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 1,025 comments)

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 16, 2018 at 9:39 am

1956 Mayfair marquee photo added. Haven’t figured out what marquee the ladies are beneath in the foreground yet though.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on November 16, 2018 at 10:04 am

They’re beneath the marquee of the RKO Palace. which was just north of the Embassy and closer to the Mayfair.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 16, 2018 at 10:46 am

Thank you. I shall add the photo there as well.

HomecrestGuy
HomecrestGuy on December 25, 2018 at 8:25 am

Mayfair photo added to gallery, from the 1939-41 NYC Tax Photos collection.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on December 25, 2018 at 12:16 pm

Hello-

a question pertaining to the ad on photo pg.1 for the continuous performance engagement of Oklahoma. was the film shot with a Todd-AO camera side by side with a Cinemascope camera? or was the film shot once in Todd-AO and then reshot in Cinemascope?

PeterApruzzese
PeterApruzzese on December 26, 2018 at 6:34 am

Shot twice – IIRC, they would do the setup for the Todd-AO first, then do the CinemaScope take after.

robboehm
robboehm on December 26, 2018 at 7:04 am

The double shooting was something Frank Sinatra objected to on some other film. He maintained he was to be making two films and should be paid accordingly. Don’t remember the film he turned down or what the second process was.

davepring
davepring on December 26, 2018 at 7:27 am

The film was Carousel and the process was CinemaScope 55

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on December 27, 2018 at 12:54 pm

Hello-

in terms of davepring’s post. from a reliable source I read that the real reason Sinatra left the filming of Carousel was not because for the “if I’m shooting 2 films I want be paid twice” reason. it turns out his paramour at the time Ava Gardner was shooting in Europe and she sent him a note stating that if he didn’t get the set asap she would have an affair with her co-star.

vindanpar
vindanpar on March 14, 2019 at 11:59 am

Interesting. Thank you for Cinderella ad.

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