Showing 1 - 25 of 30 comments
Great picture. I attended that show. Estrogen was rampant.
Excellent pix, Warren. Many thanks. A reminder that, I guess, all of Manhattan is basically rock.
Great photo, KenRoe. Many thanks.
Betty Hutton was a pretty big star, although her rather manic style of acting always seemed a little over the top to me. In any event, I join those who mourn her passing. I think, somehow, she did not lead the happiest of lives.
I found it a bit odd that none of the obits I read mentioned that she was the sister of Marion Hutton, Glenn Miller’s chick vocalist during the glory years of that band (a frequent denizen of the Paramount, of course).
We almost lost Carnegie Hall; we lost Penn Station; casinos are being imploded in Las Vegas almost daily; all the legendary night clubs in Hollywood (Ciro’s, Brown Derby, etc.) have disappeared. We have no sense of history or continuity. It’s the American way.
What a great photo! A poignant reminder of heady days. The war was turning in our favor and the big bands were in full cry. I was among those in attendance during this engagement. It was intense!
I am an unabashed liberal — a dedicated anti-Republican at the very least — but I must say rtvjr’s assertions are pretty much indisputable. Little effort was made to rein in the rioters, major businesses and restaurants disappeared, the downtown, to this day, is commercially and culturally hollow. Was the assassination of MLK a dastardly act? Beyond a doubt. But, particularly in the long run, so were the actions of those who went on a destructive rampage in ostensible response.
Great posting Irajoel. Enjoyed all the posters, particularly the “Frankenstein.” It is of a type I have not seen before. Served also as a reminder that, over the years, we have confused the creator (Dr. Frankenstein) with his creation, the monster.
Excellent posting, “BoxOfficeBill.” I very distinctly remember the sense of vertigo which you cite. In the many times I visited the Paramount during the war years (maybe as many as 20), I always sat in the balcony. Can’t remember why. Was it cheaper? Or could you maybe smoke in the balcony? I no longer remember, but I sure remember that steeply raked balcony and the sensation of vertigo.
I wonder if there’s anyone out there with the time and inclination to document for us the stage shows of the Paramount, Strand, Capitol, Roxy and Loew’s State during the period, say, 1935-1960?
Why don’t you do it yourself, some may ask? Unfortunately, I am handicapped (spinal cord injury) which severely curtails my ability to get around. However, if such a project is doable online, I would certainly take a crack at it.
The information, Warren, is very interesting but misleading. Almost certainly, those examples of longevity were NOT a result of the popularity or quality of the film cited (with the possible exception of “Going My Way”), but rather the popularity of the bands (and other acts) which appeared with them.
Can you cite the bands or acts which appeared during the long runs you cite?
Many thanks for that ad, Warren. I saw that show. Charlie Spivak, a trumpet player, led one of the more popular bands of the time. I commuted from Metuchen, NJ via railraod to Penn Station. What a time that was!
I think you overread rlwjr’s comments. He didn’t blame MLK for the riots. He blamed those who perpetrated them, and the authorities who did little to stop them. Not unlike the way we stood by in Baghdad and allowed the looting of priceless antiquities from the museums there. I agree with Michael’s characterizations. I understand the rage of the perpetrators, but it does not justify the enormous damage done.
For me, what stands out in the beautiful photo posted by TC is that the movie was still the primary attraction. Later — and not very much later — the swing band then appearing earned a more prominent place on the marquee.
I am surprised becuase I have a pretty good recollection of the movie scene in Perth Amboy in 1942 and neither Ditman nor Ditmas rings a bell. However, if Film Daily Yearbook shows a movie theater on State Street in 1940 or 1941 I am in no position to argue.
Thanks for these various postinjgs.
Harking back to BklynRon’s contribution: Dean & Jean were from Dayton, OH. They had two more chart hits in the ‘60s.
What a perfectly splendid description of what made The Majestic majestic. It’s sad to think that this magnificent palace of the cinema descended into the unbearably sleazy world of porn only to be further reduced from grandeur by being stripped of all of its finery by the current inhabitants, as I understand it.
In any event, grateful thanks to Jerry Kampo for his vivid recollections.
There was also the Roky, well along on Smith Street, left side, as you headed for the Tottenville ferry. I distinctly remember that, in the late 30s/early 40s, you could buy your way into the Roky in the afternoon for a dime and never see the same thing twice for hours on end. There would typically be a double feature (“B” movies, often westerns) plus a serial (usually a westernj, in serial/chapter form. You would also get long “coming attractions” (i.e., trailers) various short features and/or cartoons and maybe a newsreel.
I somehow have the feeling that, in later years, the Roky was given over mostly to foreign language films. As a matter of fact, even in “my” time, I remember that at various times they would show Hungarian movies usually starring the Hungarian heartthrob Javor Pal (really Pal Javor, but in Hungarian the last name comes first).
Does anyone know whether the “church” which owns and operates the Majestic belongs to any denomination, or is it one of a kind?
Alas, Erwin, I cannot help you with the Amboy Avenue locations. It’s been 59 years since I lived in Perth Amboy and I can’t even remember exactly where was Route 1. (Actually, at the end we lived in Metuchen). I do remember the Majestic well, though. By lavish appointments, I mean the chinoiserie in the internal architecture: elaborate columns, reminiscent of St. Peter’s in Rome, the lush ceilings and wall decorations. Everything was geared toward imparting a palatial feeling — as though one were entering an exotic temple. The other movie houses in town — the Crescent or the Roky (was there also another?) — were much more ordinary. Still, it was in the Crescent that I saw the most memorable movie of my adolescence: “Dawn Patrol,” starring Errol Flynn. It was the first film I ever saw in which the hero died. This was stunning. I figured I must have missed something, so I stayed in my seat and watched the movie again. Errol died again. I walked out of that movie five years older than when I walked in.
Disappointing news, Erwin. She’s gone, I guess. I had hoped the new tenants would have reveled in the lavish appointments which I recall. Ah, well. It’s the American way.
Since I worshipped the movie classics at the Majestic in the late 30s and the 40s, I’m happy to know that it is still a house of worship.
Does anyone know whether it is an independent church or part of a larger denomination?
Superb postings by Paul Noble and CPark. The much-lamented Paramount had the power to imprint itself on one’s memory in a variety of ways.
Does anyone know exactly when the Paramount terminated the booking of vaudeville/big band acts?