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An animated view of the York’s marquee can currently be seen on the home page of Theatre Historical Society of America’s website: http://www.historictheatres.org/
The Criterion was presenting Walt Disney’s live-action “Rob Roy, The Highland Rogue” at the time of this 1954 photo. It was the last Disney production released by RKO prior to formation of his own Buena Vista distributing company: View link
Some of the pre-1950s stage shows during the Christmas season were not entirely about Christmas. In 1942, for example, the stage show with “Random Harvest” started with “The Nativity” and was immediately followed by a screening of the Music Hall Newsreel. The stage proccedings then resumed with “Hats Off,” a Leonidoff revue in three parts, beginning with “Top Hat,” a tribute to the music of George M Cohan by Dave Mallen and the MH Glee Club. Part two, “The Brown Derby,” featured Leonard Gauitier’s famouns novelty act, “The Bricklayers,” a troupe of trained dogs. Part three, “The Service Cap,” set in a canteen for soldiers, sailors, and marines, featured the entire company, including the Rockettes and Corps de Ballet, in performances of “Mr. Jeep Goes to Town” and “I Left My Heart at the Stage Door Canteen.”
The Grand Opera House can be seen at left background in this vintage view, with a vertical sign that gave more prominence to VAUDEVILLE than to the name of the theatre: View link 023
I think that photo is incorrectly dated, and was probably taken in 1948, when that same double feature made the rounds of the RKO, Radndforce, and Skouras circuits. You can see it displayed on the marquee of the Skouras Corona Theatre in a 1948 photo that I recently linked on the Corona’s CT listing.
James, thanks so much for sharing memories of your mother’s experience at what was then still the “new” Brooklyn Paramount. She must have been a wonderful woman, and I’m glad that she made it to the grand age of 95 with her lively spirit still intact.
When I passed the site on Thursday afternoon (4/02/09), there was a “closed” sign on the attraction board above the entrance. Several workers were in the lobby area, packing up large boxes and crates, apparently waiting for a truck to come and cart them away.
The Livingston Street marquee and entrance can be seen in the center background of this 1959 photo. By that time, they were used solely for display purposes. Tickets were sold only at the main entrance on Fulton Street:
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Dish nights, bingo, and similar gimmicks made somewhat of a comeback in the 1950s as theatres tried everything to combat the ever growing menace of home television.
On a second glance at the 1937 photo, I suspect that “parked” is also an error. The cars and taxis were either passing by or dropping off or picking up passengers. NYC traffic and safety laws have always prohibited parking in front of theatre entrances and exits.
Van Morrison has earned the dubious honor of being the first performer to do “less than sell-out” business at the newly re-opened Beacon Theatre, according to a report in the April 4th issue of Billboard Magazine. For two concerts on March 3-4, Morrison sold 4,700 tickets out of a possible 5,414. One of the reasons might have been the high price of tickets, which were scaled at $350, $300, $200, and $80. The total gross for the two concerts was $1,002,970.
The Times Square was built as a “legit” playhouse and would hardly qualify as a “movie palace.” When demoted to a sub-run cinema during the Depression, its chances of ever returning to “legit” were lessened by removal of the backstage area, which was converted into retail space.
That website needs to get its facts straight. The view shows cars parked on the 50th Street side of RCMH, not on Sixth Avenue. And “Roxy” Rothafel did not “design” RCMH. He was a showman and entrepeneur, not an architect. Some of the ideas for RCMH and its sibling, the New Roxy, came from him, but he was not their designer.
Oh phantom one, the caption is incorrect. 42nd Street is in midtown, not in Harlem. You should inform your source.
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the “Great Easter Show” of 1959, which opened on March 19th and ran for five weeks. Audrey Hepburn would return to RCMH’s screen that June with “The Nun’s Story,” which she made before “Green Mansions” but got delayed in the editing process. In between those two Hepburn starrers, RCMH’s screen attractions were “Count Your Blessings” and “Ask Any Girl”: View link
Settlement in Palladium killing reported here:
Here’s a 1949 image, with signage for Loew’s Victoria and the Apollo in the background:
A slightly over-exposed view of the exterior in 1969 can be seen here: View link 359
The Paramount Theatre and office building were still under construction at the time of this photo, and can be seen at extreme left. Note also signage for Loew’s State, Loew’s New York, and the original Criterion on the east side of Broadway: View link
All of David O. Selznick’s Technicolor productions prior to “Gone With the Wind” opened at RCMH, starting with “The Garden of Allah” in November, 1936. The others were “A Star Is Born,” April, 1937; “Nothing Sacred,” November, 1937; and “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” February, 1938. All four were released by United Artists, which, except for “GWTW,” would oontinue as distributor of all Selznick productions until 1946.
Here are new links to vintage images about the 12/25/37 grand opening of the Fair Theatre with the late-run “Dead End” & “Double or Nothing” on screen. Like many of Charles Sandblom’s small theatres, the Fair’s auditorium had a stadium section at the rear, instead of a conventional balcony.
The introduction needs to be updated. Shea Stadium has been demolished and replaced by the soon-to-open Citi Field.
In June, 1960, the cinema was being advertised as the New Cameo, suggesting a recent renovation and/or change in management. This double feature consisted of WB reissues. The rival Loew’s Triboro had the first Astoria showing at regular prices of “The Ten Commandments,” while the Skouras Astoria was presenting the first area showing at regualar prices of “South Pacific” (accompanied by the short “Fabulous Las Vegas”): View link
On June 21st, 1960, Loew’s New Rochelle presented a “Miss No-Cal” Beauty Contest on stage. I wonder who won?
A short history and photo can be found here. I must quibble with the description of “little theater.” Although the Corona’s seating capacity was only about 1,200, that was still about twice the size of later-run “nabes” like the Polk, Fair, and Colony that averaged 500-600 seats: View link