16006 Northern Boulevard,
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Architects: Maurice D. Sornik
Previous Names: Roosevelt Theatre
The Roosevelt Theatre opened on August 14, 1926 with a seating capacity of 1,758. The opening program featured film footage of Theodore Roosevelt Jr. Al Jolson in “The Jazz Singer” was the first ‘talkie’ screened at the theatre, using a sound on disc system. By 1946 it was operated by Skouras Theatres.
On July 14, 1971, this was the first quad ever opened in New York. I remember the projectionist telling me that when it opened people came from all over the country to see it. Architect Maurice D. Sornik was the architect for the conversion, and theatre look was very funky 1960’s.
The lobby was located in the middle of what once was the original auditorium and the theatres built around the perimeter. The restrooms were the only thing on the second floor besides the projection booth and were reached by climbing a huge staircase. When the Quartet first opened, there was not all the automated projection equipment and actually had four projectionists for a very short time.
UA let this house close and crumble on October 2, 1997. There was talk about expanding it but they just quietly closed it.
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