Directors Guild of America Theater

110 West 57th Street,
New York, NY 10019

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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 is set to re-open in September 2013.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 86 comments)

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on January 30, 2011 at 10:16 pm

In 1964 the Little Carnegie and the Cinema Rendezvous showed these two related films at a single price under the title “ANATOMY OF A MARRIAGE”. The experiment was not a success.

View link

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on April 22, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Fifty-three years ago tonight, “Stage Struck,” director Sidney Lumet’s second movie, and his first in color (by Technicolor), had its gala world premiere at the Trans-Lux Normandie in a benefit for the Actor’s Fund of America. The drama about an aspiring actress was a remake of Katharine Hepburn’s early “Morning Glory,” now a vehicle for Susan Strasberg, who co-starred with Henry Fonda and Christopher Plummer. The movie was produced by floundering RKO Radio, which assigned the distribution to Disney’s Buena Vista. Continuous performances started the next day at noon at the Normandie.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 25, 2011 at 5:47 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.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on June 20, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Here are three views as the Normandie Theatre in a 1952 trade ad: boxofficemagazine

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 20, 2012 at 7:02 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
RobertR on June 21, 2012 at 2:32 am

The place looks great

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 23, 2012 at 8:01 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.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on June 23, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Gimbel’s never had a store in Jamaica or any other part of Queens. Montgomery Ward once had a department store on Jamaica Avenue. I believe the building still exists, but converted to offices…Gimbel’s did have a store near the Queens border in Valley Stream in the Green Acres Shopping Mail, but I don’t think that opened until the 1960s.

Fernando_NYC
Fernando_NYC on July 7, 2012 at 3:07 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 1:59 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.

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