if they don’t have it when you file your call slip, you will have to return several days later, after it has been shipped from one of their warehouses…If you go to www.nypl.org
you should be able to find the exact holdings of Cue in the periodicals index.

42ndStreetMemories
42ndStreetMemories on April 16, 2005 at 11:02 am

Thanks, Gerald but as a kid I was given subscriptions to Cue as a Christmas gift by a neighbor. I still had to call each theater to get the programming. And with one phone line at the theater (before recorded messages), this took a while. The New Amsterdam, Lyric may have been listed but definitely not the Empire, Victory, Anco.

I still may try to hunt down Cue archives for other theaters. Thanks.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on April 13, 2005 at 11:52 am

Jerry Kovar: Perhaps Cue Magazine listed them if it was around then. You might be able to find copies from that era at a library. Just a suggestion.

42ndStreetMemories
42ndStreetMemories on April 13, 2005 at 11:27 am

That’s funny, Warren. How did Jane Eyre ever make it to The Deuce? I’m surprised they didn’t pair the East Side Kids with Career Girl.

I’m still looking for booking information of the 42nd St theaters in the 50s-60s. Newspapers did list some of the New Amsterdam-Lyric-Harris-Selwyn programming but not the others. If anyone can help, please let me know.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 13, 2005 at 11:14 am

A tiny individual ad in the movie section of the NY Daily News of April 14, 1944 has the New Amsterdam showing “Jane Eyre” (Joan Fontaine & Orson Welles) and “Mr. Muggs Steps Out” (with The East Side Kids). The booking was simultaneous with first-run neighborhood theatres, though those of the RKO and Skouras circuits were presenting “Jane Eyre” with a different second-feature—“Career Girl” (Frances Langford-Edward Norris). Perhaps the New Amsterdam picked the other to attract the tough guys (and dolls) who resided in nearby “Hell’s Kitchen.”

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on April 11, 2005 at 4:17 pm

Since its magnificent restoration, I’ve brought folks here three times to see “The Lion King.” It is truly a theatre of orgasmic beauty. I’m not from New York but I saw a movie here once upon a time and didn’t register any reaction then.