Comments from techman707

Showing 101 - 125 of 304 comments

techman707
techman707 commented about Movieland on Jul 19, 2012 at 11:44 pm

Saps, the marquee on the Forum (Gotham) was never changed (that I’m aware of). In looking at the Boxoffice Magazine post by Tinseltoes on July 1, confirms it.

The only difference is that they were using a transparency for Tarzan. Are you referring to something different? I know they ruined the marquee on the Palace when they used the air-space for that high rise.

techman707
techman707 commented about Movieland on Jul 19, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Tinseltoes, Seeing the story about the Forum Theatre, back when they were running “The Sky Above, The Mud Below”, brings back memories of a better time, for both the industry and the country. However, thinking about how it is today is personally very depressing to me. But I still appreciate all your posts.

techman707
techman707 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Jun 28, 2012 at 5:59 am

I sure wish they didn’t play musical names with all these theaters. I know that Hammerstein’s Victoria and the Victory (aka – Republic, New Victory) theaters had common roof components as a result of the Victoria’s roof garden theatre, sharing roof structure with the Victory Theater. However, I don’t believe that the roof structure was involved or integrated into the construction of the final Rialto theatre that was ultimately built.

Additionally, I’m completely confused with Bigjoe’s quote from Mary C. Henderson’s book where she says “the American has the dubious distinction of being the 1st theater built on the block and the first one torn down.”. If she’s referring to the same "American Theater” that was built in 1893 and was later bought by Marcus Loew, that theatre wasn’t demolished…. until after a fire sometime in the 1930’s. Again, maybe there’s another “American Theater” with the same name that she’s referring to, since they seem to change theater names as often as Bloomberg comes up with stupid ideas. I still believe that Hammerstein’s Victoria would be the first theater to be torn down….although technically not ON 42nd Street. Even if you accept that some walls from the Victoria had been retained and used in the first Rialto’s construction, the Victoria would still qualify as having been “demolished” for all practical purposes.

techman707
techman707 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Jun 28, 2012 at 1:24 am

Where was the republic???

techman707
techman707 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Jun 27, 2012 at 6:51 am

Al, as far as I know, the building was completely demolished twice. The first time to build the original Rialto and the second time, in 1935, to build the final dump. Also, if you look at the link I posted to the picture of the original Rialto, you can see the window of the projection booth at the top center over the marquee.

Saps, LOL!

techman707
techman707 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Jun 27, 2012 at 12:00 am

The Victoria was totally demolished to build the first Rialto. Henderson statement notwithstanding, the Victoria (or Rialto’s 1&2) were NOT on 42nd Street, so she’s either mistaking or the editor failed to catch the error in the book. Bigjoe, it’s only a book and books can have mistakes, don’t get so carried away.-LOL

If it really bothers you that much, maybe the original plans for the first Rialto still exist at the building department. As for myself, rather than being concerned which theater was torn down first, I’m mad that all these theater’s were torn down in the first place (especially when you consider what replaces most of them). Once demolished, theater’s built in the first half of the 20th century could NEVER be built again….and even if it were possible, the cost would be prohibitive.

techman707
techman707 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Jun 26, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Bigjoe59, The American was on 42nd Street, whereas the Rialto was on Broadway. So if she said that the American was the first theatre “on 42nd Street” to be torn down, that would be correct.

I worked a few times at the Rialto, but it was the dump that was built AFTER the original Rialto was torn down in 1935. All the theatres, Hammerstein’s Victoria, the original Rialto and the “movie theatre” Rialto, were all built on the same site. The Victoria was completely torn down to build the first Rialto.

If you’re interested, here’s a picture of the first Rialto. Note that it had a Wurlitzer Op. 520 Organ, installed February 25, 1922. If only we could turn back the clock.-LOL

http://www.nycago.org/Organs/NYC/img/RialtoTheatreExt.jpg

techman707
techman707 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Jun 20, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Bigjoe59, there were MANY theatres that had what the City of New York referred to as “portable projection booths” that operated for many years until their closing. In addition, nearly all the “legit” theaters had “front light booths” that were often used as projection booths if the theater needed to run film. One example is the Ambassador theater, that had a complete installation of Simplex E7 projectors and Peerless Magnarcs that I examined in 1969. They looked as though they were never used. To add to the confusion, many vaudeville houses that became movie theatres had projection booths built in the ceiling (or dome) and you actually went into the hanging ceiling to enter the projection booth. Although you couldn’t tell by looking, these were also referred to as “portable projection booths” because the walls were made of steel. So to try to determine “the first” theatre to show film in New York would be almost impossible determine. I had allot of documentation ( a file cabinet full) that I donated to The Museum of the Moving Image in 1989, which included information that might have shed some light on the answer. I wish I knew what they did with all of it, but you might want to check them out.

btw- a long time designation is that movie theatres are spelled “theatre” and legit houses are spelled “theater”. It seems that over the years this has been lost and have become interchangeable. However, when I refer to a movie theatre I spell it “theatre”.

techman707
techman707 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Jun 19, 2012 at 7:35 am

If you look up Marcus Loew in the Wikipedia, it will give you a better idea of the start of theatres built to show film. One thing that’s certain, when Marcus Loew built Loew’s State, which also housed Loew’s Theatres corporate offices, it was designed primarily for movies, despite having vaudville also.

Nearly all the movie palaces built before 1928 also had vaudville shows. As I’ve previously said, in order to be classified as “movie theatre only”, the theatre would have to be built with just a few dressing rooms (not the classic multi-floor design) and a shallow stage.

btw- 1913-2013 is the 100th birthday of Local 306, IATSE, Moving Picture Machine Operators Union.

techman707
techman707 commented about Embassy 1 Theatre on Jun 12, 2012 at 2:58 pm

I’ve never heard that term used to describe ANY movie theatre before. By that description, you could have called Loew’s State, Loew’s Capitol. Criterion, etc., “legit houses”.

Oh well, I guess all the movie theatres today could be described as “illegitimate theatres”.-LOL

techman707
techman707 commented about Embassy 1 Theatre on Jun 12, 2012 at 12:19 am

It’s interesting that the Embassy is referred to as “Broadway’s newest ‘legitimate’ theatre”.

I don’t know why they’re referring to it as a “legitimate theatre”. Does anyone know the answer?

techman707
techman707 commented about Movieland on May 22, 2012 at 11:32 pm

That sucks! There won’t be ANY theatres left in NY. Did you hear that AMC Theatres was sold to a Chinese company? I wonder what they’re going to do?

techman707
techman707 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on May 5, 2012 at 4:15 am

Bigjoe, Can you name any of these theatres you found in your research? Most theatres that come to mind that were built before 1928 were usually built as a dual purpose theatres and not just as a movie theatres. That said, some of the “best” examples of theatres, built exclusively for movies, were built by William Fox, to exhibit films from his Fox Film Co. in the 1920’s. He built many large pre-1928 theatres that could be classified as “movie only” theatres. One sign of a theatre built for movies only is that they don’t have ANY backstage dressing rooms. An interesting example of this is the “Fortway Theatre” in Brooklyn, built by William Fox in the 20s.

techman707
techman707 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Apr 27, 2012 at 5:36 am

Bigjoe and Ed,

I can tell you one thing for sure, I once worked at the Liberty Theatre on 42nd St and I can say for SURE that it WAS NOT built as a movie theatre. The Floors of the balcony were made of all wood.

If I get a chance to look, I’ll try to go through all the documentation I might still have that might shed some light on the “oldest” movie theatre question. Allot of the documentation that I once had was donated to the “Museum of the Moving Image” back in 1989, but I still have some stuff left in the attic.

techman707
techman707 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Apr 25, 2012 at 8:14 am

saps – LOL!

techman707
techman707 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Apr 25, 2012 at 4:36 am

Al,

I can only assure you that they WERE NOT running “gay porn” when I worked at the Variety Photoplay theatre, that must have come (no pun intended) later. Now the Gaiety is another story. When I worked there, they ran 16 & 35mm porno and had live stage shows in between. They filmed “The Night They Raided Minsky’s” at the Gaiety when I worked there.

techman707
techman707 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Apr 24, 2012 at 3:12 am

Al,

Did you ever see some of those “100 theaters built for movies”? I thought Bigjoe was talking about “movie palaces”….of which virtually all have been demolished….or are churches. New York has no feeling for REAL landmarks, only the junk that Bloomberg thinks is “art”.

techman707
techman707 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Apr 24, 2012 at 12:15 am

Al, that’s a very interesting article, but it doesn’t reveal anything I didn’t really know before. Certainly there were movie theatres BEFORE Marcus Loew built the State. In fact, it was “the other theatres” that Loew operated around NY (amd other places) that funded the construction of the State. There was a movie palace in Brighton Beach Brooklyn before the State, but again, It’s the area between 14th Street up to about 86th Street that I’m talking about. There were very few REAL movie palaces until the “real movie palaces” were built from about 1928 through 1933 (the heart of the depression-lol).

btw- I worked at the Variety Photoplay theatre, as well as the Murray Schwartz Theatre on 12th St. & 2nd Ave (aka-The Gaeity and The Eden (where Oh Calcutta premiered).

techman707
techman707 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Apr 23, 2012 at 10:58 pm

Bigjoe, I never worked at B.F. Moss' Regent, however, being at 135th Street wouldn’t even count in my mind. Also, not having worked there, I don’t know if it would qualify as a “movie palace” even if it was built as a “movie theatre”. Many theatres that are “assumed” to have always been movie theatres weren’t actually built for movies.

The year the Regency was built, 1913, is interesting because the “Moving Picture Machine Operators Union Local 306, I.A.T.S.E.” was chartered in 1913. The union (or what’s left of it) will be celebrating its “Centennial Birthday” in 2013.

techman707
techman707 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Apr 23, 2012 at 9:16 pm

bigjoe, As far as I know, when it comes to theatres that could be considered a “movie palace” and built to “run movies”, I believe that Loew’s State was the first in Manhattan, when it was built by Marcus Loew and also served as their headquarters.

techman707
techman707 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Apr 18, 2012 at 4:33 am

And that’s the problem.-lol

techman707
techman707 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Apr 17, 2012 at 8:55 pm

The theatres should be able to be searched by ANY of their former names. It can be tough to find some theatres if you don’t know the LAST name that was used.

techman707
techman707 commented about RKO Palace Theatre "The Birds" engagement on Apr 8, 2012 at 2:04 am

Now this is the Palace that I’d like to remember!

techman707
techman707 commented about Palace Theatre on Apr 7, 2012 at 9:39 am

rivoli157, I agree with you. I HATE the way they used the air space above the Palace to build that hotel. All I can say in favor is that at least they didn’t demolish the theater, like they’ve done to the rest of them. I only wish they would have saved the Loew’s Capitol that way.

techman707
techman707 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Apr 3, 2012 at 1:13 am

If the City of New York is stupid enough to give that developer 65 million dollars, then I’m SURE it will be done.