Strand Theatre

1579 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Cinerama & Penthouse

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located on Broadway at W. 47th Street, the 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 “Roxy” Rothapfel. It originally had a seating capacity of 2,989 located in orchestra and a single balcony.

The 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 “Stangers 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 July 30, 1968, the theatre reopened as a triplex. The Warner Cinerama Theatre with 1,000 seats occupied the main floor. The former balcony became the 1,200 seat Penthouse Theatre. A third theatre built in the old Strand’s stagehouse was also opened, called the Cine Orleans, which had its own entrance on W. 47th Street. In the early-1980’s the Cinerama Theatre and Penthouse Theatre were remodeled and renamed the RKO Warner Twin 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.

Contributed by Cinema Treasures, Warren, Orlando Lopes

Recent comments (view all 300 comments)

patryan6019
patryan6019 on September 18, 2016 at 7:17 pm

bigjoe59…If you saw it Palm Sunday or before it was the uncut version.

robboehm
robboehm on September 18, 2016 at 7:49 pm

Why is this listed as the Strand. I thought policy was the last name used.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on September 19, 2016 at 1:49 pm

Hello-

to patryan6019 thanks for the info. as i said i saw TGSET twice during its 42 week roadshow run at this theater but have no idea when. i might have seen the 3hr. 19min. cut. both times. so if i understand your info correctly the original 3hr. 45min. cut was used for a short period of time.

which prompts another question. the film was still going to be on a 2 performance a day roadshow run so what was the point of tweaking it? i wonder what was in the approx. 26 mins. that was cut. the cut of Cleopatra that opened at the Rivoli June of 1963 was 4hrs. 5 mins. it was tweaked while still in its roadshow run. but at least Fox kept the trims from the premiere 4hr. 5min. cut which looks !WOW! on blu-ray disc. i don’t suppose United Artists kept the approx. 26 mins. of trims from TGSET.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on September 19, 2016 at 3:55 pm

You may be on to something, bigjoe. By mid-April 1965 they added a third showing at 9:30am daily for Easter week.

patryan6019
patryan6019 on September 19, 2016 at 10:43 pm

Al Alvarez…I acknowledge your earlier info, but bigjoe apparently wanted more than the month, which I had. With our info it’s now known here that the original length played for 8 weeks.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on September 20, 2016 at 6:14 am

The 9:30am shows ran from April 16 to 24. The shorter running time may have started even before then as it would allow out of town church and school groups to get back home at more reasonable hours and Roadshows always counted heavily on group sales.

patryan6019
patryan6019 on September 20, 2016 at 8:25 am

No…it did start at that point, referenced by Cue magazine and newspaper ads.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on April 21, 2017 at 7:38 pm

February 26th 1940 photo added credit Duke University Collection.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on June 17, 2017 at 5:35 pm

1964 photo as Warner’s Cinerama added via Scott Cisco. “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World marquee and billboard.

Mister_Comics
Mister_Comics on October 6, 2017 at 9:24 am

July 13, 1960 actor David Hedison was at the Warner Theatre for the world premiere of “The Lost World”. He signed autographs and gave out free Lost World comic books to the children. (see Photo section pictures of this) This world premiere can also be seen on a Fox Movietone News Reel which is included in “The Lost World” home DVD special features.

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