Regency Theatre

1987 Broadway,
New York, NY 10023

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Showing 26 - 50 of 84 comments

randytheicon on May 3, 2010 at 6:29 pm

I managed to see one program at the Regency, on 2/17/1980. It was part of the “Dancing Ladies” series, and the films were “Plisetskaya Dances” (docu about a Russian ballerina), a Martha Graham short, and one of my all-time favorites, Vanessa Redgrave in “(The Loves of) Isadora.

I traveled all the way from Baltimore to see it, and sat through everything three times. (The Redgrave flick was very rarely shown here – or anywhere.)

An interesting quirk with the Regency: you could hear the rumble of IRT express trains roaring past underneath Broadway. Added to the experience.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 3, 2010 at 2:28 pm

The Alden was already showing movies in 1934. In 1963 it switched from years of sub-runs and revivals to first-run German language films.

That experiment must have failed as the theatre was closed, remodeled, and re-opened in 1964 as the Regency, showing sub-runs and revivals until it became the city’s last surviving revival house. In 1987, responding to the newfound affluence of the upper west side, Cineplex Odeon remodeled the Regency once more and re-invented it as a first-run pseudo art house.

PeterKoch on February 5, 2009 at 7:11 am

Thanks, Kieran. Glad to read you had such a good time there.

Kieranx on February 4, 2009 at 4:07 pm

I used to go to this theater on my lunch breaks when I worked at Tower Records, two blocks down the street. Someone would cover for me, since I only got an hour. Sounds like I just missed the repertory screenings by a few months, but I more than made up for it by frequenting the Biograph, which I loved even more. I remember going here and seeing The Dead Pool, Everybody’s All American, Rocket Gibraltar, Gorillas in the Mist, Working Girl (or it might have been Talk Radio- one or the other). I stopped working at Tower in the Spring of 89 and I don’t remember going back to the theater until almost 10 years later to see The Opposite of Sex. I did really dig it, though.

KingBiscuits on September 7, 2008 at 9:39 am

Shoot To Kill was mentioned in the earlier comments. It ran in 70mm at the theatre. Total Recall also ran in 70mm at the theatre as a moveover.

PKoch on July 3, 2008 at 12:32 pm

Thanks, hardbop.

hardbop on July 3, 2008 at 12:30 pm

Thanks for this information, hardbop. Do you know when the Thalia Soho closed ? I think I was last there, late January 1990.

Good question, but it was around then. I haven’t found the date it closed. It opened on November 15, 1985. I remember HARVEY MILK played there for months and it was the first time I went there. HM was released in ‘84 so I don’t know if it was another theater before it was Thalia Soho.

I remember going to the Thalia Soho in late ‘89 to see THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE. In '92 it was turned into The Cinemateque and run by the woman who ran the Bleecker Street Cinema. That was its last incarmation as a movie theater.

PKoch on July 2, 2008 at 12:49 pm

Thanks for this information, hardbop. Do you know when the Thalia Soho closed ? I think I was last there, late January 1990.

hardbop on July 2, 2008 at 12:30 pm

The Regency as a revival house closed its doors on September 2, 1987, not a good year for patrons of revival houses on the Upper West Side because earlier that same year, on May 10, the Thalia also closed its doors.

I’ve been doing some research on these houses trying to figure out what films I’ve seen there (I’d love to get a look at some of the Regency’s calendars from the 1980’s).

As a home delivery subscriber to the New York Times I get access to the database and looked up the Regency and it was quite a scandal when this house closed. Cinemaplex Odeon caved and gave the keys to the Biograph on 57th Street to Frank Rowley and that venue began showing Regency-like repertory fare on February 19, 1988.

So there was about about a six-month gap between the Regency’s switching from revival to first-run and the Biograph starting its revival policy.

edblank on May 27, 2008 at 9:51 pm

Best rep/classics house in New York ever, right? The hours I spent in here watching irresistible double bills programmed by Frank Rowley. Just receiving those schedules in the mail meant everything stopped while I read them, both sides, top to bottom. What great festivals!

loupi3 on April 4, 2008 at 10:22 pm

Reading these posts brings back a flood of memories. We were young and our kids were small in the early 70’s and the Regency with its repertory format was where they learned to enjoy film. They were between 6 and 10 and soon stopped asking ‘what’s the movie going to be about?’ before our frequent forays to the Regency and joined the cheering as Groucho popped onto the screen on the front page of the Fredonia newspaper in ‘Duck Soup.’ Now if I can only ween my granddaughter away from Hannah Montana….
A few blocks up, Fiorello’s restaurant opened during the years we lived on the West Side and the first week featured a slightly looped hostess who poured wine for everyone as they walked through the door. Tomorrow I’ll go there with an out of town friend and she’ll surely comment on how pricey it is, but I remember it as a place where a waiter or chef always slipped my children free desserts.
Anyway, it’s a different world now and I do live joyfully in it, but find much comfort in the flyer on my wall for one of the Regency’s Fred Astaire retrospectives.

westsidefirl on February 26, 2008 at 12:22 pm

Although not a part of the urban renewal that led to the construction of Lincoln Center (West 60 to West 66 Streets), it was a popular local theater when I was growing up on West 65 Street in the 1940s and 1950s. It was only a two-block walk to Broadway and 67 Street and always showed older films (never first-fun in those days). In the 1970s I recall being delighted when my daughter, then a student at Parsons School of Design, rediscovered the movie house of my childhood.

ERD on February 24, 2008 at 9:13 am

I recall seeing a revival of MGM’s “The Wizard Of Oz” at the Regency. That was a few years before home videos came out.

Astyanax on February 23, 2008 at 6:21 pm

Hadn’t realized that Lincoln Center, under the mantra of urban renewal, demolished what Westsidegirl describes as a cohesive and distinct community. Like other neighborhood theaters, the Regency served as a touchstone for the area. No coincidence that the early Rugoff houses completely identified with the surrounding neighborhoods: the Gramercy, the Murray Hill, the Sutton, the Beekman.

PKoch on December 20, 2007 at 3:31 pm

Sounds likely about A & P = Food Emporium, Warren … it happened one village south of where I live, in Hastings-On-Hudson NY …

PKoch on December 20, 2007 at 8:31 am

Yes, westsidegirl, I vaguely remember that A & P at Bway and 68th being on the east, or Columbus Avenue, side. Thanks for complimenting my ex-girlfriend’s taste in coffee : Eight O'Clock, Bokar, whatever A & P Coffee.

westsidefirl on December 20, 2007 at 7:41 am

I remember the A&P, I think it was on the far side (what would have been Columbus Avenue). My mother and I used to walk there to do our grocery shopping. And,PKoch, your girlfriend had good taste. That coffee is still sold in supermarkets.

br91975 on December 20, 2007 at 7:07 am

According to an item in yesterday’s NY Post, the Victoria’s Secret store which replaced the Regency Theatre is scheduled to be demolished in the near future to make room for an Apple Store.

PKoch on December 3, 2007 at 1:43 pm

Thanks, Lost Memory. It’s a link I can actually open.

westsidegirl, when I hung out on the Upper West Side in the 1980’s, I was going with a girl who liked the coffee from the A & P on Bway at 68th Street, near the Regency.

PKoch on August 14, 2007 at 2:52 pm

Thanks for your post, westsidegirl. I got to know the Upper West Side very well in the 1980’s.

westsidefirl on August 14, 2007 at 2:49 pm

Thanks for the picture of the Regency. Of course, when I was growing up (before Lincoln Center) this moviehouse was called the Alden, and never showed first-run films, it always featured old movies, which I loved, still do!

Theaterat on September 20, 2005 at 4:44 pm

While a repetory house, the Regency was always a class act. Of the many repetory theaters in Manhattan, this was always the best maintained and probably the largest one too.There always was a good crowd on the weekend, and “Large Screen” films looked pretty decent on the screen.There was also a balcony, but I never sat there because the smoking section was in the orchestra.Remember seeing “Who Afraid of Virginia Wolfe” with Taylor and Burton here in early 1981, among many others. This theater- along with the Thalia were the best revival houses in NYC.