Showing 16 comments
Hi Ed, looking forward hearing from you. Hope all is well. You haven’t posted in a while.
Nice pics. Looking at your photos the one in the lobby I see the Orchestra seats were visible. They later enclosed the orchestra with a half wall and glass for the other half and put doors. Then they added a concession stand in the center between the left and right of the orchestra doors. The concession was operated by ABC concessions. In the 1960’s it was run by Hannah a funny individual, but stern.
They kept the Ladies room on the orchestra level pretty much the same as well as the ladies room on the mezzanine.
Yes I do. It was next to the RKO Fordham.
Jack was a great District Manager. He based his office out of the RKO Fordham and was in charge of the RKO’s in the Bronx, Mt Vernon & New Rochelle. I remember calling in the figures from the theatre’s to him at home every night.
He was a funny man alway telling a joke, and Marion was more subdued.
He was like the Mayor of the Bronx. He knew everybody and if you needed something he would tell you who to see and tell them Jack Reis sent you. I remember needing car repair and he told me where to go and ask for Pepe. I did and they took care of me immediately and a discount added to that.
I remember him smoking lucky strike unfiltered cigarettes…
He drank a lot of coffee and always pitched money down to Monte, the porter to get him coffee.
He was a great Manager, and District Manager… Knew his business! He was strict but so much fun to work with.
Marion every so often would come by the theatre when they would go somewhere or out to dinner. She was always dressed very stylish.
Those were the days my friend!!!!!
Hi sjteich, what’s your name?
I think I’m in the photo with the guest appearance of Troy donohue.
Do you have a larger photo so I can make it out?
Hi Ed, hope all is well. I don’t know if you remember me.. I remember you very well and your wife. She worked there also, right?
I was the Chief Usher and student Assistant Manager.
Ed are you on Facebook? I am, it’s Pat Concilio.
Remember the staff: doorman Pop Lederer, Cashiers: Martha Chaiton, Olivia Eddo, Sylvia Strassberg, Libby (Estelle Libby), ushers Sydney Moussafer, Monte the porter, the matrons, Al from the projection booth (had problem with his leg…
Hope to hear from you Ed…
Jack was in his 60’s. A tall lanky man who wore glasses and kind of reddish / brown hair. His wife’s name was Marion and adopted a son named Michael.
They lived off the Concourse near Valentine Avenue.
Jack was the Manager / District Manager of the RKO Fordham and and District Manager of all the RKO’s in the Bronx.
He was a very nice person, always with a joke.
Hey Joe, I remember that well. What great times I had working at the RKO Fordham from 1961 to 1969 as an usher, Assistant Chief Usher, then Chief Usher and then was transferred to the newly renovated RKO Stanley Warner Cinerama, Penthouse and Orleans on 47th & Broadway as the Manager of the Cinerama.
But the RKO Fordham will never be forgotten. My first Chief Usher was Martin Schwabb, then Carl, then Roy and then I became the Chief Usher. I remember the uniform with the braids and I had the ushers wear white gloves and I used to check there shoes in the ushers dressing room under the stage to make sure their shoes were polished before they took the floor. Then I became the Assistant Manager under Jack Reis who was the Manager then became the District/Division Manager and I became the manager. I had great ushers Terry, Andre, Sydney, Mike, Danny and many others, the cashiers I remember was Martha, Olivia, Sylvia and Estelle, the porter Monte, the matrons Mrs Ackerman, Mrs Sharky and a mrs hudak, concession Hanna, my doorman was fabulous we called him ‘pop’ he was in his eighties and was so on top of everything. He drove to work everyday in his white car and would keep the rough necks out from sneaking by him to get into the theatre, the projection people Al, Cy and I remember they had a lounge chair on the roof and during the summer I would at times go up there to get a tan, Eddie was the electrician who changed the marquee on Tuesday evenings, Mr Gallagher and another gentleman who ran the air conditioning/heating systems they were the engineers, the two guys selling newspapers under the marquee at night and Sunday mornings, the ladies shop next door. What fun… I could go on and on and on…. I made so many friends back then. I remember as an usher carrying those heavy cans of film up to the projection booth for the projectionists. I remember the loads of and one large handle that controlled the lights backstage for intermission and we had to close the curtain manually. We had a little office in the lobby that was hidden with mirrors where we controlled the marquee lights and the concession stock room was inside there also. The managers office was on the mezzanine floor near the alcove where the telephone booths were.
I also helped out at the Colisseum a couple of times when they needed it, because Mr Reis was the DM of all the Bronx RKO’s.
Those were the days my friend… I could go on and on….
They did in fact come to the RKO Fordham together. I remember it specifically as I did assist them getting off the bus and escort them backstage.
Sorry you didn’t win the doll at the 58th. st. lol….
Response to: I’m sure we’d all love to hear your “Baby Jane” stories!
It was so fantastic preparing for celebrities to visit. We had barricades set up outside and ropes inside the theatre. It was jammed outside as well as inside. When the bus pulled up in front of the theatre, it was pandemonium. I only had the ushers to hold the crowds back outside and inside the theatre. I had a couple of security there too. We had to escort them from the bus, thru the lobby, down the side aisle to backstage.
When Bette and Joan came the crowds went wild. They were so loving to each other coming off the bus and thru the lobby and to the backstage. But backstage they argued, screamed at each other… a battle!!! Then they came out on the stage infront of the screen. Unbelievable… holding hands, so loving and kind to each other. No one ever knew…. But they were fantastic, and what legends!
I will never forget the time we had a special appearance of the Dave Clark 5 group. Unbelievable…what crowds in and outside. When they came out on the stage, everyone screaming, girls throwing bras, shirts etc. down to the stage. We had to have so much security lined up in front of the stage.
Judy Garland was fantastic! So frail, but what a person. Not as much crowds, but so dynamic on and off the stage. What a real legend!
Those were the days, my friend……
We were all so energized.
I want to see if someone remembers….
RKO Theatres had a screen trailer that was shown before each feature. It was a bouncing ball for RKO… Anyone remember it?
when i was at RKO Genieve R was manager of the main floor and Nick G. The penthouse….Nick told me the 2 of them were managers there for 4o years…..Nick g was also the manager of the orlean at the end of the theaterslife… I was ast mgr for them before going on to manager and then dm …
RKO took over Stanley Warner in the 1960’s. The completely renovated the Stanley Warner and made it into three theatres..Cinerama, Penthouse and Orleans. When RKO took them over, they brought me from the RKO Fordham where I was Asst. Mgr. and made me the Manager of the Cinerama. Nick C was the Manager of the old RKO 59th. St. and took him down to the Penthouse as the Manager. Genevieve R was the Assistant Manager when it was Stanley Warner and when we took them over Genevieve stayed on as my Assistant Manager. Sal P was brought in from another RKO and made the Manager of the Orleans. Mike Edelstein was the Division Manager. The Polon’s were running the company at that time.
I left RKO in the 70’s and Genevieve took my position and became the Manager of the Cinerama.
But RKO didn’t take over the Stanley Warner’s until the 1960’s.
You probably came into the picture later on.
Get a load of this grueling personal appearance schedule: 17 theaters in 3 days. Can you imagine one of today’s movie stars doing something like this to plug their picture?
I was the Assistant Manager of the RKO Fordham when they made their special appearance there for the movie “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane”. Boy do I have stories about that stage appearance!
Also Judy Garland went on tour as well as Lucille Ball. Those were the days my friend!!!
My memory is of the men selling the Sunday Daily News, Daily Mirror
outside the moviehouse at night
posted by ex-Bronx-boy on Apr 29, 2005 at 3:04am
I remember it. I was the Assistant Manager of the RKO Fordham. I can’t remember his name, but there was also a younger guy who helped him also. They were both great people.
This theater always had two managers both who ran the theater for almost 40 years.The second floor or the penthouse was run by a man NICK G. The main floor was run by Genave.All the RKO theaters called this theater every night with daily box office #.
posted by longislandmovies on Aug 20, 2004 at 2:56pm
Pat C was the Manager of the Cinerama (main Floor), Genieve R was the Assistant Manager. Nick C was the Manager of the Penthouse (second floor) and Sal P was the Manager of the Orleans.
The theatre that was on Fordham Road near the El on Jerome Avenue was the Lido. It was a smaller, more moderized moviehouse. I worked at the RKO Fordham Theatre from 1960 to 1970 as the Chief Usher and as the Assistant Manager / Manager.
It was truly a grand theatre.