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I was the main projectionist at the Majestic during my high school years in the late 70s/early 80s. My uncle Jon Hively, who still lives in the area (and recently published a book about his years working on the Cog Railway) was instrumental in re-opening the theater back then. He taught me how to run the Simplex projectors, which of course were lit with rectifier powered carbon arc lamps. It was a great experience for me, and looking back, somewhat of a privilege. I made about $25/per show, which was spent immediately later in the evening, usually at Horsefeathers where I’d meet up with friends. In the winter there could be 5 people in the house. It was nearly impossible to heat the place, and I wondered how the fuel bill could possible be paid out of the meager receipts. The manager, Rob George, and I would shovel the snow off of the stage roof. In the summer I remember an occasional full house, which I think was about 400. The screening of “The In-laws” was one such time.
So many great stories and memories!
There is a pan along the 42nd street block taking in the Harris Theater marquis at the beginning of Conrad Rook’s film “Chappaqua”. I believe the lead film is “The Man From Uncle”, mid-60s.
This theatre/church is being demolished as i write this, Wednesday afternoon, January 30, 2013. It is possible that the facade facing 7th Ave is being preserved. Don’t know.
I did not see Dennis James' name in any of the comments. He was the the house organist for several seasons after CAPA saved the building. His programs and note perfect performances astonished me as a young kid in the mid and late 70’s. He also made at least 2 LPs about that time. The one from the 1976 summer movie series has among other gems, a hair raising performance of the Khachaturian Sabre Dance. Bunn-Minnick Organ Company should also be mentioned for keeping the organ in great shape for many years.
I just rode by today on my bike. It has been torn down. By the way, Stephen and Warren should get out on their bikes more often!