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And yet The Babylon was very successful for 80 or so years before Bow Tie entered the picture. When Prudential/United Artists owned the theater. is was first class all the way, same building in the middle of the street, same tiny parking lot behind, combined with top management. They were first run, getting the best pictures first, sometime directly from Radio City Music Hall. It was a “Red Carpet Theater”. People who came knew where to park and lines around the building were common. It’s sounds like Clearview AND Bow Tie gave on a grande dame. Babylon’s loss.
And then there was one… Who would have thought The South Bay Cinemas would be the last man standing.
A different time never to be seen again, where a kid in every town could walk to that special place and spend a Saturday watching stories made of flickering light. The clakety clack of the projector and smell of fresh popped corn, now replaced by flat screens, and little discs of silver, but will never compare to the cacophony of a thousand people erupting in laughter as the hero pratfalls or scream in fear as your worst nightmare unfolds up there, or even the gentle sound of a united community sniffling as the heroine doesn’t make it to the closing credits and loving every minute of it.
The Prudential/UA Babylon has a special place in my heart and I thank her for the great times, as I have as each cinema treasure of my life has passed on.
AlAvarez you seem to take glee in repeating other theaters out gross The Ziegfeld. The Coronet was smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood, surrounded by high rise apartment buildings and 42nd Street has had a neighborhood resurgence over 8th Ave. People who go to The Ziegfeld, go because they want to be there, even if it’s not next door. The one thing you haven’t mentioned about the much more successful Coronet, it ain’t there anymore.
The late great Joan Rivers hustling opening weekend, making personal appearances for her directorial debut ‘Rabbit Test" in photo section.
“Cast A Giant Shadow” NY Times opening ad with personal appearances by Kirk Douglas in photos.
“The Rose” opened in NY exclusively but also opened on Long Island and New Jersey. “Apocalypse Now” & “Close Encounters Of The Third Kind” were east coast exclusives. Opening ads in photo section.
If you consider the front of the mall the side that faced Sunrise Highway, the theater was around in the back. You couldn’t see it from the highway.
“Cheyenne Autumn” New York Times premiere ad posted in photos. No mention, including The Times review mentions Cinerama, only Super Panavsion 70.
A lot of us get it,Vito. So sad that new generations don’t get to experience what we treasure, when going to the movies and standing online early on a warm summer night to get your favorite seat with friends was as much fun as the show itself. They will miss movie palaces, roadshow “exclusive” engagements, Drive-Ins, and great double features! Time marches on. Unfortunately it marches right over us.
The Ghost light!
Used to pass this theater all time going into Video Shack, the premiere place to get VHS at the time. I was always curious, being a theater lover, what kind of theater it was. Was it upstairs? Carved out of an office building? I know it was always an adult theater but was it actually presentable? Sloped floor? All questions I ’m sure their clientele wasn’t interested in. There doesn’t seem to be any pictures of the interior.
You can see ads for both, last week for “Funny Girl” and opening ad for “Paint Your Wagon” here on page 17 of The Long Islander, a weekly paper based in Huntington. This site has many archived LI papers.
How do you access past NY Times? Are they digital copies of the edition or only articles? Can you see the past movie ads?
Sorry you weren’t happy Vito about the look on America’s Got Talent". I think the Grande Dame looks amazing. You know how close RCMH came to being another nondescript office building. She’s alive and well on the number one show on TV. The Judges, contestants and the host all talk constantly about how iconic and important the theater is and how honored everyone is to perform on that stage. When the show ends, it’ll be put back in original condition. All new generations that have never been to NYC are seeing it shine. It’s all good.
“There are very few people alive who’ve ever seen ‘Wizard of Oz’ in a movie theater, let alone an Imax movie theater,” said Richard Gelfond, chief executive of Imax Corp.
What a ridiculous statement. “The Wizard Of Oz” was rereleased to theaters nationwide with 1979 prints on November 6, 1998.
First time a few weeks ago. Saw flat “Star Trek” in the last theater next to the exit doors. The projection was clear, sound good and I had a fine time. No hesitation returning. Walked into the IMAX to check the screen. It didn’t seem any bigger worth paying premium for. Kudos to AMC, both doormen on duty were in motorized wheelchairs, nice to see.
There was a discussion of a lost film here called “Him” and if it actually played here. I’ve been doing research trying to find a lost documentary I know I saw as a kid about the space program. Anyway, I have been going through all the Village Voices from the 70’s which are available on line and not only did “Him” play here, it played three separate multi-week engagements thru ‘73 –'75 with big half page ads to boot.
August 25 1966 Adam West & Burt Ward star in the feature version of “Batman” with special live appearance of Batman & Robin!
SUFFOLK HISTORIC NEWSPAPERS has years of digital back issues of The Long Islander, a local newspaper with weekly movie ads included.
Uh oh. I saw “Les Miz” Sunday eve and for the first time in thirty plus years I have to say I was disappointed.
First, turning onto 54th street I was shocked that there was no marquee panel. Oh no, maybe the wind blew it out, it was wicked that day. Walking to the other side, nope, NY’s Premiere movie theater had basic letters on a track for it’s big Christmas picture. Never seen that in the hundreds of times I’ve passed by. It looked like any dollar house in the suburbs. I asked the usher about it, and he said was “all I know is they are working on it”. This for a feature a week in release already and booked months ago.
Then waiting for the previous show to break and I notice the lobby carpet is dirty. First in the auditorium, head for my favorite seat, front row mezzanine aisle and it’s broken, unusable.
First fifteen minutes, no music or even screen ads and it was more noticeable because of the big naked screen staring at us. How much could it really cost to open and close a curtain five times a day. That’s what it was installed for. In the past,even neighborhood theaters had curtains. Multiplexes killed this tradition and this is what makes this theater unique.
Staff, projection and sound first rate as always but it’s obvious Clearview has given up while waiting for a buyer. The gorgeous Ziegfeld Theater deserves better.
Thank you for the updated photos ED, it’s appreciated. Some progress is better than no progress.
As it says in the article, “My Favorite Year” starring Peter O'Toole and Mark Linn-Baker were filming and that’s the faux marquee of “House Of Wax” that can be seen in the opening credits.
How in world are they going to build five screens with stadium seating and tables plus a lobby and kitchen in that little single screen space?
Don’t remember what theater it was, but it was on the New Amsterdam side and I believe in the middle of the block. I remember because “It’s Alive” had that great teaser trailer with the baby carriage and I stood there and watch it a few times and it was soooo cool for a kid.
This was the trailer…