Roxy Theatre

153 W. 50th Street,
New York, NY 10020

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Showing 1 - 25 of 1,118 comments

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on May 25, 2017 at 8:38 am

Ad from May, 1949 uploaded to the Photos Section. For reasons unknown, the Roxy has been removed from the “Famous Theaters” feature on the homepage for the Photos Section.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on March 14, 2017 at 12:15 pm

Belatedly congratulating the Roxy on its 90th anniversary
on March 11th. Its life may have ended, but the memories linger on.

vindanpar on February 8, 2017 at 5:09 pm

Comfortably Cool just posted another amazing Roxy ad with Danny Kaye and Yma Sumac on stage.

Today we have Hamilton. Wicked and Book of Morman as live entertainment costing individuals $300 to $1,000 a ticket.

I cannot believe how pathetic we are as a culture.

rasLXR on June 28, 2016 at 5:27 pm

The King And I had its joint World Premiere here 60 years ago today 28th June 1956 other premiere at the Chinese Theatre in LA

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on April 17, 2016 at 8:46 am

In October, 1956, “Giant” broke CinemaScope’s grip on the Roxy and received only wide screen projection at 1:66 ratio. Ads mentioned only the film being photographed in WarnerColor.

MarkDHite on September 5, 2015 at 9:02 am

Has anyone seen the film bits of the Roxy at the beginning of the film “The Naked City”? You see the auditorium, empty at night, and the lobby rotunda. The latter, which I think was always carpeted, here through the magic of the movies appears to have a massive marble floor which the night cleaning lady is shown scrubbing on her hands and knees, while having dark thoughts about all of the feet that keep dirtying her floor.

MarkDHite on September 5, 2015 at 8:55 am

If you haven’t already seen it, here’s a brief 1938 newsreel clip of the Gae Foster Girls rehearsing on the roof of the Roxy.

DavidZornig on September 5, 2015 at 8:10 am

Scale model added of the Roxy auditorium displayed at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens. Photo credit and copy Jeffrey Nickora.

dotty64 on November 6, 2014 at 8:46 pm

can anyone tell me about the girls who worked the candy concessions. Did they have a uniform? Were they allowed to wear make-up, nail polish, jewelry? Did they have to stand inspections? Any information would be great!

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on November 3, 2014 at 6:01 am

“What’s playing at the Roxy?

I’ll tell you what’s playing at the Roxy.

A picture about a Minnesota man falls in love with a Mississippi girl.

That he sacrifices everything and moves all the way to Biloxi.

That’s what’s playing at the Roxy."

(But was it an A picture or a B picture? A studio release or an independent? Was there a stage show and did the ushers wear pants or skirts…?)

NYer on November 2, 2014 at 10:39 pm

The last three engagements, “The Gazebo”, the double bill of “On the Waterfront” & “The Caine Mutiny” and the last show, “The Wind Cannot Read” as posted by MarkDHite opening day ads now in photos.

bigjoe59 on November 2, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Hello Again-

thanks for the reply to my question. I knew when the Roxy was closed but had no idea what the last film was. I had never heard of the “The Wind Cannot Read” so I naturally assumed it was a B movie but according to MarkD. that’s not the case. I had no idea “The Gazebo” was the last big studio film to debut at the Roxy.

MarkDHite on November 2, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Simon, thanks for clarifying this point once again. It’s interesting to remember that during the original five year run under Roxy himself it was the theatre itself that was the main attraction with its huge orchestra, organ, and stage spectaculars including the ballet corps, the male choir, and the Roxyettes. For those who don’t already know, these shows were created by the same people who later made the Radio City Music Hall famous for its stage spectacles: producer Leon Leonidoff and choreographer Russell Markert. The movie was just one piece of the whole amazing show.

After the exit of Roxy and all of his staff and performers to the Music Hall the Roxy Theatre really struggled for a few years, as Simon tells us. It’s parent company Fox Pictures was in receivership and didn’t have enough top product to fill the Roxy’s screen. After the advent of the 20th Century-Fox merger and better corporate support of the Roxy Theatre through Fox’s theatre arm, the Roxy flourished again, especially during WWII as all theatrs did. It remained a leading World premiere film showcase until its demise in 1960. Remember that 20th-Fox’s CinemaScope process had its world premiere at the Roxy with the film “The Robe”.

MarkDHite on November 2, 2014 at 1:47 pm

The Roxy remained a major first run house until the very final weeks of its existence. MGM’s “The Gazebo” with Glenn Ford had its New York debut run at the Roxy, opening January 15, 1960 along with a Roxy stage show. This ran until February 26. Then the Roxy’s last two engagements, filling out the weeks until it closed, were a rerelease double bill of “On the Waterfront” and “The Caine Mutiny”; and then, opening on March 9, “The Wind Cannot Read”. There was no stage show during these last two bills. “The Wind Cannot Read” was a British import starring Dirk Bogart. Not a major release in the US, but by no means a B-picture.

Simon L. Saltzman
Simon L. Saltzman on November 2, 2014 at 1:40 pm

From the late 1930s and through the 1950s, The Roxy only booked A films. Exception was the Depression Era when the theater struggled to survive and booked B movies. B movies were often booked during the early years (1927 – 1932) when Roxy himself was managing director and wanted his elaborate stage shows to be the main attraction. The last A film to play the Roxy and its last film (sans stage show) before demolition was “The Wind Cannot Read” with Dirk Bogard

bigjoe59 on November 2, 2014 at 1:06 pm


I first posted this question some time ago so I was wondering if anyone had additional info. at the point the Roxy was closed the movie biz was still operating on the A Level, B and even C Levels of movie production. so what was the last big A Level studio film to play the Roxy?

MarkDHite on November 2, 2014 at 11:58 am

Well here’s another photo that show women ushers at the Roxy as late as 1947.

Dated 1947, it has this caption: “Roxy usherettes (l to r) Marie Prange, Sheilah Knox, and Jo Ann De Santis dispense coffee and doughnuts to line of movie patrons headed by Mrs. Lily Vieder, at the premiere of "Forever Amber” outside the Roxy Theater, New York City Date Created/Published: 1947.

Here’s the link. Only a tiny thumbnail is available. Pic is under copyright.

MarkDHite on November 2, 2014 at 11:20 am

Here is a link to the photo I mentioned. It is from the Library of Congress, dated 1945 with the caption “Head usherette Capt. Rosemary Smith inspects line of uniformed usherettes who are holding gloved hands up to be examined, Roxy Theater, New York City.”

Here is a link to the page, the photo may be opened in three different formats and resolutions.

MarkDHite on November 2, 2014 at 2:16 am

Women were probably employed in concessions, box office, and as secretaries and receptionists. Earlier, there would have been a “matron” in the ladies lounge and a nurse in the theatre’s medical rooms. And of course, as cleaners. It’s an excellent question. Perhaps someone with direct knowledge can recall what jobs were open to women, other than as performers, at the Roxy in the 1950s and earlier.

dotty64 on November 2, 2014 at 1:46 am

Does this mean that the only jobs available for women at the Roxy in the 1950s was at the candy concessions?

MarkDHite on October 31, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Simon is saying that after WWII the Roxy went back to an all male usher staff. That sounds right, even though I wasn’t there, I’ve never seen a picture of a female usher at the Roxy except during wartime. I have a photo that I downloaded, I don’t know where from, that shows an older woman and her staff of wartime usherettes at the Roxy. The uniform is a very basic uniform dress with one row of buttons all the way down the front. If it’s not already in the photo section here, I will try to add it the next time I’m at my computer. Cheers

Joseph on October 31, 2014 at 5:38 pm

To Simon, Please see my photo of a female ROXY usherette. Females WERE recruited during WW2 because of manpower shortages.

Simon L. Saltzman
Simon L. Saltzman on October 31, 2014 at 10:59 am

As a Roxy usher in 1956 and 1957, I can tell you that there were no women ushers during that time. I recall a couple of women in uniforms who worked at the candy concession.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on October 31, 2014 at 7:58 am

You’re romance, You’re the steppes of Russia, You’re the pants, on a Roxy usher, I’m a broken doll, a fol-de-rol, a blop,

But if, baby, I’m the bottom, You’re the top!

— Cole Porter

dotty64 on October 31, 2014 at 2:55 am

what did the female usherette uniforms in the 1950s look like?