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Dear people in this thread of comments. As the author of “The Blue Balcony” I can say that is is indeed a work of art or as sometimes I describe it, a “cinema sculpture”. We did play movies every night for over a month and it was open to the public and yes there was no projector and no screen ! And people (everyone from artists to locksmiths) absolutely loved it. And for those of you who love old cinema palaces this was an hommage to these popcorn palaces ! Of course with a little twist – the scenery that decorated this mini auditorium was also, visually, telling the story of Georgette LeBlanc and her lover Maurice Maeterlinck, by referencing their artistic works (ex. The Blue Bird of Hope, The Inhuman Woman, Blue Beard’s Castle etc.)
And getting back to the movie part: each night when a movie played a computer would analyse the image, frame by frame, and translate the video into data for dimmer that feed a matrix of light bulbs concealed behind all the scenery in the room. So the image of the film got translated into a light show ! And the audio of the film would be heard through the sound system, unmodified.
We all dearly miss the American Theater and I am very saddened by its destruction. I am glad you like my photos taken during its last day of operation. However, the fact that you copied them off my flickr account and uploaded them here without asking my permission or giving any credit to the photographer I find rather disrespectful.
This site is focused on showcasing the architecture of spaces for viewing movies. The interior of the Boyd auditorium is of much greater interest to me than a banal multi-plex black box. I suggest you look elsewhere if you want to have more “objective” coverage of the proposed demolition of the Boyd.
Furthermore, I think your distaste of the “eyesore the façade has become” to be irrelevant. If you want a characterless uniformly clean neighborhood why not move to a wealthy suburban town ?
It appears that the auditorium will be demolished ??? !!! Here is a copy of a post from Matt Lambros/ After the Final Curtain from Facebook: “The Boyd Theatre auditorium to be demolished and a multiplex and restaurant complex built in its place.”
iPic Entertainment® Announces Visionary Movie Theater ‘Escape’ to Debut in Philadelphia — BOCA…
There was a decision not to invest in digital projection because of the situation with the lease, and rightly so ! The landlord terminated the lease on very short notice to close the cinema and rent the space to TJ Max. Here are some photos during the last day of operation:
I was at the theater this past weekend the day it closed. I learned that the lease with Bow Tie Cinemas was terminated so that a TJ Max can take over the space.
Here is a link to photos I took during my visit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/50992596@N00/sets/72157635654806913/
In the photos you can see so many of the original architectural details are still intact. I suspect much of this will be lost if plans go forward to alter the space to accommodate a large retail store.
interior during demolition:
This renovation is nothing but façadism ! The inside of the building was demolished, not renovated ! The original auditorium and its decorations have been destroyed and are buried behind the new walls. Mosaics, murals and other original architectural details are forever lost, encased in cement.
Also before the demolition, the auditorium had 1,200 seats… Now the new auditorium has only 340 ! The architectural space has been significantly altered, chopping up the auditorium to make space for an art gallery, café etc.
you can read more here:
I went by the theater today. The Church is gone, store fronts boarded up and there is an “ X ” painted on the front of the building, apparently to signal fire-fighters not to go inside…
Also a construction worker with a hard hat and harness walked out. Plus it appears the fire-escapes on the north side have been torn out recently.
Anyone have any information as to what is happening to the building ???
For more information and events calender please visit:
interior photos, showing what is currently there behind the mult-plex walls:
some links to interior photos showing the original auditorium behind the multi-plex partitions from this blog posting
What sad news, it looks like the re-development plan that has been approved will demolish the auditorium and stage house !
“The Victoria’s cavernous auditorium will be demolished, but its ornate lobby, signature fountain, original marquee, grand stairway and gilded chandeliers will be preserved.”
AND BEHIND the multiplexing is a carefully preserved mostly intact single screen auditorium ! (see photos in link below)
“Mr. Blake, sensitive to the historical and irreplaceable aspects of this theater, had partitions put in to create 5 auditoriums that would leave no scars and could be easily removed.”
It looks like the part of the building with retail stores was demolished or extensively renovated to accommodate a 4-story addition for commercial office spaces (totally hiding that behind the cheap new façade is an old building). Does anyone know if the auditorium is still intact? Or was that destroyed with the transformation of the street front part of the building …
This theater is in Queens, NOT Ridgewood !