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I am in the process of reading a biography about Akira Kurosawa & Toshiro Mifune & stumbled across the Toho theatre. I had no idea that a cinema that specialized in Japanese fare (and owned by a Japanese film studio) even existed. The author spends quite a bit of time in the books talking about this theatre and its sister theatre in Los Angeles. I had no idea until I logged on to this site where the Toho Theatre even was. I think there was a third theatre in Hawaii. Toho had plans to built or start a chain of theatres that specialized in Japanese films, but they never came to fruition.
I was thinking about this theatre the other day. The Brooklyn Academy of Music revived NIGHT OF THE COMET, which I caught on original release at this theatre back in 1984 when I was back in Warwick for a family visit.
This drive-in was open well into the 1970s, if it is the same one I am thinking of. It was on the Providence-Pawtucket line and alongside Route 95. My father used to take a carload of us to the drive-in between July 1973 through 1973 and I remember going here many times during that era. It must have closed in the 1970s, sometime after 1972.
I was in R.I. last weekend and was researching some of the films that I caught at the drive-in back then and going through Projo I saw ads for this drive-in in 1971.
I agree about the intermission. It was an odd place to stop the film, right in the middle of a scene. And the intermission didn’t even come in the “middle” of the film. It seemed to come about ¾’s of the way through the film. Very odd.
I was out at the Loew’s for the FLESH AND THE DEVIL and things went pretty well. I’ve attended screenings here, off an on, since ‘01. I hadn’t been to a screening since November '06 and this screening seemed to be the most well-attended that I’ve been at. There was a big crowd on hand. Part of the reason for the big crowd, in addition to people like me tbere to see the film, were people affiliated with the Organ Society of New Jersey.
The bad news was the lime rickey machine at the luncheonette next was out of commission and I couldn’t get my lime rickey fix.
At the end of the month, the silent PHANTOM OF THE OPERA will also be screening.
I made my first trek out here this past weekend to finally catch up with “Brideshead Revisited.” I didn’t find anything all that distinguished about the theatre, but glad I had a chance to check out another NYC movie theatre.
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.
You say it closed its doors on September 4, 1989, yet the summer 1989 program, which I have open in front of me as I type this, shows the summer fantasy, horror and sci fi festival continuing through Thursday September 21 1989.
That’s the info I have and I pulled it out of the Times. It is a good question. I wonder if they interrupted that series? I remember how those summer series were real popular at FF and they finally decided to stop screening them in the early 1990s. It caused a big to-do and as a FF member I remember receiving a letter from them explaining why they stopped the series.
Frank Rowley had slightly larger houses to deal with and was great with old Hollywood films. I loved his progamming.
Does anybody know what he is doing now?
A few years ago — more than a few years ago now that I think about it — I saw him working at the Lincoln Plaza Cinemas. I haven’t seen him there for several years now so I don’t know if he is still there or I’ve missed him when I’ve been there.
I attended my first and only movie here and in Forest Hills last fallwhen I caught In the Valley of Elah. I did get to meet the doorman and I think that cashier was on hand. It was a colorful experience.
1987 was a tough year for revival houses in New York City. The Thalia closed on May 10, 1987. The last double-bill was Paisan and Night of the Shooting Stars.
I saw many double-bills here in the 1980s. I remember seeing Carrie paired with Smile. I wish I could remember what I saw.
I have seen different closing dates for this film in the Times, but I think it closed on September 2, 1991.
I’ve been doing some research on the revival houses in New York City and remember this one’s opening weekend well. The repertory programming under Frank Rowley’s direction begain on February 19, 1988 and continued until Cinemaplex Odeon pulled the plug on September 21, 1991. I remember people importuning me to sign petitions on the sidewalk after the theater closed. The era of the private art house was coming to an end. Rowley resurfaced in 1993 when he attempted to turn the Gramercy Theater on 23rd Street into a revival house, but that lasted less than a year.
In any event, I remember being here on the opening weekend. The Biograph kicked things off by showing 10 films with a “New York City” theme on Friday and Saturday and then on Sunday they started running a 34-film Myrna Loy/William Powell retrospective. I remember that because I was there Sunday night, with Myrna Loy in the house as a special guest, when THE THIN MAN screened.
I vaguely remember being here at the end too, but can’t remember which films played the last weekend. My research will continue.
I’d love to see some schedules for this place. How I wish I had saved them!
I believe the Biograph was closed for a couple of years before Joe Saleh ran the place as the Angelika 57 until it closed for good and became a very pricey supermarket.
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.
The Watts Street Film Forum closed its doors on September 4, 1989. It reopened at its current Houston Street location on September 5, 1990. I think it kicked off its news diggs with, among other offerings, a Preston Sturges retro.
On October 30, 1992 Lincoln Plaza doubled its capacity from 3 to 6 screens. I though the doubling occurred earlier than that when the Cinema Studio closed in 1990. I believe the Dan Tabott owned or at least ran both Cinema Studio & Lincoln Plaza.
Anyone know where I could get ahold of copies of schedules from revival houses like the Hollywood Twin, the Regency & the Thalia. I was a frequent patron of these establishments in the eighties. I know that people have posted jazz label discographies on line. Is there a place where someone has scanned the calendars and posted them?
I have so many memories of the Meadowbrook. I did go to Warwick Veterans Memorial High School and I think I remember Skank Records. There were three record stores near Vets. There was one directly across the street. It was open in ‘74 because the first time I drove alone I went there to buy I believe a Deep Purple Record. There was also another record store on the same side of the street at Vets in the direction of the Meadowbrook. It was the first of the three to open and closed pretty quickly. It was open and probably closed before '74. Then there was a third record store also across from Vets that was the last of the three to be open. It might have been in the same shopping plaza as the one where I bought the Deep Purple Record.
And does anyone remember “Door 24” I think it was called. It was in that shopping plaza at the corner of Airport Road and Post Road (that also used to contain a restaurant called “The Chicken Coop” and “The Mayfair Lounge” and Ladd’s Records (after the Garden City Store closed). In any event Door 24 was down a flight of stairs and there was a record store, a head shop and maybe a clothing store. It didn’t last long; door 24 closed.
This was a pretty adventurous booking policy for a theater based in a suburban shopping mall.
I made my first visit to the Cobble Hill Cinema a few weeks ago and it seems to duplicate and be run in the same manner as the Kew Gardens Cinema. I had never been in Cobble Hill before as far as I can recall, though I’ve lived in NYC since ‘82 and actually lived in nearby Park Slope for my first six months in NYC.
The Cinema is kind of a bar bones deal, but does have some charm and the matinee price is right. I paid $11 to see a movie at the Angelika last Friday and $11 to see a sepia print of Altman’s THAT COLD DAY IN THE PARK at the IFC the same day. These outer borough arthouses are a great bargain if you are patient enough to wait for the art films to move here.
I’ve never been here but may do a double-bill of NOTES ON A SCANDAL & PERFUME, both opening at this theatre. The bargain matinee prices have risen though, it is now $6. The theatre has the same policy as the art house in Kew Gardens Queens, $6 M-F before 5, all day Tuesday & Thursday, and first shows, before 2, on weekends & holidays. I go to BAM quite a bit and this is only one or two subway stops further.
I have never been here, but its matinee prices have to be one of the biggest bargains in NYC. Weekday matinees for $5. Not bad. I thought about doing a double-bill tomorrow, checking out NOTES ON A SCANDAL in Kew Gardens and PERFUME at this theatre. The one drawback is that, according to the theatre’s recorded announcement, once you get off the subway at 71st & Continental then you have to take a bus.
Gotta say I save big bucks by patronizing this cinema, which I learned when I stumbled onto this web site. The $6 bargain price (weekdays before 5, all day Tues. & Thurs., shows before 2 p.m. weekends/holidays) is one of the best kept secrets in New York City. And it is a relatively short subway ride from Manhattan on the Express E & F trains.
Most of the films I want to see are playing in limited run in Manhattan, but at least four of them will eventually work their way out to Kew Gardens.
No way would I pay $25 to see a movie, particularly if I waited 10 days and could see it for $7.50 (the matinee price) at the local ‘plex in Astoria as I did yesterday.
Agree though about the enthusiastic audience. The audience went bonkers after Jennifer Hudson’s mid-movie show-stopper.
I was down here on Sunday. One thing I don’t like about the theatre if the rake, or lack of, of the theatre. If people sit up front, it blocks the view.
I remember seeing a few films here back in the day when I lived in the West Village. I remember seeing THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKEROO BONZAI, the film with Richard Farnsworth where he played a train robber, THE BOUNTY w/ Mel Gibson, MR. MOM on a double bill with another film I can no longer remember.
I patronized the place from ‘82 to '85. I think they also had midnight movies. I can’t remember if they were every night or just on weekends. I never went to any of those, though.