Riverside Theatre

2561 Broadway,
New York, NY 10025

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Showing 1 - 25 of 47 comments

mfarricker_1
mfarricker_1 on July 19, 2014 at 7:20 am

For Joe Vogel. Thanks for posting the information about Maude Humphrey. I must confess that I never saw any of her work before and was delighted to peruse the samples you included. Her work is charming and certainly is a perfect example of nineteenth century illustration. Manhattan Marty.

mfarricker_1
mfarricker_1 on July 19, 2014 at 6:56 am

For MOVIEPLACE Thanks again, for setting me straight about the Gerber baby. I was always a little suspect about that rumor. About me? Well, as far as I know, my part is done and I’m waiting to see what’s happening. Unfortunately, I was unable to obtain some of my best work to include in the collection. Once a piece goes to a client, it’s usually gone forever and is difficult to recover. Now, comes the hard part,trying to clean up my studio which is upside down. I’m still enjoying your wonderful site. I found a photo and notes on West 100 Street, which once again brought back memories. We lived at 70 West 100 Street for a year or two. Central Park west was at the end of the block, where a clinic stood on the corner. It was called, the Reconstruction Clinic(real name?)and I was its main patient. Many horror stories I can relate. First, being that I never once received any anesthetic for any procedure. That’s okay, it only made us stronger. Be well and “I’ll see you at the movies.” Manhattan Marty.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 18, 2014 at 10:23 pm

A number of Maud Humphrey’s illustrations can be seen on this web page. She illustrated a number of children’s books as well as drawing advertisements. Mellin’s Baby Food was among her clients.

Movieplace
Movieplace on July 18, 2014 at 9:18 pm

Sorry Manhattan Marty, it was not Gerber’s. There is this long lived myth that not only did she draw the Gerber baby but Bogart is the baby. Although Bogart was a cute baby, he ain’t the Gerber Baby and that is not her work. There was another baby food company that she did do work for, but I cannot remember the name. How is the work going for your retrospective? Hope you are well.

mfarricker_1
mfarricker_1 on July 18, 2014 at 8:18 pm

For MOVIEPLACE Thanks for correcting me about the time line Bogart lived at Pomander Walk. I know that his mother was an illustrator. I heard that she did the illustration of the baby that appears on the Gerber Baby Food jars and she used baby Bogey as the model. True or not? Manhattan Marty.

Movieplace
Movieplace on July 18, 2014 at 6:34 pm

When Bogart was a kid, from the time he was born until his late teens or early 20’s, he lived at 245 West 103. That was his parents brownstone. His father was a surgeon and his mother was a suffragist and illustrator. I am not clear when he actually moved out as he used the 245 W. 103 address on his marriage license when he married the actress Helen Menken, his first wife. He had this license for a while, almost 2 years if I remember this right. Anyway, Bogart lived at Pomander Walk with his first wife.

mfarricker_1
mfarricker_1 on July 18, 2014 at 6:09 am

FOR MOVIEPLACE
I finally remembered the name of the little side street
where Bogart lived as a boy.
It’s called Pomander Walk.
Am I correct or not?
Manhattan Marty.

mfarricker_1
mfarricker_1 on June 25, 2014 at 6:34 am

Movieplace I don’t know if you saw my notes under the “pictures” comments. If not, look under the photo of the Riverside marquee featuring Woody Allen’s movies. I’ve been trying to retrieve the comments I sent during the period when the cinema treasures site was down. So far, no luck. P.S. I spoke to my son about your tours and gave him your email address. He does a great deal of entertaining, so he may be interested. Manhattan Marty.

Movieplace
Movieplace on June 24, 2014 at 8:08 am

Thank you Manhattan Marty, I am very happy that you got “Fred” to work and I am more than touched by your response. Any comments you have are always more than welcome.

mfarricker_1
mfarricker_1 on June 24, 2014 at 7:37 am

Movieplace. First thing I did this morning, even before I had my cup of Barry’s Irish tea, was crank up “Fred” my computer and read the piece you sent to me about our immortal (in our minds) movie palaces. And, you asked for my comments about same. As the “cowardly lion once said, "I’m speechless”. What can I say but, I’m overwhelmed with your knowledge, experience and ability to relate the history of “Our Town” and its treasures through words and pictures. How can I and every other Movie Buff and true New Yorker ever thank you for giving us this treasure trove of information about the “Big Apple', the "Great White Way” and “Tinsel Town”. To paraphrase George M. Cohan, My family thanks you, my friends thank you and I thank you. Of course, I couldn’t read the entire piece in one sitting and I don’t want to. Like a great vintage glass of wine, it should be read slowly and savored. Occasionally, I shall write to you and comment on the many things I recognize….which are many. However, I fear there’s not enough time to talk about all of the things that you so ably awakened in my memory vault of times past. Sincerely, Manhattan Marty.

mfarricker_1
mfarricker_1 on June 23, 2014 at 8:30 pm

Hello Movieplace So glad you posted this note. I have been unable to use the cinema treasures site for days, do to a problem on their end. Glad to know that you finished your piece about our beloved movie houses. I can’t wait to read it, but shall have to wait until morning. Morpheus beckons and I can’t resist. Had an extremely busy day collecting/organizing my artwork for a retrospective that is being put together. Very exhausting job. I’ll keep you posted. Nighty night, Manhattan Marty.

Movieplace
Movieplace on June 23, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Hello Manhattan Marty,

cut and paste this into your browser:

newyorktoursbygary.com

This is my blog and I finally finished my piece about our Beloved Riverside and Riviera Theaters. Enjoy Manhattan Marty, let me know what you think.

Movieplace

Movieplace
Movieplace on June 12, 2014 at 9:47 pm

I am putting together from a bunch of old posts, one post about the theaters. I am almost done editing it. There are a large number of people who miss those theaters. We have memories but you where there, your access to what was behind the screen, you should feel lucky. I will let you know when I am finished. i have pictures. Take care Manhattan Marty, talk to you soon.

mfarricker_1
mfarricker_1 on June 12, 2014 at 9:42 pm

For MOVIEPLACE

Thank you for your interest in my birthday, which won’t be for a few months yet, How wonderful for you to be a guide and to get to roam the Big Apple and enjoy all of it’s charms, history and secrets. I envy you. As for the plans for the day, my son hasn’t given me a hint as yet, but I’m sure it shall be spectacular. If however, he should need any assistance, I will mention your offer. It has been my pleasure to share these emails with you and to know that there are still some real “movie goers” out there. Until next time, enjoy the popcorn and the peanut chews.

Manhattan Marty.

Movieplace
Movieplace on June 12, 2014 at 7:49 pm

When is your birthday visit going to take place, Manhattan Marty? I am a professional New York City Guide, historical tours and all that. I do a tour of the neighborhood; political, criminal and entertainment history. If I could be of any assistance in your tour, please do not hesitate to call on me. If you have time, I have a blog that covers a good deal of our neighborhood. Lots of pictures: newyorktoursbygary.com

mfarricker_1
mfarricker_1 on June 12, 2014 at 6:13 pm

FOR MOVIEPLACE
THANK YOU FOR EXPRESSING YOUR FEELINGS ABOUT THE LOSS
OF THE RIVERSIDE THEATER. IN THAT, WE ARE KINDRED SPIRITS. MY ANSWER TO YOU ABOUT THE MURAL IS, AS A PROFESSIONAL ARTIST, I DO SEE IT AS A GOOD REPRESENTATION OF COLUMBUS APPEALING TO KING FERDINAND
AND QUEEN ISABELLA TO SUPPORT HIS VENTURE TO INDIA,
OR SO HE THOUGHT.

IT IS SAD TO KNOW THAT THIS FINE MURAL AND SO MANY
                

OTHER WORKS OF ART HAVE BEEN DELIBERATELY DESTROYED TO
MAKE WAY FOR “PROGRESS”.

MY SON KNOWS HOW MUCH I LOVED THAT NEIGHBORHOOD, WHERE I GREW UP. SO, FOR MY EIGHTY FIRST BIRTHDAY,
                

HE IS TAKING ME BACK FOR WHAT MAY BE MY FINAL TOUR OF MY “HOME PLACE”. I ONLY WISH IT COULD BE AS IT ONCE WAS….JUST FOR A DAY.

MANHATTAN MARTY

Movieplace
Movieplace on May 30, 2014 at 8:48 am

Manhattan Marty,

I absolutely understand how you responded to the demolition of these theaters. The loss was profound. I used to dream about them, that they were either rebuilt or had not been torn down at all. I was 12 or 13 when they closed, and my memories have certainly faded.

Do you remember the mural over the proscenium at the Riverside? To me it looks like Christopher Columbus “discovering America”. What was your take on it?

mfarricker_1
mfarricker_1 on April 5, 2014 at 8:13 am

I noticed that a few members had a question about a club being near the Riverside Theater, between 95 and 96 streets. Yes, there were two clubs, one on the west side of Broadway and one the east side. One was called the Blue Orchid, but I can’t recall the other name. This was during the 40s and 50s, but they are probably long gone. The Chinese restaurant, Gong Ho, was close by, too.

mfarricker_1
mfarricker_1 on March 29, 2014 at 8:36 am

Answers to Movieplace from Mar.27. As head usher of the Riverside during the late 40’s early 50’s,part of my job was to close and lock the theater after the last show. Many times, I’d go back stage and upstairs to explore the dressing rooms,etc. that were used by the cast members when the house was still a legitimate theater. Going through the dressing rooms was like a sir-real experience. My flashlight would cast an eerie glow in the rooms, as it pieced the dust and cob webs. Old costumes were still hanging in the closets and brushes, cosmetic jars, etc. were left on the make-up tables. I always felt that I was not alone and the ghosts of yesterday were all around me. I imagined that I could hear the pit orchestra playing and the audience applauding. To me, the Riverside wasn’t only a theater, it was a thrilling life experience. When it was raised, part of me died with it. I shall always cherish those memories and the many more I treasure, but cannot relate. Too little time and too little space.

In answer to your question....Yes, there was a tunnel under the stage, leading to the pit. Furthermore, the great Max Steiner, was once the conductor of the orchestra, during his early days after arriving in America. I hope this helps you.
                

Manhattan Marty.

DavidAE
DavidAE on March 29, 2014 at 5:17 am

No organ listed at theaterorgans.com for this theater. The other two had Moller organs.

Movieplace
Movieplace on March 27, 2014 at 10:44 am

Do you recall the orchestra pit in either theater not being covered? Some of the other postings indicated various organ installations over the years. Do you recall a working Mighty Wurlitzer (or any other brand)?

Movieplace
Movieplace on March 27, 2014 at 10:42 am

Did you take any pictures of the theaters? Was there really a connector tunnel in the basements of the Riverside and Riviera? Did you ever explore the backstage areas? There are so many questions. I am incredibly obsessed with these theaters and Thomas Lamb (the architect of these palaces).

mfarricker_1
mfarricker_1 on March 27, 2014 at 8:40 am

The Riverside/Riviera Theaters were a big part of my youth during the 40s and 50s. I was an usher and my sister, Ann, was the cashier, after school hours. My mother was the matron at the Riviera. Most of my friends were ushers/usherettes, too. We were all enamored with the theater one way or another. Most of us were attending theater schools, such as the High School of Performing Arts, studying acting, dance, directing,etc.. My interest lay in directing/acting. We were all involved in local amateur theater. I eventually landed on Madison Ave. as an Art Director, then owner of an ad agency.

 Many wonderful memories of the Riverside, include the special "previews" that Mr. Spiros Skouras
                

would present there and we’d see the great stars of Hollywood. There’s not too much I don’t remember about those three great theaters and wonderful times. In fact, I hope to include many of the stories in my book/memoirs. To be continued. Manhattan Marty.

Movieplace
Movieplace on January 24, 2014 at 3:13 pm

There was an article related to this show rehearsing there. There was no heat in the space, something that David Merrick had not noticed as he had looked at the space in late summer. Also I do not think that there was any real mention of what the space had been once upon a time.

Stephen Paley
Stephen Paley on January 24, 2014 at 12:44 am

Among the Broadway shows that were rehearsed in the Japanese Gardens space above the Rivera was “Prettybelle,” starring Angela Lansbury, directed by Gower Champion and with a score by Jule Styne. The show was a disaster and it closed in Boston.