Comments from techman707

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techman707 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Apr 1, 2011 at 11:41 am

Al-The only “M” I was aware of (besides the 1951 remake) was the 1931 version directed by Fritz Lang with Peter Lorre. Who was in the 1933 version of “M”?

Tinseltoes-Are you saying Walter the Reade Sr. had the Columbia Burlesque Theater built in 1910?

techman707 commented about Queens Theatre on Apr 1, 2011 at 10:51 am

tlsloews – You must be looking at an OLD picture. Although the theatre is still there as a church, the entire marquee has been removed and the whole front “modernized”.

techman707 commented about Utopia Theater on Mar 31, 2011 at 10:42 pm

It has the Simplex XL projectors and XL soundheads like the Utopia had, but it’s hard to see anything in those pictures. There was virtually NO pitch or keystone at the original Utopia, it was a very shallow throw. In the posted picture it “appears” steeper than it was, but the picture was also taken tilted. As for the platter, after Ruth Wright lost the theatre and was taken over by the lawyer, Epstein, I never went back into the theatre after it was twined and a 5 tier platter installed.

techman707 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Mar 31, 2011 at 10:29 pm

“The Mayfair foreign phase was very short lived. Even "M” was dubbed into English by the third week and mainstream films were mostly the norm.

RKO had been the previous operator."

Al, I’m a little confused. Are you referring to the remake of “M” in 1951? Because the original German “M” was around 1931 and it was the RKO Mayfair at that time, so it couldn’t have been Walter Reade who had the theatre unless it was later.

BTW-At the top of this thread they say that the Mayfair became the DeMille in 1960 or “the early 1960’s”. The theatre was renamed the DeMille in 1959, a short time before Spartacus opened. There was a plaque with a bust of DeMille (just like the ones in Loews theatres of Marcus Loew) in the lobby as you went up the staircase to the mezzanine. It also had the actual day, but I just can’t remember the date it said.

techman707 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Mar 31, 2011 at 4:46 pm

“No longer affiliated with RKO Theatres, the Mayfair was now being booked and managed by its owner, Walter Reade, with a policy of "The Cinema of All Nations.”

Tinseltoes-What time frame are you referring to with the above statement? Loews was there before Walter Reade, who I worked for.

techman707 commented about Utopia Theater on Mar 31, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Nick, I’m sorry, but sadly I don’t believe I have any pictures. It the type of thing where it’s always there and you think it will ALWAYS be there. You just don’t think about things like pictures.

techman707 commented about Alpine Cinema on Mar 28, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Ed, I totally agree with you, having watched all the theatres you mention were torn down WITHOUT a peep out of the NYC Landmark & Preservation Commission.

As for the Kings, I’ve heard that for the last 20 years. Since I won’t be around in 2014, I won’t be in a position to say I told you so, but I hope I’m wrong.

techman707 commented about Alpine Cinema on Mar 28, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Ed, I’m aware of Loews 175th St. being turned over to a church because I was asked if I was interested in buying the projection equipment years ago. I forgot about it, I know I’m getting senile. It works like this, either I remember EVERYTHING, including the most minute details, or NOTHING.-LOL I was talking with someone a short while back and I was explaining how to fix a projector the person was working on and all of a sudden I couldn’t think of the word “sprocket”. It could be any word and it just happens. Because I have COPD/Emphysema and use oxygen and my doctor thinks it’s due to a lack of oxygen, which has gotten worse in the last year. Loews 175th St was also what I call, a SUPER theatre. A friend of mine who is a member of AMICA (a group of crazies that collect & rebuild organs) told me about ten years ago that the organ at the 175th St still had its organ. Unless the church is still using it, one of the crazies has probably pulled it out (and set it up in their basement, running the pipes up through the roof-LOL).

The Kings has been destroyed. It was “given” to a group called “Flatbush Development Corp” by the City for $1.00 a year. Another friend of mine was involved with them about 15 years ago and helped clean and spruce it up. They held a “gala event” and NEVER did another thing. My friend said that the roof started to leak, ruining much of the beautiful wood and a lot of the ornamental plaster. A short while after, thieves broke in and striped out every piece of copper and anything else they could steal (it DID have a pair of Simplex XL’s and a dubber that still worked when I checked it out before the “gala”. I don’t know if you were ever through the theatre, but, they had a FULL BASKETBALL COURT & GYM as well as a screening room (that was larger than some multiplex theatres) located in the basement.

As for the Jersey Theatre, I think I was there once, but I’m not very familiar with too many theatres in Jersey. Years ago I did some work at the Lakewood, obviously in Lakewood NJ, but as I recall, it wasn’t anything to write home about. I know that the ST. GEORGE THEATRE in Staten Island is still there and in one piece. While not a Loews theatre, I recall it being a very large good looking theatre, something like the Fabian’s Fox in Brooklyn.

While I could think of other theatres that still exist and haven’t been torn down….yet, my real point is that in a city that had hundreds of theatres, when it comes to a premiere or running a 70mm film, the best NYC can come up with is a dump like the Ziegfeld, which I was involved with the original installation of the Zeiss Ikon 35/70 projectors. Because they had delicate turrets, every time someone slammed the turret closed, the pin that kept the turret perpendicular with the film plane changed, causing the picture to shift on the wall and when the operator tried to move the projector to straighten it out, they couldn’t focus evenly across the screen. It was really a bad design, but if they took more care it wouldn’t have happened. I tried locking the turret closed, but they finally decided to change the projectors. They cost Walter Reade a lot of money for the time. They would have been MUCH better off with Cinemechanica projectors, like the DeMille had.

techman707 commented about Alpine Cinema on Mar 28, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Thanks, I’ll check it out. Loews seemed to have two basic theatre types. The pre 1928 theatres and the post 1928 theatres. While ALL their theatres were beautiful, the theatres built between 1928 – 1935 were, in my opinion, spectacular. There is still one left in New York. It’s located in Jamaica, Queens, Loews Valencia. Loews gave it to a church for nothing, which wound up saving the theatre from demolition. It had a Spanish style outdoor design and with the sparkling stars and moving clouds, it made you feel like you were really sitting in an outdoor theatre.

techman707 commented about Alpine Cinema on Mar 28, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Yep, sounds like the Vendome was a “real” one. Too bad it burned down. Does the shell still exist or was it totally demolished after the fire?

techman707 commented about Alpine Cinema on Mar 28, 2011 at 7:43 am

WTVJ is channel 6 right now. WFOR, which is CBS is channel 4 now. Like I said, about 1991 they swapped channels. I live in Coral Springs.

techman707 commented about Alpine Cinema on Mar 27, 2011 at 10:54 pm

tsloews- I’ve been to Nashville, my sister inlaw is the District Attorney in McMinville (I think it’s spelled that way), however I didn’t realize Nashville had 4 Loews theatres. Were they all “real” Loews theatres or were some of them just new boxes?

techman707 commented about Alpine Cinema on Mar 27, 2011 at 10:46 pm

No, WTVJ is the NBC affiliate in Miami. Bernard Myerson had an interest in WFOR, the CBS affiliate. It’s confusing since originally NBC was on channel 4 and CBS was on channel 6. About 20 years ago they swapped frequencies for technical reasons and NBC-WTVJ is now on 6 and CBS-WFOR is on channel 4. However, I’m sure it’s Bernard Myerson from Loews.

techman707 commented about Alpine Cinema on Mar 27, 2011 at 3:47 pm

tisloews, did you work for Loews? If so, would you know if the “Bernies”, Bernard Myerson and/or Bernard Diamond (Loews Vice-presidents)are still alive? Years ago I understand Bernard Myerson had a financial interest in the CBS television affiliate in Miami Florida.

techman707 commented about Embassy 1 Theatre on Mar 27, 2011 at 11:35 am

Saps – That’s a very interesting interpretation from Guys & Dolls. Do you also talk to yourself?

techman707 commented about Embassy 1 Theatre on Mar 27, 2011 at 12:49 am

Thanks. It appears that Harvey Levin got tired of going back and forth between NY & LA and is now doing the commentary from LA. The judge, Marilyn Milian lives in Florida and I wondered since Levin was doing his work from LA, maybe she got them to tape in Florida. But, they appear to still have a New York State flag behind her. But if they tape on 38th ST, then I gues they never used the Embassy as a studio. It’s been so long since I’ve been to Times Square that I don’t know what’s going on there anymore.

techman707 commented about Embassy 1 Theatre on Mar 26, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Thanks Al. Do you know if they actually are using the theatre itself as a studio for The Peoples Court, or are they just using the front for Harvey Levin’s follow-up?

techman707 commented about Embassy 1 Theatre on Mar 26, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Does anyone know if it’s the Embassy they are (or were) using as a studio for “The People’s Court”? It appears that until recently, Harvey Levin (from TMZ), does the follow up standing outside what appears to be the Embassy.

techman707 commented about Alpine Cinema on Mar 26, 2011 at 9:32 am

“The 1943 Film Daily Yearbook lists it with 2163 seats. The multiplex probably used lobby space as well. The proscenium remains as storage area behind the last two screens.
posted by AlAlvarez on Dec 12, 2009 at 4:54pm”

Al, the multiplex did not use ANY original lobby space at all. Having been involved in the design and installation of the multiplex, I can tell you that the reason lobby space couldn’t be used was because the back of the original theatre is WIDER than the lobby section of the building. There are exit doors that go to the theatre alley on the left of the building, which extend to the left beyond the lobby portion of the building. The exit doors were the BACK of the original theatre.

Other then poking holes for the hanging ceiling in the lobby, the original ornamental plaster is still above the lobby. Everything else had been pretty much gutted.

techman707 commented about Utopia Theater on Mar 24, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Bloop, I don’t where the letter is presently and because I’m becoming a little senile I can’t tell you verbatim what it said at the moment. However, basically it said what a good friend I’ve been to her and Paul over the years and how whenever they had a problem I always came quickly to help her. It also said a few other things that I just can’t recall. If I find it I’ll scan it and post it.

As I think about the Utopia, I really miss Ruth Wright and Paul Raisler. They were the last of the “real” showman (and show women)theatre owners independent theatre owners.

techman707 commented about Movieland on Mar 18, 2011 at 2:55 pm

“Tomorrow (3/19) will mark the 52nd anniversary of the opening of the NYC premiere engagement of Walt Disney’s "The Shaggy Dog,”
posted by Tinseltoes on Mar 18, 2011 at 10:38am"

Although I’ve become senile and somtimes I can’t remember what I did yesterday, I remember the opening of “The Shaggy Dog” as though it was just yesterday. It’s strange what I can remember over 50 years ago and yet current things draw a blank.

techman707 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Mar 5, 2011 at 2:23 pm

LOL- At some point in time EVERYTHING was in an SMPTE Journal. I have all my own journals from 1972 on. I also have most of the 1940’s & 50’s journals from Bill Nafash’s stuff. I donated most of the EXTENSIVE documentation I got from him to The Museum of the Moving Image in 1989.

techman707 commented about Glen Oaks Theater on Feb 23, 2011 at 2:18 pm

You’re certainly right about some of the relationships being VERY complicated. When I think about how the Justice Department made it MORE complicated with their consent decrees they forced Loews into, it makes me sick. They RUINED Loews only to allow virtually the same “problems” to occur again by other companies only to ignore the situation to this very day.

I can only wonder how many more movie palaces would exist today if not for the gutting of Loews in 1958. I’ll bet the number of theatres on CT is MORE than 75%.

techman707 commented about Palace Theatre on Feb 23, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Of all the theatres that remain today, the theatres on the west coast, especially in the LA area, are MUCH better than “what’s left” here in the New York area. While there may be some exceptions, overall they have NO RESPECT for old movie palaces.

One of my best friends (now deceased) was a vice president of the Fox Film Company in 1925. Before he passed away in 1982 he gave me pictures of himself and William Fox. One of the pictures was of the “Fox Film Baseball Team of 1925” and everyone, including Mr. Fox, is in a baseball uniform. He used to tell me about some the theatres they operated across the country and how Mr. Fox “insisted” that every theatre be built as opulent as possible. It used to depress me thinking about how I missed that parade.

techman707 commented about Palace Theatre on Feb 23, 2011 at 11:34 am

When you’re talking MOVIE THEATRES, to even mention a theater like the Palace in the presence with MOVIE PALACES (no pun intended) like the Roxy or Capitol is insulting, especially to the Roxy. While the Palace might be famous, it’s certainly not a good theatre for movies when compared to a “real” movie theatre….especially all the theatres built by Loews and RKO in the years of 1928-29.