RKO Warner Twin Theatre

1579 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Marks Brothers, Mark-Strand Theater Corp., RKO, Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp.

Architects: Thomas White Lamb

Styles: Adam

Previous Names: Mark Strand Theatre, Strand Theatre, Warner Theatre, Cinerama I & II Theatre, RKO Cinerama Theatre, Penthouse Theatre, Cine Orleans (Off Broadway)

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News About This Theater

RKO Warner Twin Theatre

Located on Broadway at W. 47th Street, the Mark Strand Theatre was opened on April 11, 1914 with the photoplay “The Spoilers” starring William Farnum. It was built for the Mitchel Mark Realty Company and was under the early direction of Samuel L. “Roxy” Rothapfel. It originally had a seating capacity of 2,989 located in orchestra and a single balcony. It was equipped with an Austin 3 manual organ with 49 registers.

The Mark Strand Theatre began its life with stage shows in addition to movies and also had one of the largest stages in the city in 1914. After stage shows were dropped in 1929, seating was reduced to 2,750. In the late-1930’s stage shows (and vaudeville) were brought back.

After dropping stage shows on July 3, 1951, the Strand Theatre was renamed Warner Theatre, and opened with “Strangers on a Train”. During 1952 to 1953, the theatre closed, was renovated and renamed Warner Cinerama Theatre. Cinerama films moved here from the Broadway Theatre, starting with “This Is Cinerama” in 1953.

In 1963, the auditorium was equipped with a 81 foot wide, 30 feet tall screen to show “Its a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”. World Premiere’s of 70mm films included “Porgy and Bess”(June 24, 1959), “Exodus”(December 15, 1960), “The Greatest Story Ever Told”(February 15, 1965), “Grand Prix”(December 21, 1966 and “Camelot”(October 25, 1967).

On June 30, 1968, the theatre was twinned becoming the Warner Strand Theatre. A third 450-seat theatre was built on the old Strand Theatre’s stage-house, named Cine Orleans (Off Broadway), which had its own entrance on W. 47th Street. On June 3, 1971 following an over $5000,000. refurbishment it reopened as the RKO Warner Twin Theatre. With 1,100 seats occupied the main floor. The former balcony became the 1,200 seat Penthouse Theatre.

Unfortunately, on February 8th 1987, after a long and eventful life, one of the greatest movie palaces of New York City closed and was demolished.

Contributed by Cinema Treasures, Warren, Orlando Lopes

Recent comments (view all 363 comments)

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on December 20, 2021 at 6:08 pm

Hello-

to vindanpar- a few weeks back we were discussion why the Todd-AO roadshow cut of Oklahoma survives yet the original Todd-AO roadshow cut of South Pacific doesn’t. the interesting thing is if the original Todd-AO roadshow cut of South Pacific was used in the 70MM festival why when the home video market started a few years later did it suddenly disappear. the “roadshow cut” on the blu-ray disc is a reconstruction using clips from a B&W work print to replace the scenes that were cut to make the general release print. here’s an interesting bit of info.

          on the Wikipedia page for the film is this
                            statement- "the original 3hr. roadshow cut 
                            long thought lost was rediscovered in s 70MM
                            print owned by a collector". if in fact the
                            original 3hr.roadshow cut was found as 
                            stated why then is the roadshow cut on the 
                            blu-ray a reconstruction using footage from 
                            a b&w work print? 
                  
Cinerama
Cinerama on December 20, 2021 at 9:45 pm

That was 1978 when the RKO CINERAMA had a 70mm film festival of Broadway musicals. You can see the ad for it at the bottom of this page - https://incinerama.com/warnerny.htm

Cinerama
Cinerama on December 20, 2021 at 9:59 pm

Below is what is said on Wikipedia about South Pacific.

The three-hour version, long feared lost, was rediscovered in a 70mm print owned by a collector. This print was screened in Bradford, England at the National Museum of Photography, Film, and Television on March 14, 2005.[9] When Fox (which by that time owned partial distribution rights to the film, including home video) learned of the print’s existence, it took it to the United States to reinstate the fourteen missing minutes and attempt to restore as much of the color as possible.

Cinerama
Cinerama on December 20, 2021 at 10:26 pm

More info on the print of South Pacific that was shown in 2005 - https://in70mm.com/festival/bradford/year/2005/diary/index.htm

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on January 7, 2022 at 3:43 pm

Definitely NOT an ad for this Strand, a name that must be one of the most frequently used for theatres of all types.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on January 7, 2022 at 5:20 pm

Hello-

I have tried the link to the article about the print of South Pacific shown at the film festival in Bradford, England twice and it doesn’t work. it would interesting to read the article.

MSC77
MSC77 on January 7, 2022 at 7:01 pm

Bigjoe59: Try this link instead.

As I (and others) have mentioned before, members posting links to articles as a courtesy (and to increase likelihood they get read) ought to make them clickable.

stevenj
stevenj on January 7, 2022 at 8:48 pm

A reminder on how to link to another site in your comment… Between these brackets [ ] type in a name or title for the link (as MSC77 did with “this link”). Between these parentheses ( ) copy and paste the web address. There is no space between ] and(. After you click on Add Comment your link should go live.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on January 19, 2022 at 6:32 pm

Hello-

to MSC77- thanks for the new link. it worked perfectly. a few comments/questions.

*after reading the article I’m assuming the reason the Todd-AO 70MM print of the original roadshow cut used in the festival wasn’t used for the blu-ray is it was too faded?

*also during this theater’s 70M festival in the late 70s what print was used for South Pacific the original Todd-AO roadshow cut or the general release print?

*The Agony and the Ecstasy is one of my favorite historical epics. it would have been amazing to see the original Todd-AO roadshow cut in 70MM on the large curved screen.

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