Comments from theatrefan

Showing 301 - 325 of 532 comments

theatrefan commented about Marboro Theatre on Jan 1, 2006 at 12:41 pm

There now is a sign on the Marboro Marquee that reads:

Coming Soon * Built To Suit
Office Space For Rent
Massey Knakal Realty Services
Exclusive Agent
Jeffrey A. Shalom
Director of Sales

This is the same Real Estate Firm that sold the Fortway Theatre last year & is in the process of selling the Alpine Theatre now. Oh Well, I guess the dream of a new movie theatre replacing the Marboro is finally over. Good Bye Marboro Theatre, Hello Office Space.

theatrefan commented about Alpine Cinema on Dec 12, 2005 at 10:26 am

Another article from the Bay Ridge Courier, regarding the fight to save the Alpine:

Preservationists Vow to Save the Alpine Theater
By Helen Klein

Residents of Bay Ridge were hardly happy to hear last week that the Alpine Theatre, the area’s last movie theater, plans to shut its doors next year.

Bad news enough that the Alpine â€" a vital part of the community’s fabric for 84 years — is about to become history. Also making preservationists in the community seethe is word that the owners of the Alpine, who also had owned the now-shuttered Fortway Theater on Fort Hamilton Parkway, had sold that theater with a deed restriction preventing it from be used as a movie theater in the future.

Activists say they don’t want to see both the area’s historic theaters go, and are vowing to save the Alpine â€" which is now for sale through Massey Knakal Realty for $10 million — if at all possible, even though the theater’s lease agreement with Loew’s Cineplex is expected to end in early 2006, with no renewals anticipated..

“If the Fortway can’t be saved for the purpose of a theater,” proclaimed City Councilmember Vincent Gentile, “then we want to redouble our efforts to see if the Alpine can be saved.”

“People are really upset about the theater,” remarked Victoria Hofmo, the chair of Gentile’s preservation committee, and the founder of the Bay Ridge Conservancy, a preservation group. “Everybody is talking about it. Kids are really upset. To have two original movie theaters, that’s a treasure. We should protect them. They are the sort of generational things that make neighborhoods places for all ages. I don’t think anybody had an inkling that this was going to happen.”

Kari Neering, a spokesperson for Massey Knakal, said that it was too early to say what the future use of the site might be. “At this point,” she noted, “there are endless possibilities. It’s very early in the marketing stage, and a lot of ideas are being tossed around. No one has said absolutely it won’t be a theater, but there’s no way of knowing for certain without having a concrete buyer.”

The putative sale restriction on the Fortway had definitely raised hackles even before the Alpine was put up for sale.

Gentile was one of those who queried the rationale behind it. Noting, “I have it on an informational basis, from a good source, that it was a clause in the sale,” he contended, “It doesn’t make sense to me to have it in there if the ultimate intention was also to get rid of the Alpine. Everyone thought it was part of the sale of the Fortway so the Alpine would have exclusivity. It doesn’t make sense if the same owner is now trying to unload the Alpine.”

Hofmo also questioned the reasoning behind restricting the use of the Fortway, if the owner of both theaters planned to turn around and sell the Alpine, too. “What is the motive?” she asked. “The only thing I can think of is that someone wants to put in a multiplex.”

The theater’s impending closure will hit Fifth Avenue hard, said Basil Capetanakis, president of the Fifth Avenue Board of Trade. “We are very disappointed,” he remarked. ‘It’s the only theater in the area, and we wonder what’s going to go in there. We lost Kleinfeld’s, which was a big draw to the avenue, and now we are going to lose the theater. We really need some kind of retail business that will bring traffic into the area. The avenue looks nice. The holiday lights are up, and now this has to come up.”

“It’s a destabilizing thing for the business area,” agreed Hofmo.

The theater’s closing will also negatively impact area youth, noted Craig Eaton, the chairperson of Community Board 10. “We’ve taken a real aggressive approach with the Youth Committee to try to identify different things we can provide to children in the community to keep them off the streets,” Eaton noted. “My feeling is, the more you have to entertain and occupy the time of children and young adolescents, the less trouble they can get into.

“Groups of teens hanging out on Third Avenue, Fifth Avenue and 86th Street, in my opinion, can only lead to trouble,” Eaton went on, noting with the closure of the two theaters, as well as the neighborhood bowling alley, “My fear is that there is nothing for children and young adolescents.” Senior citizens will also lose out when the Alpine closes, Eaton added, saying he had been told by the manager that seniors flock to the theater during the day. “We’re taking away a good form of entertainment and it concerns me,” he concluded.

Gentile said that, as part of an effort to save the theater, his office had already gotten in touch with the theater’s current owner, Jeffrey Deneroff, to, “See if he wants to keep the property, if we can be helpful, or if he can help us find someone, or a conglomerate, who would be interested in keeping it as a theater.”

Gentile also said that his office had contacted Loews Cineplex. “They know the site very well,” he noted, “and they too agree that it would be in the community’s best interest to keep the local theater alive. It’s just a matter of economic viability for a theater to remain at the location.”

To that end, Gentile said he was, “Looking to fund people who have an interest in purchasing the property and keeping it as a theater. The question is how to make it economically viable for the new owner to make a go of it. That’s what we are exploring at this point.”

One problem, Gentile pointed out, is that the Alpine is, “Extremely old and somewhat in disrepair, so the new owner would have to make a significant investment to rehabilitate the structure. Even with the volume of moviegoers who now use the Alpine, because of the rehabilitation costs, plus the rising assessment of property, you really need a high volume of revenue to come in, in order to make it viable.”

The Alpine is located at 6817 Fifth Avenue

theatrefan commented about Alpine Cinema on Dec 12, 2005 at 10:25 am

Here is an article regarding the Sale from the Bay Ridge Courier:

That’s a Wrap: Alpine Cinema to be Sold
By Thomas Tracy

Realtors Massey Knakal is currently asking $10 million for the Alpine Theater, which is expected to close its doors by spring, 2006.
The Alpine Movie Theater in Bay Ridge is drawing its final curtain. As this paper went to press, the property, located at 6817 5th Avenue, was up for sale. At the same time, the theater’s lease agreement with Loew’s Cineplex was expected to end in early 2006, with no renewals anticipated. By spring, the Alpine will be no more, following the fate of the Fortway Theater on Fort Hamilton Parkway, which was sold earlier this year and may soon open as a neighborhood school.
Massey Knakal, the realtor which sold the Fortway and is currently shopping the Alpine around, hopes to get $10 million for the 48’ X 200’ irregular lot that opens on 5th Avenue but takes up most of Bay Ridge Avenue between 5th and 6th avenues. “This investment or large retail/office conversion is a one in a lifetime opportunity,” according to the sales pitch, which adds that the premises “will be delivered vacant.”

Officials at Massey Knakal said that it was “unclear if the building will remain a theater.”

Calls to Loew’s Cineplex as to why they were not renewing their lease with the Alpine were not returned by press time.

Originally a Loew’s theater, the Alpine first opened on June 6, 1921.

All told, the property and building costs just reached $420,000, according to records.

At the time, the Carlson & Wiseman-designed edifice was the first Loew’s theater anywhere with its entire seating capacity (2,200) on one floor, without a balcony or gallery.

Historians said the stage had no fly gallery or gridiron, but had an apron just large enough to accommodate a vocalist or musical instrumentalist between film showings.

Variety described the Alpine’s interior as “decorated in a tan and gold color scheme, the general atmosphere created being one of brightness. The side walls are paneled and painted in an imitation of tapestry.”

The floors of the theater were “carpeted with red velvet” according to the description.

The first movie shown at the theater was Paramount’s “City of Silent Men” with music provided by a resident orchestra of twelve.

At the time, admission was a quarter.

Today, the Alpine is considered one of the borough’s cheapest movie theaters at $8.75 a ticket.

Over the decades, the large theater was cut down and sectionalized, now showing eight movies on any given day.

This week’s selection includes “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” and “Chicken Little.”

theatrefan commented about Alpine Cinema on Dec 2, 2005 at 1:18 pm

Here is the article mentioned in YankeeMike’s Post:

New York Daily News:
Credits to roll?
Friday, December 2nd, 2005

It could be the last picture show for Bay Ridge.
Alpine Cinema, the neighborhood’s last remaining movie theater, went up for sale at $10 million this week, setting off a chorus of boos from local elected officials and merchants.

“We need to have a local movie theater in the neighborhood,” said Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge). “When you start taking away theaters that people can walk to, it destroys the ambience and small-town character.”

Merchants on bustling Fifth Ave. said they feared a drop in business, especially because the likely closing would come on the heels of bridal gown-seller Kleinfeld’s move to Manhattan.

“Obviously, I’m very saddened – it’s the last movie theater in Bay Ridge,” said Fifth Avenue Board of Trade President Basil Capetanakis. “But for us, when people go to the movies they also go to the restaurants and the shops.”

The announcement comes six months after the 76-year-old Fortway Theater screened its last movie. Both theaters were owned by Jeffrey Deneroff.

Speculation on what will replace the 49,000-square-foot Alpine varied from highly prized space for schools to a grocery store – both badly needed in the area, said officials.

It was unclear whether the current leaseholder would be allowed to renew when the lease expires next year, said Kari Neering, a spokeswoman for real estate firm Massey Knakal.

“I doubt it will remain a theater,” said Neering. “But at this point there are endless possibilities.”

Deneroff included a provision upon sale demanding that any new owner of the Fortway would be prohibited from opening another theater, a source said.

Deneroff, who declined to comment on the terms of the Fortway sale, said a buyer of the Alpine might continue showing movies.

“It’s possible,” said Deneroff. “I really couldn’t say.”

The seven-screen, 2,200-seat Alpine opened June 6, 1921, the same year Douglas Fairbanks starred in “The Three Musketeers.”

The theater was then valued at $420,000.

theatrefan commented about RKO Dyker Theatre on Nov 29, 2005 at 11:21 am

The domed ceiling is in the Modell’s Sporting Goods Store. Go upstairs and you will be able to see it, as well as part of the original proscenium, that you would never have been able to see so close up.

By the way Modell’s also occupies another former RKO Brooklyn Theatre, The RKO Kenmore on Church Avenue.

theatrefan commented about Alpine Cinema on Nov 28, 2005 at 3:46 am

According to the website of Massey Knakal (the Alpine’s Real Estate Firm), the property is being offered for 10 million dollars and will be delivered vacant to the new landlord. This is the same firm that brokered the sale of the Fortway for 4.5 million earlier this year.

The Alpine is the last of Loew’s original theatres in Brooklyn still showing movies, this point was brought up at the Loew’s Centennial exhibit at the Museum of the Moving image last year. I can still remember it as one huge theatre before it was twinned, the marquee had the name Loew’s Alpine on it, in the traditional Loew’s sunburst style shared with the Delancey & Sheridan theatres.

Its closing will represent a tremendous loss for the community of Bay Ridge, already stung by the closure of the Fortway earlier this year. Bay Ridge’s closest theatres will now be the Kent Theatre, Park Slope Pavilion and the Sheepshead Bay.

theatrefan commented about Benson Twins on Oct 27, 2005 at 7:53 am

Someone I used to work with also said for a brief time in the early 70’s the Benson showed XXX movies. Could this have been before it was twinned?

theatrefan commented about Benson Twins on Oct 27, 2005 at 3:50 am

The twin theatres were rather narrow, but long. The ticket booth was in the lobby as soon as you came in on the right side, and the concession stand was against the back wall between the two twin theatres. The Benson always seemed kind of dumpy when compared to the Oriental, I never saw huge crowds there except when there was a Star Wars film playing.

theatrefan commented about Fortway Theatre on Oct 27, 2005 at 3:37 am

They want to make it a 440 seat Public School, not a Movie Theatre.

theatrefan commented about Fortway Theatre on Oct 26, 2005 at 4:30 am

The Fortway Theatre may become a Public School, here is an article from the NY Daily News that says so:

New York Daily News
Reel hope on class crowds
Monday, October 17th, 2005

A shuttered movie theater and a crumbling turn-of-the-century church could be turned into elementary schools in heavily overcrowded Bay Ridge, say officials.
The Fortway Theater, which closed in June, and the 105-year-old Bay Ridge United Methodist Church are negotiating with the Education Department to house 1,040 elementary students.

“We’re the most overcrowded school district in Brooklyn and the second or third most crowded in the City of New York,” said City Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge). “So the need is obvious.”

The push for schools comes nine months after the city approved a capital budget plan calling for about 5,100 new classroom seats in School District 20.

The 440-seat school in the movie theater could be open by 2007. Negotiations are ongoing over whether the church will become a school, officials said.

Community Education Council President Carlos Scissura believes the theater could alleviate overcrowding in at least five nearby schools, including Public School 170, where trailers were set up years ago to accommodate an influx of students.

“This would be a godsend,” said Scissura, who said new immigrants accounted for most of the school population boom in the past five years.

“They’re perfect [sites] because the overcrowding in that part of District 20 is the worst not only in our district but probably all of Brooklyn,” added Scissura.

For Sal Friscia, whose 8-year-old son and daughter attend PS 170, the new schools would be a relief: Class size has ballooned to 30 kids.

“It’s not that the teachers don’t want to do their job, it’s that they can’t go the extra mile for the two or three kids who need the most help,” said Friscia. “You can only fit so much baloney in a 5-pound bag.”

The Rev. Bob Emerick of the Bay Ridge United Methodist Church met with school officials earlier this year, but as of now he’s still considering several offers, including a proposal to convert the church into senior or mixed housing.

“Right now, we’re looking at proposals, and we’ve been very clear that we can’t afford to maintain the property as is,” said Emerick. “We haven’t committed to anything yet.”

Earlier this year, the Fourth Ave. church went up for sale at about $13 million after officials conceded that the crumbling green sandstone facade was beyond repair.

“They’re in love with the green stone, but that can’t be saved,” said Emerick.

theatrefan commented about Supermarket May Be Built on Fortway Site on Sep 30, 2005 at 5:07 am

The interior of the Fortway is now completely gone, so it can become anything the landlord wants to put in there now. By the way wasn’t the CVS/Pharmacy that’s on the same block once an Associated Supermarket? I seem to remember it as such.

theatrefan commented about Fortway Theatre on Sep 30, 2005 at 5:02 am

I went by a couple of weeks ago and saw that the side exit doors were open so I peeked inside. The entire interior has been gutted to the bare brick walls, absolutely nothing remains. Everything would most likely have ended up in a dumpster that was carted away.

It’s a travesty that the “atmospheric” theatre elements could not be saved, but we have seen the same thing happen in recent years with the Kingsway & Kenmore interior demolitions in Brooklyn.

theatrefan commented about Fortway Theatre on Jul 30, 2005 at 3:18 pm

Tom Grommell,

Golden Screen Associates was probably the holding company left over from the old Golden Theatres Circuit (see the Alpine post) that held the titles on the real estate Golden still controlled.

The reason for the 75 year clause is because Golden also owns the Alpine which Loews Cineplex currently leases from them, they would not want a competing chain coming into the neighborhood and taking business away with a newly renovated reopened Fortway Theatre.

The Fortway in its last days was still in much better shape than the Oriental & Kingsway in their final days. It was due to the fact that Cineplex Odeon renovated it when they took over in the 80’s. Even though Cineplex also owned they Kingsway they never spent any money on getting new seats, the ones that were there were in awful shape.

theatrefan commented about Brooklyn's Fortway Theatre Gutted on Jul 28, 2005 at 8:04 am

The NY Daily News is incorrect in stating the Fortway was turned into a fiveplex in 1972, it was not 1972 when this occurred. The Fortway was turned into a fiveplex in 1981. Before that the Fortway was a triplex theatre.

theatrefan commented about Fortway Theatre on Jul 15, 2005 at 2:55 am

On June 23rd, 2005 Ownership of the Fortway was transferred by Golden Screen Associates. Inc. (Jeffrey W. Denneroff, President) and Forway LLC. The sale price was: $4,085,900. There is a stipulation in the bill of sale that restricts the premises being from being used for commercial exhibition of motion pictures for a period of seventy five years.

Also on June 23rd, 2005 RKO Century Warner Theatres, Inc. (Loews Cineplex) and Golden Screen Associates, Inc. terminated their lease on the Fortway. The original term on the lease ran from September 16th, 1988 to September 15th 2011, with one four year extension option. The Lease on the Alpine Cinema which Golden also owns runs to Sept. 2011 as well.

theatrefan commented about Loew's Oriental Theatre on Jul 13, 2005 at 3:43 am

br91975, you can just google the word “ACRIS”. I find ACRIS much more informative about theatre properties than the NYC Department of Buildings BIS lookup system.

theatrefan commented about Loew's Oriental Theatre on Jul 13, 2005 at 2:58 am

The Loew’s Oriental Theatre was sold by Hawthorne Amusement Corp.(Loews/Sony) to 1832 Realty LLC on May 3rd 1995. The lease for the Marshalls Store was signed on January 10th 1997.

theatrefan commented about Loew's Delancey Theatre on Jul 12, 2005 at 2:01 am

On June 3rd 1977, Loews Theatre and Realty Corporation transfered ownership of the Loews Delancey Theatre Property from itself to the Paws Realty Corp. There have been several transfers of ownership of the former Loew’s Delancey theatre since then.

theatrefan commented about Loew's Kameo Theatre on Jul 12, 2005 at 1:17 am

On November 14th 1975 Loews Theatres Inc. transferred ownership of the Loew’s Kameo from itself to the Philadelphia – The Church Of Universal Brotherhood (Seven Day Adventist).

theatrefan commented about Loew's 46th Street Theatre on Jul 12, 2005 at 12:47 am

On September 14th 1966, Eton Amusement Corp (A Loews subsidiary) transfered ownership of the Loews 46th Street from itself to the 46th St. Theatre Corp. There have been several transfers of ownership of this former theatre since then.

theatrefan commented about Loew's Oriental Theatre on Jul 12, 2005 at 12:26 am

On the New York City Department of Finance website in the ACRIS system there is a copy of the original lease between 1832 Realty LLC (Oriental’s Lanlord) and TJX companies (Marshalls). In the lease are several architectural drawings that shows what the Marshall’s did to the former Oriental Theatre such as leveling out the lower theatre floor for retail. Based on some of these drawings it looks like the upper balcony portions (including the marble staircases) of the theatre are in fact intact but most of it is hidden behind false drop ceilings and new walls, the auditorium’s original ceiling is also hidden. Also based on some of these drawings it looks like the former stage area of the theatre where vaudeville once played has been gutted out unfortunately.

theatrefan commented about Regal E-Walk Stadium 13 & RPX on Jul 11, 2005 at 9:38 am

br91795 or dave-bronx: Did Garth get any property when Cineplex Odeon took over the Walter Reade chain in NYC? I know LCE owned the Baronet/Coronet at the time of its closing in 2001.

theatrefan commented about Cineplex Odeon Route 17 Triplex on Jul 10, 2005 at 5:46 am

Is this really one of the last remaining old style Century Houses left in the metro NYC area? In Brooklyn every single Century House is gone except for the Kings Plaza which opened in 1970 and is now a sixplex, it’s been mordernized quite a few times since 1970 so no traces of Century theates are left in this cinema.

theatrefan commented about UA Crossbay I on Jul 10, 2005 at 5:40 am

Wasn’t the Company Paramount & Warner jointly owned at one point called Cinamerica Theatres LP?

theatrefan commented about AMC Boston Common 19 on Jul 10, 2005 at 5:37 am

When the Loews 42nd Street E-Walk first opened it featured a highly stylized but basically non funtional type marquee, all it had was two frames for mylar type movie titles, about 4 years after opening Loews wised up and replaced it with a much plainer one that featured a full color LED type sign. So they may do that with the Boston Common unless zoning regulations prohibit such.