Rivoli Theatre

1620 Broadway,
New York, NY 10019

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JackIndiana
JackIndiana on March 14, 2016 at 8:49 am

Movies I saw at the Rivoli included JAWS, which was quite a thrill on that gigantic screen. THE PINK PANTHER STRIKES AGAIN (I think I saw it there), THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES, THE GAUNTLET, CAPRICORN ONE, MOONRAKER, 1941, WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAM, THE ISLAND and BUSTIN' LOOSE. I saw a few after it was twinned including GHOST STORY, the two CONAN movies, PSYCHO II and TANK. The only movies I saw there after it was renamed the United Artists Twin, were BACK TO SCHOOL and THREE AMIGOS. NYC could really use a place like the Rivoli and Loews Astor Plaza again.

vindanpar
vindanpar on December 21, 2015 at 9:32 pm

I posted on the Music Hall page. That woman was correct but she got the year wrong. It was ‘75.

And the Music Hall did indeed show long epics with their stage shows. Not only SOM, but also GWTW, 2001 and Dr.Z. And though I didn’t see the other films SOM had its intermission as well.

wally 75
wally 75 on December 21, 2015 at 9:22 pm

PS: To the left my picture with Redford and George roy Hill…The Great Waldo Pepper.

wally 75
wally 75 on December 21, 2015 at 9:20 pm

I was in high school when I saw the Sound Of music Myron, and you ar right it was at the Rivoli NYC. I remember saying to myself how I would like to manage it some day….1975 I did.

Myron
Myron on December 21, 2015 at 12:50 pm

A poster claims that she saw The Sound of Music in 1965 when she was a little girl at the Radio City Music Hall. She is mistaken; it was the Rivoli I am sure. Radio City never presented long epics with intermissions as the RCMH included a stage show with the Rockettes. A 4 hour long show was never allowed.

vindanpar
vindanpar on November 23, 2015 at 1:39 pm

Thanks for the recent pics of the Rivoli at twilight in the early 60s. Wish I had been around then to go to these roadshow movies. I’m sure I would have gone multiple times.

Going to a multiplex to see contemporary movies does absolutely nothing for me. A DVD at home will do fine.

moax429
moax429 on November 23, 2015 at 1:28 pm

techman707, September 14, 2014 at 10:18 A.M.: “Thanks to the consent decrees beginning in 1940 onward, the Loews/MGM relationship was ended. Not only did it HURT the industry (including the independent exhibitors), it forced Loews to shut down, sell or permanently close HUNDREDS of theatres across the country. Today, ANYTHING GOES. With everything going on today, we will either wind up with NO THEATRES, or ONE COMPANY running virtually every theatre that’s left. Does a particular company or two come to mind? And finally, does ANYONE care?”

Yes, Techman, at least one company comes to my mind: AMC. But, mercifully, they pulled out of the Lansing, Michigan area (where I now live) in the early 90’s. (Let’s hope they don’t make a comeback here!)

And yes, indeed, I do care. It would be nice to see some of the independent, old-time movie houses saved and updated so future generations can enjoy them. (Three examples of these in my area are the Eaton Theater in Charlotte, Michigan, which now has two screens – one in the former balcony area – but with all-digital projection; the Sun Theater, a single-screener in Grand Ledge, Michigan, also now all-digital; and another Sun Theater, this one in Williamston, Michigan and is another single-screener with digital projection.)

And the Consent Decree you were referring to was decided by the Supreme Court in 1948 in United States vs. Paramount Pictures, Inc. The Court ruled that the movie studios owning their own theaters was a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

Here is a link to an article about that at Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v.Paramount_Pictures,Inc.

This should shed some light on why, in the example you mentioned, Loew’s had to divorce MGM from their holdings and why the other studios who owned theaters had to do the same.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 23, 2015 at 9:35 am

1925 photo added courtesy of the Quality Retro Oldies 1900s-1970s. Facebook page.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on September 25, 2015 at 1:12 pm

1932 “White Zombie” marquee photo added courtesy of Doug Simmons.

robboehm
robboehm on March 2, 2015 at 7:34 pm

Re several comments back. Maybe going pay for view would be a good idea. Movies come and go without any distribution. Contenders for Golden Globe Big Eyes and Cake had almost zip distribution. Before Academy Awards Birdman was a tough film to find.

Coate
Coate on March 2, 2015 at 9:20 am

Happy 50th to “The Sound of Music,” which world premiered at the Rivoli on this day in 1965.

On a related note, some longtime Cinema Treasures readers might recall a Sound of Music 45th anniversary retrospective article I posted here five years ago. I’m in the process of updating it for the 50th anniversary, so please contact me (or post here or on the article’s page) if you note anything that ought to be added, deleted, updated, corrected, etc. Thank you.

RogerA
RogerA on October 18, 2014 at 1:31 pm

markp yes the studios are destroying the biz they have been wanting to eliminate the theaters and go to pay per view for years and they are succeeding

markp
markp on September 15, 2014 at 5:00 pm

techman707, when I lost my job as projectionist in May of 2013 (after 37 years) the owner I was working for said that the film companies would love to see all theatres gone and have everything go to pay per view. Now I dont know if this could happen, but you never know.

techman707
techman707 on September 14, 2014 at 10:18 am

robboehm on May 5, 2014 at 9:46 am “techman, apparently you do not recall the demolition of the Bijou, Helen Hayes and Morosco legits, three in a row, as well as the Astor some 25 years ago. Big shiny building went up which now houses the Marquis.” =–=–=–=–=–=–=–=– My interest is in MOVIE THEATRES! When you compare how many “very special” movie theatres were destroyed or demolished, verses legitimate theaters, virtually NO LEGIT theaters were demolished (and probably NONE were destroyed.

When you say the Astor, I assume you’re referring to the old Astor and the Victoria to the right of it down the street? As for “Loew’s Astor Plaza”, that is NO GREAT LOSS! Thanks to the consent decrees beginning in 1940 onward, the Loews/MGM relationship was ended. Not only did it HURT the industry (including the independent exhibitors, it forced Loews to shut down, sell or permanently close HUNDREDS if theatres across the country. Today, ANYTHING GOES. With everything going on today, we will either wind up with NO THEATRES, or ONE COMPANY running virtually every theatre that’s left. Does a particular company or two come to mind? And finally, does ANYONE care?

robboehm
robboehm on May 5, 2014 at 6:46 am

techman, apparently you do not recall the demolition of the Bijou, Helen Hayes and Morosco legits, three in a row, as well as the Astor some 25 years ago. Big shiny building went up which now houses the Marquis.

techman707
techman707 on May 4, 2014 at 6:44 pm

Demolishing the Rivoli Theatre is just FURTHER PROOF that the NYC Landmarks & Preservation Commission is not only WORTHLESS, but, quite possibly corrupt.

You can only wonder WHAT THEY WERE THINKING to allow a theatre with the historic significance of the “Rivoli Theatre” to be torn down. Yet, try tearing down one of the legit (live performance house)theaters on 44th Street and see if you could get away with it. Mind you, I’m not suggesting that ANY OF THOSE THEATERS should be eliminated, because I’m not. I view those as just as historic and should be protected. It just seems that motion picture theatres appear to have no historic value in the minds of the L&PC members.

For over two decades, the RKO Keith’s-Flushing, a spectacular “atmospheric theatre”. A theatre that uses twinkling stars and a special ceiling that utilizes a special projector that projects clouds that slowly changing shape as it moves across the ceiling. The end result makes you feel (and it really works) like you are sitting out in the open watching the movie.

They say there are only 5 functioning atmospheric theatres left in the United States. Here in NYC, we probably had one of the BEST examples, but we’re letting it just ROT!

bufffilmbuff
bufffilmbuff on April 17, 2014 at 10:17 am

Thanks Ed. The lowered projection ports is what made me think it was the Rivoli. I guess this was not that uncommon in the 50’s as various widescreen processes caused changes in the theater layouts. I will say that SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS probably gives us one of the best looks at what parts of NYC looked like in the fifties.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 17, 2014 at 9:35 am

The shot of Tony Curtis, as Falco, watching Hunsecker’s sister enter the theater, was filmed at the corner of W. 54th Street and Sixth Avenue. The bar and restaurant behind him is now the site where the New York Hilton is located. That would make it appear that the theater itself was the original Ziegfeld Theatre. However, neither the interior shots of the theater, nor the exterior showing the sister entering (and later the Marty Milner character in the outside foyer) were shot at the Ziegfeld.

Suggesting it was the Ziegfeld actually makes sense, since at the time of the filming, that theater had been used by NBC as a television studio. But the exterior shots are of a different facade, just judging from the windows and storefront immediately to the right of the marquee.

As for the Rivoli, by this time (1957) the interior had already been streamlined for its wide-screen road show retrofit. The interior shots in the film show far too much original vintage ornamentation to be the Rivoli – not to mention the design around the proscenium is a bit different. I don’t know where they filmed those shots, but it is definitely an old movie palace that had been retrofitted for direct-throw wide-screen projection (you can glimpse the new booth, cut into center of the loge, in the background), just not the Rivoli.

bufffilmbuff
bufffilmbuff on April 14, 2014 at 11:37 am

I recently watched the movie SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS, where you can see some ads in the street for the Rivoli and OKLAHOMA! But there is a scene in a theater here which looks very much like the picture of the Rivoli posted on AMERICAN WIDESCREEN MUSEUM. Does anyone know if this scene was shot in the Rivoli… and if not does anyone know what theater it was. Thanks.

markp
markp on April 8, 2014 at 7:51 am

I hate that black skyscraper every time I pass it. Same for the Roxy site. And Roseland, I was just there a year ago for the opening night party of “Motown the Musical”. Another shame that one is gonna bite the dust too.

robboehm
robboehm on April 8, 2014 at 7:08 am

And now a venue of a different sort is also succumbing to developers, Roseland Ballroom.

paullewis
paullewis on April 7, 2014 at 2:07 pm

“Replaced by a black skyscraper” This would also apply to the Roxy and Capitol, three of the finest and most famous movie palaces ever built, denied to future generations through sheer greed of developers and a city administration blind to it’s unique heritage.

Cimarron
Cimarron on March 27, 2014 at 5:43 pm

Pic of World Premiere ad “The Snake Pit” added to Photo Section.

rivoli157
rivoli157 on March 18, 2014 at 9:41 pm

Just uploaded photos of the marquee and front of theatre during the engagements of STAR!, HELLO, DOLLY! and JUSTINE. Taken in 1968 and 1969

robboehm
robboehm on February 5, 2014 at 7:13 am

World Premiere of “Modern Times” February 5, 1936 with performances beginning the next day. Ad posted in photo section.