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The Playhouse (and the Squire across the street) was no stranger to a racy film. I recall “Fritz the Cat” playing there, and Warhol’s “Frankenstein” appeared at one of the two theatres in Great Neck. Sometimes, a film would “cross the street” if they wanted a bigger audience at the Squire. “Towering Inferno” did that. It was in GN for MONTHS on end.
A friend of mine in college worked as a concession stand salesperson at this theatre in the 1970s. She said that the manager counted the soda cups, so they would enjoy a soda and simply put it back in the stack. EW! Also, she said that she and her coworkers regularly split up the take from the Will Rogers Institute cups that workers would collect money with before the movies. So, while I still get soda at the movies at my own peril, I never, ever give money to charities in the theatres themselves.
I almost went to a movie here in October 2004, but the timing was off. The theatre has a wonderful vertical marquee with the Odeon name in lights, making it quite visible from a distance. The only other movie theatre we spotted was almost indistinguishable from the office building in whose basement it was located. The Odeon is very much the art deco 1940s flavor of theatre with a separate box office for issuing tickets. Wish I took a photo of this.
I’ve seen exactly two movies at Radio City. The first was “Robin and Marion” in the 1970s. My father’s cousin took me. It also featured a Rockettes show. The second movie was in 1989; the 50th Anniversary of Gone with the Wind. Since the movie was filmed in a smaller aspect ratio, the screen at Radio City was perfect for it. There’s not a bad seat in the house. THe last time I was there was 1991, for a Joe Jackson concert.
If you go to the Museum of the Moving Image this month, there’s a wonderful Loew’s centennial exhibit, featuring a great shot of the Loew’s Bay Terrace in its heydey, along with many other cinema shots.
The Angelika is located to two major subway lines: The BMT Broadway line and the IND that goes to Brooklyn Via Houston. The cinemas are probably closer to the Bway/Houston junction than the lobby is, which is at Mercer St.
Many NYC-area theatres are near subways. The rumbling, I find, is not all that intrusive, and oddly comforting at times.
Kanbar still runs it, and he sends out a lively newsletter every week about the cinema’s offerings. The Quad tends to run almost every gay film that comes out, and brings a guaranteed gay audience every weekend. It’s an easy time for any woman at the cinema when it comes to getting in and out of the b-room quickly, as the patrons are often mostly men.
This is not to say that only gay-themed movies run there. The Quad shows excellent independent and foreign fare here all the time. The main drawback of the Quad is that its seating is very narrow and uncomfortable. Get there late on a weekend night, and you and your cinema companion are likely not to sit together. It’s much nicer during the weeknights.
With the Waverly closed, there are what, two cinemas serving the West Village now? There’s the Quad Cinema on 13th St., and Film Forum on Houston. This is a pretty sad state of affairs for the West Village. WHen I first moved to Manhattan, we had the Waverly, the Art Greenwich, the Eighth St. Playhouse, and the UA Movieworld on 8th St. also. There was also the Thalia South. The only other cinemas between Houston and 14th Streets are east of Broadway—the UA theatre at Union Square, the Loews Village VII, and the Village East Cinemas. The Landmark Sunshine is on the south side of Houston.
The last commercial film I saw there was in the early 1990s—“The Paper,” starring Glenn Close. It was about a NYC newspaper. Michael Keaton co-starred, back when that meant something, to someone. :–)
As part of the NYU conglomerate, the Cantor has been open to the public (that I know of) when film festivals are in town. For example, for several years, the New Festival (gay and lesbian) had films showing there and at the New School’s great auditorium, until last year, when the festival snagged the Loew’s 34th Street for all of its films.
Did UA ever run the 8th St. Playhouse? They did have a twin theatre down the road which is now run by NYU for film screenings. The 8th St. Playhouse is now a TLA Video, which is notable because the video store chain always honors its stores' histories. In Philadelphia, a TLA store is so named for the Theatre of the Living Arts, a live theatre whose space they took over. The NYC store has a writeup in store about the cinema, and has a sample film schedule from its days as a repertory house.
I saw the Talking Heads' movie, “True Stories,” there in 1986 when it was a first-run theatre. The last film I saw there was “King of Hearts,” when it was a repertory house again. That was probably in the early 1990s, shortly before it closed.
The cinema was supposedly the first “pure cinema,” as it had no theatre-like curtains opening and closing with the feature presentations, and was built as a cinema and not a theatre. The old projection booth is still up there if you go into the video store. For what it’s worth, TLA is a fantastic video store. The only one I patronize. It’s between work and home, and home is 65 blocks north.
The Tower East tends to hold onto its movies for weeks and even months at a time. When I first moved to the neighborhood (1989). Woody Allen’s “Crimes and Misdemeanors” played there for months on end. Right now, “Vanity Fair” has been there since opening night—at least six weeks at this point.
For some reason, I always sit in the balcony here. They’ve shown a lot of great movies here, like “The Hours,” but they also show some more popular fare, like that movie about the smart sharks that ate Samuel L. Jackson.
LOVED Monica’s report. One of the best submissions I’ve seen here on CinemaTreasures.
This theatre was triplexed by real-estate development, actually. The third theatre was added when a luxury condo tower went up at the corner. The two original theatres are still there, and a small hallway between the theatre and the new tower gives moviegoers access to the third theatre, which has its own, but apparently never open, concession stand.
This movie house appears in Woody Allen’s “Crimes and Misdemeanors”; his character takes his niece to old movies there.
What’s wrong with all of you? A movie theatre showing something in ANY language is better than no movie theatre at all. We go to the movies for a lot of reasons, and one of them is to broaden our horizons and “go to another world,” yet we can’t deal with the majority of the rest of the world, which, by the way, doesn’t speak English?
This page of Forgotten New York features a shot of the RKO Bushwick with its marquee intact.
Is the Jersey open or not? When I go to Moviefone or enjoytheshow.com, and no Loews Jersey is listed as showing movies…
My mother’s mother used to go to the movies here every Saturday after she was done with the shabbos lunch dishes. Even though my grandfather was strictly orthodox, she somehow brokered a deal for herself whereby once a week, she got to go to the movies by herself without acceding to his demands and the chores of housewifery. Good for her!
When I lived on LI and in Queens, I was a member of the cinema and would go all the time. I once braved a rainstorm to see a Tavarnier film. I drove in record time from Queens after a subway delay to see “Intolerance” on a weeknight. Every month they showed a silent film with live piano accompaniment (by a man named “Harry”).
At the time, it was called the “New Community Cinema” and a dedicated crew of volunteers took tickets and sold brownies and herbal teas, among other concessions. My friends and I went regularly and we got to know some of the crew by name, most notably a woman named Joan Semon and her sister (was it Mary?). A friend of mine named Tom was the projectionist for a little while.
The first film I saw there was “Dance with a Stranger,” and I went regularly after that. It was a 45-minute drive from my parent’s house and even longer from Queens, but it was well worth it, since my friends didn’t want to trek into NYC to see the same films.
Shortly before I moved to Manhattan, the folks there were actually receptive to my wanting to try to organize a “gay singles brunch.” They had a singles brunch program but Joan said it was regularly one man and 40 women.
The site of the old Hicksville cinemas is where IKEA now stands, and the remodelled mall has a new multiplex inside.
The only time we went to the Floral was to see a re-release of Mary Poppins. I was put in charge of my brother. I vividly remember a long wait for Mom to pick us up. It was raining, but luckily, it had a very big marquee.
The Squire also features an adjacent store as its seventh theatre. One thing I always remembered about the Squire was the ticket booth being outside but flat against the wall with a door to the lobby. Also, a round piece of furniture with a high back. I forget what they call that.
This was the only theatre in my childhood that ever had double features. Two memorable double bills—“Escape from the Planet of the Apes” and Nicolas Roeg’s “Walkabout,” (1973) and “Carrie” and “Burnt Offerings,” (1978ish). Back then our parents dropped us off there by ourselves and never worried at all.
I posted a “new listing” for this… not realizing the theatre was already listed.