153 W. 50th Street,
153 W. 50th Street,New York, NY 10020
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Part of the ground site of the Roxy’s 6,000-seat auditorium is now occupied by Urban Hawker, an authentic Singapore street food center with main entrance at 135 West 50th Street. Official website with photographs can be viewed here
while it is sad I never got to enjoy the Roxy people have to realize that HUGE theaters like the Roxy were living on borrowed time the split micro nano second t.v. became commonplace in the American home.
Giant has just come out on 4k. From reviews some of it looks great and some of it not so great. The movie is 3 hours and 20 minutes. And it played the Roxy with a stage show which is amazing. A very long running time for a show that had continuous performances.
Reminder from The James Dean Museum via Facebook: October 10, 1956 On this day, “Giant” premiered at the Roxy Theatre in New York City with the local DuMont station, WABD, televising the arrival of the cast and crew. Image from the gallery posted in 2011.
There was no grace of any kind in how the Rockefellers dealt with the future of RCMH. They wanted it torn down…all the way to a court battle/decision. For all the facts, you must read “Saving Radio City Music Hall” by Rosemary Novellino-Mearns. You will see how powerful and inspirational a small group of people can be to save something beautiful and cherished.
And when the Roxy was torn down the Music Hall was still successful getting first run films that people wanted to see and a popular NY destination must. By the end of the 60s that was over because of the cultural shift in filmmaking and film distribution and urban decay. It only held on well into the 70s by the grace of the Rockefellers.
The roadshow presentation of Windjammer was a desperate but failed measure to keep the Roxy a destination ever since the late 1950s when this grand movie palace with 5900 seats was no longer able to get exclusive runs on first-run films. The tragedy is that the beauty of the theater could not be either maintained or retained if it were to be cutup into a multiplex. The large staff necessary for keeping it going was also an expense not supported by drastically declining grosses. The miracle was that its step-sister the Radio City Music Hall (also the work of Roxy)was only saved by the efforts of a small and passionately dedicated group of insiders.
I believe much of the theater was curtained off like when the Capitol became a roadshow house to appreciable reduce capacity. Though there it was done in a more permanent way unlike the Roxy where everything was removed so it could go back to being a presentation house. The same permanent thing happened with the Strand, Rivoli and Loew’s State. I believe the Criterion was left alone. Not sure about the DeMille.
Hello- as stated in Joseph’s Aug.1st post how was the roadshow engagement of Windjammer “disastrous”? was it the Cinemiracle projection or no one came? I would think using a HUGE theater like the Roxy for a roadshow engagement not a good idea.
to Joseph thanks for the info. of the ones you mention the only souvenir program I have as stated was for The Robe. its interesting I’ve never come across the others you mention either in memorabilia shops or online.
Te souvenir programs, roxy sold many over the years including: Wilson,RAZORS EDGE, ROBE, ALL ABOUT EVE, CAROUSEL, LING AND I, EGYPTIAN. A FAREWELL TO ARMS, LIL ABNER, KING AND I, BIG CIRUS. A,THERE’S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESSES, all come to mind
speaking of the late but great Roxy. the only souvenir program I have from a film that debuted at the Roxy is for The Robe. I found it in a memorabilia shop say 20 years ago. does anyone know of any other films which debuted here which had souvenir programs? thanks in advance.
I scanned from my copy of Ben M Hall’s book The Best Remaining Seats and uploaded to Photos the Roxy’s final day ad for The Wind Cannot Read.
The Roxy deserves to be returned to its rightful place in the “Famous Movie Theaters” feature on the main PHOTOS page. For whatever reason, the Roxy was removed to make way for the former Loew’s Kings when rejuvenated for performing arts.
I’ve always wanted to see this movie simply because it closed the Roxy. did the people in the audience know it was the last night of the Roxy or did it close without being announced? I wonder how many people were there.
You have to use html code. That’s why cutting and pasting links gives you a link you can’t open unless you cut and paste it. A hassle, but a little searching will show how. I’d show you here,but they wouldn’t show up:-). There are about a dozen keystrokes to make a working link, and only a half dozen to italicize. Hope this helps.
Also a little off topic, LOL, how does one italicize or bold a word or comment? I have looked for instructions on the site, to no avail.
The full movie is also free on YouTube.
Re WIND CANNOT READ, this was a British production originally issued in UK markets during 1958. It was picked up by Fox for foreign distribution later. Probably a last minute pickup by Roxy management before closing date which was undecided during final weeks. The movie is available as a UK DVD issue (simple google search).
Why so full of rage? “The Wind Cannot Read” was the last film to play the Roxy which makes it completely on-topic. And I’ll bet a lot of fans of the Roxy have wondered over the years why they have never been able to see this film, however routine or dull it may be.
This is a little off-topic, but does anyone know why “The Wind Cannot Read” has apparently never been shown on television in the USA? It started showing up on Canadian TV around 1965, has been on British and Australian TV with some regularity, but I find no evidence of US airings. Even if it wasn’t a hit, you’d think a film that played a major theater like this would have at least been stuck into some kind of Late Late Show syndication package to squeeze a few dollars out of it.
The NY ROXY Theatre, one of the unfortunate early victims of a long list of demolished movie palaces which would increase as the 1960s wore on, was done in more by NYC real-estate dealings than for faltering financial reasons. It is easily assumed that business was poor enough during final months to cause closure. Actually the hand writing was on the wall when Rockefeller Center, with an eye towards future expansion, purchased the ROXY property and leased it back to its then current management in 1955. Even in 1955 news reports were claiming the ROXY site along with the rest of the block bound by 6th and 7th Ave would become a “television city” extension of Rockefeller Center. Of course, this never happened. What did happen was one of Rock Centers star tenants, Time-Life Inc. threaten to move from a smaller Rock plaza building. Rock Center used the Roxy “air rights” to build a new Time-Life skyscraper facing 6th Ave, completed in 1959. Following the disastrous WINDJAMMER roadshow, ROXY management attempted a return to stage shows with mediocre results. Also considered at this time were live TV broadcasts from the ROXY stage and sophisticated Las Vegas style revues. None of this came to pass, rather owner Rock Center took management control and sold the ROXY to NY real-estate wheeler dealer William Zeckendorf in December 1959. Zeckendorf claimed to be building an expansion of the neighboring Taft hotel onto the ROXY site, which never happened. Rather, Zeckendorf contracted for demolishment and re-sold the partially cleared Roxy site. All this occurred within a few short months. Nowhere in the brief closing notices was any mention of the ROXY’s financial situation at the time of closing. The only financial information published was the various property buying and selling pricings between principles at the time. Its obvious Rock Center was not interested in keeping the ROXY afloat. Rather, it was just a means towards an end.
I unfortunately wasn’t able to experience the Roxy which is tied in most people’s hearts with the San Francisco Fox as the best movie palace ever. so aside from any competition it gave RCMH weren’t huge theaters like the Roxy doomed with a capital D the second tvs became commomplace in the majority of U.S. homes?
The Roxy for most of its life was the flagship theatre for 20th-Century=Fox.It was the second highest grossing theatre in the world only after Radio City Music Hall.In 1953 it held the highest grossing single week with “The Robe” $264,000 without a supporting stage show. By 1960 there wasn’t room for both Radio City and the Roxy with there stage and film policy due to lack of quality film product. Air Rights and development and the Rockefellers helped eliminate the Roxy. The Roxy was very successful for most of its life with its association with Fox as the Capitol was successful due to M-G-M. We will never see there likes ever again.
World Premiere of “Giant” was October 10, 1956 at the Roxy Theatre. One image added, and premiere ticket images below.