Harris Theatre

226 W. 42nd Street,
New York, NY 10036

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Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on April 12, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Reposted from Embassy 1,2,3 page:

bigjoe59 posted: Speaking of the legit theaters that once were located on the south side of 42 St. between 7th and 8th Aves…my question is simple – when the renovation for the “new” 42 St. began in earnest in the early 90s what was the state of the Candler Theater? Was it in such bad shape they decided to demolish it or was it in perfectly renovatable shape but no one wanted to spend the money so it was razed.

saps responded: The Candler (known as the Harris since 1921!) was a much nicer house [than the Anco], solid and dependable, and I don’t think I ever heard a satisfactory explanation as to why it was demolished. One of my favorites, and surely missed.

techman707 responded: It’s interesting you [Bigjoe59] should ask about the Candler building, since the union I was in, the projectionists Local 306, was located in the Candler building. The only reason they were FORCED to move was because of the demolition. The building was certainly NOT in bad shape. In fact, like so many of the older buildings that have been razed, it was a building that was built for the ages. Like comparing the Empire State Building to the World Trade Center, which building would you select to be in if were going to be hit by a plane?

Carry on!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 13, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Street view here is off just a tic. The Harris entrance was actually to the right of the McDonald’s space seen here. A glimpse of the former entrance location can be seen on the extreme right of this view, below the high arch-topped window.

formerprojectionist
formerprojectionist on April 4, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Hello Ed, I really appreciate your posts here, I just want you to know that, great to see you back and actually be able to greet you. We are still pulling together interviews, because this is a self financed project, we have no deadline, other than we promised ourselves 2011 would be the wrap up of any interviews we do. Because we are involved in DVD releases, that eats up most of our time. Right now I’ve been pulling together interviews with Long Island projectionists I know who didn’t quite work the Deuce but did work theaters like the Fine Arts, Calderone !&2, Salsbury theater etc…Most of these guys had trained me when I did my brief stint projecting in the early 90’s.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 4, 2011 at 11:53 am

Hey formerprojectionist… How goes your Duece documentary you referenced back on Dec 28, 2009? Seems like something I’d be quite interested in seeing.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on July 26, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Looks like a great double-bill.

KingBiscuits
KingBiscuits on December 28, 2009 at 8:25 pm

Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie and The Nude Bomb looked to be the double bill playing at the time.

formerprojectionist
formerprojectionist on December 28, 2009 at 4:51 pm

Ok, here’s some live footage of the Harris and some of the other theaters on 42nd St that my friend and I shot back in September 1980. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbRVzD71Cno this is part of a longer film, my friend did the music. By the way, my partner and I are currently doing a documentary on the Deuce, and we are very, very interested in interviewing anyone who worked on that street, in particular projectionist, but really anyone who was there in the golden days. We’ve already interviewed Jamie Gillis (male porn star who did live sex shows on the deuce), Joel M. Reed (who directed Bloodsucking Freaks aka Incredible Torture Show) and in January we are interviewing Carter Stevens (Adult Film director) Contact me if you have a story to tell.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on November 29, 2009 at 12:12 am

Excerpt from a NY Times review of April 15, 1971:

Anyone interested in seeing “The Blood on Satan’s Claw” would do well to catch it at one of the neighborhood houses where the double bill opens today. At the Harris yesterday, the projection was faulty, the audience restless, and the auditorium so brightly lit that the night scenes became light blue blurs.

William
William on June 17, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Why would be circa 1960’s when the films “Capone” was released 1975 and “Brannigan” was also released in 1975 and Andy Warhol’s “Dracula” and “Frankenstein” are from 1974. The only 60’s movie is “Slaves” from 1969. It looks like 1975 was the year.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 17, 2009 at 8:22 pm

That might be circa 1960s, not 1983. The films look a little dated.

edblank
edblank on April 16, 2009 at 9:26 am

Loved those busy old marquees on 42nd Street.

humhead
humhead on December 14, 2008 at 8:18 pm

In going through some of my father’s relics, I came on a paper measuring 8 ¾" x 4 ¾". It is a copy of something hand drawn to look like currency. On one side there is the following script:
Cohan & Harris
Candler Theatre Building
N.Y.C.

It is signed:
Thos Connolly
Property Master
Candler Thea
N.Y.C.

The other side has:
BANQUE de FRANCE
Paris 1316 Janion 1913

Does anyone have any information regarding this? It appears to be show money.

Thank you

42ndStreetMemories
42ndStreetMemories on December 8, 2007 at 8:41 am

Here’s a beauty from 1960. jerry k

View link

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 23, 2007 at 7:24 am

It was not uncommon for film titles to be suitably “spiced-up” for their Duece engagements – though, I wasn’t aware that the practice dated back as early as the 1930’s! Therefore, the matter-of-fact “Biography of a Bachelor Girl” became the more lurid “Bachelor Girl Confesses!”

The marquee advertising the Jack Benny-Patsy Kelly-Gene Raymond feature was that of the Liberty Theater, which was actually located to the west of the Harris heading towards Eighth Avenue.

William
William on May 1, 2007 at 12:52 pm

That first shot of the Harris Theatre should date around Jan. 1935. The title on the marquee “Bachelor Girl Confesses” has no title listing, but the three of the stars listed were in a film called “Biography of a Bachelor Girl” released Jan of 1935 from MGM. The marquee just east of the Harris has the stars Jack Benny, Patsy Kelly and Gene Raymond listed. They were in a film around that time called “Transatlantic Merry-Go-Round” from released around Nov. 1934 from United Artists.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on October 14, 2006 at 6:34 pm

The Harris was seen in “Taxi Driver”:
http://tinyurl.com/yk4d7j

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 10, 2006 at 2:26 pm

On this page you will find a photo of one of the chandeliers that adorned some part of the old Harris Theater. Apparently, this salvage company sold the chandelier to one of their customers who hung it over the main staircase in their home. The Griffin-motif mantleplace seen on both of those pages is also from the Harris. This same company also salvaged elements of the facade from Rosario Candela’s 1935 Rialto Theater on the corner of Broadway and 42nd.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 24, 2006 at 1:04 pm

Below are two 1993 photos I took that feature the Harris Theater while it was still in operation. The main feature on the marquee is being changed over from the Bruce Willis feature “Striking Distance” to the McCauley Culkin flick “The Good Son”. What I can’t figure out is if the co-feature was being changed from the original “Warlock” film (1989) to the sequel “Warlock: The Armeggedon” or if the maintenance guys were just lazy on the one side of the marquee:

1993 Marquee change
1993 Harris Marquee and Times Sq Theater

Note the sign in the top photo annoucning the comming of the Movieplex 42 in the former Roxy Twin location down the block. Also compare this to the current view of the former Harris entrance I posted May 6th… the arched window above had certainly seen better days by 1993, eh?

Here are a couple of shots I purloined from the Harris' page on the ibdb.com site showing the original auditorium, balcony staircase and long marble foyer:

Candler Theater Auditorium
Candler staicase
Candler foyer

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 6, 2006 at 6:53 pm

Here is a shot of the facade that once contained the entrance to the Harris Theater in the Candler Building taken just a few days ago:

Former Harris entrance

The arched window seen in the center of the photo once rose directly above the Harris' marquee. The main portion of the Candler Building is just to the left and now houses a large McDonalds which occupies the first three stories in an open space that has been stripped to the bare brick walls. The former theater entrance is now a very plain and boring sheet-rocked office block vestibule.

42ndStreetMemories
42ndStreetMemories on April 5, 2006 at 12:05 pm

Here’s a shot of the Harris & Lyric taken from outside the Victory in 1961. jerry

View link

ERD
ERD on January 3, 2006 at 12:19 pm

The Harris was a beautiful theatre with an interesting history. Unfortunately, it was not one of the lucky theatres on the block to be saved.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 3, 2006 at 10:29 am

Hey folks. Just watched the Scorcese flick “Mean Streets” the other night and there is a scene at the end of the film where the Harvey Keitel and Robert DeNiro characters place a call from a public phone in the lobby of a theater where they’ve been watching Roger Corman’s “Tomb of Ligeia.” The theater location is not identified, but I’m thinking it was a Duece grind-house. The wide shot of Keitel on the phone shows a glimpse of the interior decor, including a squared column with a sort of simple Art Deco vertical motif as well as a busy mosiac tile pattern on the flat wall where the pay phone is mounted. There is a soda-vending machine next to the phone and big lobby cards advertising the “Tomb of Ligeia” and “X: The Man with X-Ray Eyes” as co-features. Another set of cards advertise Lee Marvin’s “Point Blank” and another feature I can’t recall as coming attractions. It’s drving me crazy… the decor looks so familiar, but I can’t place it exactly. The thing is, “Mean Streets” was presumably filmed in 1972 or ‘73 (released in '73) and all of the films advertised in those lobby cards (including the “coming attractions”) are from the early and mid 1960’s.

I understand that Scorcese might have fictionalized the films being shown in the theater (after all, the two currently featured movies are Roger Corman productions and Scorcese was fresh from Corman’s school of low-budget movie-making) and I realize that much of the itnerior work for “Mean Streets” was filmed in L.A., but I’d love to nail down the location for the shot one way or the other.

CelluloidHero2
CelluloidHero2 on August 18, 2005 at 7:35 pm

Here’s a photo I took around 1975. At the Harris ,John Wayne was starring in Brannigan. 2nd features was Dionne Warwick and Ossie Davis in Slaves. In the background is the Liberty.

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