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That is a really wonderful picture you found Warren. Thank you for sharing that photograph. I used to live at 4615 New Utrecht about half a block from the Loew’s 46th. I’m going to email my dad a link to the photo so he can see what the theater looked like when he was 2 years old. I did notice the photo was cropped at the top. I guess the photographer didn’t like photographing the bottom of the EL. I’m not familiar with the silent film on the marquee, but I did recognize the actors. Rod Laroque is more well known for playing “The Shadow” and Warner Oland was the actor who portrayed Charlie Chan in the 1930’s and 1940’s. I also noticed there was a stage show advertised. The Universal Marquee certainly was grand. I have been trying to find a photograph of the theater from the 1960’s but I haven’t been able to get my hands on it. When I do I will try to share it with everyone on this page.
In one of the earlier paragraphs on this page one of the members was able to get in and see the remnants of the old theater. I don’t think too much could have changed in a year. I will be visiting New York next month to see my sister who lives in Long Island. I’m hoping she will drive us to see the old neighborhood and maybe walk around a little. I’m still looking for a good picture of the theater from the 60’s. I found one photograph, but it doesn’t have a real clear view of the theater. I will keep looking. I’ve seen some recent photos of the neighborhood along New Utrecht ave. and it seems like the area is recovering from the hard times in the 70’s and 80’s. A working theater would do wonders for this neighborhood, but it would have to provide entertainment that is suitable to the people that live and work there.
I hope the theater owners browse this web page theaterat. Maybe they will get the idea. Hey Bway…thanks for finding this bridgeandtunnelclub web page. I actually recognized some of the buildings in the borough park area. I was surprised that the old candy store and soda shop was still in business. The movie theater still looks pretty good. A lot of Architects would love to have that much to work with for a renovation and restoration project. The yellow brick always made the theater look like a golden palace. It’s a shame to see so many empty and defaced store fronts. Lostmemory I’m impressed. Where did you get this information? I think you are correct, the building on record predates the movie theater. I believe the street numbers are assigned to the buildings based on the city water meter that serves that building. I assume that the movie theater was built on the 4515 lot and the corner lot. I may have some photographs of the 46th street theater that go back to the early 60’s but it may take me a while to scan the photos.
You are not alone in your feelings Theaterat. With a few exceptions the quality of movies in general has slowly declined since the early 70’s. That decline in quality I think is partly due to the decline of the old studio system which prided itself on producing quality films even though it treated the actors like property. When more actors started making more money there was less money for production values. You might also notice that our greatest films came from some of our greatest novels and literary minds. With a few exceptions the quality of our literature has also declined since the early 70’s and I include comic books as literature, so it’s no wonder the quality of movies has gone down. To be honest it’s been an up hill battle for movie theaters in the battle with television for the audience. In the old days your movie ticket would let you see two movies, a newsreel, cartoons, a short movie feature, a serial episode. Now all you get is one movie not as good as last weeks movie trailer and overpriced popcorn and soda. The Loew’s movie houses were always top notch because they were owned by a big company. When movie houses were owned by independent operators the profit margins were very small so the theaters became simple no frills black boxes. That is starting to change now with larger multi-screen theaters incorporating some of the features of the old movie palaces such as better seating and retro interior design. Don’t worry Bway…no rocks being thrown here.
It seems to me that all of us who are members of cinematreasures are all “theater rats” to some extent. It’s obvious that all of us love the old movie palaces and based on all the messages I’ve read on just this page, we all have wonderful memories of going to the movies at a real movie palace and not the blackbox big screen rooms they build now. I have enjoyed reading the messages of members who are my age and those members who remember the movie viewing experience of the 1920’s through the 1950’s. It has been very educational. The Loews 46th was the one place besides PS 131 and the candy store that was on the corner of 45th street that my mother would let me walk to by myself until I was almost 13 years old. Thank goodness for TCM, AMC, and Starz Western Channel which still broadcast the old movies. Otherwise I wouldn’t watch TV at all. I have been living in Atlanta since 1980 and enjoy going to the few remaining movie palaces like the Rialto and the Fox Theater which still show movies along with live performances. The other day I found out about another old movie palace being restored in my area to its 1930’s splendor after being neglected since 1978. I’m still optimistic that the Loew’s 46th may still one day show movies and live acts again. As long as there are people like us who still remember.
Hey Theaterat…I think you and I are about the same age. I remember seeing Batman (the Movie) in 1966 when I was 10. I lived ½ block from the 46th street movie house at 4615 New Utrecht from 1955-1969. Did you live in this neighborhood?
The Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville and the Fox Theatre in Atlanta are good examples of what it would take to renovate and restore the old movie palaces like the Loew’s 46th to their original glory. I remember in the 60’s the Loew’s 46th street theater was still a very elegant theater although as kids we didn’t appreciate our neighborhood movie house very much considering all the popcorn and coke that usually wound up on the floor and the chewing gum balls that usually wound up under the seat. From what I have read above, the Loew’s 46th street is a prime candidate for restoration, if it can be run profitably by operators who are dedicated to maintaining it as it was in the late 1920’s. I have seen how the area around the Fox Theater in Atlanta was revitalized after a concerted effort to preserve the Theater as it was in 1929 was made.
From 1955 to 1969 I lived at 4615 New Utrecht Ave across the street from the Loews 46th. I remember seeing the first James Bond films and some of the Elvis Presley films from the early and mid 60’s. I also remember long lines of people going to see live performers like Jerry Vale. Before we moved away from Boro Park in 1969, the owners of the theater had stopped showing films and were only opening for live performances. Today I live in Atlanta and all of the old movie palaces except for the Fox Theater have been demolished or converted into retail spaces, victims of changing economics and urban renewal. Fortunately there are many examples of movie palaces being renovated and saved.
posted by mike m. on March 20, 2005