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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!
Hi Flynn… The theatre described and depicted on that page is a different, legitimate play house, which was located a couple of blocks away from the AMC Empire, at Broadway between West 40th and 41st Streets. It is not listed on CT because I don’t believe it ever hosted cinematic exhibitions – at least not on a regular basis. There is a page devoted to the old house here on the ibdb.com website.
Could “Caine’s” or “Caines’s” have been a typographical error? It appears the sign within the decorative arch to the right of the main entrance reads “Gane’s.“ Also appears that the exhibitor signed his last name with a "G,” in that trade journal advertisement, though the signature could read “Gane” or “Gaine,” depending on how carefully you scrutinize it. But, however he signed it, I suspect he’d have spelled his name correctly when paying for it to go up in lights on his theatre’s edifice.
All that work, and the place was shuttered a mere 5 years later.
I think the “grand staircase” photo on the right is actually of the Loew’s Capitol and not the Loew’s State, as captioned. Nevertheless, an absorbing read, indeed.
Did they really bridge the two marquees to appear as one, as depicted in the sketch? I’d love to see a photo of that treatment. Also an interesting item in the lower right regarding the reduction of seating at the Roxy Theatre, during renovations for Cinemiracle exhibition.
The practice of selling souvenir programs continued on a fairly widespread basis, as far as I can recall, into the early 1980’s. In fact, even some local theaters (such as the UA Lynbrook and the Century’s Green Acres, in my neck of the woods) sold them at the candy counters. I recall picking up booklets for a number of films, including the original “Star Wars,” “1941,” “Rocky II,” “The Empire Strikes Back,” “Dawn of the Dead,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Return of the Jedi,” and “Reds.” I believe I still have a number of these – albeit in pretty worn condition – stored away in a bin somewhere in my basement.
Pretty fascinating read, Tinseltoes. Thanks for the link. It must have been a pretty remarkable time to be in the business of motion picture exhibitions, particularly in the big houses along Broadway. The excitement of new technology, tempered by the terror of television’s increasing drawing power hanging in the air… It is regrettable that architectural splendor was sacrificed in the name of progress and trying to breathe new life into grand old theaters like the Rivoli, but in the end, it was all pounded to dust anyway. All we are left today is the melancholy that comes with looking back and reading vintage articles such as this one.
I wonder what the story was over at the Rivoli Theatre that week, as its name is conspicuously absent from the list of averages given on that page.
That article is from April 2009 and was previously linked in a comment back around that time. Sobering to note the lack of movement on any redevelopment in the last three years! In fact, I think that even the retailers who had occupied the former lobby space on short term leases are now shuttered. I wonder if the property is still in the hands of the same owner!
Sorry, A_Mclean, but the only Gimbels store I remember (besides the one near Herald Square) was the one in Green Acres Shopping Mall, in Valley Stream.
Here is an updated and working version of the DGA link I previously posted on April 25, 2011. From that page, one may now also take a 360 degree virtual tour of the auditorium as well as the projection booth.
Bigjoe59… Read my response from yesterday at 5:42 regarding movies being shown as part of some vaudeville bookings from that period. It might help provide some illumination in your search. While you may be onto something with the Crescent, I think determining if there were permanent projection facilities would be key to having something more definitive.
Oh, and hdtv267… Please don’t leave! Post your information and know that it is appreciated by the vast majority of CT members. Let all the other crap just roll off your back and don’t dignify it with a response. Particularly not with a response of quitting the forum! I really hope you have a change of heart. If not, my best wishes for you!
Bigjoe59… Something to keep in mind is that back in 1909, most motion picture production was of the one- and two-reel variety. Additionally, just a few years earlier, it was not uncommon for many vaudeville companies to include their own exhibition of reels between acts, or as an act unto themselves. This included the companies providing their own projection equipment and screen for the show.
I think a key factor in identifying structures that were purpose built with movies in mind (by your own definition) would be whether or not the builders equipped the theater with its own projection booth and screen. That’s probably going to be a bit more difficult to ascertain than finding out when a given theater first opened and whether it was built from the ground up. It might not be impossible, however. Even in those early days, the combustible nature of nitrate prints was well known, and construction projects that included motion picture exhibition booths would have surely been scrutinized by the municipality for reasons of public safety. As a matter of fact, one of the reasons why projection equipment was housed in booths (besides abating the distraction caused by the loud clacking of the apparatus) was to ensure the safety of patrons in the event of a fire.