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“Memoirs of a Movie Palace” is available for loan from the New York Public Library, here is the info:
Memoirs of a Movie Palace
Christian Blackwood Productions, 1979
Call #: VTH 2832 M
1 videocassette (45 min.)
Summary: Before the proliferation of homogenized multiplex theaters, there existed the sumptuous and ornately otherworldly movie palaces. In Blackwoods’s nostalgic documentary, cameras record the worn and melancholic splendor of the Loew’s Kings Theater on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. Built just prior to the fateful 1929 Stock Market Crash, the theater conferred temporary royalty on its patrons during hard times and entertained with a bounteous moving picture feat of double features, cartoons, travelogues and serials. The affectionate (and sometimes tearful) reminiscences of loyal patrons are joined by those of the theater’s architect, its one-time manager and other former staff members including a projectionist, organist, candy seller, usher and children’s section matron. Archival footage, stills and clips from the movies shown at the Loew’s Kings offer a glimpse of the theater in its heyday. Today, the once beloved motion picture palace stands locked, abandoned and exhibiting severe deterioration.
Performers: Eli Wallach.
Credits: Producer, director, Christian Blackwood; writer, Elliott Stein.
Anyone with a New York Public Library Card would be able to check this program out, The branch that has it is the Donnell Library Center, located at: 20 West 53rd Street, off of Fifth Avenue, the phone # is 212-621-0618. They are showing it as currently checked in.
I was able to borrow it from them It’s an amazing program, well worth the trip to the library.
Bob – The only shots on the DVD of The Bellboy bus tour were of the Loew’s Premier, Loew’s Kings and the Loew’s 46th Street all in Brooklyn. It’s a shame the Paradise was not included, since we know footage exists.
I saw the special features part on “The Bellboy” DVD and the Loew’s 46th St. marquee they show is very simillar to the one the Loew’s Oriental had, except for the shape. By the looks of things I think the 46th St marquee is still there, underneath the furniture store sign. On a related note the arrangement of lights underneath the marquee of the 46th ST. is also the same way that the lights were at the Loew’s Oriental on 86th St.
To catch a glimpse of the old RKO Fordham check out the 1954 film “Marty” in the movie there is a scene right after Marty and Clara have coffee they walk right in front of this theatre under the marquee. The RKO letters are above the poster case and I can make out “Mickey Spillane” and “Ring of Fear” on one of the posters. I was able to match up this theatre with an old photo of the Fordham that I have. Earlier in the film you get to see the front of the RKO Chester on Boston Road as well.
Marty may have not played here but the front of the RKO Chester is visible in film “Marty” when the Marty and Clara leave the Stardust Ballroom for the first time they walk right in front of this theatre under the marquee. The RKO Chester name is quite visible in the backround. Later in the film they walk in front of the RKO Fordham Theatre as well.
Bob – Wasn’t Forbidden Planet presented in Perspecta Stereo sound back in April 2002? I was there for that show and it was awesome!
I think vandals destroyed the original one, so its a new screen.
I have a feeling any new theatre Regal Entertainment Group will open from now on will use the Regal Cinemas name, much like Loews Cineplex did with all their new theatres opening under the “Loews” banner.
Thanks for the info Organ-ized, I’ll try to see what I find out with some detective work next time I visit the Fortway to see a film there, hopefully I’ll be in the main auditorium!
Nothing at all, since the last time Regal sealed it with plywood boards. The only additions have been a ton of grafiti on the side of the theatre and where the front entrance is boarded up. Regal finally boarded the place up pretty well, so I don’t think there have been any more break in attempts. I doubt we will see anything happen until demolition begins next May.
I was there Tuesday the 29th and I feel I really feel quite privileged to have been there for the 75th Anniversary celebration and to have been in such magnificent movie palace surroundings. It was a night to remember! I really do hope the friends of the Loews succeed with the battle over the theatres lease issue.
Loews really should have put in the same type of marquee that the Ewalk, and 84th Street have to let patrons know what’s playing downstairs in the four cinemas. The State used to have a small type LED rolling one, but it was very hard to read and make out and often incorrect at times.
No a new marquee was not added. Just a change in the signage, basically all the old neon was taken off and a new big plastic sign that says “Loews Theatres” over the loews logo was put up instead, it’s now clearly visible as opposed to the old one, which you could hardly make out. The new sign is the same basic size and shape of the old one.
Lucky for me I was able to get a picture of the Deluxe before this conversion began, with the marquee still up. This theatre was empty and vacant for almost 10 years before anything was done with it.
I also wonder if it will be run under the United Artists Theatres banner or under Regal Cinemas. I do hope they keep the name Marboro as the actual theatre name.
Is this theatre still capable of showing movies like the 175th Street? or did Loew’s take out all the projection equipment when they donated it to the Tabernacle of Prayer in the late 70’s?
I wonder if anything is still left of the Kilgen Organ in the main auditorium of the Fortway. I often see employees going down into the orchestra area duirng the movies here. Perhaps something is still intact. Guess I will have to check it out the next time I see a movie in theatre one.
I guuess that means we won’t be getting the Midway treatment on this one. Do we have any idea yet how many screens the new multiplex will have?
Yes the Alpine is a Loews Cineplex theatre, albeit with that upside down Cineplex Odeon logo on the Marquee, didn’t any one notice when that sign was installed it was wrong! I miss the old sunburst style Loew’s marquee the Alpine originally had, I wonder if its underneath the new one?
I guess, the State, Orpheum & 72nd St. are just replacements in name only for the former Loew’s theatres that used to occupy the same site.
Of those 51 theatres in the Metro NY area, I wonder how many are still around today operating as motion picture theaters? I’m sure quite a few have been demolished, converted to retail or, are being used as houses of worship.
Once again you continue to be the authoritative source on all things related to movie theatres! Please keep all those informative posts coming!
Movie Place NYC,
There is absolutely no difference in the Fortway photograph in the two editions of the book that I own. I was supprised the Fortway was not listed in the index as well Warren, but I’m glad the book at least has the photo.
Maybe someone out there knows what the “kilgen” in the caption refers to?
Movie Place NYC,
I went back and checked two editions of Ben Hall’s “The Best Remaining Seats” for the photo. In the original hardcover version, the actual photo is on page 191 with the caption on the page before. It reads as follows: George Mantalba at Fortway, Brooklyn, Kilgen (with pilots license?) in the softcover the same photo is on page 187.
You can clearly see the organ console on its lift above the orchestra, right below are chimes and a drum. In the backround is one of the Female figures mentioned in a previous post. You can also see a beautiful curtain with vines on it that must have been for the stage. The Fortway must have been quite a nice showplace in its heyday, glad it’s still showing movies.
Your welcome Bill,
It must have shown them at one point during its history and then been converted back to a legit theatre like the RKO Palace was.