Showing 1 - 25 of 242 comments
When it opened in the 60’s the Essex filled the gap as the sole neighborhood theatre that was once served by movie palaces like the Loews Canal, the Loews Delancey as well as the Apollo, the Winston, the Ruby and even the New Delancey. All those theatres gave the LES its unique character.
Lived briefly in the area and saw Lady Sings the Blues in its showcase run. Regretfully, didn’t have a chance to admire the sumptuousness of the theatre, not realizing that it would be my one and only visit.
Years back, my kids went to a dance studio on the block. Never went in, and by then it was already a triplex. Was it privately owned or ever under one of the chains such s Randforce?
Can’t imagine a more fitting venue for the red carpet premiere given the theatre’s location in the heart of what was once a center of counter-culture satire. Hopefully, in defiance of the N. Korean gangsters the premiere will soon take place here.
Of course RCMH was always in a class by itself, but how was it that durring this period movie palaces like the Paramount or the Roxy were not selected for roadshow presentations?
A memorable experience seeing El Cid on the Warner’s big screen. Romance between Heston & Loren was anemic, but the battle scenes were the real spectacle.
Curious artifact of by-gone entertainment dinosaurs. No more RKO, no more Century, no more twin theatres, no more MGM/UA as a major studio, no more movie theatres on mid-town Broadway. Only Warner Bros. survives.
I couldn’t agree with John more. The shell that’s left bears no connection to the neighborhood gem that along with the Alba, the Commodore & the Republic afforded Williamsburg a respite from the hardships faced during the Depression & WWII. At least the twin spires of John’s alma mater, MHT remain in the background watching over the dwellers of remaining tenements and now the condos.
The appearance of the Alhambra with the rounded corner tower, reminds me of the architecture of the Foley, built about 20 years earlier on Graham Ave. Was there an architectural connection?
Now that Bow Tie has become the new operator can we hope for some upgrades? The marquee shows some effort at improvement with the addition of the new corporate signage.
Staff remain welcoming and the product is always top-notch. It’s just that nest of claustrophobic, catacomb theatres that make you want to keep your eyes shut until the feature begins. In any case, I remain a loyal fan of this venue.
In all fairness, I cannot offer an opinion on the characteristics of the individual screens. However, the marquee could not be any blander. Walking by, it’s easy to ignore the theatre’s existence. Many of the local merchants have more eye-catching neon. In comparison, the previous marquee on 86th St. was a beacon, that could be seen for blocks up and down the street. Regardless of the product that was playing you could not possibly ignore the marquee as your eye was drawn to the wattage. Would anyone notice if the 3rd Avenue marquee went dark?
This venue was unique in its ability to showcase foreign films as well as serious commercial fare. Women In Love, Day for Night, the Duelists, Stolen Kisses & Le Voleur all premiered here. The Walter Reade Organization’s Continental Releasing unit used this screen as a prime outlet.
Throughout this rigmarole of bankruptcies and name changes does anyone recall the brief period when the Paris came under the Loews’s banner?
Somewhat ironic that Famous Dave’s BBQ survives the demolition of the DeMille and the re-purposing of the Liberty. Can’t say that I would ever identify the signage of the restaurant, while the memory of the DeMille marquee is hard to erase.
That theate directory, at it’s zenith would also include the Astor, the Victoria and also the Waverly. Curious how Walter Reade Jr., the consummate showman, would have adapted to the changing era, had he not perished in a skiing accident.
NY’s Channel 13 had abroadcast this weekend of the original Bedazzled with Dudley Moore & Peter Cook. This little gem, not to be confused with the recent re-make, was the quintessential film to premiere at the Plaza.
I may have been the 6th person who saw the Hunger, but not at the Plaza, but at the Kips Bay with a double feature with a Viveca Lindfors film, Night Games. Both were dark, b/w, depressing, Scandinavian films, Per Oscarsson received accolades for his acting in the Hunger. Would certainly not want to sit through either one of these again.
A movie-going experience like no other. Warm and intimate, with dedicated and professional staff. Preferred it to the Sutton, and even the Beekman. Frequented it during the Rugoff-Cinema V era. Only recently did I learn that Ilya Lopert a reknown producer and foreign film importer was an owner preceding Rugoff. I recall an off-handed comment in the original Auntie Mame movie where the characters are returning from a classics matinee at the Plaza. Can’t fully describe what a unique experience it was to put the world behind you and be enveloped in the theatre’s rarefied atmosphere.
Sad loss of a lovely auditorium.
I was unable to open the photo of the lounge area, but I fondly recall the comfortable lounge areas of the Little Carnegie and the Beekman.
The coffee service in the art house chains was only practical when they were specializing in the showcasing of foreign language art films. When they started day & dating the Broadway houses with mainstream product and broad appeal, the free coffee was no longer practical.
Was just commenting yesterday standing on line in the freezing winter to see “They Shoot Horses Don’t They”. Back in the 60’s the Rugoff theatres were serving coffee in most of their lounges.
With all the arts activities going on in East Williamsburg you would think that someone could come up with a viable plan for a mixed-use venue. I’m assuming that the Rainbow is still being used as a house of worship and not subject to the temperature extremes afflicting the Ridgewood.
I strongly agree with John that the 88 photo collection of the 2nd Ave subway has special value in how it chronicles the communties along that transportation route. Particularly fascinating is the intricate grid of stations and trackworks, which raised noise levels and dust. Going into a movie theatre was indeed a respite in that era.
To think that 34 years ago before the advent of video & cable,you could open a speciality boutique mini-cinema and show vintage classics and edgy product. At least Ilene Kristen is still around, hamming it up on “One Life to Live” (at least for the time being!)