Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre

707 7th Avenue,
New York, NY 10036

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Embassy Tri-plex Theatre

Originally opened on January 10th, 1910 as the Columbia Theatre on Times Square at the northeast corner of W. 47th Street and Broadway/7th Avenue inside a steel frame 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. In 1935 it was taken over by Loew’s Inc. on a 10-years lease. 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 1,015 comments)

vindanpar on August 21, 2018 at 10:07 am

Thank you for that billboard photo. Those old painted Times Square movie ‘spectaculars’ were quite wonderful. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think that the two small boats were sticking out making it 3D but maybe my eyes were playing tricks on me as it doesn’t look that way there. Also on the blu ray.com review it says even first run 70mm blow up engagements were in mono. How odd for a roadshow epic film made in'65.

I saw it when it came to the suburbs so I obviously saw the cut version. But I remember the boys in elementary school talking about the topless women(wow!) which were not cut out. I guess they considered it a family film because it was in a National Geographic natives are different way.

bigjoe59 on August 21, 2018 at 3:32 pm


to Bill H.– i agree its fortunate that the complete roadshow cut of Hawaii at least exits. but to repeat my question since the roadshow cut was in decent condition why use the general release print for the blu-ray?

also if they had used the original Super Panavision 70 negative for the Twilight blu-ray of Exodus how different would it have looked and sounded?

PeterApruzzese on August 23, 2018 at 8:06 am

The only transfer of Hawaii that exists in HD is of the general release version, MGM has not restored or transferred the Roadshow version in HD. Twilight Time does not do transfers or restorations, they release the masters that the studios supply them with. MGM needs to step up and properly restore it.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on August 23, 2018 at 2:04 pm

Pete: Thanks for answering Joe’s question better than I ever could. Seeing your name brings back great memories of a certain beautiful movie theater in Suffern, NY.

bigjoe59 on August 23, 2018 at 3:14 pm


thanks to Peter A. for clearing up my questions about the Twilight Time Hawaii Blu-ray. many prominent road- show films can’t have complete roadshow prints on Blu- ray since in many cases the complete roadshow print no longer exists. but it does for Hawaii so the fact their did an HD transfer of the general release print only baffles logic.

also for another bit of info. I always thought Twilight
Time did the remastering themselves.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on August 24, 2018 at 6:15 am

These exchanges seem more suited to a website for “DVD Treasures,” discussing a medium that contributes to the ongoing decline in cinema attendance.

vindanpar on August 24, 2018 at 10:01 pm

CC Cinema Treasures would not be nearly as good without you here.

But you are at times a curmudgeon. Sometimes we all meet on one page and then go off on tangents which might interest some if not all of us. Discussing the best possible way of seeing a roadshow print in 2018 of Hawaii on a page devoted to the theater where it had its world premiere seems especially apropos.

Unless somebody decides to rebuild the theater and show a roadshow print its blu ray is the best we can do. It seems the contributors who attended these theaters when they were single theaters are fewer and fewer.

vindanpar on September 5, 2018 at 6:36 pm

Was the Hawaii billboard picture taken down?

br91975 on September 6, 2018 at 7:21 am

@vindanpar: ‘Comfortably Cool’ is a vital contributor to this site, yet he’s been a curmudgeon since the time when he was posting as Warren G. Harris.

vindanpar on September 7, 2018 at 3:54 pm

Warren G. Harris has an impressive list of books on Amazon. Seems to be a major Hollywood golden age historian.

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