Broadway Theatre

1681 Broadway,
New York, NY 10019

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robboehm
robboehm on April 13, 2016 at 5:55 am

My parents may have taken me to see Fantasia as a child. We went to a lot of movies in the city. Finally got to see it many years later on the CinemaScope screen of my local theater.

Coate
Coate on April 12, 2016 at 7:52 pm

As cited in my retrospective article, the Broadway Theatre held the longest-running roadshow engagement of Disney’s “Fantasia” and was among only eleven venues that presented the film in Fantasound.

Cinerama
Cinerama on January 11, 2016 at 5:27 am

More info here – http://incinerama.com/ctbroadway.htm when it was a Cinerama theatre.

Coate
Coate on November 13, 2015 at 7:25 am

Walt Disney’s “Fantasia” premiered here on this date in 1940. Happy 75th! And here’s a retrospective article to mark the occasion. Included is a historian interview and a breakdown of where the film played in its initial roadshow release.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on May 19, 2015 at 4:24 am

Incredible December 1928 photo as the Colony added courtesy of the Eyes Of A Generation.com Facebook page.

Hammerstein Theatre, now the Ed Sullivan Theatre in the background. Below copy/history of the Hammerstein also courtesy of the Eyes Of A Generation.com Facebook page.

Tomorrow is David Letterman’s last day in this grand theater that was built in 1927. This photo shows “Good Boy” playing at what was then The Hammerstein Theater in December of 1928. The famous song at this link was first performed here and was the first “hit” event in the theater’s history. https://youtu.be/rI275t9BNJo?t=42s

The song is “I Want To Be Loved By You.” and is sung by Helen Kane, who’s voice and style was the inspiration for the famous cartoon character Betty Boop. In 1931, bankruptcy forced the sale, and the theater was bought by Billy Rose. After a few more years of legitimate theater ventures, Rose entered a long term lease with CBS in 1936. The debut radio show from here was “The Major Bowes Amateur Hour,” and the venue was known as CBS Radio Playhouse.

In 1950, the theater was converted to television and became CBS Studio 50. The first big production from Studio 50 was “The Jackie Gleason Show” in the fall of 1950. In ‘52, Ed Sullivan’s “Toast Of The Town” show was moved from The Maxine Elliot Theater to Studio 50, and joined Gleason there. Tomorrow night, another chapter ends, and a new one will begin again soon at 1697 Broadway.

edlambert
edlambert on July 27, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Does anyone know the size of the screen installed at the Broadway for the premiere of “This Is Cinerama”?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 23, 2013 at 6:44 am

Coincidentally, this pic, also from October, 1931, and posted back in May of 2012, shows the marquee advertising what appears to be essentially the same bill. Barto & Mann seem to be listed on the marquee in place of Al Trahan?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 23, 2013 at 6:28 am

Wow… 1931! I wonder how big that “giant” television screen was – not to mention how grainy or fuzzy the image was, at that size!

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 22, 2012 at 4:25 am

Note the CINE ROMA verticle sign at the far near corner of the marquee. This name and concept moved around between the Ambassador, Piccadilly and Broadway in the late thirties.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 2, 2012 at 3:31 pm

“Steamboat Willie” opened at this Colony. The 79th Street was not named Colony until 1937.

jeffg718
jeffg718 on January 2, 2012 at 3:10 pm

I’ve found some websites that say that “Steamboat Willie” premiered at the Broadway Theatre in 1928 when it was the Colony and other websites that say it premiered at the 79th Street Theatre which later was renamed the Colony. I am curious to know which is correct.

robboehm
robboehm on September 19, 2011 at 2:50 am

In addition to the renovations mentioned in the opening the Broadway “suffered” a major modification when Candide played there. Basically it was converted to an arena with a large portion of the orchestra seating replaced by the stage.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 11, 2011 at 8:36 am

Great photos on that site! Thanks for sharing, CWalczak! I love the surreptitious shots of the screen during the film… Really gives an idea as to how overwhelming the image must have been, particularly to those who had until that time been used to standard Academy ratio for so long!

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on April 11, 2011 at 8:22 am

The page for the Broadway Theatre in Roland Lataille’s database of Cinerama theaters has a picture of the ground floor booths for Cinerama at the Broadway. Considering that the center booth shows only a single projection port, my guess would be that the high booth was used for the prologue. See http://cinerama.topcities.com/ctbroadway.htm

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 11, 2011 at 7:30 am

Back on Feb 19, 2010, Ret. AKC(NAC) Bob Jensen answered a question regarding Cinerama presentation that I had posed 4 years earlier. I would now like to take this opportunity, more than a year AFTER that response, to say “Many thanks, Sir!”

And re-register for notifications on this page, while I’m at it.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on February 11, 2011 at 6:29 pm

This photograph of the B.S. Moss Broadway Theatre was taken in 1931 by George Mann of the comedy dance team, Barto and Mann.

Bway
Bway on August 28, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Here’s the link:

View link

Bway
Bway on August 28, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Here’s a very early photo of the Colony Theater

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 6, 2010 at 4:15 am

“Fantasia”, longest run in the history of talking pictures:

View link

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on May 27, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Interior & exterior photos, including historic ones:
http://www.ibdb.com/venueimages.php?id=1496

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on February 19, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Ed Solero-

I don’t think your question of Jan 10, 2006 was ever answered.

“for the CINERAMA exhibition, did they use the high projection booth? Or did they build a booth at the rear of the orchestra?”

Here’s the answer, over 4 years later!

They actually built 3 booths at the rear of the orchestra.

This causes me to want to know, did they use the high projection booth for the black and white, standard film, Lowell Thomas Prologue or the Bravo Booth?

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 18, 2010 at 5:53 am

I’m with AGR on this. In 1996 a Dayton, Ohio theater installed Cinerama for what was supposed to be a two-week run. It wound up running for more than three years (weekends only). I realize NYC has more tourist attractions than Dayton, but still … :) And Cinerama still draws crowds in LA whenever it is shown there.

AGRoura
AGRoura on February 18, 2010 at 4:05 am

It’s a shame NYC does not have a Cinerama theater like LA and Seattle. It would be a big tourism attraction.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on February 18, 2010 at 2:52 am

A few more details on CINERAMA at the Broadway.

This, of course, was a 3-strip CINERAMA location.

It had a 146 degree LOUVERED, 78 ft by 26 ft, screen!

The first CINERAMA movie, THIS IS CINERAMA, had it’s World Premiere at the Broadway on Tuesday, September 30, 1952. It ran for 35 weeks, till Thursday, June, 4 1953!

THIS IS CINERAMA then transfered to the Warner Theater, on Friday, June 5, 1953 and ran for another 88 weeks!

This means THIS IS CINERAMA had a 123 week run (THAT’S ALMOST 2 YEARS AND 5 MONTHS!), the longest running movie engagement in the history on New York City!

“Ladies and Gentlemen, THIS IS CINERAMA!” Lowell Thomas, September 30, 1952

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on February 13, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Skinner Organ Company of Boston, Massachusetts installed a pipe organ in the Broadway/Colony Theater in 1924. It was Opus 485, a 4 Manual/32 Rank with 2,153 pipes. I know it was played by George Brock in 1927 and that’s the last thing I can find out about the organ. Anyone know what happened to this organ after that?