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CConnolly and others have asked for the complete text of the Christmas message that was presented as part of the holiday show. I found it on the web.
One Solitary Life
Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher.
He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put His foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself…
While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. While He was dying His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth â€" His coat. When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.
Nineteen long centuries have come and gone, and today He is a centerpiece of the human race and leader of the column of progress.
I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were ever built; all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life.
This essay was adapted from a sermon by Dr James Allan Francis in â€œThe Real Jesus and Other Sermonsâ€ Â© 1926 by the Judson Press of Philadelphia (pp 123-124 titled â€œArise Sir Knight!â€). If you are interested, you can read the original version . Graham Pockett
Speaking of prices, no visit to the Roxy was complete for me without a visit to one of two Chinese restaurants within a half-block of the theater. They were Ding Ho and Ho Ho, and the chicken chow mein lunch special included wonton soup, noodles, rice, ice cream, and tea. During the mid-50’s, the meal was 55 cents. (Shrimp chow mein was 65 cents.)
Viola Berlin, longtime manager and booker, was a familiar face to all who patronized the Exeter Street Theatre. She frequently took over box office duties. And how many other theaters showed the annual newsreels of the Farnborough Air Shows in Great Britain as short subjects to accompany her frequently British features? And how many other managers regularly accompanied the stars of their films for guest appearances to local television stations? I recall her introducing Peter Sellers to us (at WGBH-TV). He was every bit as mysterious in personality as Geoffrey Rush portrayed him in the HBO movie… and as bland as Chauncey Gardener in “Being There.”
All of the participants in this full Roxy/RCMH discussion should be thanked for contributing so much to the history and analysis of the impact of these two theaters. And appreciation to “Cinema Treasures” for providing the venue. One further thought, touched on earlier: Radio City Music Hall was not built as a movie palace. So, despite its reputation for premiering the finest pictures of the mid-century, it was never the best place in New York City in which to view and hear films properly. But, as a New Yorker whose first experience at RCMH was a morning premiere at RCMH of “Bambi” in August, 1942, and who even enjoyed the “fiasco” of the three-strip “Windjammer” at the Roxy years later, I loved ‘em both.
Speaking of “Heaven’s Gate,” I went to the final showing of that epic at Cinema One on a rainy Thursday night. I was seated in the front row of the raised rear section, and next to me was Pauline Kael, who chortled throughout the film, took notes, while eating danish pastries and sipping on miniature bottles of whiskey.
See today’s New York Post (January 6) for story of forthcoming spring demolition of Cinema 1-2-3. With the Baronet/Coronet replaced next door by a high-rise, it was inevitable that developers would make the move on Cinema 1-2-3. The glory days of east side movie-going are over. Cinema One was where we saw “Tom Jones,” “A Clockwork Orange,” “The Exorcist.” And in the minds of New Yorkers, pictures like those will forever be associated with that theater.
Brookhaven Theater in Port Jefferson Station was closed and probably demolished before the Brookhaven Multiplex in Medford was opened. These are two separate venues.
In several books about Walt Disney and the history of animation, there are descriptions of the night in 1937 when “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” premiered at the Carthay Circle Theater. Until that evening, the movie industry had been very negative toward a full-length animated fairy-tale. But the audience’s response and Walt’s emotional curtain speech surely place that event high on the list of reasons for the historic significance of the Carthay Circle.
Extreme curvature of the screen made it difficult to keep “standard” pictures in focus properly. I recall seeing “Ship of Fools” there out of focus throughout.
A few years ago, I believe a bolt of lightning interrupted the show, damaging the marquee as well as the booth. Theater was restored, but the marquee was not. Does anyone have details about that?
During the early 40’s, the Valencia and Triboro screens were tiny compared to the sizes of the prosceniums. And is it my imagination, or were the corners of the screens rounded rather than square?
I will send Mr. Tierney an e-mail. I lived in Forest Hills 1935-1964, and would like to see the facade and marquee restored at the very least. The revitalization of this Queens landmark is essential for the neighborhood. I am moving to Florida in the next few months, but if there is a hearing this spring or summer, I’d be happy to attend.
(retired VP of film acquistions & scheduling, Lifetime Television)
The first time I can remember visiting the Trylon was in early 1940, for “Goodbye, Mr. Chips.” This was one of the first theaters in New York to have “hard-of-hearing aids”, and we sat in the loge with my hearing-impaired aunt who used the special headsets provided at no charge.
My first visit to this theater in fall 1939 was for “The Wizard of Oz.” On the theater’s closing night (the reopening night of the Midway around the corner), the film on the upstairs screen was the revival of “The Wizard of Oz.”
This theatre is the former Loew’s Plaza, one of eight Loew’s theatres in Queens County.
The Midway celebrates its 60th birthday September 26, 2002. Opening Red Cross benefit featured Ed Wynn on stage and Errol Flynn in “Desperate Journey.” Following day, it joined the RKO chain’s double-feature presentation of “The Pied Piper” & “Just Off Broadway.” Original theatre design by Thomas Lamb (his last), completed after his death by S. Charles Lee. Named after the Battle of Midway Island, the turning point of the war in the Pacific. Theatre a joint partnership of RKO & Skouras Theatres, which alternated management for the first 8 years. May have been the last theatre completed in US before war restrictions on building supplies.
My wife’s cousin Paul Host, who still lives in Antwerp, wanted to see “Buffalo Bill” (Fox, Joel McCrea & Maureen O'Hara), but his mother refused to let him go to the Rex; it was destroyed moments later.“”
During the fifties and sixties, and especially during the summer months, the Brattle was the venue that helped propel “Citizen Kane” and “Casablanca” to the top of the best films of all time. The bar downstairs was named after “Casablanca”.
The 1942 pre-release engagement of “Casablanca” took place at the Warner Hollywood Theatre, starting Thanksgiving Weekend. In 1956, the great Broadway musical “My Fair Lady” with Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews opened here when it was renamed the Mark Hellinger Theatre (after the Broadway and Hollywood producer).