RKO Warner Twin Theatre
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Architects: Thomas White Lamb
Previous Names: Mark Strand Theatre, Strand Theatre, Warner Theatre, Cinerama I & II Theatre, RKO Cinerama Theatre, Penthouse Theatre, Cine Orleans (Off Broadway)
News About This Theater
- Mar 31, 2013 — "2001: A Space Odyssey" 45th Anniversary – The Cinerama Engagements
- Aug 7, 2009 — "MAD, MAD WORLD" screening at Cinerama Dome
- May 13, 2009 — My career as a movie theater manager
- Mar 18, 2009 — Please Help: Historic Ridgewood Theatre Landmark Hearing on March 24th! (Attend & testify or submit support letter)â€
- Sep 9, 2008 — Remembering Cinerama
- Mar 26, 2008 — Seeking partners to reopen Ridgewood Theatre
- Oct 15, 2007 — 70mm World Premieres now listed in introductions of New York City movie palaces
Located on Broadway at W. 47th Street, the Mark Strand Theatre was opened on April 11, 1914 with the photoplay “The Spoilers” starring William Farnum. It was built for the Mitchel Mark Realty Company and was under the early direction of Samuel L. “Roxy” Rothapfel. It originally had a seating capacity of 2,989 located in orchestra and a single balcony.
The Mark Strand Theatre began its life with stage shows in addition to movies and also had one of the largest stages in the city in 1914. After stage shows were dropped in 1929, seating was reduced to 2,750. In the late-1930’s stage shows (and vaudeville) were brought back.
After dropping stage shows on July 3, 1951, the Strand Theatre was renamed Warner Theatre, and opened with “Strangers on a Train”. During 1952 to 1953, the theatre closed, was renovated and renamed Warner Cinerama Theatre. Cinerama films moved here from the Broadway Theatre, starting with “This Is Cinerama” in 1953.
In 1963, the auditorium was equipped with a 81 foot wide, 30 feet tall screen to show “Its a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”. World Premiere’s of 70mm films included “Porgy and Bess”(June 24, 1959), “Exodus”(December 15, 1960), “The Greatest Story Ever Told”(February 15, 1965), “Grand Prix”(December 21, 1966 and “Camelot”(October 25, 1967).
On June 30, 1968, the theatre was twinned becoming the Warner Strand Theatre. A third 450-seat theatre was built on the old Strand Theatre’s stage-house, named Cine Orleans (Off Broadway), which had its own entrance on W. 47th Street. On June 3, 1971 following an over $5000,000. refurbishment it reopened as the RKO Warner Twin Theatre. With 1,100 seats occupied the main floor. The former balcony became the 1,200 seat Penthouse Theatre.
Unfortunately, on February 8th 1987, after a long and eventful life, one of the greatest movie palaces of New York City closed and was demolished.
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