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Loved this theater. When I was a teen-aged mall rat in the early-mid ‘80s, I used to take the bus to N. Miami and hang out, shop and go see movies at these cavernous barns of a theater. Saw Class, Brainstorm, Easy Money, The Mel Gibson version of The Bounty, Hannah & Her Sisters, Ruthless People and Aliens before I moved out of the area. It was really an event to go to this theater.
I went once when I first moved to the city, in 1988, to see a late run screening of “She’s Having a Baby,” on a Thursday night, last show. Between the empty theater and the desolate streets, it was like a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and kind of scary for someone young and new to the city.
Thanks for posting that photo, Harvey. I don’t know why, but since I have come on here, I have had several dreams about being in this theater, usually with something disastrous happening. And I remembered the outside being way bigger, so it was good to see a real photo.
I remember this theatre very well and very fondly. My first trip here was in the Fall of 1980. I was 10. At this point, the theatre was purely second run. The first film I saw here was Ffolkes, with Roger Moore. The movie was a bore, but I fell instantly in love with the house and tried to go back as much as possible, which drove my mom crazy because it was a schlep from our house and there was crappy parking, so she usually just dropped me off. Saw Gloria, Raise the Titanic, Time Bandits, and my third viewing of Xanadu, which was the one and only time I ever went to the theatre at night.
The house itself was a bit faded, but it seemed really grandiose to me. I had never been inside another theatre like it during my childhood. (The main auditorium for the 163rd Street Theatre in N. Miami was similar, but lacked the old world glamour.) The lobby was circular (or it seemed circular because there was a circular stairway/ramp up to the auditorium). The snack bar sold ice cream, which in 1980, was a rarity and the first time I ever saw such a thing, so I was very impressed. There were several doors leading into the auditorium and it seemed as though there were thousands of seats. I remember getting up several times during both Ffolkes and Gloria to run around and try watching the film from different vantage points in the house to see what looked best.
I also remember that at the back right section of the house, there was a small area that was barred off with metal railing and sort of raked. I was later told this used to be the smoking section of the theatre, also another first.
I stopped coming to the theatre a couple of years later. I can’t remember why, because we were usually nearby. It might have been because I stepped up my attendance at movies on their first run and had seen everything by the time it played there. I may have gone a couple more times, but I honestly can’t remember. I do remember the last time I went, though. It was May of 1985, and I went to see The Breakfast Club (probably for the third or fourth time) after school one afternoon. I took the bus over and went to a nearly empty matinee. And a year later, I had left Florida. I was back in Hollywood last Thanksgiving after 20 years and we drove around the circle, but I couldn’t quite recall the exact location of the theatre. I think i saw where it used to be, but I don’t remember what was in its place.
Thanks, Bill. Appreciate it.
William (or someone)– can you tell me what the RKO Warner Twin is listed under on this website? I tried RKO, I tried Warner… can’t seem to find it. Thanks.
It was the Warner Twin, then. Thanks!!
This is random, but does anyone know if Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome played at this theater in the summer of 1985? I was going to summer school in Manhattan (up from Florida) and we used to go to the movies after we got out school for the day. The only two movies I saw in TS were Mad Max and Fright Night. Cannot remember where Fright Night was but it was surrounded by a bunch of porn theaters around 47-49th streets, but I have a feeling Mad Max may have been at the State. If anyone knows if it played there, I’d appreciate it.
Went here once, when I first landed in the city, to see The Serpent & The Rainbow. The place was big, but a pit. It reminded me of some of the 42nd Street grindhouses; filthy, sticky floors, broken seats and a noisy, scary crowd that bordered on homeless. Of course, I loved it. It disappeared shortly thereafter.
Thanks, Ed. I didn’t wind up seeing Maurice in the theater, but I remember passing by the marquee a few times when I first moved to the city. I thought it was either the Paris or the Plaza. I do remember a marquee for Maurice covered by a lot of scaffolding, though. Is it possible that it moved over to the Plaza?
I’m racking my brain trying to picture this theater. Does anyone remember if Maurice played here in ‘87? If this is the place I’m thinking of, I saw Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Music Box here, and I think some Kathleen Turner movie called House of Cards.
Yeccch. One of the most unpleasant theaters in NYC. Amazing how it stays in open and so many beautiful screens have been demolished. I used to go here in college out of necessity, as so many films played here exclusively and suffered through substandard screenings of My Left Foot, Apartment Zero, The Girl in the Swing, Without You I’m Nothing, and countless others. My last suffering occurred with I Think I Do, and that was only because a friend of mine made it.
Now with the advent of widescreen HDTV and DVDs being released a scant 2-4 months after theatrical release, there’s no excuse to frequent this place. My television is almost as big as their screens. I wish whatever lucky cloud this theater was under would have been shared with such places as the Biograph, the 34th Street East, the 8th street Playhouse, the Loews Astor Plaza and the movie theater that used to be in the basement of the old G&W building.
I used to go to this theater on my lunch breaks when I worked at Tower Records, two blocks down the street. Someone would cover for me, since I only got an hour. Sounds like I just missed the repertory screenings by a few months, but I more than made up for it by frequenting the Biograph, which I loved even more. I remember going here and seeing The Dead Pool, Everybody’s All American, Rocket Gibraltar, Gorillas in the Mist, Working Girl (or it might have been Talk Radio- one or the other). I stopped working at Tower in the Spring of 89 and I don’t remember going back to the theater until almost 10 years later to see The Opposite of Sex. I did really dig it, though.
Great theater. Saw Moonstruck here as a 16 year old my first few months in the city. Used to trek up 3rd Ave every so often to catch a movie here; Clara’s Heart, The Good Mother, Hardware (after it had twinned) but not too much more after it split. I really tried to patronize as many single screens as I could. I truly miss them.
I went to see a few things here growing up (a sneak preview of The Breakfast Club is the most memorable, though I also recall Blood Simple, American Dreamer and Tightrope). I later got a job there in the summer of 1989 when the theater was in major flux due to GCC opening a brand new multiplex not too far away. The manager who hired me at the beginning of the summer (a real ball-buster) left to open the new place and we got a really cool younger woman who adored me and I basically had the run of the place for the summer.
I remember doing acid a few times and being assigned to the popcorn room upstairs (we popped our corn on-site, but not in the “for show” machines at the concession stand. I also remember getting to hang out in cut-offs and a t-shirt and painting the suite of offices upstairs instead of having to do trash duty in a scratchy uniform. I’d be stoned, blaring music upstairs and painting while all the 15 year olds complained.
At the beginning of the summer, we had Ghostbusters 2, Dead Poets Society, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Renegades and Do the Right Thing, but by the time the new theater opened, we got stuck with crap like Vampire’s Kiss, Babar the Movie, Shag, The Package, Scandal and anything else they didn’t want to put in their pristine theatre. I do remember we got When Harry Met Sally for one night. I think it was a sneak preview, but we weren’t supposed to get it. I believe another theatre had a projector problem, so we got it with no advertising and people were sent over to us who showed up at the other theater.
Used to go here all the time. It was across the road from the less swank Hollywood Mall, otherwise known as the Sears Mall (The more upscale Hollywood Fashion Center was know as the Penneys mall). This was the mall that Adam Walsh went missing from; kind of scary as I was only a couple years older than Adam and my mom would always let me go off on my own in the mall while she was shopping. I used to play in the Sears toy dept. by myself while she shopped all the time.
But the movie theatre- kind of run down. Had a gigantic lobby (in the round) for a two-screen theater. I think the first time I went to a movie here was to see Candleshoe (which I mistakenly remembered seeing at the Plaza Theatre). The inside of the theaters had these round globe lights on the walls that reminded me of the windows on the sub in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and they used to make me nervous because as a little kid, I was convinced the auditorium was going to plunge under the ocean at any minute. This was especially frightening during a viewing of Jaws 2 on opening night.
Rocky Horror Picture Show would play here midnights on Friday and Saturday. I can remember my parents taking me to a Sunday matinee of something around 1981 and us waiting for the box office to open, watching a small band of freaks straggling out of the theater (I guess they had spent the night after RHPS) and being fascinated by them. By the time I was allowed to go see Rocky Horror with some friends a few years later, they had stopped doing the live show and there were maybe 6 other people in the house. Not the way to experience Rocky your first time (let alone your first midnight movie).
In early 81, they started having dollar nights on Tuesdays. Every ticket was $1. my mom and I would go have dinner at the Woolworth’s lunch counter at the mall, then come see whatever was playing, and man, we saw some stinkers- Bustin' Loose, Hardly Working, The Devil & Max Devlin, All Night Long, American Raspberry, Modern Romance (which to me was a dud because I was too young to get it).
Some of the biggies I saw here were The Main Event, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Return of the Jedi, Reds, For Your Eyes Only, ET.
I totally remember opening weekend at the Sheridan 7. It was December of 1980 and for the first week of operation, they ran 7 second-run films and charged 75 cents for all shows all times. The only three movies I remember from that week were “Being There” which my two friends and I went to go see, Close Encounters of the Third Kind: The Special Edition, which we snuck into about a half hour into Being There, because we were bored off our asses and All That Jazz, which my mom took me to see. A week later, they opened amid huge fanfare with a bunch of big Christmas films such as Popeye, Stir Crazy, Seems Like Old Times, The Formula, 9 to 5 and First Family.
Saw soooo many films here. Besides the above-mentioned ones; The Four Seasons, Breaker Morant, Under The Rainbow (where someone stepped on my toe while I was wearing flip flops and broke it), King of the Mountain, The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia, Ghost Story, Ragtime, Victor Victoria, Blade Runner, The Thing, Shoot the Moon, The Sender, Tootsie, Terms of Endearment, The Keep, Yor, Eddie & the Cruisers, WarGames, Hard to Hold, Streets of Fire, St. Elmo’s Fire, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Real Genius, The Emerald Forest, Peggy Sue Got Married, 9 ½ Weeks…
You always wanted the film you were seeing to be in Theater #7, as that was the biggest auditorium. And you never wanted to be stuck in #4 or #5- they were the smallest and usually where the older movies went after they’d been playing for a while. I remember seeing 9 to 5 for the third time in April of ‘81 in the #5 and Tootsie for the 2nd time in April of '83 in #4. Theaters #1-3 and #6 were all relatively the same size as #4 and #5 in width, but much deeper.
This theatre usually played the same films that were booked into the Cinema 4 in the University Plaza in Pembroke Pines. We used to schlep up there a lot until The Sheridan 7 opened.
Loved this theatre. It was across the road from the Hollywood Fashion Center, THE mall in Hollywood in the lates 70s/early 80s. The auditorium was twinned by the time I started going to it, but I still remember both theatres being enormous. The houses were very deep and the outside marquee was HUGE! Saw dozens upon dozens of movies here- Candleshoe, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, China Syndrome, Flash Gordon, The Empire Strikes Back, Blow Out… And I recall that around 1982, they became very relaxed in their ticket purchasing policies. If an adult bought you a ticket to an R rated movie, you could go in unaccompanied. My mom would always by the tickets for my friends and I and we got to see stuff like Porkys, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Cat People, Amityville II-The Possession… I even saw Butterfly, the Pia Zadora dud, here. Needless to say, my mom was the most popular mother of all my friends. Also saw The Cotton Club, Twilight Zone-The Movie, Yellowbeard, The Flamingo Kid, A Chorus Line, Jewel of the Nile, The Terminator… tons more. This was my 2nd favorite theatre in all of hollywood, right after the beautiful (but rundown) single screen theatre on Hollywood Circle which showed second-run movies and sold ice cream. Man, I could write a BOOK about that place.
These were the crappiest screens in Hollywood back in the mid-late 70s, yet they seemed to get all the blockbusters. I remember seeing Star Wars here several times, as well as Grease (I recall my parents taking me to Grease opening night and entering the theater only to find it had been oversold and there were no seats available. We got our money back and drove across town to see Jaws 2 instead). Both versions of Saturday Night Fever played here, as well. Saw everything here from Corvette Summer to The Wiz to The Black Hole, Fade to Black, Motel Hell (by 1980, it had stopped attracting too many big-budget flicks). There was a great drugstore next door where we’d load up on snacks before we went to the movie.
Nope. I’ve actually never seen Enchanted April. I looked at a list and I think it was Single White Female. They all run together after a while. I do know that at some point, Enchanted April was the kickoff of another movie sneak day.
Just wanted to clear up a few things about the Thalia Soho that were posted here. I co-managed the theater for a very brief time in the Fall of 1989 and was also one of the projectionists. I can tell you at that time, the theater had 2 16mm projectors side by side. Most times, the prints would be built into one reel, but depending on how rare the print was (a lot of them came from Richard’s personal collection) we would have to go in and do reel changes.
I was literally given one session of tutoring on the projectors before I was left on my own to take care of things. I used to go to classes in the morning (I was at NYU at the time) then come down and work at the theater in the afternoons and evenings. Perhaps some of you out there remember me. i was the kid with floppy hair who was constantly screwing up the reel changes (CONSTANTLY) and many times, I’d burn the film in the gate. Oh yes, you’d be watching The Wild One or A Streetcar Named Desire and all of a sudden, the picture would burst into flames and bubble and I’d have to quickly and frantically splice it back together in the projection room while angry mobs yelled and cursed me.
The theater was literally the first floor of a walkup apartment building and the marquee was triangle shaped. Every couple of days, we’d have to change the films, rotate the posters, etc… You would walk in the front door and the box office (and the manager’s office) would be to the left, a few feet forward would be the projection booth on the right (teeny) and straight forward would be the theater.
Opposite the projection booth was a winding stairway that took you down to the bathrooms, a very small lounge and the snack bar. I remember we had a non-working popcorn popper that just kept things warm and we had bags and bags of already popped, heavily salted popcorn in the back storeroom. I also remember throwing out several bags that had been invaded by rats, even though Richard would yell at me if he saw popcorn in the garbage.
One night, we were on the last showing on some very obscure noir film (can’t remember the title). I was by myself and I had just done the final reel change and went downstairs to clean the snack bar so I could leave as soon as the movie was over. About 15 minutes later, I hear this ungodly crash and I go running up the stairs, only to see the take up reel rolling down the steps toward me, film flapping everywhere. I had forgotten to tighten the take-up reel arm and the reel, having gotten heavier and heavier, fell off the projector. Well, the rest of the reel was trashed, just ripped in two length-wise. There was no repairing it. The small audience was ready to stone me alive. Kevin Seal, who was a VJ on MTV at the time, used to frequent the theater and happened to be there at that screening and saved me from being ripped in two, length-wise. I had to give free passes to everyone and tell them how the film ended.
My staff and I did have fun, though. We used to stay at the theatre on Saturday nights and have all night screening parties for ourselves after we’d close. We could never watch the films while they were normally playing, so it was our only chance to see some of them.
I remember Richard as being incredibly unpleasant. He was a very nasty man. His lover (an incredibly sweet guy) was always with him and made countless excuses for his behavior. He didn’t treat him too well, either, so I suppose we couldn’t expect him to be nice to us.
On Friday, he fired the whole staff (three of us) over the phone. I wish I could remember why, but I know it was something he thought we were doing wrong that we weren’t. I do remember he was always accusing us of stealing from him.
I didn’t realize he’d died so soon after. He had an amazing movie poster collection in the basement. Really rare stuff. I hope it went to a good place.
I remember going to see a lot of invited only sneak previews here (A Dry White Season, Sleepless in Seattle, First Wives Club).
Man, I loved this theater, but it was so out of the way, I only went twice- They Live in ‘88 and Postcards From the Edge in '90. I do remember driving home from the airport a lot and passing it and craning my neck to catch what they were showing.
Hmm- you’re right about Widow’s Peak. Sorry about that!
I could have sworn that was the first movie of the sneak. Now I’m gonna be wracking my brain trying to remember.