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Listed as part of the Liggett-Florin Booking Service chain (who bought the Stiefel Booking Office chain in the late ‘40s), operating from around 1950-52 (could be earlier).
The current location of the address given is obviously not the building in question (Hacienda De Don Manuel restaurant), so either the building was demoed, the address is wrong, or the street addresses were changed at some point. I suspect the Strand was in fact Hines Playhouse, located at 92-96 Lafayette Ave., across the street and down the block from the Lafayette.
It’s been years since I’ve gone through the Rockland papers, but as I recall, the Strand booked “family friendly” programming in competition with the Lafayette.
The style of this theater’s architecture is Adam/Greek Revival. I was able to talk some of the employees into seeing the warehouse inside, which was actually the main auditorium. The balcony has been leveled and turned into additional storage. As mentioned, the floor was leveled. The proscenium and stage are still intact, and there is a prominent acoustical dome above the stage area.
FYI, this week is Cartoon Week at the Capitol. They’re running a dozen Looney Tunes in 35mm. If you’re in the area, check it outâ€"it’s a great opportunity to see a film presentation in a downtown theater.
Demolished, now the site of a “Landing Clothing Co.” store.
Actually, those are old photos. I think the theater is gutted at this point (they were gutting it earlier this year when I was there).
Still standing as of today. Looks like along with the rest of the state, Passaic has run out of money.
BTW, the style is really Adam rather than Deco, and I’m almost positive that it is a Eugene De Rosa house.
The theater is still there, but slated for demolition.
Does anyone know when the public auction is?
The two interior photos, circa 1927, are from the first volume of “American Theaters of Today” by Sexton and Betts.
The Inwood was typical De Rosa— a strictly Adam neighborhood with no balcony (stadium seating at most). De Rosa’s theaters were built to be modified: the similar Lafayette in Suffern, which could have even been a sister theater to the Inwood, underwent additions in the late ‘20s after the theater’s success.
Architect was Drew Eberson. The Greek sculpture were copies from the ruins of various Greek buildings of the fifth century. They were executed by Mr. Shirley W. E. Simmons, a noted sculptor at the time. The 600-seat house actually cost $350,000 by one report. Other credits were:
Air cond: Carrier
Carpet: Alexander Smith
Decorator: Peggy Eberson
Draperies, curtain track: Novelty Scenic
Marquee: Adler, Artkraft Strauss
Screen: Trans-Lux (of course)
Seating was around 800. Architect was Henry George Greene, and the original owner was New England Theatres, Inc. Originally, the theater was to be named through a contest, but it would seem that never happened. Opened around fall of 1963.
Al, you’re taking a lot of things out of context. That first KATE/Hall article was referring to the out-of-sync presentations that plagued the films previously.
Both THE ROBE and MILLIONAIRE did better because of their saturation campaigns. KISS KE KATE wasn’t being pushed as hard because everyone knew the musical. And if it was such a flop in 3D, why were there more orders for left/right pairs than Technicolor could make in a short time? The same thing happened with MONEY FROM HOME, which was a box-office hit, as were many of the Martin and Lewis films.
True, THE ROBE outgrossed HOUSE OF WAX, but that wasn’t point. The fact that it actually did quite well at the box office (top ten that year), shows otherwise. You ignored my comment about HONDO, which was enough of a success that Warner re-instated his trust in 3D.
But what it boils down to is this— even then, most of these films got OK to good reviews, and most critics today agree that they’re pretty good pictures, even in 2D. I can’t argue what you like or dislike, but to dismiss fifty totally unrelated films on the basis that they’re in 3D (again, a form that you admit you haven’t seen them in), is glib.
Also, I don’t know how you could consider HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE a musical by any stretch of the imagination.
Yeah, the FROM HERE TO ETERNITY playdate couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the fact that Columbia was pushing for an Oscar that year.
Al, judging from your posts, you seem to have a personal grudge against 3D films from that era, even though you haven’t seen most of the films in their stereoscopic format (can you see 3D?). Given the wide range of films that were made during that time, I find it hard to believe one could call the entire output “cheese.” You overlooked the fact that HOUSE OF WAX was one of the top grossers of the year.
Call January a dead month if you will, but the point is that most of the theaters were not only still playing 3D, they were advertising it, too. HONDO had a nice five-week run at the Paramount in 3-D, followed up by a 3-D booking on the RKO chain (31 theaters).
Do you have a source for the Variety article that states that bad movies were to blame for 3D’s diminish?
Mr. Furmanek is correct about KISS ME KATE. It played many theaters in 3-D during its initial run, and helped rejuvenate 3-D during the winter season of 1954, which included some of the titles I mentioned.
Whether you like the pictures or not, they were commercial successes— in 3-D— in their day.
As a coda, I’m rather surprised that HOUSE OF WAX was listed as “headache inducing.” Technically speaking, it’s a very well photographed picture, and presented properly, is heralded by stereoscopic photographers as one of the best.
Having seen most of the ‘50s (and even '30s and '40s) titles, I must agree with Bob F. that the reputation of the 1950s 3-D films is grossly maligned by the press of today. As mentioned, a cross-section of the '50s titles is actually a far better representation of ANY films made in 1953, as opposed to today’s fare, which is mainly oriented towards kids (animated children’s films) or teenagers (your MY BLOODY VALENTINES, and so on). Whether you like films from 1953 or not, you cannot deny that films such as KISS ME KATE, DIAL ’M’ FOR MURDER, MISS SADIE THOMPSON, MONEY FROM HOME, CEASE FIRE and I, THE JURY were all prestigious pictures in their day.
Mr. Furmanek is also correct in that the image of modern 3-D is technically lower than the standards of the ‘50s 3-D, which utilized the full film resolution on two prints, rather than the digital files on the single-projector systems that have less-than-HD resolution, and surprisingly low light output.
The biggest obstacle that modern 3-D films have to overcome is for the producers to learn the rules of stereoscopic photography. FLY ME TO THE MOON 3D was a perfect example of “breaking the rules,” leading to headache and eye strain.
The lack of product, however, is what will doom the modern 3-D to failure. There is simply not enough product coming from studios to make a successful business model. A film a month isn’t going to cut it.
A picture of this theater may be found with an accompanying article from 1951 here:
Nice photos, Lost Memory. You’ve certainly got an eye for the good angles around the theater. Nice pics of Suffern, too.
Frankly, a venue that size in NYC costs less to keep closed and rented out for catering and such than it does to run it for concerts (throwing on EVERY light in the house).
Find them a Wonder Loews that’s presentable and has movie equipment installed and I’m sure they’d he happy to have a premier there.
Find them a Wonder Loews in presentable condition with projector equipment and I’m sure they’d be happy to have their premier there.