Trans-Lux 49th Street Theatre

1607 Broadway,
New York, NY 10019

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AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on August 25, 2011 at 1:00 am

This theatre was listed as Bryanston in Variety but advertised as Bryan West in 1975.

It opened “Frankenstein” as the Trans-Lux West.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=adpHAAAAIBAJ&sjid=CowDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6174%2C3663809

fred1
fred1 on August 25, 2011 at 12:07 am

Was this theater was known as th the Byransten west during the booking of Andy Warhol’s Frankenstien

RickB
RickB on April 16, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Here is a screen capture from the TV series Taxi showing this theater’s marquee (as the Embassy 49) at far left. It’s from a first-season episode titled, appropriately enough, Hollywood Calling.

William
William on June 15, 2010 at 11:55 pm

Gerald, your last image post is under the wrong theatre. It should be under the Trans-Lux Modern Theatre, the one with two screens. Which was in the Brill Building at 1619 Broadway. This theatre opened in 1937.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 15, 2010 at 11:44 pm

Image of the Trans-Lux during a run of La Cucaracha, Boxoffice, January 12, 1935:
http://issuu.com/boxoffice/docs/011235-1/35

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on February 23, 2010 at 4:51 pm

This was the Embassy 49 for only one year in 1976. By 1977 it was the Pussycat.

William
William on November 9, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Well the Trans-Lux Theatre in the Brill Building was ripped out in 1938. Warren had an opening date for this theatre as Dec. 28th. 1937.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on November 9, 2009 at 3:10 pm

Interesting find, Joe.

The Trans-Lux West name did not start until 1967, not 1963 as the intro states. The New York Times claims the original opening year was 1936.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 9, 2009 at 8:58 am

I’ve got more confusion for everyone.

There’s a December 19, 1965, Boxoffice item that contradicts some of the introduction above- saying that the Trans-Lux West was to open around Easter, 1967, that it was the Trans-Lux Broadway that was being remodeled (with plans by Drew Eberson, who had designed the Trans-Lux East) and that the Trans-Lux Broadway had opened in 1933.

Article here.

Then the April 24, 1967, issue of Boxoffice says that reconstruction had begun on the Trans-Lux Broadway, which was to reopen as the Trans-Lux West on May 22. (This Boxoffice item contradicts the earlier one by saying that the Trans-Lux Broadway had been in operation for 36 years, which would give an opening of 1931 instead of 1933. Did Boxoffice also confuse this house with the earlier one in the Brill Building?)

Article here.

I do find Boxoffice referring to this house as the Trans-Lux 49th Street in issues from 1956 and 1957, but before and after that the magazine always calls it the Trans-Lux Broadway.

RobertR
RobertR on April 17, 2009 at 8:57 pm

Another shot of Embassy 49
View link

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on April 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Is this the World or this theatre?

View link

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 27, 2008 at 8:00 pm

Here is a 1986 photo from Life Magazine:
http://tinyurl.com/68logs

iggy
iggy on November 26, 2007 at 5:26 pm

This theatre was featured in Taxi Driver (1976), where Scorsese shoots a low angle shot of the bumper of Travis Brickle’s cab as it rolls down Broadway. For about two seconds you can see the marquee and it clearly reads “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” with “Return of the Dragon”. Just above the marquee is a neon sign that reads “West”. This all makes sense now (thanks to Warren’s February 2nd, 2007 post). Taxi Driver was filmed in 1975 just when this theatre would have been named either Bryan West or The West and showing these films which were both distributed (and I think owned) by Bryanston Pictures. Thanks so much Warren—I spent days trying to figure out where that marquee was.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 8, 2007 at 4:29 am

Just a P.S. on this thread… Jack Dempsey’s Restaurant was originally located across from the old Madison Square Garden on Eighth Avenue. I believe the location in the Brill Bldg on 49th and B'way was a more informal Bar and Cocktail Lounge annex to the original restaurant and – I believe – survived the original Eighth Avenue location by a number of years. Dempsey’s place closed for good in 1974 and shortly thereafter Colony moved in, relocating from another location in the City. Colony has been in business since 1948.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 8, 2007 at 4:18 am

Hey Irv… We’ve all had our moments of confusion with these two theaters here on CT, but the theater described on this page was NOT in the Brill Building but on the block to the south between 49th and 48th and on the same side of Broadway as the Brill. The other Trans Lux – known as the Trans Lux Modern Theater – was located within the Brill building, but NOT where the Colony Records store is now situated. The theater was located in the northern end of the Brill Bldg, closer to 50th Street, while Colony records occupies the southern corner of B'way and 49th. Prior to Colony Records, the site had been the location of Jack Dempsey’s restaurant as well as the Paradise Cabaret, but never – as far as I know – a theater of any kind.

Hope that clarifies things a bit.

evmovieguy
evmovieguy on September 7, 2007 at 3:23 am

I’m confused, the Trans Lux was in the Brill Buiding and there was a theater where Colony Records is? I was under the impression that Colony Records had been there since the 50s or 60s.

decoteau
decoteau on July 17, 2007 at 11:05 pm

Interesting article on the PUSSYCAT……

View link

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on March 23, 2007 at 4:03 pm

The Bryanston West name was used by Variety, for some reason, when it reported the theatre’s weekly grosses. The “family” allegedly established Bryanston Pictures and the Pusssycat with DEEP THROAT profits.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 10, 2006 at 6:28 pm

There’s a small photo on this page of the Pussycat signage during daylight hours. This is the artkraft-kraus site and there are a number of images (albeit small ones) of the signage in Times Square over the years.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 6, 2006 at 5:42 pm

Al… my most humble apologies, sir! Heh heh. Anyway, it’s not the strip joint I’m referring to but the Kitty Kat.

The title on the Kitty Kat marquee in that 1985 photo shows up on imdb.com as a 1985 porn film, so looks like it did show films – at least for a while.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on October 6, 2006 at 5:01 pm

Ed, I am shocked and appalled that you think I might be some kind of authority on strip joints!

Having gotten that out of my system, I am pretty sure the main entrance was on Broadway but there could have been other marquee signs as it seems to have been located somewhere within this complex as was the Mardi Gras Topless (huh?) disco.

Did the Kitty Kat play movies?

RobertR
RobertR on October 6, 2006 at 4:58 pm

It’s listed on here as the Gotham

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 6, 2006 at 4:35 pm

Calling AlAlvarez… The introduction above states that the Kitty Kat Theater was around the corner on 49th, but there is a marquee visible in the 1985 image on Seventh Ave. Were there two entrances? Or was this an auxilliary marquee placed here for higher visibility?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 6, 2006 at 4:31 pm

Thanks William. I fell into the same trap everyone did back in 2005! So the Paradise became Jack Dempsey’s and is now the site of Colony Records. The Trans-Lux 49th (later to become known as the Pussycat) was across 49th from Colony Records one block to the south. My mistake. Too bad… the irony between the old Paradise and the topless Mardi Gras was just too good to be true! So, then there are no vintage photos here of the old Trans-Lux 49th Street other than the one I just posted as the Pussycat. Hmmmm. Now, I’ll have to go digging around to see if any can be found out there.