Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre

707 Seventh Avenue,
New York, NY 10036

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techman707
techman707 on August 8, 2014 at 4:29 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 8, 2014 at 4:02 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.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 7, 2014 at 3:12 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.

techman707
techman707 on August 4, 2014 at 5:22 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”.

techman707
techman707 on August 4, 2014 at 5:08 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-

robboehm
robboehm on August 4, 2014 at 3:23 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.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on August 4, 2014 at 9:28 am

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

Coate
Coate on August 4, 2014 at 8:12 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.

robboehm
robboehm on July 29, 2014 at 10:04 am

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.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on July 29, 2014 at 8:58 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?

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on July 28, 2014 at 11:02 am

Amazon has “Cast a Giant Shadow” in several formats — DVD, Blu-Ray, VHS and instant streaming (free for Prime members.)

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on July 28, 2014 at 10:10 am

Bigjoe59, you can catch it on TCM once in a while. It is not great but, hardly as bad as its reputation.

By the way this link has some great vintage Times square theatre shots;

http://stuffnobodycaresabout.com/2013/06/07/old-new-york-in-photos-29/

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on July 28, 2014 at 10:01 am

Hello-

I was thinking about all the roadshow engagements this theater hosted in the prime Oct. 1955 to Dec. 1972 period. one in particular came to mind “Cast A Giant Shadow” released by United Artists and starring Kirk Douglas which opened here the Spring of 1966.

to which my question- of all the films which played this theater on a roadshow engagement CAGS is the only one I have never seen on home video vhs let alone dvd or blu-ray. I have always wanted to see the film to judge it for myself. could there be some legal hold up as to why its never been out on any home video format.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on July 7, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Hello to my fellow posters-

there are a number of roadshow engagements that had souvenir programs but I do not have in my collection. hence my question. other than EBay does anyone know of a website that sells movie memorabilia? of the handful of sites selling movie memorabilia that I’ve seen the only programs listed are the ones I already have.

I recently read “Movie Roadshows” by Kim Rolston and I was amazed at the number of such films that had souvenir programs I have never come across. any help would be appreciated.

techman707
techman707 on July 6, 2014 at 10:48 am

bigjoe59,

You’re right, it’s working sporadically. I just received 5 emails. While they all show today’s date, with the exception of your post dated July 6th, the rest were from days ago that I already saw or responded to.

They must be having an intermittent (no pun intended) problem.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on July 6, 2014 at 10:26 am

to techman 707-

the not sending out of messages noting someone has responded to a comment is happening again. I did not receive a note in my inbox that my entry on souvenir programs had been replied to by you..

techman707
techman707 on July 1, 2014 at 7:35 pm

Ed Solero,

I still have a few “vintage” booklets that weren’t damaged when I had a flood in my house in Florida a few years ago. Fortunately for me, my favorite (and probably the most valuable) ones were here in New York at the time. In addition, when I moved to Florida, Roadshow booklets were among many of the non-hardware things that were donated to the “Museum of the Moving Image”. I’m sorry that I donated so many things to only ONE PLACE. They misled me about how, when and the conditions under which many of the things (both hardware and manuscripts, etc.) would be displayed. I was VERY disappointed to say the least.

While I “did” have a souvenir program for Oklahoma, it too was ruined in the flood. I would guess the most valuable ones, at least to me, are The Sound Of Music, Around the World in 80 Days, My Fair Lady (given to me by Jack Warner, who was a friend of my father, when MFL opened at the Criterion, although my sister claims he gave it to her).

Although when I moved to Florida I got rid of my 35mm film collection, at the time of the flood I also discovered that I RUINED nearly half of my 16mm collection by not refrigerating them down in Florida(at least the Eastman prints). For all practical purposes, these were NEW Eastman prints that were now IN THE GARBAGE. Today, the only prints left are the Technicolor IB prints….and a few are VERY rare and valuable ones. I have replaced virtually ALL my films with Blu-ray discs that actually look (and sound) better than the 16mm prints they’re replacing on a 12foot wide scope screen using my JVC RS35 projector. At this point, I’m too sick to go downstairs into my film projection booth anyway. Now I have to determine who I’m going to donate the film to (which includes Technicolor scope print of It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World). While I could have sold them, Some of the film preservationist groups will NEVER see Technicolor prints of some of these films ever again. One NEW PRINT (the print is new, but it was made in 1947 of a 1946 movie)“The Jolson Story” is a spectacular print. While they can make new Eastman prints, like the 70mm LG-blow-up Columbia made when “The Jolson Story” ran at the Ziegfeld, anyone familiar with Technicolor IB prints will tell you they CAN NEVER LOOK QUITE THE SAME OR AS GOOD AS THE REAL THING.

P.S. – Just came across another souvenir program for “PEPE”

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on July 1, 2014 at 11:16 am

to Ed S.–

the prime roadshow era was from the Oct. 1955 opening of Oklahoma to the Dec. 1972 opening of Man of La Mancha after which the studios discontinued the policy. I have 137 souvenir programs in my collection. I have to admit a dozen or so of that number are not actual souvenir programs sold in the theater lobby but fancy brochures the studio released to publicize the film.

of the 125 souvenir programs in my collection
13 are hardcover.other than the hardcovers in my collection the only other one I know of is for Porgy and Bess which played the Warner.

of the 13 I own two are from films which opened when this theater was the Demille a prime roadshow house. namely Spartacus and Hawaii.

the other 11 are-

The Alamo Around the World in 80 Days Ben-Hur(1959) El Cid The Greatest Story Ever Told How The West Was Won King of Kings(1961) Mutiny on the Bounty(1962) My Fair Lady South Pacific The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm

a bit of info on just how elaborate these hardcover programs could get. both the Ben-Hur and Spartacus programs had a fold out with several watercolor paintings of scenes from the film. and to top that the King of Kings program included a sealed package of 8x10 color photo portraits of the main actors in the film.

William
William on July 1, 2014 at 3:36 am

The Los Angeles Roadshow run of “Cheyenne Autumn” was also a short run. It ran only 8 weeks at the RKO Pantages Theatre in Hollywood.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on July 1, 2014 at 3:31 am

Techman707, you are correct, but the Capitol name was not changed back until later in the year so the early ads suggested a Cinerama presentation.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 1, 2014 at 1:23 am

Hey techman707… It is true that those latter day souvenir booklets were not made to accompany a two-a-day hard ticket engagement, but the booklets themselves were very much in the same style and content as those old, classic roadshow souvenirs. I know, because I actually have a pair of vintage booklets – one for “HOW THE WEST WAS WON” and the other for “IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD.”

The HTWWW booklet is distinct from others that I own, because it originally came in a hard cover (unfortunately, lost over the years by youthful neglect). Not sure how may other program booklets were that extravagant. Did they typically charge for the booklets during the Roadshow era? Or were they handed out, complimentary?

techman707
techman707 on June 30, 2014 at 7:47 pm

“This may possibly account for bigjoe’s Cinerama conundrum.”

Now I’m beginning to become confused.-LOL “Loew’s Cinerama was just what they called the Capitol after they installed the three booths and Cinerama equipment. It not as though there was actually ANOTHER "real theatre” called “Loew’s Cinerama” in New York.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on June 30, 2014 at 6:51 pm

“CHEYENNE AUTUMN” opened on December 23, 1964 on a two shows a day (three on weekends) roadshow basis at the Capitol. It did run a NYT full page ad on October 4, 1964 announcing the holiday opening at the Loews Cinerama. This may possibly account for bigjoe’s Cinerama conundrum. It ran until February 23, 1965 when it was replaced by “LOVE HAS MANY FACES”, a wide release.

techman707
techman707 on June 30, 2014 at 6:14 pm

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, however, I still don’t remember the film running “2 A Day” at the Capitol. I do recall the new screen installation for the premiere of John Sturges “The Hallelujah Trail” a few months later in June of 1965. They converted the theatre (curtaining off the entire top balcony and even the sides on the lower balcony) to run “The Hallelujah Trail” in single projector 70mm Ultra Panavision 70 (the replacement for 3 projector Cinerama). It wasn’t until the end of 1965 when “Doctor Zhivago opened that the Capitol FINALLY had a REAL ROADSHOW “2 A Day” WINNER! I again defer to Al Alvarez who has a good source of accurate information and wonder what he knows about it. I know my memory has been becoming very poor recently, especially my short term memory, but my long term memory is usually very good.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on June 30, 2014 at 2:16 pm

to techman 707-

I asked around so to speak and Cheyenne Autumn’s premiere engagement at the Loew’s Capitol was a traditional roadshow engagement with 2 shows during the week and 3 on the weekend. unfortunately it didn’t have a healthy or long run. still since it was a traditional premiere roadshow engagement I just can’t imagine it not having a souvenir program regardless of the length of said engagement.