Showing 351 - 374 of 374 comments
Yeah, I remember seeing Jaws here when it came out. I was in high school and for about two years I had the willies when I swam in fresh water!
I remember when the “lost” Hitchcock films (there were five of them) were screened after a long hiatus I saw some of them here back in the 1980s. “Rear Window” I believe was one of the films.
I don’t remember the details, but for some reason — rights disputes I would assume — five or so of Hitchcock’s films didn’t screen for years and years and finally they cleared up the disputes and screened the films in first-run houses like the Warwick Mall.
Yes, I remember the Garden City Cinema so well. It was huge. I remember going to see all those Disney Films there, including the Love Bug!
The last time I was there was in the early eighties when I caught “The Flamingo Kid” during an afternoon screening. I remember the manager coming up to me and saying that “I may get a private screening” because I was the sole person there is this long auditorium. Then a few others wandered in.
It was sad to see this go. The Park Cinema, up the street, is also gone.
There are so many quirky places in NYC that have closed since I’ve been here. It is part of the homogenization of NYC. The Bleecker Street Cinema was one of those places, owner operated, that had personality. Now there are all the chain stores. I’m sure Duane Reade will be moving in to that space soon to provide competition to the CVS Store in the building where the Village Gate was.
I remember the Thalia well and made the trek up there many times in the 1980s. I remember a “Smile”/“Carrie” double-bill that was pretty good and the Thalia had a funky attitude.
And I remember going to the Thalia when the local businessman — a hardware store owner I believe — renovated and reopened the theatre. I used to buy those books of tickets where you got a discount and the owner sent me a refund for my unused tickets, to his credit.
BR91975 says it was Fine Line that booked the theatre to show its films exclusively, but I think it was Miramax that moved in there as a way to keep its films in theatres, but it never took off. I think the Miramax films played there after they had closed at other theatres.
Last time I went there, before the new renovation, was ‘98 when someone tried to make a go of it by booking films that hadn’t received commercial distribution. I remember seeing an atrocious film called “Crossing Fields” that played there in '98. That didn’t last long either.
Richard Schwartz seems like an interesting guy and I’d like to know more about him.
I remember the Meadowbrook, growing up a mile or so away. At one point there was a fire. I was in high school so that must have been around ‘74 or '75 and the cinema was closed for awhile and then reopened. I think it became a triplex after it reopened.
Hard as this is to believe today but there were woods across the street from where the Meadowbrook was and I remember smoking some reefer and going to see “Magical Mystery Tour” with Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees. I remember seeing “Serpico” there when I was in high school. I also saw the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” there on original release so they weren’t too strict about letting underage people into R rated films.
I know that it reopened in the 80s or 90s and I believe the people who ran the Cable Car ran it. Last film I remember seeing there was “Point Break” with Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze.
I am doing it by memory but could be wrong about that. I remember going to a Jerry Lewis Cinema and I think it was in North Kingston. But I am not 100% sure. For some reason I think the cinema became a furniture store, but I am guessing. I do remember when the Jerry Lewis cinemas folded and there was kind of a hub-bub about it, particularly when the Johnston Cinema became a porno house.
Ah, that answers the question. The Broadway is the cinemas that was on Broadway between 31st and 32nd Streets just east of the subway stop. The Strand at one time was I believe some sort of studio, like Kaufman/Astoria Studios. What they filmed, or still film, there I don’t know; I never went in there. There were (and are) retail stores in the building that must have been the Strand. There was also a bowling alley at one time in the same complex I believe that was in the basement and that closed some time since I moved to Astoria in the 1970s.
How can I find out when the Strand and Broadway closed?
I grew up in Rhode Island and from ‘71 to '74 my father packed us into the car every Friday and we went to the drive in. The first film we caught was “Willard” at this theatre.
Hard to believe all the drive ins are gone. There was the Hilltop in East Greenwich and the Quonset in North Kingston. There was the Seekonk Twin and another one nearby in Seekonk, Mass. There was the Loew’s, I believe, on the Providence/Pawtucket border; there wast the Shipyard in Providence. There was the Lonsdale Twin, which I believe was in Pawtucket. There were several more. One in Attleboro, Mass. that began with a “B.” I remember we went to one in Somerset, Mass.
Then there wasn’t a theatre on the corner of 32nd Street & Broadway? That building, which still stands, surely looks like it was a theatre.
I remember the Jerry Lewis Cinemas well, but they didn’t last long. Anyone have any info on the chain? I went to this cinema once, during Christmas break my senior year in college. I remember seeing “Apocalypse Now” there and getting there late.
I think there were other Jerry Lewis Cinemas in Rhode Island (where I grew up) in Warwick, North Kingston & Johnston. And if memory serves me correctly, the raison d'etre for the Jerry Lewis Cinemas was to offer “family fare” at bargain rates. I remember a 50-cent admission fee for kids at least. The irony is that when the Jerry Lewis Cinema concept went belly up, the Jerry Lewis Cinema in Johnson became a porno house.
I grew up in Warwick and remember my parents talking me to see “The Sound of Music.” Lucky for me, I didn’t make it through the entire film, nodding off at one point. I remember they had an intermission and I remember getting an Italian Ice outside the theatre. For some reason — I could be imagining this — an exit door next to the screen was open and they allowed people to walk outside and they were selling the Italian ices.
I think the mall that the Warwick Cinema was located in was the first “surburban” shopping mall in Rhode Island. In addition to the Warwick Cinema, the long-defunct W.T. Grant’s retail chain had a store in the plaza.
Last time I went there was my freshman year in college. I think it was Christmas break and I remember taking a date to the second “Dirty Harry” film.
I grew up in Rhode Island and spent many afternoons at the Kent. It was a single cinema and at some point became a triplex and I was sad when it closed after the Showcase closed.
I remember as a kid when they must have revived “Around the World in 80 Days” and seeing it at the Kent. However, there was a car accident that knocked down a telephone pole and the power went out. The theatre went dark half-way through the movie and we had to go back the next day to see the film again.
I have lived in Astoria since ‘87 and didn’t know there were four theatres on Steinway! Only the dreadful Astoria six-'plex was open when I moved here and now that is closed.
I noticed that the theatre on Crescent & Broadway was mentioned. That was the Strand.
I take it that the Triboro was on the northwest corner of Steinway & 28th Avenue. Those apartments are the pits, though there is nice coffee shop/bar on the corner.
What block was the Steinway? I don’t recall a Brothers store off the top of my head, but the building on the southwest corner of 30th Avenue and Steinway looks like it could have been a theatre at one time.
Then there was the Olympia on Steinway & 25th Street. That must be just south of the Grand Central on the same block where the Triboro used to be.
Where was the fourth Steinway Street Cinema located?
And there must have been a cinema on the corner of 32nd Street and Broadway, now the site of a bank. The building looks like it was a cinema at one time.
I live a few blocks from the cinema and caught many films here shortly after I moved to Astoria from the Village back in ‘87. The last film I caught here was “The Sidewalks of New York” by Edward Burns back on Nov. 21, 2001.
What happened to this ‘plex is that Regal Cinemas opened a massive 'plex further down Steinway Street. And then all the exhibitors ran into financial trouble because they overbuilt and UA, which ran the 6-plex, and Regal merged. It wasn’t long before the 6-plex closed.
The 6-plex was a bit of pit but when the Regal Cinemas was being built the UA folks started to spruce the place up and the employees seemed a bit more friendly.
Just out of curiousity I heard there were other theatres in Astoria? I don’t know the names of them, but there was a cinema on the north side of Broadway, just east of Crescent Street. My landlord told me it closed in ‘63. And on the northwest corner of Broadway and 31st Street there also must have been a cinema long ago. It is now a bank, but I can tell from the building that it was once a cinema. And I think there must have been a cinema on Ditmars and 31st Street, judging from the building type.
I understand there were also cinemas on 30th Avenue and on Steinway, which must be the aforementioned Triboro Theatre mentioned by Warren.
I believe that the Gramercy was a non-profit. However, they didn’t sell memberships like the Film Forum, MoMA, AMMI and quickly ran into financial difficulties. That was one of its mistakes. I know you could buy books of tickets at a price lower than what you would pay if you bought a single ticket.
I was also baffled by the lack of the success by the Gramercy. After all the hoopla about the closing of first the Regency revival house and then the Biograph, you would have thought there would have been more support for the Gramercy. I remember being surprised that first weekend the Gramercy opened and seeing a mostly empty house.
The guy who ran Cineplex Odeon was a crook and I don’t believe he can step foot in the U.S. without being arrested. His name is Garth Drabinsky and he is Canadian and after getting into all sorts of trouble when he ran Cineplex Odeon into the ground, he resurfaced with Livant, a live theatre company that also got into a lot of hot water. Mike Ovitz, the former head of CAA and “most powerful man in Hollywood” was involved with Livant/Drabinsky as an investor and lost millions. Talk about a guy who lost his karma.
Boy, does this bring back memories. I lived right around the corner from this cinemas for most of the eighties. I remember when “The Big Chill” came out and there was quite a bit of discussion about that film and the similarities between that film and Sayles' “Return of the Secaucus 7”. The 8th St. Playhouse revived the Sayles film. I remember the line was around the block, snaking down Sixth Avenue when the long version of Leonne’s “Once Upon a Time in America” screened there (I was in the line.)
And I remember the brief period when it was a rep house well. I remember that was my first introduction to Claude Chabrol. They did a Chabrol retro.
And I was at some of those screenings posted by Robert. I remember seeing “La Belle Noiseuse” there the “The Wall”/“Song Remains the Same” double-bill.
I also remember cutting out of work early on a Friday afternoon and seeing a “Giant”/“Rebel Without a Cause” double bill.
I remember The Guild well. Never went there too often. Last film I caught there was Demme’s “Beloved” back in ‘98. One problem with the Guild was the atrocious sight lines. If someone sat up close the bottom of the screen was so low you would have to move over and sit on the side to get a clear view.
The Embassy 1 was also like that. Terrible sight lines.
Yeah, that is a shame that the Mark Hellinger Theatre was turned into a church. I remember seeing “Legz Diamond” there and then remember how it was pilloried by the critics and quickly closed. The Hellinger was a beautiful theatre.
I used to work in the Times Square area and attended the Embassy Theatres many times, sneaking out on my lunch hour. The Embassies were pits, though.
I moved to NYC in March 1982. I don’t remember this cinema. When did it close?
I remember going here when it was a first-run house and then I was a regular attendee when it was run by Frank Rowley after Cinemaplex Odeon pulled the plug on the Biograph Cinema on 57th Street (now a supermarket). Frank Rowley, by the way, works for Dan Talbott at the Lincoln Plaza Cinemas on the West Side or did until fairly recently.
I knew the Gramercy wasn’t long for this world when it reopened/was turned into a revival house. Opening day I believe was 4/13/93 and there was a double bill of “Forty-Second Street” and I think “The Gold Diggers of 1933.” I was there for the Saturday night screening on 4/14/93 and the place was empty on its opening weekend. I knew it was doomed then.
I remember when Cinemaplex Odeon closed the Regency, the beloved West Side revival house (it is now a lingerie store)run by Rowley, and turned it into a first run house. The outcry caused Odeon to let Rowley run the Biograph, but after a couple of years they pulled the plug on that and there were petitions et al and Rowley surfaced at the Gramercy after a hiatus (I forget how long it was) between when the Biograph shut and the Gramercy reopened.
One other question regarding Cinema Village. Back in the 1980s, for a brief period (probably months) didn’t CV run an offshoot theatre on Third Avenue around 11th or 12th Streets? It was on the west side of the street, just above where the Loew’s Multi-plex now stands. I remember seeing Nick Roeg’s “Don’t Look Now” there. It wasn’t open long and then I think became some sort of pornographic house and now is something else.
Damn. Does this bring back memories! I remember braving all the “action” on Eighth Avenue. The Hollywood Twin Cinema was a trip! I remember seeing a double-bill of “Local Hero” and “Tender Mercies” there. I caught “Fame” there for the first time.
I think after it stopped screening revival films it at one time was screening Spanish language prints or screening films for a Spanish speaking audience.
I’ve been a regular patron of the Cinema Village since I moved to NYC in ‘82. I do remember that mix of first run and revivals in the 80s. I remember seeing “Das Boot” there for the first time and after the film felt like I’d been in the sub for two hours. I remember sitting through the very weird “Cop Killer,” which starred Harvey Keitel and Johnny Rotton from the Sex Pistols.
In fact, I’ll be there tonight for the last showing of “16 Years of Alcohol” before it heads off to videoland.
Yeah, I remember the Thalia Soho and Le Cinematheque. I lived in the West Village from ‘82 to '87 and remember when the Thalia Soho opened it ran for months the documentary “The Times of Harvey Milk.” I remember seeing many double (and triple) bills at that theatre. I wish I kept records of what films I caught from back then.
And Le Cinematheque may not have been around long, but some great bookings. I remember when the Film Forum a couple of blocks away ran a big Film Noir series and Le Cinematheque ran a competing Noir fest and I remember running between the two venues trying to catch all the films. I remember catching “Shack Out on Route 101” or something to that effect at that noir series. That one never plays. And there was a great series of English films that she programmed at Le Cinematheque.