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I remember that one of these theaters had no doors – the front was just open no matter what the weather and the sidewalk was carpeted. There was a huge modern painting at the far end of the lobby. So sad how film exhibition changed.
The Cinema I and Cinema II were the most important movie theaters in New York in their day. It all went quickly down the toilet when Don Rugoff lost the company.
I worked for the company that distributed Caligula and we couldn’t get anyone in Chicago to play it. Then a guy named Nick DeLuca came through with the Davis. Nick was a pleasure and we had a good run there.
I lived in this neighborhood in the mid 70s but I never went to this theater. I remember hearing that it was a real dump. By the time Landmark took it over I was long gone.
I remember something strange about this theater. Maybe I just dreamed it but I think that when you entered the auditorium you had to step down. Or was it up? Maybe somebody will straighten me out.
I think this was my favorite of the Loop theaters. It was really beautiful and somehow felt a little smaller than the rest. A real jewel.
I saw a John Holmes double feature at this theater. It was a little strange – not like a real movie theater. Now I know it was really a restaurant it makes more sense.
I saw my first x-rated movie here in 1971. i think it was called Hot Connections and was about a telephone repairman named George. I was just 18 that day and when I walked in and saw what was going on up on the screen I just thought I LOVE THIS.
I kind of discovered this theater by chance. They never ran ads in the newspapers.
This theater was part of the Brotman & Sherman chain for a while but they ran it down taking everything they could out of it and not putting anything back. Typical of the time.
This was the first theater in Manhattan to become totally smoke free. The manager was Avi Jones and when she quit smoking herself – she put the policy into works.
I remember the bowling alley around the corner had the best hot dogs.
Going to the Sky-Hi was such a treat. We went in our pajamas and I remember it being so beautiful. Of course when you’re a kid…
This just reminds me of when Piper’s Alley was actually an alley.
This was one of the most beautiful theaters I ever went to both inside and out. The art deco blue interior was such a pleasure.
I remember the Pistoleros, they were at the Hillside Theater too. That was the summer of 1971.
what a sweet memory from bflonguy. this was a great theater and a different world.
Kim Novak worked as a cashier at this theater.
The Cinema was a small art deco “art house” owned by Brotman and Sherman Theatres. It was known for its bad sightlines and great marquee. There were two extremely small balconies on either side of the projection booth. It was somewhat redecorated in 1978 for the world premiere of Robert Altman’s “The Wedding,” which was attended by the entire cast. The Cinema’s sister theater was the Carnegie, located at Rush and Oak. The Carnegie was Brotman and Sherman’s “flagship” theater which they built to their specifications after the old Carnegie burned in the Mr. Kelly’s fire. The Carnegie is now a restaurant.
The Hillside Theatre was built in 1961 by Morris Handler. It was owned and operated by Brotman and Sherman Theatres. Oscar Brotman and Leonard Sherman saw the Terrace Theater in Minnesota and commissioned Handler to reproduce the theater for them on a piece of land that was once a nursery, the highest elevation in Hillside. The premiere night was a screening of “Dondi” the first film to play for the general public was “The Horizontal Lieutenant.” It was a spectacular building with huge vertical windows in the lobby. There was a smoking loge in the first four rows of the balcony, crying rooms up top for people with babies, a party room, a fire place and a beautifully landscaped lawn. Known especially for the huge “atom” sign that is still a landmark and can be seen for miles, the Hillside had 1,437 seats. It was later converted to a lazer show, then twined and eventually tripled with a third theater in the lobby. It is now a church.