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.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 1,106 comments)

robboehm
robboehm on August 4, 2014 at 9:23 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 11:08 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 11:22 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 9:12 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 10:02 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 10:29 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

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on August 31, 2014 at 3:11 pm

Hello-

I just watched the Blu-ray disc of Cast A Giant Shadow which was released this past Tues. a very entertaining though fictionalized account of the events. rather a well done grand scale film.

to which my question. the film opened at this theater the Spring of 1966 on a roadshow engagement. the interesting part is that on the blu-ray disc the film has no intermission. I thought intermissions were part and parcel of roadshow engagements?

also the blu-ray disc has a running time of 2 hrs. 18mins.. yet the Wikipedia page on the film gives the film a running time of 2hrs. 26mins. what happened to the other 8 minutes? if you are going to release a blu-ray disc of a roadshow film shouldn’t it be the roadshow print?

techman707
techman707 on September 1, 2014 at 12:14 am

Yes, it “should be a Roadshow Version” however, it’s not always possible to find all the elements from the Roadshow Version. In the case of “Cast A Giant Shadow”, it wasn’t one of the bigger hits that ran there. The only thing worse that I can recall is “Hawaii”. -lol

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 1, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Could be as simple as missing overture, entr'acte, and exit music, trimmed for general release. That is, assuming the original roadshow version had an intermission. I’m not expert enough to know whether every single roadshow presentation included an intermission – regardless of the film’s running time.

techman707
techman707 on September 1, 2014 at 6:40 pm

Ed,

I’ve never seen or run a “2 A Day” Roadshow that didn’t have an intermission. Yet, my recollection is that “Cast A Giant Shadow” WAS NOT “2 A Day” Roadshow and didn’t have an intermission. That said, I should also point out that my memory is becoming worse all the time. All these things we’re talking about I used to be able to answer like it was seared into my brain. However, recently, I can look at an actor whose name I should know like the day of the week, but just CAN’T remember it. It seems I can remember 50 years ago better than yesterday. Let me tell ya, it’s a horrible feeling. :(

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