Belmont Theatre

121 W. 48th Street,
New York, NY 10036

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AndrewBarrett on December 27, 2014 at 6:54 pm

According to “The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ” by David L. Junchen, pg. 630, the Belmont Theatre in New York City, New York, had a 2-manual Seeburg-Smith organ installed in 1921. This organ had a 2 horsepower Kinetic blower, serial #I453, and was installed in 1921.

Does anybody know what happened to this organ, and where it (or its parts) is/are today?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 18, 2011 at 7:46 am

The 44th Street theatre roof showed movies in 1920 as the NORA BAYES

RickB on August 16, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Jack Norworth is in the Songwriters' Hall of Fame, on the strength of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” and “Shine On Harvest Moon.”

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 29, 2010 at 11:21 am

Still listed in the 1953 Film Daily Yearbook as CINEMA 48, an Ansell theatre, a chain that runs Spanish language theatres.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on April 3, 2008 at 4:29 pm

I just watched the 1945 movie Doll Face with Viviane Blaine and Perry Como. Blaine’s character is in a stage show she is to perform in at the Belmont Theatre in New York. In the last half hour of the movie we see the theatre exterior at night with lights and the theatre name “Belmont” as well as interior shots of stage and audience. I have no way of knowing whether the actual Belmont was used for exterior and interior shooting or whether other locations were employed for either or both. Perhaps it was all done in Hollywood, but it’s supposed to be the Belmont in New York. Perhaps someone can look at the DVD and come to a conclusion.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on October 25, 2007 at 3:22 pm

When Naples Sings at the Belmont circa 1931.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 26, 2007 at 6:38 pm

By the way, that 48th Street I mentioned above is probably the Walter Kerr, currently running the musical GREY GARDENS.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 26, 2007 at 6:35 pm

Richard, I think it gets more complicated.

There was another 48th St theatre (217 West 48th St) that ran movies concurrent with Belmont/Music Hall from 1940-1945. It also ran Spanish language films, Swedish films and occasionally silent programs.

richardobrien on July 26, 2007 at 4:43 pm

There seems to be some confusion between the Belmont and the West Forty-Eighth Street theatre, which apparently was across the street at 124 West 48th Street. It had previously been Uncle Sam’s Music Hall, which Robert Benchley reviewed in the January 27, 1940 New Yorker. He found their show offensive, “not one a father could take his children to”. He did admit his protest was somewhat “vitiated by the fact that the child in question was at the moment towering over me from a height of six foot two and was accompanied by his wife”.
Apparently undaunted, Uncle Sam’s continued on, and in the March 16th, 1940 Cue Magazine, advertised “She Gave Him All She Had”, and
suggested audiences “hiss the villain”. Nevertheless, on May 12,1940 Uncle Sam’s became the 48th Street Music Hall, and initiated a run of silent movies. Many stars attended the festivities on the opening night, Walter Huston, Madge Evans, Gertrude Lawrence, etc. The silents continued until May 26, 1941. At times the theatre had free admission, the bucks apparently being brought in by beer, liquor and food.
Richard O'Brien

mikemorano on May 9, 2007 at 1:45 am

Very cool. The photo appears to jump off the screen at you. haha

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on December 25, 2006 at 12:59 am

This theatre is mentioned in Rogelio Agrasanchez, Jr.’s excellent book MEXICAN MOVIES IN THE UNITED STATES.

As a Spanish language house, the Belmont hosted the NY premier of the Mexican classic AY JALISCO, NO TE RAJES! in 1943 to packed houses. The owner, who also ran Spanish films at the WORLD 49th Street, took a gamble on a Spanish language Broadway house and won big time. He moved several Mexican titles into the World 49 during the second world war most likely to compensate for the diminished European product.

RobertR on October 25, 2005 at 5:25 pm

There is a small ad for the Belmont on the right side of these ads
View link

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on February 20, 2005 at 11:51 am

Another later name for the Belmont seems to have been “Cinema 48.” A New York Times ad for the Italian film “Under the Olive Tree” refers to it as the Belmont Cinema 48. The New York Times review of that film on October 5, 1951 calls it simply “Cinema 48.” That would mean that the description information about its closing in 1950 and being razed a year later could be inaccurate or approximate, assuming this is the same place, and one would surmise that it is. The address in the ad is 121 W. 48th Street (not 123 as described above) between 6th and 7th Avenues. So it must be the same place. Perhaps “Cinema 48” should be added to the “also known as” list here.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on November 14, 2004 at 4:55 pm

Warren, re: “would never attend a dubbed movie even if it was the only version available.”

That would prevent you from seeing some movies at all…particularly Italian ones which have routinely used international casts where many of the performers don’t speak Italian and are dubbed by other professsional dubbers.

Example: Fellini’s “La Strada.” See the Italian version and you get an Italian-dubbed Anthony Quinn and Richard Basehart. See the English version and you get an English-dubbed Giulietta Masina. In the recently re-issued “The Leopard,” you get an Italian-dubbed Burt Lancaster as with the French-speaking Alain Delon. See the English version and you get Lancaster’s voice while the Italian performers are dubbed in English. Claudia Cardinale dubs her own voice in both versions, but her lip movements reveal she is filmed speaking English with Lancaster, French with Delon, Italian with Paolo Stoppa.

Does that mean one who hates dubbing should not see these two masterpieces at all, since there is no thing as an “original language” version? Certainly, though, for these two films Italian is the “authentic” version. All this doesn’t even take into account the Italian films where Italian-speaking actors are dubbed by other Italian speakers who the directors believe have more appropriate-sounding voices.

Incidentally, both Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni began their cinematic careers having their lines dubbed by other actors. It wasn’t until they became well known that they were afforded the privilege of having their own voices heard by the public.

Divinity on November 14, 2004 at 3:07 pm

Subtitles dont distract me simply because I dont suffer from ADD or some type of visual imparment darling. I understand the comfort that it brings to people including myself when watching foreign films.

Divinity on November 5, 2004 at 8:14 pm

Those subtitles must be disturbing to you warren.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on March 15, 2004 at 7:55 am

A reproduction of a flyer from a book I have on silent Italian cinema has a film called NAPOLI CHE CANTA or WHEN NAPLES SINGS playing at the Belmont Theatre, 123 W. 48th Street, called “The Only Italian Motion Picture House on Broadway.” This is the Cines-Pittaluga version made in 1926 but released in the U.S. in the early 30’s, probably with music and songs added to create a sound track. No dates are given on the flyer. According to Variety Magazine, the first actual Italian sound film, LA CANZONE DELL'AMORE, played at the Belmont in March, 1931.