Regency Theatre

1987 Broadway,
New York, NY 10023

Unfavorite 13 people favorited this theater

Showing 51 - 75 of 84 comments

hardbop
hardbop on June 9, 2005 at 12:18 pm

MoMA screened Woody Allen’s “Hannah and Her Sisters” last night and it was nice to see some early-to-mid 1980s location shots of NYC. There is a great shot of Woody walking down Broadway right by the Regency where you can clearly ogle the marquee. Also, later in the film, Woody goes into the art deco Metro Cinema. Early in the film you see Barbara Hershey in a cab driving through Times Square and can see some movie marquees in the background but they went by too quickly for me to recognize them.

westsidefirl
westsidefirl on April 4, 2005 at 12:40 pm

Talk about movie memories, who can forget Gale Sondergaard as the one, the only, Spider Woman …

Old moviehouses like the Alden/Regency were major focal points of old neighborhoods. That’s one of the reasons I’m so happy to have found this wonderful Web site.

bazookadave
bazookadave on April 4, 2005 at 12:19 pm

He played Horatio Prim and was marvelous. I was always fascinated by the part near the end when Horatio is trying to open the clock to get Washington’s letter and the secret drawer opens and closes very quickly and Horatio says “in and out, in and out, in and out!” Perhaps it is only my jaded sence of humor that sees it as a sex joke but even when I was a kid I thought it was a sex joke.

And who could forget Marjorie Reynolds and Binnie Barnes? They stole the show along with Abbott and Costello and Gale Sondergaard.

westsidefirl
westsidefirl on April 1, 2005 at 7:48 pm

You’re absolutely right! That’s a favorite of mine, as well. I like the innocent, sweetness of Lou Costello’s character.

bazookadave
bazookadave on April 1, 2005 at 7:22 pm

One of my favorite movies is “The Time of their Lives” starring Abbott and Costello. They were a great team. Why does liking them need redeeming? They are better than most of the junk that is produced nowadays.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on April 1, 2005 at 3:28 pm

Shaken, not stirred ?

Here’s looking at you, kid !

westsidefirl
westsidefirl on April 1, 2005 at 3:25 pm

I must confess … (remember, I was very young) I was a major Abbot and Costello fan. To redeem myself, it was at the Alden that I first saw Casablanca and fell in love with love and Bogie. Just about every movie that you see on Turner Classic Movie, I saw at the Alden. I became a lifelong fan of Nick and Nora Charles at the Alden, and, in fact, watch and rewatch their movies with as much enjoyment as the first time I watched Nick mix his morning martini.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on April 1, 2005 at 3:18 pm

Thanks, westsidegirl. Well put !

What older movies did you learn to love at the Alden / Regency back then ?

westsidefirl
westsidefirl on April 1, 2005 at 3:16 pm

The West Side of the mid-1940s was quite different from the West Side of the mid-1950s, when I became a teenager. In the earlier decade, life was less complicated, doors were unlocked, Central Park (two blocks from our apartment) was my playground. The neighborhood of my childhood was nothing like West Side Story. In the late-1950s, however, there were many changes. Many of our neighbors left the city neighborhoods for the suburbs. G.I.loans made it easier for low-income families to buy their own homes (many for the first time). With the coming of Lincoln Center, families were forced out, leaving the neighborhood with less of a family orientation. Crime became a way of life for too many West Siders and led to the demise of the neighorhood of my childhood. But the city is always evolving and each generation finds itself part of a love affair with the sounds and sights of this great city.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on April 1, 2005 at 3:03 pm

Good to meet you, westsidegirl, and welcome to Cinema Treasures !

How early were the films you learned to love at the Alden / Regency ? Any silent films, perhaps with live piano accompaniment at certain screenings ? What was the West Side like then ? Anything like the film and stage musical “West Side Story” ?

westsidefirl
westsidefirl on April 1, 2005 at 2:59 pm

I grew up on West 65 Street and often went to the Regency (it was called the Alden then). It wasn’t a first-run theater at that time (the 1940s and 1950s) and I learned to love the films of earlier eras on the screen of this wonderful neighborhood moviehouse.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on March 18, 2005 at 6:30 pm

I remember a DJ on WNEW-102.7 FM in NYC in summer 1971 saying that there was this great old cinema in Manhattan where you could see “Lady In A Car” starring Samantha Eggar, for 75 cents. I wonder what cinema that might have been.

Richardhaines
Richardhaines on March 18, 2005 at 6:21 pm

Robert,

That’s why I used to buy the “Village Voice” every week. It was the only NYC paper that listed every movie playing in town including Repertory and the museums. Andrew Sarris did a column about movies that were worth another viewing.

Other rep houses included The Art which was located by NYU. They eld a “Sam Goldwyn Festival”. Down the street was “8th Street Playhouse” which had a film book store next to the cinema. The Film Forum was small but showed some interesting pictures at a different location than they are at today. The Joseph Papp Theater showed some revivals including a Roger Corman festival. They made brand new prints of all of his movies. It was the first time I saw the Poe films with good color in Panavision. Corman was present and introduced the films. MOMA also had some great retrospectives in this era. They showed the entire David O. Selznick collection of his personal prints. Many were original nitrates which sparkled on their screen. They also had a Michael Powell festival borrowing prints from the BFI which including nitrates of “Black Narcisus” (uncut version) and “The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp” (also uncut). Both were breathtaking Technicolor prints.

I even went to South Street Seaport to see a print of “The Sand Pebbles” in 16mm. Of course my dorm played prints in the basement.
They rented copies of “Singin' in the Rain” (in Technicolor) and “Jaws” in widescreen. At the Tisch building they also showed movies. I was on the committee to select the films. I persuaded them to book “Close Encounters” in scope and “Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein” which the student crowd had a good time with.
The seventies was a great era to see movies all over NYC.

RobertR
RobertR on March 14, 2005 at 11:04 pm

Richard
I remember those days when you had a choice of Cinema Village, Regency, Theatre 80 St Marks, Elgin, Thalia, Carnagie Hall Cinema, New Yorker, Bleecker and more to see classic film. What a pity they are all gone or showing conventional films.

Richardhaines
Richardhaines on March 14, 2005 at 9:04 pm

I still have many of the Regency flyers (schedules) from the seventies and eighties framed on display in my screening room.

Richardhaines
Richardhaines on March 14, 2005 at 9:02 pm

Among the many memorable festivals was the Fox retrospective. New prints of many CinemaScope prints were shown. Since most were originally De Luxe color (and had completely faded by then), seeing new prints was a treat. Most had pretty good color with the exception of “The King and I” (greenish) and “The Robe” (very grainy and dupey). The print of “There’s no Business Like Show Business”
looked sensational.

At one time, either Rowley or one of his staff went through various exchanges to piece together an excellent Technicolor print of “Around the World in 80 Days”.

The only time I saw a really bad print there was “King Solomon’s Mines”. It wasn’t a Technicolor copy but an old faded Eastmancolor print. They gave me a pass to see another show.

The scheduling was always innovative. There were retrospectives of Bette Davis, Comedies, Hitchcock and others. One of the great thrills of the seventies was opening the Village Voice and circling all the movies worth attending in the various repertory houses and devising a schedule so I could see as many as possible between classes at NYU. When I was short on cash, I would walk from 8th Street to Lincoln Center to see a screening at this theater.

ChrisG
ChrisG on January 11, 2005 at 7:42 pm

This was probably the best revival house in Manhattan! I remeber seeing Keaton’s last two silents ,“The Camerman” and “Spite Marriage” there as part of a Keaton/Chaplin?Woody Allen festival. They used to have passes for multiple admissions to festivals at a good discount. So sad to see it’s gone.

bazookadave
bazookadave on January 11, 2005 at 5:45 pm

This was a nice little theater and back in the late 1970s I attended showings of older movies here. My mom and I saw “Scrooge” and “Come To The Stable” at the Regency as a double feature one Christmas back then. We also saw “A Night To Remember” paired with “Waterloo Bridge,” a double feature during a film festival called “England at Home and Abroad.” Of course every few years “Gone With The Wind” would be rerun at the Regency and we wouold always go back for it.

For many years I did not return to the Regency, and then I went one last time for a first-run which I think was “The Good Son.” Long afterward I was sadly roaming the streets like a zombie for some reason when I came to West 68th and beheld an empty lot strewn with bricks where the Regency once stood. The memories flooded back, I remembered seeing “Scrooge” (Albert Finney) one Christmas past on that very same empty and deserted lot, and I actually went right up to the edge of the lot and traced out in my mind’s eye where the lobby and the steps up to the balcony used to be. There was always the same general area where I would sit in the orchestra and I could look over and see the same spot, now open with no sign there had ever been a theater there. Oof I am getting misty-eyed just typing this! Oh well, all things must come to an end…perhaps in fifty or sixty years, or even longer, someone will sadly note the demolition of all these modern megaplexes that have sprung up everywhere, and which may eventually become classic spots in their own right.

DonRosen
DonRosen on December 13, 2004 at 2:55 pm

The Regency was featured in the film “Cocktail” with Tom Cruise, as well as Seinfeld.

DavidHurlbutt
DavidHurlbutt on November 10, 2004 at 10:32 am

That wonderful MGM festival!! For a long time time there was a life size photo from ON THE TOWN with Ann Miller and Vera Ellen in full-flying skirts on the auditorium- entrance door in the inner lobby. Life sized Kelly, Sinatra, Miller, Ellen, could be seen from Broadway as one walked down the Street.
In the 70s didn’t they do a big Warner Bros revival with a mint print of ROBIN HOOD? I even think Olivia deHavilland showed up for that showing.

Broan
Broan on November 10, 2004 at 1:22 am

This was also in a number of Seinfeld episodes- Jerry making out at Schindler’s List, where Elaine bought candy after her boyfriend was in a car accident, and where they planned to see ‘Firestorm’

sethbook
sethbook on November 2, 2004 at 12:34 pm

I saw The Magnificent Ambersons in the 1980s on a very humid June evening—the theatre had no AC for a while. When it became a first-fun theatre, I saw “Career Girls” and “Ulee’s Gold” there. You can catch a glimpse of The Regency and its marquee in the Tom Cruise movie “Cocktail.” There’s a scene where he’s at some swanky opening at a place next to the theatre.