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 1,050 comments)

ridethectrain
ridethectrain on December 29, 2019 at 7:01 pm

Photos of the Embassy 2 3 4 is on Cinema Tour website https://www.cinematour.com/tour/us/24564.html

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on December 29, 2019 at 7:35 pm

ridethectrain, have you found any pics of the marquee as the Mark Triplex?

MSC77
MSC77 on June 16, 2020 at 4:45 pm

Hitchcock’s “Psycho” opened here (and the Baronet) sixty years ago today.

On a related note, here’s the link to a new 60th anniversary retrospective article which, of course, includes mention of a bunch of cinemas in which the film played.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on June 16, 2020 at 8:31 pm

Psycho opening day ad added to photos.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on June 17, 2020 at 11:24 am

Hello-

in the ad stating that The Fall of the Roman Empire was switching from reserved seat to continuous performances it also lists the show times. while they don’t state it in the ad its a cut version and not the original roadshow print. you can surmise this by the running times.

vindanpar
vindanpar on June 19, 2020 at 4:59 pm

And it was most likely in 35mm.

The Agony and the Ecstasy was the third of 20th Century’s triple reserved seat play for 1965.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on June 20, 2020 at 12:08 pm

Hello-

to vindanpar- many times when a film left its roadshow engagement and went to the neighborhood theaters circuit in NYC it would state in the ad “direct from its reserved seat engagement complete and uncut”. when a film left its roadshow run I guess whether it was cut or not depended on how long it was. so the “continuous performance policy at popular prices” ad for The Fall of the Roman Empire(a film I happen to like) fails to state its not the same cut used for the roadshow engagement policy.

grindhouse
grindhouse on July 14, 2020 at 4:34 pm

The Mayfair debuted three bona fide 50’s sci-fi classics,“The Day The Earth Stood Still”, “War Of The Worlds” & “The Blob”. All have been re-made. Opening day ads for all three now in photo section.

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