Showing 1 - 25 of 413 comments
I have enjoyed reading the recent posts on this
page. a few comments.
the Castro Theater in S.F. is indeed a grand
old quite beautiful film house but it was
built from the get go in Sept. 1922 as a
2nd/3rd run neighborhood house. it would be
interesting to find how many grand old
movie theaters built in the heyday of 1914-
1941 that were built from the get go as 1st
run venues have continue to operate as such
since the day they opened. so the fact a
theater as grand and large as the Ziegfeld
has continued to operate as a single screen
1st run venue since the day it opened it
Dec. of 1969 is a miracle. this is especially
true considering Manhattan real estate
also as grand and gorgeous a theater as the
EL Capitan in Hollywood is it was not built
as a movie theater. in opened in 1925 as a
venue for live performances and only became
a movie theater in 1941 when it was the only
house in L.A. willing to play Citizen Kane.
Hello Again from NYC-
I thank richmurphy for his reply. as stated though
Circus World isn’t Oscar material I found it a
corny, hokey colorful entertaining film. i just can’t
see any roadshow film presented “in Cinerama”
starring John Wayne lasting only 3 weeks. a question
for you. as i said in my original post i suppose
CW suffered from the fact it wasn’t another El Cid.
but if that’s the case than why did the film last
as long as 13, 15 or 20 weeks in its roadshow run
in other cities.
mhvbear’s comment made me think of something
interesting. the Coronet was for many years the
Ziegfeld of San Francisco. well known for its
projection and sound it premiered many of the
most anticipated action/sci-fic/fantasy films of the past several years. which brings to my point.
though it was meeting its weekly “nut” to use the
old show biz term the land the theater was on
was wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy more valuable than any $$$
the theater could possibly bring in. so a few
back the theater was torn down and a medical
facility now occupies the site.
Hello Again From NYC-
I want to thank macoco again for the reply to my
post. in your reply you may have hit on something
that explains Coate’s comment. I and anyone in NYC
during the period mentioned in your original reply
would have classified a “neighborhood house” as a
theater within walking distance of your home in
the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn or Staten Island that
played a film after it had exhausted its 1st run
bookings in Manhattan. as you stated I am equating
“neighborhood house” with 2nd or 3rd run. I know
I’m being picky but the term “neighborhood house”
should be reserved for only those theaters in
the time period you mentioned that played films
2nd or 3rd run. in Coate’s way to liberal interpretation
of the term the Loew’s Capitol could have been
classified as the “neighborhood house” for Hell’s
i want to thank macoco for the detailed look at
movie distribution in the 40s, 50s and 60s in L.A..
but as enjoyable as it was to read it still doesn’t
explain why Coate referred to the Chinese as a
“neighborhood house”. in NYC a “neighborhood” house
in the same time period was a theater in the Bronx,
Queens, Brooklyn or Staten Island that played a
film AFTER its 1st run engagements in Manhattan.
in other words wherever else a movie might have
been playing its engagement at the Chinese was its
1s run engagement which disqualifies the Chinese
from being a “neighborhood house”.
back in May Coate referred to the Chinese
as a neighborhood house for much of its early
life. now i have been perplexed for the past
3 months as to what Coate meant. as far as
i have read the Chinese has been a 1st run
venue since day 1. so my question for L.A.
residents- what does Coate mean?
if I understand the problem so to speak its that
no matter how beloved the Ziegfeld is and no matter
how well received a film might be said film is
probably at 10-12 other theaters in Manhattan so
naturally people will got to the theater closest
to them. therefore the Ziegfeld has had a problem
for a while meeting its weekly nut to use the old
show biz term.
my new thought is this- even if this theater was
able to meet its weekly nut on a regular basis would
that actually be enough? I can’t tell you the number
stores I have been shopping in all my life that
closed not because they weren’t paying the rent as
it were but because the land or building was worth
wayyyyyyyyyyy more the store could ever bring in.
to which with the value of Manhattan real estate
I am surprised as I am delighted that the Ziegfeld
has lasted this long. it and the Paris are the only
1st run single screen theaters left in Manhattan.
I hope markp’s comment is true. considering its beloved
place in NYC moviegoing I can’t see this theater being
torn down or repurposed. so again I wish posters would
stop continuing to mention the theater’s eminent demise
unless they have rock solid proof not some vague rumor.
as did xbs2034 I found the projection and audio
first rate. I have friends who have never been here
and highly recommend they visit it.
now every so often a poster on this page mentions
the Ziegfeld’s “eminent closing”. unless a poster
has rock solid reliable uncontestable info as to
this theater’s “eminent closing” please don’t get
fans of this theater worried about the theater’s
demise with just vague oft repeated rumors.
I went to the first screening of Mission Impossible:
Rogue Nation which was 10:45 a.m. yesterday Sun. 8/2. and I agree with Howard H. that the projection and
sound were A+. but I was saddene to see that at most
there were 25? people in the audience. there were a
lot more people buying tickets for the next showing.
also what is all this talk about the eminent closing
of this theater? I read all three NYC papers and lots
on the web but have not come across anything that
recent. are there links to these rather recent articles
about the alleged eminent closing of the Ziegfeld?
Hello To Ed S.–
you have been most helpful in the past
so i hope you can be this time as well.
I have lived in this neighborhood my
entire life and even as a child never remember
the Pilgrim being opened as a movie
theater. the intro at top gives no clue as
to the date it ceased functioning as a
movie theater. do you know?
I have been going to the Cinema I for more years
than I care to admit. it is my personal opinion that
the rather high price for the reserved seating is
a further rip off of moviegoers. the Chelsea
Multiplex on 8th Ave. and 23rd St. has reserved seating
and the same seats as this theater yet they don’t
charge more for the reserved seating. further
proof the HIGH price at this theater is a big rip
the main reason for the Ziegfeld’s often mentioned
possible closing is its unprofitable status. but I
find something even more fascinating. even if it was
fairly profitable and met its weekly nut I am sure
the land underneath it is wayyyyyyy more valuable
than any $$$ the theater could possibly bring in. so
I am surprised it hasn’t been sold for that very
Hello From NYC-
i thank Coate for posting a while back a list
of Circus World’s roadshow runs across the U.S.
i questioned the D.C listing for the Uptown of
only 3 weeks. Coate figured it might be because
word had gotten out that the film while enjoyable
wasn’t another El Cid. but the film opened in
other big city runs after D.C yet had decent runs
cancelling out Coate’s theory about word of
mouth. my point being the Uptown run of 3 weeks
the shortest on the list has got to be a mistake.
when was the last report either online or in
newspapers that this theater could actually close
to Escott N. thanks for your thoughts on the
subject. but I am still a bit perplexed as to why
Coate referred to the Chinese as a “neighborhood
house in its early years”. to New Yorkers a
neighborhood house is a 2nd/3rd run theater in
the Bronx,Queens,Brooklyn or Staten Island that
would play a film after its had exhausted its 1st
run engagements in Manhattan.
does anyone know what Coate means by “the Chinese was
a neighborhood house too for much of its early life”.
any help would be appreciated. when was the Chinese
ever not a 1st run venue?
thanks to my fellow posters for their replies
about the Chinese’s history. a number of grand old
movies theaters built during the prime 1914-1941
period are alive and well. for instance the Castro
Theater in San Francisco. the theater opened the
last week of Sept. 1922 and has been in continual
operation ever since but it was built from the
get go as a 2nd/3rd run neighborhood theater. so
apparently of all the grand old theaters built in
prime period noted above that were built from the get
go as 1st run venues the Chinese is the only one that
has continued to operate as such since the day it
I am a bit confused. I always thought the Chinese
was built as a 1st run venue from the get go. after
all it held the premiere of Demille’s “The King of
Kings” May 18, 1927. so what does Coate mean by
referring to the Chinese as a neighborhood theater
during its early years? granted Hollywood is a
neighborhood to the people who live there but that
does not make the Chinese a “neighborhood” theater
in the accepted sense of the term.
I thank Coate for his input on the subject. so it
seems that when the Village and Bruin first opened
like the Uptown in D.C. they were essentially neighborhood theaters and only became “1st run” venues
decades later. so it seems that the Chinese is the only
grand old movie theater built in the 1914-1941
heyday that was a 1st run venue from the get go and
has continued to operate as such since the day
I thank Cliffs for the info on the Village and
Bruin in Westwood. to which I have another question.
if I understand your comment correctly the Village
and the Bruin which opened in 1931 and 1937 were built
from the get go as 1st run venues and have operated
as such since the day they opened? the reason I ask
is simple. I thought the Uptown in D.C. which is
a 1st rum venue and been one since it opened in
1936. but it opened as 2nd/3rd run neighborhood
theater and only reinvented itself as a 1st run venue
with the dawn of the modern roadshow era in
Oct. of 1955 with Oklahoma.
Hello to Cliffs-
thanks for your informative reply. another question
I hope you can help me with. I discovered this
wonderful website the last week of January 2012.
after browsing it briefly I created a project for
myself. the Golden Age of building grand old movie
theaters was approx. 1914 thru 1941. this is what
I set out to look for. how many such theaters that
were built from the get go as 1st run venues have
continued to operate as such. so far the only theater
i have found that was built during this period as
a 1st run venue and has continued to operate as such
since the day it opened is the Chinese. is that
thanks to Danny B. for your reply. the reason I asked
if the attendance had picked up all that much after the
IMAX redo is simple. in Nov. of 2013 two months after
the conversion was unveiled Catching Fire opened. now
as you know CF is tied with Iron Man 3 as the highest
grossing film of 2013. but a regular at the Chinese
went to see CF with two friends the Sun. after the
film opened. he stated on this page that it was an
afternoon showing and was shocked the theater was
at the absolute most 10% full.