Rivoli Theatre

1620 Broadway,
New York, NY 10019

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vindanpar on September 12, 2018 at 4:52 pm

I never saw a non 70mm film either genuine or blow up at the Rivoli. When showing a Panavision 35mm print like Jaws did they fill the curved Todd AO screen with the image or was it projected with borders making the screen smaller?

moviebuff82 on September 12, 2018 at 4:21 pm

This was the place to see “Jaws” if you lived in the big apple. Despite its mono soundtrack and 35mm projection, Jaws played almost everywhere during its run and became the first major blockbuster and made even more on home video when it hit laserdisc first in 1978 and on VHS in 1980 along with Jaws 2 after succesfull reissues.

vindanpar on July 31, 2018 at 2:58 pm

OK that explains it. I’ve mentioned before that I was walking with my father in front of the Criterion-maybe it was March 17 ‘70 when we went to see the parade and Airport at Radio City- and the Criterion had a huge sign out front saying the performance was sold out. I think that’s why I was surprised it was playing in the suburbs that summer. I thought it would have a long roadshow run.

But then Kubrick predicted a two year run on Broadway for 2001.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 31, 2018 at 9:44 am

After the huge success of M.A.S.H, 20th Century-Fox realized that they could market PATTON to the anti-war youth market by rushing it out into wide release. They took it out of roadshow early and cashed in. The “A Salute to a Rebel” catch line had already been abandoned earlier in the run. They later re-released them as a double feature.

vindanpar on July 31, 2018 at 9:02 am

Fiddler was an anomaly in that roadshow musicals and epics were pretty much dead at that point. In ‘69 and '70 there weren’t any successful roadshow films that opened. Patton was a successful film but it didn’t seem to run very long at the Criterion on roadshow. By the summer of '70 it was playing in the suburbs.

And a number of films that were planned to be roadshow were cancelled or if completed changed their marketing strategy and opened continuous run. So by ‘71 Fiddler was a one off and as I said started to play reserved performances in a number of markets. And even though it had reserved seats it was playing from the beginning for all intensive purposes continuous performances on Saturday and Sunday with extra matinees during the week as opposed to Funny Girl and Oliver’s more traditional schedule.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 30, 2018 at 7:42 pm

The roadshow run of LAST TANGO IN PARIS at the Gotham (Trans Lux East)outgrossed YOUNG WINSTON, NICHOLAS & ALEXANDRA and MAN OF LA MANCHA.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 30, 2018 at 7:36 pm

MAN OF LA MANCHA played for about 18 weeks. FIDDLER ON THE ROOF played for a year and outgrossed both FUNNY GIRL and OLIVER!.

vindanpar on July 30, 2018 at 6:32 pm

How many weeks did LaMancha play at the Rivoli? The reviews were so dire I didn’t even bother going. I believe tickets could be bought up until Memorial Day of ‘73 by mail and the film didn’t even make it to Easter.

Also the prime roadshow period I would say ended with Oliver and Funny Girl opening in ‘68 and running reserved seat through '69. After Dolly ended its engagement in early summer of '70 at the Rivoli NY had its first summer without a reserved seat movie since the mid 50s. Even Fiddler by the summer of '72 was playing reserved performances rather than seats in a number of markets.

The last Times Square roadshow I went to was N&A in early ‘72 at the Criterion at a Saturday mat and it was very empty. Sadly for some reason while Loew’s State and the Astor Plaza and even the National would get major first run Hollywood product the Criterion ended up with what I would consider exploitation product. Why this happened I have no idea but it was a very fast fall from the glory days of Funny Girl.

bigjoe59 on July 30, 2018 at 2:31 pm


thanks to Ed S. et all for your replies about souvenir programs. I was particularly interested in the prime roadshow period from the Oct. 1955 premiere of Oklahoma to the Dec. 1972 premiere of Man of La Mancha. during this period the studios still opened continuous performance films in single exclusive engagements. so generally how big did a non-reserve seat film have to be to have a souvenir program?

speaking of which the last souvenir program I bought at a theater was a specially designed souvenir program for the limited 2 week run of Hercules at the newly renovated New Amsterdam Theater.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 29, 2018 at 5:21 pm

I just remembered that I have a souvenir programs for THE ROSE and TOMMY.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 29, 2018 at 2:40 pm

Big Joe, I still have souvenir programs for movies like Reds, Star Wars, Rocky II, Moonraker, Octopussy, etc. And a number of those booklets were neighborhood engagements. Of course, distribution and roll out was much different in the latter ‘70’s and ‘80’s than it was during the roadshow period.

StanMalone on July 29, 2018 at 2:40 pm

Godfather 1 and 2, 1776, Lost Horizon, and Jesus Christ Superstar are some that come to mind right off although 1776 was probably a roadshow in some markets. Possibly Superstar as well.

bigjoe59 on July 29, 2018 at 2:09 pm


I apologize if i have already asked this but if so I would like any additional info on the matter. for me souvenir programs were synonymous with roadshow engagements. but on occasion even a film released on a continuous performance engagement would have a souvenir program. to which- how BIG did a continuous performance film have to be to have a souvenir program?

StanMalone on July 28, 2018 at 7:49 pm

Well, I stand corrected. That La Mancha figure seems appropriately dismal, but I am really surprised at how low the SOM results were. Guess I was influenced by the local business. I do recall reading the weekly grosses in Variety at the time and the results for LaMancha were well behind the “year ago” results for Fiddler even though Fiddler had started in November ‘71 and LaMancha not until December '72.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 28, 2018 at 6:04 pm

According to Variety, LA MANCHA made 3.8 million in studio rentals (double that for the total gross). MUSIC made only 3 million in the 1973 re-release.

StanMalone on July 28, 2018 at 5:50 pm

Al, La Mancha played at the old Martin Cinerama, by then operated by Walter Reade as The Atlanta, and was a huge bust. When it moved to a suburban house it failed there as well. SOM, on the other hand, was a massive hit during its 70mm reissue run at Martin’s suburban Georgia Cinerama. While still doing sell out business it was pulled by Fox so that they could get the neighborhood release in before summer ended.

Of course I am speaking only for the Atlanta market and I assume you are talking nationally, but I still find it hard to believe that La Mancha beat the SOM reissue.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 28, 2018 at 3:56 pm

Except MAN OF LA MANCHA did better than that SOUND OF MUSIC re-release and movie musicals were all failing.

vindanpar on July 28, 2018 at 3:12 pm

Man of LaMancha was the final nail in the coffin for Hollywood roadshow movies and theaters. It wasn’t even an exclusive NY engagement which would formerly at least last until the early summer before spreading out to suburban roadshow theaters.

The Century in Paramus was an abysmal theater. A beautiful single screen cut right down the middle so much of the theater was looking at a small screen at an angle.

Also if the Rivoli hadn’t booked this I bet 20th Century Fox would have gotten it for the re-release of The Sound of Music during Easter of ‘73. La Mancha ended well before that and SOM ended up in the dismal National.

bigjoe59 on July 11, 2018 at 4:15 pm


Cleopatra is one of my all time favorite epics. on blu-ray disc its the definition of !!! WOW !!!. it had a healthy roadshow run at this theater lasting 64 weeks. how how long did they use the original 4hr. cut?

vindanpar on May 6, 2018 at 3:16 pm

Great photo of 7th Av Cleopatra billboard for Rivoli.

Don’t know if this is an urban legend or if it happened with the original ad campaign but I read it had to do with the this billboard.

Harrison was not included. He threatened to sue and they painted him in. It does look like he’s an afterthought.

Finally got to see it when they restored it in ‘13. Thought it was terrific. Great Mankiewicz script. 'Egyptian generosity, two heads for the price of one!’ And that final tableau which turns into a painting is a stunner on a large screen.

Lawrence at the Criterion and Cleopatra at the Rivoli. I envy those of you who were going to NY cinemas then.

DavidZornig on May 5, 2018 at 8:00 am

1963 photo added via Gerard Legrand‎. Rear exit of the Rivoli with “Cleopatra” billboard.

vindanpar on February 17, 2018 at 1:14 pm

Frenchman’s Creek photo. Sensational. Imagine that in color. No wonder people were movie crazy. Though to be honest never heard of it.

robboehm on June 8, 2017 at 1:04 pm

That seemed to be the norm even on Long Island. Cheaper.

vindanpar on June 6, 2017 at 2:27 pm

Great Rivoli photos with Moonraker marquee and 7th Av billboard. Thank you!

Only thing is I wish they hadn’t replaced the neon frame of the marquee with the plain boring chrome. Anyone know when it was changed?

I believe it was still there in the early 70s. Same thing happened with the very cool modern Criterion marquee. Again I believed it happened there sometime during the 70s.

paul baar
paul baar on May 30, 2017 at 7:47 am

I Saw Roger Moore in the James Bond epic"Moonraker"in 1979.I loved all the billboard art work around the theater.I have some photos if I could figure out how to post them.It was not my favorite but way better than"View to a Kill.