Showing 201 - 225 of 541 comments
saps: Figures. The ULTRA el-cheapo Oceanside continues it’s ways. Unbelievable. Was a hole, always a hole.
I saw Mel Brook’s “Silent Movie” this weekend. Near the end of the movie, they do a sneak preview of their film (called “Silent Movie”) and I think the exterior is this theater. Anyone confirm this?
Yep, we can all agree that today’s movies are not a great bunch at all. I saw “Million Dollar Baby” and didn’t care for it much. Cannot believe the hype and the awards it got. “The Aviator” was better but it was Scorcese’s Oscar bid, not his best work by far. “Eternal Sunshine” was a fine movie. Jim Carrey is one of the finest actors around today. There are fine movies out there but they’re made mostly by the independents, not the major studios.
The problem is there are plenty of fine actors and actresses around who would KILL for a good movie. The studios just want their quick $$$ and simply don’t care if a movie makes sense or has any entertainment value. And audiences my age (late 30’s) are not going to the movies anymore.
The studios are now run by numbers guys, not men (or women) who loved movies. I’ll bet Richard Zanuck, Jack Warner and Louis B. Mayer cared about the bottom line. But they also cared about a well crafted film. These days? Ugh.
Like Bill Huelbig says, it’s depressing. And I agree. There’s nothing out today or coming up that I’m interested in seeing.
Richard W. Haine: the great film makers of the 70’s did not disparage the film makers of the generation before them. Scorcese especially loved the films of the 40’s and 50’s. Your points are more than valid. The film buffs of the 70s tend to look at these films as superior because they seem more realistic. But if you follow the career of Coppola, for example, you will see how later on he gave up the idea that films should be realistic. Of course, his later films upon which this is based are a mixed bag.
As a film lover, I’m crazy about the 70’s films. But I also greatly appreciate the classics as well especially film noir. Could the greatness of “Chinatown” EVER exist without films like “The Killers” or “Laura” or countless others?
What some 70’s film buffs sometimes fail to see is how their beloved films do NOT exist apart from the film classics but are simply re-envisioned versions of them.
I love the directors like Scorcese but I also love two directors from the past: William Wyler and Fred Zinneman.
Vincent: this is not the place to discuss film but what the Hell. Please, I urge you to re-think, re-examine your feelings about 70’s American film making especially from 1967 (“Bonnie & Clyde”) until around 1980 or so with “Raging Bull”. In those years, we had some of the most remarkable films ever made. Yes, there were bummers and YES compared to the films of say the 40’s and 50’s, they were quite different. But what the represented to me and others who came of age then were something truly exciting and intelligent. I don’t think you have to make a comparison against films of the 70’s against the classic films of an earlier generation. They belong together as some of the finest examples of American film making. In the latter part of the 60’s the studio system was dead. Hollywood looked like they were on their last legs. What film makers like Coppola, Scorcese, Polanski, Arthur Penn, Bogdonovich, and especially HAL ASHBY did (as well as some others…) was to reinvent and reinterpret so many ideas. God, some of their films were/are mesmerizing. Penn’s “Bonnie & Clyde”, Coppola’s Godfather films and “The Conversation”, ALL of Ashby’s films starting with “The Landlord” and ending with “Being There” in 1979. God, I get teary just thinking about them.
Believe me, I LOVE the classic films just as much as you do. Please don’t discard them. They are as worthy as the classics of the years before them.
NOW…if YOU want to discuss the absolutely, positively atrocious, God forsaken JUNK, CRAP, GARBAGE that is being “made” today, then we’re in FULL agreement. To think that when I was a kid, I could realize and be excited by all the great films that surrounded me in the 70’s, it astonishes me. And I was a preteenager and I understood that film in the 70’s was exciting. Now? God, I could cry. It’s a damn shame.
The movies today match the crapola places they play them in. The movies today are not worthy to play in these palaces.
Paterson IS regentifying. Most of it is now concentrated on the Eastside which always seemed “different” from the rest of the city. There used to be a set of horrible looking factories on the Passaic River just over one of the bridges from Fair Lawn. This weekend I ventured over to Paterson and was SHOCKED to see that these factories had been completely converted into fantastic looking condos! I mean, these things looked amazing. And talk about a great location. There’s a Home Depot going up farther north on Route 20 near the Fair Lawn Ave bridge that I will definately use.
It’s a matter of time before the rest of the city begins to change as well. The reason I think it’s going to happen is that house prices in ALL the areas around Paterson are going sky high. You can still get a palace in Paterson for nothing. And I KNOW people who are moving into the city for just that reason. They want to be in Northern NJ and Paterson is the most affordable.
But as pread states, by the time regentrification really takes off, the Fabian may be so far gone that it’s hopeless.
The Hall pulled “Two for the Road” with Audrey Hepburn fast? Why? Was it too radical for the time? Too adult?
It’s not a bad movie at all. VERY sixties, yes.
More to the point, did some theaters (and studios)lie about the groses and the tickets sold to some of the roadshow engagements? I can’t imaging crapola roadshows like “Song of Norway” doing very well.
But this type of trickery is done today. The studios point out what a “winner” of a year they had this year with record grosses. BUT…a very big point that is not clearly mentioned is the fact that the actual NUMBER of tickets is down every single year. They just keep upping the cost of the movie tickets. In NYC, it’s now $10. And for the garbage they’re putting out? Pitiful.
Don’t know for a fact but I think this place is either going or gone. The large strip mall where this is/was(?) located is going through what looks like a MAJOR renovation. From what I have seen from Route 4, the corner area where the Paramus Picture Show was looks gutted.
Why an art house could not survive in Bergen country is beyond me. You have an affluent, educated populace (mostly) with a close proximity to NYC. You would think one would do very well in Bergen.
Benjamin: go to virtually anywhere in the world and you will see the marked changes that can happen seemingly overnight.
Hempstead LI, in just 20 years (say 1955 to 1975), went from a cute-as-hell village with great shopping, theaters, nightlife etc. to an out and out slum.
Now days, take Harlem. In 1995, a brownstone could be purchased for only $85,000. Today the same one is worth over $300,000. There was an article in the NY Times about this.
Areas are always changing. Today’s slum is tomorrow’s HOT real estate. And vice versa.
As far as Times Square is concerned, I read the book “The Devil’s Playground” which is all about Times Square. The author there argues that Times Square’s slow, downward spiral began around 1927 when the first carnival like show opened (including a flea circus!) whcih displaced one of the early, upscale lobster houses. Yes, the Great Depression really kicked off it’s decline with the burlesque houses.
Today, to me, Times Square has redefined itself yet again. It’s really nothing more now that a glorified, mythic “downtown” with a lot of office buildings that empty out at 5:00 PM. The foot traffic is really just a bunch of tourists looking to see Times Square. But aside from the Broadway theaters and the chain restaurants, technically speaking, there’s really not much to DO there now.
Benjamin & Vito: I think this site had some technical problems around 3:30 PM, EST. I could not get onto the site at all for about 5 minutes.
Benjamin: I agree with you totally that the end of The Roxy and other great movie palaces was simply due to the rapid almost mind bogglingly quick change in audience preferences and such. Somewhere on this site, someone wrote how great Times Square was in 1968, clean, bright, lots of things to do and then JUST TWO YEARS LATER…it was seedy (wish I could remember where this was written.)
Audiences tastes are so fickle. They change slowly as a new medium comes along but if it’s a medium, like TV, that feels inevitable, the medium it’s replacing (and all its support like the movie palaces) are doomed.
Your example about LP’s, the cassettes (and don’t forget 8 track!) and CD’s is well taken. Just a mere 5 years ago, a car with a CD player was considered top of the line, radical! Now you know what a car has to have (audio wise) to be considered “radical”? An MP3 player! Walkmans are sooooooooooo out. They’re antiques. The IPODS (MP3 players) are the HOT thing now.
I understand that in the next five years, cell phones will be able to receive satellite TV!!!
So, you could say what does this have to do with The Roxy? Everything. The Roxy and other movie palaces were victims of the ever changing entertainment options.
What I find truly sad and is something that I miss from my childhood is the warm, fuzzy, comforting feeling I got from being in a large, single screen movie house COLLECTIVELY watching a great film with a bunch of “strangers”. Now everyone watches what they want independently with little or no shared interaction.
Just another thought that I’ve raised here countless times before but I feel I have to bring up again: how amazing that The Roxy did such splendid business in 1953 only to close a mere seven(!!!) years later because of the decline in business! It seems so incredible to me but that’s the way things go when it comes to entertainment for the “masses”, right?
Think about now days. Ten years ago, no one heard of DVD. Now, it’s taken over everything and movies are being released on DVD a mere four months after their theatrical run.
BoxOfficeBill: That was an amazing remembrance on your part. I loved it. I’d love to hear more about people’s individual experiences at these great theaters. What better way to honor them than to hear the accounts of people going there. Please give more if you can.
Again, what amazes me more than anything else is how people would willingly and happily schlep all the way into midtown to see a movie and stage show. Today? It would never happen.
I would’ve loved to see all this.
I know that hotel! I used to work over on the east side a couple of years ago.
I hate that building. Ok..so I’m no architectural critic but I know what looks good and that monstrsity doesn’t look good at all. Just my opinion.
To Robt: Passaic has certainly seen better days. While it’s appearance is tired, it’s not quite a hell hole. The downtown area where the Montauk is located is at least USED by people. On a Saturday afternoon, the downtown area is packed. Yes, it’s more like downtown Brooklyn and such but the point is that it’s NOT a ghost town at all.
If one wants to go there, I must emphasize NOT to take NJ Transit RAIL to get there. Though there is a stop on what is called the MAIN line to Passaic, the train stop is actually very far west in the city in an area called Passaic Park. IF you got off at that stop you’d think everyone got it wrong saying how decrepit Passiac is. It’s a beautiful area in Passaic that is mostly home to Hassidic Jews. They’ve maintained this lovely area splendidly. BUT it’s quite a hike to the downtown Passaic area where the Montauk is.
Just giving some advice…
Since â€œGone With the Windâ€ opened at The Capitol, I thought this might be a good enough place to tell a funny story about that movie.
Itâ€™s from a woman I used to work with. Her Mother is from the U.K. and she said that when â€œGWTWâ€ opened in London, it was at the height of the Blitz. A truly horrific time for those people.
Anyway, her Mother went to see â€œGWTWâ€ one afternoon. She bought her ticket and waited in line. She said the crowd was HUGE, perhaps thousands of people either waiting to get in or buy tickets for later shows.
Then the air raid siren went off.
Luckily it was a false alarm.
Not a single person got off the line.
I think itâ€™s a great story that demonstrates the power that movies had once.
I can’t imagine that this place does much business on the weekends. I could be wrong. I hope so because the place is actually very nice. Anyone know how it does?
I live in northern NJ and older neighbors told me that during the 50’s, downtown Passaic (and Paterson) were wonderful. They were THE places to go and even more amazingly, to live.
Weird to think that only 10 or so short years could pass and area can decline so quickly.
That’s probably it. The street looked seedy and back in 1938, from what my Dad used to tell me, 3rd Ave was not a great place.
Is it listed here?
I was looking at a book of photos taken by Weegee (did I spell that right?). Anyway, the book had an interesting shot of a dead body in front of a Manhattan theater called “Tudor”. It was playing (ironically) a movie called “Joy of Living” with Irene Dunne. I looked on this site and could not find Tudor listed.
Anyone know of it? From the photo, it looked like a neighborhood house.
How the Hell the Hempstead kept going into the early 80’s is beyond me. By that time, Hempstead had completely hit rock bottom. I cannot imagine why anyone would go there to see a movie.
I have a question for all projectionists on this site both former and current that has always interested me. Is there a law or something that requires you to show a movie that is scheduled even if the theater is empty? If this is so (I think it is…) that must be one of the saddest sites around.
Can someone please tell me what Calderone theater is featured on the cover of the book shown on this website:
It looks AMAZING!
JIM C. from NJ: nice to see someone posting about the Hyway. I actually live in Fair Lawn now and my wife and I were only in the theater once to see “Speed” back in 1994. I can’t say the place was a nightmare (like the Hawthorne is…) but it wasn’t very nice either. Then again, the Broadway corridor where the Hyway is must’ve been a LOT nice back then as well.
Because of it’s location, it’s managed to stay open and there seems to always be a bit of a crowd there. What’s more amazing to me is that this place actually gets a lot of the firt run movies.
You’d think some smart person could turn it around and really make it nice, right?
The Hempstead was still open in 1983? Wow. I actually used to still go into Hempstead back then only to go to the long gone Abraham & Strauss department store, the only thing worth going there (thinking about it now, that beautiful department store in Hempstead was kind of anachronistic…)
I could be wrong but by 1983, The Calderone was long closed but still standing. When it reopened as a multiplex in the early 90’s, I went there. It was amazing how intact the place was but it was a tad seedy.
My parent’s lived in Jackson Heights in the mid 50’s prior to moving out to Long Island. They always mentioned a movie theater they used to go to in Jackson Heights called (I think) the Earle? I think you can or could see it from the LIE after LeFrak City…
Anyone know if it’s posted here…
Vito: fascinating info. What year was this around? I’m guessing it must’ve been around the late 60’s, early 70’s.
Hempstead’s decline was/is sad indeed for Long Island. My parents told me that when they moved to the Island in 1956, Hempstead was BEAUTIFUL and they went to the theaters there all the time especially The Calderone.
Hempstead was still OK even in 1972. One of my first memories of movie going was to The Calderone seeing “A Boy Named Charley Brown”. And my first dentist was there in this LUXURY(!!!!) apartment building right on Fulton in 1972. Over the course of six short years, the lobby of that grand apartment building went from opulent, to empty (all the lobby furniture was stolen) to run down. My dentist moved out in 1978. The apartment building is a HELL HOLE now.
I remember town officials made a big deal over revamping the Hempstead Theater into a DMV and it was a great place to go. If you’ve ever dealt with the lines at the DMV in Westbury, this place was heaven.
It’s use as a public place at least assured that people could see how grand it was.