Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre

707 Seventh Avenue,
New York, NY 10036

Unfavorite 28 people favorited this theater

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.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 1,102 comments)

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on July 29, 2014 at 11:58 am

to AL A.–

after posting my query I looked up on Amazon and both a vhs and dvd of CAGS have been released. I am surprised I never came across either when home video stores were all over Manhattan.

also a new question you’re going to need to put your thinking cap on for. in the NYC metropolitan area countless theaters were designed by premiere movie theater architects Thomas Lamb and John Ebberson. so many I figured how did either one have time to eat or sleep. and this isn’t even counting other theaters they designed across the country. now rather recently I read that after their careers were up and running both created firms that had architects other than them. so that many of the movie theaters attributed to “Thomas Lamb” per se may have actually been designed by someone else in the firm. this sounded reasonable to me since I can’t imagine how either Lamb or Ebberson could possibly have designed and coordinated construction all the theater attributed to them.

to which my question- how can one find out how many theaters attributed to either Lamb or Ebberson were actually personally designed by them? much in the same vein as how many buildings, monuments etc… attributed to the firm of McKim/Meade/White were actually designed by McKim, Meade or White?

robboehm
robboehm on July 29, 2014 at 1:04 pm

And were all of the Lamb theatres unique? Were there a number of designs repeated at various locations with just a change in the facade to reflect the name or to conform with local requirements?

In more recent years chains have built cookie cutter venues on Long Island.

Coate
Coate on August 4, 2014 at 11:12 am

A few weeks ago techman707 wrote: “Upon further investigation it appears I was correct. Cheyenne Autumn did have its ‘World Premiere’ at the The Lincoln Theater, 1615 Central Avenue in downtown Cheyenne, Wyoming on October 1, 1964. It opened at the Capitol on October 3, 1964.”

Referencing more credible source material reveals the world premiere of “Cheyenne Autumn” was actually held in London in mid-October 1964; the early-October event in Cheyenne, Wyoming, was simply a press preview. And, as Al Alvarez correctly pointed out, the film opened on a roadshow basis at the Capitol in New York on December 23, 1964. The first of its few roadshow bookings in the United States was in Denver (presumably because Denver was the roadshow market closest to Cheyenne), opening a week before New York.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on August 4, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Sometimes Hollywood studios had more than one “world premiere” sometimes one in LA & one elsewhere.

robboehm
robboehm on August 4, 2014 at 6:23 pm

There was also the need to premiere something to be eligible for Academy Award nominations. That was often done in LA. Then NY and wherever would follow suit.

techman707
techman707 on August 4, 2014 at 8:08 pm

Coate on August 4, 2014 at 2:12 pm A few weeks ago techman707 wrote: “Upon further investigation it appears I was correct. Cheyenne Autumn did have its ‘World Premiere’ at the The Lincoln Theater, 1615 Central Avenue in downtown Cheyenne, Wyoming on October 1, 1964……..”

The Lincoln Theater website claims the “world premiere” was there in October 1963, not 1964(as I had stated). However, this isn’t where I got the original info I posted to begin with. This is just another source “claiming” the “world premiere”. On the list of movies rattling around in my head, it’s just not that important to me. It’s not as though it was the premiere of “My Fair Lady”, which I can speak about since I was there.

Checkout these websites relative to the premiere.

http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM7F3W_Lincoln_Theater_Cheyenne_WY

http://cheyenneinternationalfilmfestival.com/blog/film/cheyenne-autumn-and-carroll-baker-live/

http://digitalcollections.uwyo.edu:8180/luna/servlet/detail/uwydbuwy~1~1~6664~100792:Carroll-Baker-and-James-Stewart-in-

techman707
techman707 on August 4, 2014 at 8:22 pm

For some reason the end of the lines in my post appear to be cut off, however, you can still copy and paste the links.

As for whether the Cheyenne premiere was a press showing, there have been MANY premieres in a specific theatre only to have the actual run in a different theatre. I guess it’s just a matter of “what meaning of what the word IS….IS”.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 7, 2014 at 6:12 pm

This listing is all but ready for the “demolished” label. The space the theater once occupied is now just a hollowed out concrete and steel cavern. The rest of the building’s interior has nearly all been stripped down to iron and mortar as well. I just posted a picture from last week, where you can still make out, behind the construction netting, the fenestration and some of the signature wrought iron work that decorated the facade just above the Mayfair/Demille’s entrance and canopy. I image that these elements, too, will be hacked off and carted away in due time.

Meanwhile, I still wonder (and worry) about the fate of the landmarked Embassy 1 (Newsreel) Theatre, one block to the south. Restored and used for over a decade as the Times Square Visitor’s Center and Museum, it has now been closed and, once again, boarded up.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on August 8, 2014 at 7:02 am

to Ed S.–

it is certainly sad especially since I remember the Mayfair/Demille as one of the prime roadshow houses from 1955-1972(its last roadshow was The Shoes of the Fisherman Nov. 1968).

to which a question. after I discovered this wonderful site the last week of Jan. 2012 I created a project for myself. said project being to find the 1st theater built in Manhattan brick by brick from the ground up with the intent of showing movies or flickers as they were called. using this site the oldest I was able to find is the Crescent which was located at 36 W. 135 St. and opened on the site the night of Dec. 16, 1909 as a combo picture house and vaudeville theater.

I contacted the New York Historical Society and asked them since if anyone could say authoritatively they could. guess what? the Reference Librarian e-mailed back and said even they are a tad fuzzy on the 1st purpose built brick by brick from the ground up movie theater in Manhattan. since 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 that were simply converted to show films you would think the first purpose built brick by brick from the ground up movie theater would have been made note of in the press of the day.

techman707
techman707 on August 8, 2014 at 7:29 am

R.I.P. – 1910-2014 It’s a very unhappy 104th birthday!

COLUMBIA BURLESQUE

RKO, LOEW’S, BRANDT’S – MAYFAIR

WALTER READE’S DEMILLE

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