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The theatre is still open…for now.
I have very good news to report. I happened to be passing by the theatre this morning when I saw the front gate was open. There I encountered Peter, one of the owners, who informed me that restoration work has resumed on the theatre. He stated there was indeed damage from Sandy that is now being repaired. I was allowed inside, and was standing in the auditorium for the first time in almost 40 years. Peter let me know that the theatre will still be transformed into a restaurant, catering hall and event venue. Since work was in progress I did not want to overstay my welcome and asked Peter’s permission to post this info and he replied by all means. I thanked him for his efforts and left but would have stayed all day if I could have.
I was here for the second time today,this time to see “Irrational Man”(if you like Woody Allen it’s his best in years).Last time,my movie was playing in one of the basement theatres, today I was sent upstairs to a magnificently restored auditorium. The movie was not centered correctly on the screen causing a brief interruption during which the house lights were raised. I didn’t mind because it gave me time to admire the theatre and it’s design. Upon leaving I noticed the marquee stated “Historic Auditorium Now Re-opened”. I recommend a visit to any fellow movie theatre enthusiasts.Also the Orville Redenbacher popcorn was fantastic.
OK I am still at this. Did the Nicholson film “Goin' South” open here in ‘78? Hoping AlA or someone else can tell me.
I was on the commercial strip today of which the Paramount was once a part. There are many new businesses opening in long-shuttered buildings, as well as new ones that have been built. A brand new municipal parking lot is nearing completion adjacent to a McDonalds in the nearby area. To know that the restored theatre whatever it’s intended function would have been a part of this is truly a shame.From the info we have it was the city’s anti small business practices that caused the restoration to prematurely end.
On my third visit yesterday I had more time to look around. I had not realized as you ride the escalators to the upper floors there is a brick wall to your left. This is the side outer wall of the original theatre building which is now the lobby. The imprint of a former fire escape is clearly visible. The theatre is truly amazing and is kept very clean. The ticket price is up to $14.50 but luckily I had an AMC gift card.
Wikipedia reports Broadway 4D will now open in Spring 2015. Another delay.
I was hoping to check out the theatre due to it’s history but was not interested in the films they showed. I would put it’s chances of finding new owners as slim to none. It is just not financially viable to operate a single screen movie house with no stadium seating on the UES or anywhere. In the old days it would have become a revival house, a showcase for foreign films or a discount second run location.
I was here today for “Oldboy” at the discount morning matinee and there were no problems at all with the theatre. The problem I did have was the location. Coming from lower Manhattan the only mass transit to and from there is the M15 “Select Service” bus which is a nightmare. Much as I liked the theatre I shall not return for this reason.
I saw “All is Lost” here today but arrived late and didn’t have time to look around. There were curtains on the screen, something I haven’t seen in 35 years. I shall return to inspect the historic theatre and try the popcorn.
Even if the incoming DiBlasio administration is more friendly to small businesses, It would be very difficult to get a thriving operation off the ground in that neighborhood. The loss of the parking lot across the street and the still stagnant economy would be 2 more hurdles.
I saw Herzog’s “Nosferatu” here in 1979, but I can’t recall any details about the theatre.
Saw the Get Smart movie “The Nude Bomb” when it opened here in 1980.
Saw “The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea” at the Coronet in ‘76, and “A Different Story” at Baronet in '78.
Google NY Times Archive and you get a selection screen.I have only looked up movie reviews, not sure if the old ads are there. Check it out, there is a wealth of info.
Al you are the Guru of Manhattan theatres, thank you.
Saw “Close Encounters” here on its opening exclusive engagement. I intend to return this month to check out the theatre.
I know I saw “Zardoz” here in 1974, because according to the NY Times it was the only Manhattan theatre showing the film upon its premiere. I also saw “Caligula” on its debut in 1980, when it was called The Penthouse.
I saw “Valentino” here on its premiere in 1977. Can’t say I recall any details about the theatre . But I do know I’ve never met another person who saw the movie.
Thanks to Astyanax for mentioning “The Duellists”. I saw the film when it first premiered in 1977, and since according to the Ny Times archive it only played here, I now know I visited the Fine Arts at least once. The description says it closed in ‘78, if true, it’s a shame.
Looking for some help. Does anyone know if the Get Smart movie “The Nude Bomb” premiered here in 1979? I’m pretty sure I was at the Sutton once , and this is one of the few films where I don’t recall which Manhattan theatre I saw it in. I tried the NY Times review archive but couldn’t come up with anything.
I recalled seeing the movie version of “1776” 40 years ago on an 8th grade class trip, in a huge Manhattan theatre. Thinking it might be The Ziegfeld I checked the NY Times archive, and it actually played here. The movie was a bore but at least I can say I once saw a film in Radio City Music Hall.
I recalled seeing the movie “Montenegro” in a Manhattan theatre when it first opened in 1981. I checked the NY Times movie review archive to see what theatre it was,thinking it was The Sutton. It turned out to be The Plaza, but I recall nothing at all about the place.The film was not all that memorable either.
I also saw the Woody Allen film here at a screening today. It was my first time here in 39 years. I had seen “The Parallax View” in ‘74 and “The Exorcist” in '73 , both in Cinema 1. Today was a positive experience. The staff was friendly and courteous and the popcorn was very good. They have “wake up” matinees with showings before 12pm being $7.50.My screening was in Cinema 2 and I admit if you prefer the back row as I do the screen is a bit small , but I can live with that. The seat was old school but comfortable.Before leaving I checked out the rest of the theatre. Cinema 1 has a very good size screen and a balcony, and Cinema 3 is much smaller. Surprisingly for the newest of the 3 it seemed the most shopworn, with flat seats and an entrance door that creaked loudly every time it was opened.