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Saw many, many films here in the ‘80s and '90s. At that time, most of the buildings in the area were still three-story tenements from the old days, but the writing was on the wall when they started tearing those down.
I would love to see some interior photos if someone rustled them up. I remember the decoration was terrible—very much the type of stuff Loew’s was doing all over at the time. I remember the Murray Hill Cinema was the better venue with better selections, but this one had the better projection.
Saw many films here in the late ‘80s/early '90s, but it just couldn’t keep up with the Cineplex Odeon on 23rd and the row of theaters on 34th. The eyeglasses store had that great pink neon sign next door (seen in the photo above not lit) that could have only been designed in the '70s or '80s.
Last show had to be no later than 1999 or 2000. I’m fairly certain it was STAR WARS: THE PHANTOM MENACE. I went to see that film on its run there and remember it closing shortly thereafter. I actually preferred this theater to Clearview’s Cinema 6 in New City—a not half-bad twinning job, and I remember the sound in particular was good at this venue. Nice location, too… the shopping center had LOTS of parking.
The American was, indeed, the original name of the theater. It was constructed in 1912 and opened sometime between January and February of 1913. As mentioned in the article above, it was constructed at a cost of $150,000 by H. A. Sims of the Liberty Theatre Company, who by earlier accounts had been in the business since 1903. The Liberty Theatre company was made up primarily of bankers and businessmen from the area. The seating capacity was 3,000. The American had a 16-piece orchestra, conducted by J. J. McClellan, previously the organist of the Mormon Tabernacle. McClellan conducted from the $30,000 Kimball organ installed.
The American was taken over in June of 1928 by the American Theatre Operating Co. of Ogden, A. L. Glassman, president. The theater was extensively remodeled in the then-popular Spanish Renaissance style by Arthur Shreve of Ogden. It re-opened as the Granada on March 8, 1929, with sound film equipment installed. The re-opening feature was THE IRON MASK with Douglas Fairbanks.
A mere two months later, on March 16, 1929, the Granada was sold to W. T. Grant’s, which re-opened the converted space in January 1930. Grant’s closed sometime in the ‘70s, I believe. The site is now Gallivan Plaza.
Actually, if you look closely, the keystone says 1916. So it was the “new” Opera House as built by Le Richeux. The original (pictured in this book: http://books.google.com/books?id=X9EwAQAAMAAJ) was constructed in 1892 and was designed by Leon J. Lempert and Son of Rochester, who designed a number of opera houses in the area, including both the Washington Street Opera House and Lyric Theater in Rome. Lempert, Jr. later designed the Capitol in Rome in 1928.
I was referring to the “before” picture. Those poster cases and fixtures are similar to the ones that were installed by Lempert’s crews in all of the Comerford theaters during that period.
Any idea on who manufactured these lighting fixtures? They look similar to those I’ve seen by Moe-Bridges, but that style was very generic. These look late ‘30s/early '40s.
I believe the Sherwood was original opened around 1914, and was owned by a gentleman by the name of Ralph Balducci, who leased it to Herman Rakov. Rakov owned a number of theaters in the Central New York area. A 1921 New York Supreme Court case shows that Rakov was given the boot for not living up to conditions stated in his lease (and judging from a number of other lawsuits against him, did the same everywhere), and in January 1921, the theater was leased to Mike Kallet.
Originally built as a Kallet Bros. house.
The Kallet Bros. bought the James from Sam Slotnick in October 1927.
Listed as a Comerford-Publix theater in the 1945-46 International Motion Picture Almanac. The architect was likely Leon Lempert, Jr.
Listed as operated by the Comerford-Publix chain in the 1945-46 International Motion Picture Almanac.
Listed in in the 1945-46 International Motion Picture Almanac as a Comerford-Publix Theater. I suspect the architect was Leon Lempert, Jr. Does anyone have any clear interior photographs?
Listed as a Comerford-Publix theater in the 1945-46 International Motion Picture Almanac.
Listed as the Amauzu in the 1945-46 International Motion Picture Almanac. Operated by the Comerford-Publix chain at that point.
The Comerford Amusement Co. apparently look control of this in 1928 and did some remodeling work.
The architect that is listed here is William Harold Lee, but I’m fairly certain he only did the Modernization of the theater later on. I speculate that the original architect was Leon Lempert, Jr., who designed many of the Commerford theaters (of which this was originally).
I will guarantee you that the architect of this theater was Leon Lempert, Jr. The auditorium is almost an exact clone to the Capitol in Rome, NY, also a Commerford Theater.
I suspect this theater was actually opened around 1928, owned by the Commerford Amusement Co. chain. If that is the case, I also suspect the original architect was Leon Lempert, Jr. The lobby in the BoxOffice magazine article looks a lot like Lempert’s Capitol in Rome.
Does anyone know if the architectural elements (if there were any) have been salvaged in its being converted back to single-screen?
Should be listed as demolished. There still stands an empty lot where it once was.
Not sure, but I think this was on Fourth STREET, not AVE. Film Daily lists it as the latter, which I think is a typo.
The building still exists, but has probably been gutted and is being repurposed as Marco’s Pizza.