Directors Guild of America Theater

110 West 57th Street,
New York, NY 10019

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Entrance with awning

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Normandie Theatre was opened on December 6, 1951 with James Mason in “Pandora and the Flying Dutchman”. Seating for 598 was provided on a stadium plan, with a raised stepped section at the rear. Over the tears it went through several name changes:Cinema Rendezvous, Playboy, 57th Street Playhouse, Trans-Lux Normandie and possibly more in its many decades of history, this theatre is now used for industry screenings and special events. There was originally as seating capacity of 484, today the capacity is 436 (266 on the main level and 170 in the mezzanine).

In May 2013 it was closed to renovate the theater by removing asbestos and install air conditioning. It re-opened in September 2013.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 78 comments)

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 25, 2011 at 4:47 pm

A few mouse-clicks down into the DGA’s website is this photo gallery, which features excellent views of the theatre’s current interior. It appears that the first few rows from each orchestra section were removed in order to bring the screen wall forward (allowing for a wider sheet) and add a small platform stage. Apart from that, the layout of the theatre looks much as it does in the vintage photos Warren posted on May 22, 2008. Not sure when the red drapery was added.

I’m positive this is where I saw a brilliant new (at the time) 35mm print of Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove” in the mid 1980’s. The DGA’s page also includes information regarding the technical facilities, along with a diagram of the theatre. Click on the images to enlarge them.

Sadly, it appears that the 70mm projector’s have been removed. The technical specs skew towards all manner of digital presentation with only a passing mention of “35mm composite” capabilities. The DGA’s Los Angeles facilities (which appear to have been purpose-built) include both 35mm and 70mm capabilities.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 20, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Here is an updated and working version of the DGA link I previously posted on April 25, 2011. From that page, one may now also take a 360 degree virtual tour of the auditorium as well as the projection booth.

RobertR on June 21, 2012 at 1:32 am

The place looks great

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 23, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Sorry, A_Mclean, but the only Gimbels store I remember (besides the one near Herald Square) was the one in Green Acres Shopping Mall, in Valley Stream.

Fernando_NYC on July 7, 2012 at 2:07 am

Cinema Rendezvous Theater also screened Colossus: The Forbin Project on May 4th, 1970.

Oddly enough, the New York Times initially listed it as an Italian film with subtitles!

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on December 30, 2013 at 12:59 am

Has the theater reopened?

I am currently reading the novel The Pawnbroker; the film adaptation directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Rod Steiger opened here at the Cinema Rendezvous (and at the Beekman and the RKO 23rd Street) on April 20, 1965.

RobertR on July 16, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Do they ever have screenings here open to the public?

Ed Miller
Ed Miller on November 22, 2014 at 1:30 am

What a shame that there’s only one post per year here, recently. I came here, when I read it was being “renovated,” thinking that there would be some activity on the message boards, because I have a dilemma. I recently came across a photo of a Manhattan theater known as the New Century, located at 932 7th Avenue, between 58th and 59th. There’s no listing for it here on Cinema Treasures at all, and I’m mystified. I wanted to post the 1937 vintage photo that I found, but the theater doesn’t exist on this site.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on November 22, 2014 at 10:36 am

Ed Miller; There is a page for the New Century Theatre as the Central Park Theatre #7049. We would love you to post your photo on that page.

zoetmb on March 20, 2015 at 9:10 pm

I don’t think the Festival was ever the Playboy. A December, 1975 NY Times Arts section shows “Jaws” playing at the Playboy (but no address given) and “The Magic Flute” playing at the Festival. Unless there was another Playboy theatre.

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