Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre

707 Seventh Avenue,
New York, NY 10036

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Embassy Tri-plex Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Originally opened on January 10th, 1910 as the Columbia Theatre at the northeast corner of 47th Street and Broadway inside an office building. It operated as a burlesque theatre and was designed by noted theatre architect William McElfatrick.

Walter Reade bought the theatre in 1928 and rebuilt it into a movie theatre. A major renovation was undertaken by architect Thomas W. Lamb who removed the two original balconies and place a single balcony in an Art Deco style auditorium. It reopened in October 1930 as the Mayfair Theatre, screening movies, with RKO as the operator. By 1950, it had been taken over by the Brandt Theatres chain.

The name was changed to the DeMille Theatre when road-show, reserved-seat movies were popular during the early-1960’s. World Premiere’s of 70mm movies at the DeMille Theatre included “Spartacus” (October 6th 1960) “The Fall of the Roman Empire” (March 26, 1964) and “Hawaii” (October 10, 1966).

In late-1976, the theatre became the Mark I,II,III. The triplexing was crudely done by putting a wall dividing the balcony down the center, creating a a very narrow tube that inclined upward. One entered near the screen and had to climb very steep steps to reach the seating area.

It became the Embassy 2,3,4 Theatre in December 1977 when Guild Enterprises took it over. (The Embassy 1 Theatre was on Broadway at W. 46th Street, almost adjacent to the Palace Theatre). In 1997, after the Embassy 1 was closed for conversion into the Times Square Visitor Center, this theatre was renamed Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre. The Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre was one of the last Times Square movie houses to close.

It was shuttered for several years, until around 2007, when it was virtually gutted and converted into a Famous Dave’s BBQ Restaurant. This had closed by May 2013 and the building was demolished in spring of 2015.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 995 comments)

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on September 30, 2014 at 5:23 pm

to techman707-

you make a most interesting suggestion in that CT should have a page devoted just to souvenir programs. to which i have a question for you.

the prime roadshow period as i have stated was the October 1955 opening of “Oklahoma” to the Dec. 1972 opening of “Man of La Mancha”. now i didn’t go to every such film in that period but everyone i did go to had a souvenir program. so here’s my question- during this period the studios still opened their continuous performance films in 1 maybe 2 theaters in Manhattan. so of these films how do you think the studios decided which would have souvenir programs?

techman707
techman707 on October 1, 2014 at 6:43 am

BigJoe, I don’t know the answer to your question, but you can be sure it was driven by money. I also know there were “official” souvenir programs that were planned along with a Roadshow release of a film and then there were/are “run of the mill” souvenir programs that were just licensed (by man different companies) for a fee. Sorry I can’t be of more help.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 1, 2014 at 11:09 am

As techman707 says, souvenir programs were not limited to just “Roadshow” engagements. Programs (official, licensed, or otherwise) continued well into the 1980’s. I picked up many of these at the local multiplex, not just the big houses in Manhattan.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on October 1, 2014 at 3:50 pm

My parents bought a souvenir program for “Coal Miner’s Daughter” in 1980 in suburban New Jersey. Definitely not a roadshow.

Jay Harvey
Jay Harvey on October 1, 2014 at 6:48 pm

I have a program for ‘Rocky III’, not even close to a roadshow

techman707
techman707 on October 2, 2014 at 10:31 am

Jay Harvey, I have T-shirts, buttons and “programs” from “Rocky Four-The War”. I’m not sure anymore, but I think the buttons and programs were free and they only charged for the t-shirts. But that’s what I meant by other “licensed” materials. IMHO, I NEVER even considered ANY OF THIS the same as an “official roadshow program” that used to be sold during a Roadshow Engagement.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on November 6, 2014 at 4:42 pm

Hello to All-

several months back I posted a question and I was wondering if anyone had any new info. the question was simple. April 25, 1896 was a pivotal point in movie history , it was the 1st time movies were projected on a screen in a theater before a paying audience. the theater being Koster Bail’s Music Hall at Bway & 34 St.. now whatever “movie theaters” existed in Manhattan in the first several years of the biz were music halls, vaudeville theaters, legitimate theaters or decent sized unused retail spaces simply converted to show “flickers”. so wouldn’t the 1st theater built brick by brick from the ground up as a “picture house” been made note of in the press at the time?

the first i was able to find was the Crescent which was located at 36 W. 135 St. and opened on the nite of Dec. 16 ,1909.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on January 28, 2015 at 7:00 pm

to patryan6019-

the traditional soft cover souvenir program for The Lion In Winter that i own was also published by Ronark Pub. i don’t have a souvenir program for Patton. i saw it at my local theater not during its roadshow run at the Criterion. since Tora Tora Tora also from Fox had a program when it opened in Nov. i should think Patton did as well.

also my collection of 137 movie souvenir programs spans the years 1925 -1997.

Orlando
Orlando on April 7, 2015 at 1:50 pm

This theatre building should be changed to DEMOLISHED!

coasternut (Robert Morrow)
coasternut (Robert Morrow) on May 12, 2015 at 10:10 pm

Yes there was a Souvenir Program for Patton. The front cover had George C. Scott standing in front of a very large American flag just as he did in the opening of the movie. I bought my program from the University Theatre here in Toronto at the premiere of the Roadshow presentation. I will post it when I locate the box I packed my programs for storage.

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