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Tinseltoes, the original Continental Theatre (now Brandon Cinemas) was located across the street and down the block from the Continental 3, which was opened in former retail space as a sister to the earlier house, which had been twinned by that time. I had posted a link to your 1981 image in the comment thread of the Brandon Cinemas page. I was hoping you might re-post the photo to the right theater.
This nice image of the original Continental Theatre, circa 1981, was posted by Tinseltoes to the Continental 3 page. If the link no longer works, hopefully, that would be only because he moved it into this theater’s photo collection.
In the image, you can see the old ramp to the right of the entrance that led to a small parking lot behind the building, just up against the LIRR embankment. That area seems to have been improved with a new commercial structure, since the last time I visited this cinema many years back.
That last sentence may be your most salient point, sadly! As for upkeep on this site, I tend not to complain because, after all, this is a free site, and the administration of such a large database must be daunting for the handful of volunteers who tend to their upkeep. For all I know, Ken Roe is the only person who routinely patrols the comments for information on corrections to a given theater’s history or geographic location. I can tell you that I’ve made comments quite recently regarding the Street Views being off on several pages, only to return to those listings within a matter of hours and find them corrected as per my suggestions. So it may be hit and miss, but the comments most certainly are monitored to the best of the staff’s abilities.
The webmaster definitely looks at the postings, robboehm. I’ve seen updates and corrections made very quickly, based on postings made in these theater pages. But, I do agree that it is a lost cause asking for the address headings to be corrected, because I don’t think it’s an easy fix – or even a matter of editing each theater. Seems to me it’s more of an issue with the logic behind how these theaters are organized. Hopefully, at some point, there’ll be an upgrade that will fix the issue (along with the defective “nearby theaters” feature).
Look at the Street View image at the top of this page, Markiebee800. The old Beach Theatre is on the south side of Randall, approximately half-way between Taylor and Beach. The sign above the entrance says “Iglesias de Dios Pentacostal” and the auditorium rises behind the entrance in yellow-colored brick with reddish trim, running parallel to Randall, towards Beach. That Pharmacy & Medical Office is actually across Beach from what would have been the screen wall of the Beach Theatre.
CSWalcsak, I agree with you completely on the value of the “nearby theaters” list. It does seem to me, however, that the way the individual theaters are organized in the database is in need of an overhaul. But, this is a free site, and I’m sure coming up with a viable solution is something that requires more than a little bit of money to solve. It would be interesting to hear an update from site administration as to any scheduled or “wish list” enhancements and modifications to the web site. That sort of communication seemed to die down in the months following the major overhaul of the site a couple of years back.
Don’t forget about the former Loew’s 175th Street and Radio City Music Hall. Not that I disagree with your sentiments, paullewis!
I know this block no longer exists, but the street view places the theater’s location right on the Manhattan Bridge lower roadway! If it could be managed, I’m sure a more suitable view would be from the point where Court Street becomes Cadman Plaza West, facing east across the park, just north of Borough Hall. Based on the pic posted above by johndereszewski, that would be a decent approximation.
The original Loew’s State became nothing but rubble and dust in 1987. The newly built, subterranean State, to which you refer, has its own page right here. That latter theater opened nearly 10 years after the original’s demolition – and bore absolutely no resemblance to its earlier, more famous incarnation.
Just wondering… wouldn’t the nature of the 65mm negative render the aspect ratio 2.20:1, unless the film was matted in-camera? Perhaps PT Anderson cropped the image to 1.85:1 for 35mm and digital presentations and the 70mm prints will be true to their native aspect ratio? Just guessing. My grasp of the technological aspects involved here is not very solid.
There’s a more elaborate history for the Elliot Hall of Music here, identifying the aforementioned RCMH designer as J. Andre Fouilhoux.
SeaBassTian… audience participation is precisely what brought me back to the theaters of Times Square time and again – that and the cheap admissions. Of course, I was a teen at the time. I’ve grown much more conservative in my expectations for movie-going etiquette as the years have passed.
Ken, I did a bit of research on this particular block, since I was so convinced that the furniture store on Beach Avenue was the former theater structure, not the church on St. Lawrence. NYC Department of Building online records would seem to support my suspicions. The entire block of storefronts on Westchester Ave, plus the furniture store on Beach Ave are part of a contiguous lot, improved with a single two-story structure in 1926. The church structure dates to 1925 and is not attached to any of the storefronts on Westchester Avenue.
Unfortunately, there are no viewable certificates of occupancy for the church building (address is 1266 St Lawrence Avenue), and the oldest certificate of occupancy viewable for the Rosedale Theater’s address is an alteration permit for some of the storefronts, dated 1944. However, there is a C of O for the address 1791 Westchester Avenue, dated January 29, 1965 (my exact date of birth, as it happens), showing conversion to “Warehouse for household goods and furniture, loading berth, and store” on ground level, and “Offices and toilets, incidental to first floor” on the mezzanine level.
The name of the furniture store is “New Direct Buy Furniture” at 1785 Beach Avenue. When viewed from the corner of Beach and Westchester Avenues, not only does the elevation of the structure appear theater-like, but there is a structure on the roof of the storefronts that looks like it might have held signage, angled to catch the eye of commuters on the elevated IRT platform of the St. Lawrence Avenue train station.
The street view is off by several blocks to the east. The address must be incorrect, since 1800 Westchester Ave is at the SE corner of the intersection with Beach Ave.
And, Joe… not exactly on the corner, but midway between St Lawrence and Beach Avenues, there is a Dunkin Donuts at 1791 Westchester Avenue (on the north side of the block). If you do a satellite view looking down on the block, you can see that the Dunkin Donuts storefront runs back in a narrow rectangle and appears to connect to a structure that I’m convinced is an old theater building, which then runs to the right, backing up to Beach Ave. A street view down Beach shows what I assume was the back wall of that theater, which now houses a furniture store. This must be the proposed house from that 1926 issue of The Film Daily. I don’t think the theater is listed here on CT.
Surprising that the film isn’t in scope. PTA works compositional wonders on a wide-screen canvas. In fact, I can’t think of a single feature that he’s directed, which hasn’t been 2.35:1 … not even the his first, “Hard Eight,” or the offbeat “Punch Drunk Love.”
This will be a regular engagement as opposed to special screening, correct? The film’s limited release begins the week before, on September 14th (including the Village East booking). According to imdb.com, the 21st looks like a wide release date.
The theater’s official website has a few photographic glimpses of the original auditorium.
I’m sure this must have been mentioned elsewhere in this thread, but it appears that the main room no longer seats 1200. In fact, that capacity seems to have been greatly reduced, due not only to the installation of wider, high-back seats, but the conversion of the orchestra level to stadium-style seating sloping steeply from the base of the stage right up to the facing of the old balcony.
The site notes that auditoriums range in capacity from 70 to 370 seats, and nowhere does it mention anything about having 70mm projection equipment (likely due to a general lack of demand for that kind of facility).
Thumbs way up!
So, it seems Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film, “The Master,” has been scheduled here for a 70mm engagement. Please tell me that the 70mm projectors are for the original 1200 seat auditorium?
Yes, Mike, that is very disappointing news. Along with the story that the Weinstein Company wasn’t willing to support PT Anderson’s desire to have this film distributed as widely as possible in its native format. I’m hoping that the Village East has its 70mm capabilities in the original big auditorium?
Possibly, markp… I was just curious if anyone knew for sure that the ticket booth depicted in that photo is actually the Victoria’s.
Just posted this image from a July 25th article in the NY Times about local photographer Dawoud Bey. The image is dated 1976 and is labeled by the Times as depicting the “Loew’s 125th Street Movie Theater”… Could they mean the Victoria? Did the Victoria have a free-standing outdoor ticket booth? It doesn’t appear that way in the image posted here from the late 1960’s, with “Tony Rome” on the marquee.
I believe a couple of 70mm prints were screened when the Ziegfeld was still doing the “classics” series a few years ago.
Saps, I’m happy that this theater is doing well enough to afford the changeover to digital. I’m not enamoured with the screen sizes, but I do feel it is vital for movie lovers (can hardly say “film lovers” anymore) that suburban art houses like this, and the one in Kew Gardens, survive and continue to thrive.
Interesting, that small wedge section of seats at the back of the auditorium just where the center aisle forks off to the rear exits. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like that, right on the center line of a theater!