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Flatbush, the best pictures I have seen of the Rivoli interior are the antique post cards, sometimes available on eBay. The Theatre Historical Society had some and can provide black and white photos of them, but didn’t have negatives (tho' that was about 10 years ago, so may have changed). I believe I also got some of the pictures I have of the interior from the Museum of the City of New York, but am not positive. I know I got some things there but may have been for the Rialto.
Yes! Los Angeles is lucky to have so many great theatres still standing — in New York, most are gone. What a waste if the L.A. movie palaces are eventually lost!
About 1970, I drove an elderly ex-vaudevillian down Broadway in L.A. because I remember them saying they had played the L.A. Orpheum in the 1920’s. So, I drove past the new Orpheum and pointed it out. They said, “That doesn’t look anything like the Orpheum I played. That’s not the Orpheum.” At that time I didn’t know the Palace had been the Orpheum, and just thought their memory had failed them.
William, did it quickly convert back to English-language or what? I remember it showing English-language films (and saw many there) up till at least 1970 or 71. I remember that that this time there were several theatres showing Spanish-language films, and these theatres included the Orpheum, United Artists, California, Million Dollar, and others. The Warren, Los Angeles, and State showed English-language films, as did the Tower when it changed to films after a remodelling. Most of these were very beautiful theatres.
RobertR – I didn’t mean to that the theatres I mentioned were all IN Rego Park, but were extremely convenient to it, by walking, a short subway ride, etc. And there were others besides the ones I mentioned, of course. I considered it all “metropolitan Rego Park” from my point of view. It was a great area for movies.
Warren, it is indeed a long walk from Queens Blvd to the Drake. I remember making that walk once in 1963 or'64. It was also a very dull and depressing walk, once you got past Alderton Street. And when I got there, on a Saturday afternoon, the theatre was crawling with kids. The movie was something with Tony Curtis and Christine Kaufmann. During this time period, Rego Park was a great place for movies. There was the Trylon, and very close by the Elmwood, the Midway, the Continental, the Jackson, etc. With all that available, I never went back to the Drake.
When Viva Las Vegas played there, I believe it was Dorothy Kilgallen who commented in her column that she might be witnessing the end of an era, because she noticed that they billed Ann-Margaret over Elvis Presley.
This was indeed an undistinguished theatre. Except for the Alex and the Glendale, most of the theatres in Glendale were practically holes in the wall. The Alex was unique but certainly not magnificent; the Glendale was ok. Why did Glendale miss out? Is it because of its proximity to Hollywood, Pasadena, and L.A.?
Wasn’t this also the theatre where Jane Fonda, after viewing one of her own movies (They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?)slipped and fell in the parking lot when returning to her car, and broke her leg, and perhaps sued?
When this theatre was the site of the 1974 Filmex/LACMA Great American Films Marathon, Groucho Marx made what must have been one of his last public appearances. When Duck Soup (I think)was shown, he walked down the aisle and everyone stood and applauded. At the same event, when All About Eve was shown, there were loud, prolonged hisses when Bette Davis delivers the speech in the car about just a woman and her man. Another very peculair incident involving this theatre. One afternoon, when seeing a movie there (perhaps Zandy’s Bride, I was sitting in the back row right by the entrance. The guy who was doing double duty as ticket taker/candy counter person stuck his head through the curtains, saw me there, and said he had to go out for a little while and would I watch the candy counter and send anyone with tickets right on in…there weren’t a lot of patrons that day, but I had never been asked to do that before.
Also, wasn’t this the building where John Cassavetes had his office (upstairs)?
The Last Picture Show played here on first run. I think the long run of The Graduate was at the Fine Arts further down Wilshire, but may be wrong.
During the 60’s this theatre ran road-show films. The Sound of Music played here forever. Man of La Mancha showed here also on reserved seats.
I believe Bell, Book and Candle & Middle of the Night both opened at this theatre. In that time frame it was showing first run films.
Gerald, you saw Eclipse there as I did (I also saw La Notte there)but you don’t have it on your list of favorites???) I think it is my favorite of all time. This was a very nice theatre with a nice peacful atmosphere, and usually had nice still shot displays outside.
Whoops! I didn’t notice your mention of the RKO Proctor 58th St when I wrote the message.
Wasn’t there an RKO 58th St theatre at 3rd or 2nd Ave & 58th St? I remember seeing What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? at a big old movie palace at that location and thought it was an RKO.
Have heard Linda Evans once worked at the candy counter in this theatre.
There was a strange old theatre on North Central Avenue in Glendale which was called the Villa-Glen. It for a time (probably early 70’s?)tried to show classic movies, beginning with “Queen Christina”. When I went to see it there were about 3 people in the theatre and there were also people in the projection booth talking so loud that the movie couldn’t be heard, and the manager had to tell them to stop talking. It didn’t seem to be designed as a movie theatre, and this Villa-Glen definitely was on North Central, not on Colorado, so they may just have taken the name and used it again.
Probably because it was a Paramount theatre, some of the dancers were given the chance for extra work if they wanted to go out to the Astoria Studios and dance in the films “The Sorrows of Satan” and “Untamed Lady”, and some accepted.
At some time in the 60’s, perhaps just before it became an adult films theatre, it had a stage production in Spanish of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”.
Long before its bad days, the Strand even had a “ballet-master” (Sonia Serova). This was around 1918. Ray Bolger appeared at this time as one of the dancers long before his later fame.
When the 3-D House of Wax played there around 1953, the stage show starred Eddie Fisher, and the crowds were enormous.
Scent of Mystery, mentioned above, was part of a brief attempt at smell-o-vision, where actual scents were piped into the auditorium to go along with the movie. Needless to say, it didn’t catch on.
I think it was actually a lot more than $8 million. In any event, the Greenwich Theatre appears in the 1947 Joan Crawford/Henry Fonda film, “Daisy Kenyon”. I don’t know if they actually shot on location or copied it in the studio, but it is clearly the Greenwich. They are shown outside it, and I think going into it.
What a beautiful theatre. And it was on the south side of 58th St. It hosted the first run in NY of such films as Never on Sunday, Hiroshima Mon Amour, the 400 Blows, Black Orchid, Black Orpheus, Black Tights, and other foreign language or art films. The venue changed, and in the early 90’s had such fare as a Shirley MacLaine/Teri Garr film with the word “Light” in the title. Around 1960, Otto Preminger appeared there in person one Saturday morning to talk about his by then several year old film Saint Joan. He discussed it and answered questions from the students and film buffs present, then showed the movie (or vice versa, perhaps).