Strand Theatre

1579 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

Unfavorite 38 people favorited this theater

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 284 comments)

patryan6019
patryan6019 on December 18, 2014 at 12:41 am

bigjoe59…Do you still want to know the GS runtime history here?

Cinerama
Cinerama on December 28, 2014 at 7:50 am

TGSET preview ticket has running time of 4 hours including intermission – http://incinerama.com/gsetpreviewfeb6.htm

This review has 221 minutes plus intermission – http://incinerama.com/1965gsetreview.jpg

on 4/16 it was reduced by 28 minutes – http://incinerama.com/041665.htm

patryan6019
patryan6019 on December 30, 2014 at 12:34 am

Cinerama…That’s not the correct date — close, but not exact. Where is that article from because DEFG photos have been inaccessible on CT for years.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on September 16, 2015 at 10:00 pm

1956 marquee photo added. Promotional handouts for Cinerama’s “Seven Wonders Of The World”. Photo courtesy of Al Ponte’s Time Machine – New York Facebook page.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on October 21, 2015 at 11:06 pm

1941 photo added courtesy of Al Ponte’s Time Machine – New York Facebook page.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on November 4, 2015 at 12:58 pm

I finally saw a pristine print of Oklahoma! last night at the Farmingdale Multiplex and it was worth the wait. The only other time I saw that movie was here during a revival program. As I said back in 2012:

As to the illustration currently shown above (Broadway Comes to Broadway) I saw Oklahoma during that series. It was in the upstairs theater, formerly the balcony with a nicely tapered rake and a gorgeous ceiling.

The Oklahoma print, however, was atrocious — completely faded to pink as (Eastmancolor?) tends to do. What a disappointment, as it was my first time seeing the movie. I didn’t go back for any other films in the series.

(And what happened to that photo Broadway Comes to Broadway?)

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 13, 2015 at 11:28 pm

This link about the history of the nearby Automat may be of interest of some.
It also had a rendering of the intersection.

http://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/coin-op-cuisine/

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on December 27, 2015 at 10:02 am

December 1947 photo added courtesy of the Old Images of New York Facebook page.

vindanpar
vindanpar on December 28, 2015 at 1:40 pm

Boy how we remember things differently.

I saw OK at the Penthouse as well. I had never seen it in Todd AO and thought it was great. Don’t remember it as totally pink at all.

Saw a number of the 70mm prints in the main Cinerama theater. My Fair Lady, South Pacific and Paint Your Wagon were spectacular on that 80 foot curved screen.

And that sound system!

6 track analogue surround sound and not to be believed. They will never be heard like that again.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on December 28, 2015 at 3:21 pm

I saw Hello Dolly revival there and it was awesome on that huge cured screen as was Fame when it moved from the Ziegfeld.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater