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It has been a Goodwill store for about six months. I believe Chili’s had a fire, and never reopened.
It’s unlikely the Film Daily Yearbook was wrong. It’s more likely my memory is wrong. Perhaps the theater was three sections wide, which would be consistent with the number of seats stated in the Yearbook. Nevertheless it still looked huge, and definitely had a much larger Cinemascope screen than any other nearby theater.
The number of seats (around 2200+) is for the chopped up theater. The single screen version must have been much more. As I recall (and keep in mind this goes back about 45 years), there were four sections each with fourteen seats (a bit less for a few front rows) and about 55 rows. This computes to about 3000 seats – remember this was without a balcony. It was huge! Does anyone know the exact number of seats in the original theater?
This listing seems to be mixing up the Circle West End and the Inner Circle. I believe The Inner Circle was attached to the Circle Theater and had only one screen.
This was one of the two small theaters I first attended alone as a child around 1950-52(the other was the Miller on Sutter Avenue), as I lived within two blocks of both of them. I remember the admission for children was 12 cents for weekday matinees and 20 cents on weekends. Interestingly, the manager told my father that he needed to do about $200 per day to make ends meet, and that he was having problems doing that. TV, of course, was already becoming popular in NY by then. Since I left the neighborhood in late 1952, I have no idea how long the Lyric(or the Miller) lasted.
I believe the Rialto did more than just show movies. I remember seeing Carmen Miranda in vaudeville there around 1948-9.
The Miller was one of two small neighborhood theaters I attended when a child. My only memory is quite a strange one. When attending the first show, and entering as soon as they opened, occasionally the film was started in the middle. I don’t know if this was an error, or if it was done on purpose so that the end of the last show of the day would be at a particular time. Anyone else experience this, either here or elsewhere?
I, too, attended P.S. 102 down the street, but I lived about half a mile away. The Bay Ridge is fondly remembered as the closest theater to my home. It was great having it show RKO chain films, although a week later, since the RKO Dyker was quite a hike. These usually played Tuesday-Thursday, with the Loew’s films on the weekends, a week later than at the Alpine a few blocks away. I believe the last film shown as a Loew’s theater was “Baby Doll”, so it was 1956. I vaguely remember the opera company, but had left town by the time of the wrestling matches. There had also been attempts at community theater and older films – both generated little interest.