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I’ve found some websites that say that “Steamboat Willie” premiered at the Broadway Theatre in 1928 when it was the Colony and other websites that say it premiered at the 79th Street Theatre which later was renamed the Colony. I am curious to know which is correct.
Many years ago I recall my father telling me that the old Beck’s Shoe store on Third Avenue was originally the side entrance to the original Loew’s Orpheum. Since he went to that theater during the 1930’s and 1940’s there is good reason to believe he was correct about that. I remember Beck’s and recall that it did have a marquee.
The Rialto Theatre was originally the Orpheum Theatre, which was constructed in the early 20th century. “Urban renewal"in the late 1960’s resulted in the destruction of the entire block where the theatre stood. In 1978 the Durham County Courthouse was built on that site. Many photographs of the Orpheum/Rialto Theatre, as well as detailed discussion of Durham urban history can be found at the Endangered Durham website: View link
A reminder of the Brandon’s past is the “Continental” sign which remains on the roof of the theatre:
I was very pleased with valuable comments that followed my recent post on the Colony Theatre. I came into Manhattan last Saturday from my home in Queens primarily to snap the pictures of the former Colony and Europe theatres that I posted. I was born and raised in the Yorkville neighborhood where these theatres were located. Of the three theatres that were within two or three blocks from where I lived (on 78th St. near 1st Ave.), the Monroe, Europe, and Colony — I am old enough to remember only the Colony, which closed when I was about five years old. I particularly remember a red-haired women sitting in the ticket booth who smiled at me wheneverI passed with my parents.
It is not surprising that the German-language films played at one time at the Colony. 79th St. was the center of a large Hungarian population that had immigrated from Austria-Hungary and would have understood German. A few blocks north was a large German community. The Europe Theatre at one time showed German and Hungarian-language films, and on 86th Street, the Casino and 86th Street Garden Theatres often featured German films.
Yorkville is now a gentrified, yuppified neighborhood with few traces of its ethnic past.
Here are some recent pictures I took of the Paramount.
Here is photo I took recently of the Grand Theatre.
Here is a recent photo of the former Europe Theatre. http://mysite.verizon.net/vze7r9g5/europetheatre/
Here is a recent photo of the former Colony Theatre, which is now Temple Sharaay Tefila. http://mysite.verizon.net/vze7r9g5/colonytheatre/
As a Forest Hills resident with an interest in preserving historic movie theatres, I applaud the work of the Committe to Save the Trylon Theater, as well other organizations and indidviduals with similar goals. I appreciate the obstacles they face with some local politicians who do not understand the importance of preserving such links with the past, and who are often not as cooperative as they should be.
Warren, as I mentioned in my comment, I believe that the Loew’s sign is attached to the theatre behind the Garden. Here is a later, less clear photo of the two theatres in the background (bottom photo).
Here the Loew’s sign appears to be in the theatre to the left of the Garden/Grande.
Here is a photo of the 86th St. Garden Theatre (second from the top). View link This proves Warren’s theory that the name of Grande Theatre was fabricated from Garden. I recall that the full name of the Grande theatre was the 86th St. Grande. Behind the Garden is another theatre with a Loew’s sign. I believe that this was Loew’s 86th St., later known as Brandt’s 86th St., and possibly at one time know as Brandt’s Loew’s.
Wasn’t there another theatre know as Loew’s 86th Street that was across the street? I think that, as a young child, I went there. I think that was the one that was taken over by the Brandt chain. I vaguely recall it being called Brandt’s Loews. Next to it, or very close to it, was another movie theatre, I believe, called the Grande, which showed British films.
In this photograph (top) you can see the Park Lane Theatre.
Here is a link to a photo (the one in the center) of the 79th Street Theatre when is it was the Colony. Note the demolition of the 2nd Avenue El in progress.
Here is a link to a photo of the City Theatre.
I think it is very vicious and sneaky to deface buildings to prevent their being landmarked. I recently walked past Cinemas 1,2,3, saw the stuccoing over the beautiful blue tiles, and wondered what was going on. Not too long before that, I had passed by the Sutton Theatre and was perplexed to see that the columns on the facade had been hacked at. Later that theatre was demolished. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the Beekman Theatre similarly defaced, in advance of its demolition, to prevent it from being landmarked. This is the mentality of our time.
I believe that this theatre was later named the Colony, a Trans Lux theatre. It was extensively remodeled in 1959, and became Temple Sharaay Tefila.