Tuesday, January 14, 2020

How Motion Pictures Were Made

Theatre Magazine, July 1912


"How moving pictures were made twelve years ago. Actors in the open air on a roof top."
"This operator [Siegmund Lubin] was one of the first in this country to make cinematograph films." 


Lubin Studios 1912: 

"Where the players pose for moving pictures. A busy day at the Lubin Studio, Philadelphia."
 "Seven plays may be rehearsed at one time."




The Cinema Theatre Association (CTA) have asked me to speak at their monthly meeting in London. March 28th, 2020. 
This is my first overseas talk, and will add to my reputation as a theatre historian.
I have started a GoFundMe campaign to extend my stay, conducting research and visiting historic theatres.
Research will be used for future talks, essays, articles, etc. The theatres visited recorded and shared on social media.
Funds collected will go directly to travel within the UK, accommodations, food and everyday expenses.
 

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Palatial Fordham


Theatre Magazine, March 1922 





"Foyer rich in Italian marble"




"The approach to the Mezzanine Promenade"


"Fordham Theatre boasts three exquisitely appointed retiring rooms, complete in every detail down to the ivory toilet accessories on the dressing tables."




The Cinema Theatre Association (CTA) have asked me to speak at their monthly meeting in London. March 28th, 2020. This is my first overseas talk. It will add to my reputation as a theatre historian.
I have started a GoFundMe campaign to extend my stay, conducting research and visiting historic theatres.
Research will be used for future talks, essays, articles, etc. The theatres visited recorded and shared on social media.
Funds collected will go directly to travel within the UK, accommodations, food and everyday expenses.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Crowdfunding Research

The Cinema Theatre Association (CTA) have asked me to speak at their monthly meeting in London. March 28th, 2020. This is my first overseas talk. It will add to my reputation as a theatre historian.

I have started a GoFundMe campaign to extend my stay, conducting research and visiting historic theatres. 

Research will be used for future talks, essays, articles, etc. The theatres visited recorded and shared on social media.

Funds collected will go directly to travel within the UK, accommodations, food and everyday expenses.



GoFundMe



Since 1997 theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle, has conducted a popular series of  theatre talks and walks, available for  historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.

Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres.
The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.

Currently seeking funding for “Editing & Formatting” the first three volumes of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, 3rd Edition

AboutMe

Goodreads

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Paris Theatre Closed

New York City’s Last Single-Screen Cinema Shuts Its Doors:





Paris Theatre, 4 W. 58th St., New York, NY


Excerpts (quotes & photos) from the Architectural Forum, January 1949:
“Manhattan’s first new postwar motion picture house is, besides an excellent design, an uncharted venue in real estate and movie merchandising.”

“Sponsored by the French Pathe syndicate in an effort to up its U.S. take (now lower than in South America’s pint size Columbia), the cinema restricts its fare to special films, caters to an uptown audience of the cultivated and well-heeled.”



“Fifth Avenue Association, fearful of garish Broadway lights, dictated modest sign front.”


“Steinberg mural wallpaper showing scenes of Paris adds interest to simple room.”


“Series of curves provides top visual and acoustical performance. 
Upholstered seats are spaced 35-40 in. between rows.”

 Joe Wagner on Instagram 






Photograph, Paris Theatre June 8, 2011,  copyright Betty Sword, all rights reserved.
Architectural Forum article part of the Theatre Talks Collection



Since 1997 theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle, has conducted a popular series of  theatre talks and walks, available for  historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.
Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres.
The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.
Currently seeking funding for “Editing & Formatting” the first three volumes of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, 3rd Edition


Friday, August 9, 2019

Adieu Bijou


Cinema and underground cruising spot has closed.


Bijou, 82 East 4th Street, New York

"Shows old movies to gay patrons who aren't watching them"
--New York Songlines

From the very beginning this subterranean space has served as an entertainment venue.

Certificate of Occupancy, October 22, 1927:
Cellar-- Persons Accommodated 150-- Restaurant, cabaret, and storage    

Originally the Rainbow Inn, it became Club 82 in 1954 (some accounts list 1958), famous for spectacular drag reviews.
Business partner Vito Genovese. like many mobsters, "financed Village gay bars, which were prevented from obtaining legitimate funding due to homophobic laws and social stigmas."



Various sources credit the New York Dolls, in 1973 or 74,  as the first rock group to play there.

"I was manager of the Dolls and I was approached by the club because they were switching over to glam rock bands. The drag crowd had moved on and the Club 82 never returned to the original format." 

A comment on the blog "It's All Streets You Crossed" differs:
"So many [sic] of the information regarding Club 82, in the glam period, are [sic] incorrect. Club 82 started having bands in '72, not '74. The Dolls were not the first band to play there. Another Pretty Face was the already house band there in '73." 

 An indie-film theatre took over the space in 1978, followed by an all-male strip club. Ron Wood opened the music venue Woody's in 1990, a dismal failure closing after only a few months.

Since  about 1992, the basement has been an on-again-off-again unmarked gay porn theater called the Bijou, featuring second-run Hollywood films in the main theatre with a separate row of private booths.

The Bijou closed for the final time in April 2019, the space has been gutted. According to the New York City Department of Buildings a "stop work order exists on this building."



Since 1997 theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle, has conducted a popular series of  theatre talks and walks, available for  historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.
Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres.
The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.
Currently seeking funding for “Editing & Formatting” the first three volumes of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, 3rd Edition








Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Demolitions Lower East Side

Two closed movie theatres, associated with pioneer exhibitor Charles Steiner, were demolished in 2019.

Operating until recently, the popular Sunshine drew the most attention in the local press and on social media.


Sunshine, 143 E. Houston Street, NYC (1940 tax photo)



Closed originally in 1945, it was used as a warehouse by a local hardware business, reopening as a cinema in 2001.  

New York Yimpy April 7, 2019:
"Facing an imminent rent hike, art-house theater Sunshine Cinema closed last year after failing to obtain a liquor license from the neighborhood in efforts to compete with the wave of full-service theaters. The 100-year-old building sold for $31.5 million to East End Capital  and K Property group."



American, 238-240 East Third Street, NYC (1940 tax photo)

Constructed in 1913, the American was designed by Louis Sheinart, an architect responsible for many of the movie theatres that dotted the Lower East Side in the early 20th century.

In the Jewish Daily Forward, April 11, 1914, Charles Steiner advertise his new cinema as "positively the most beautiful, richest on the East Side."

 In a note of safety he added "all seats are downstairs near an exit,"  a reference to an incident at his Houston Hippodrome on February 2, 1913 when a cry of "fire" created a panic leaving two persons crushed to death and eleven severely injured. The Hippodrome would eventually be demolished and replaced by the Sunshine in 1917.


The American acquired by La MaMa as a children's theatre in June 1971 with a seating capacity of 277. A decade later it had become an "adult physical culture establishment."

Theatre Week, Volume 8, 1995:
"The Cucaracha Theater, now settled in its new home (240 East 3rd Street)

The building finally purchased by Chris Wink and Philip Stanton, founders of Blue Man Group, for use as a practice facility.

The Real Deal, Christian Bautista, April 30, 2018:
"The Blue Man Group sold its production studio in the East Village to Craftwood Partners for $12 million. The property, at 238-240 East 3rd Street, offers 21,004 buildable square feet. Craftwood plans to demolish the vacant site and build a condominium tower with a mix of two-and-three bedroom units."

The American demolished May 2019.


Demolition of the Sunshine, July 2019 (Photo: Betty Sword)




Since 1997 theatre historian, Cezar Del Valle, has conducted a popular series of theatre talks and walks, available for historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.


Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres.


The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.


Editing and updating the third edition of the Brooklyn Theatre Index.


AboutMe


Goodreads

Medotcom 


Thursday, June 20, 2019

Regal Essex 14 & RPX

The Lower East Side has a new 14-screen multiplex. Opened April 6, 2019, at 129 Delancey Street, the Regal Essex 14 &  RPX is part of Essex Crossings, a mix-use development in the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area









And from the windows of the new a glimpse of the old--remains of the Loew's Delancey (1912-1976):







Since 1997 theatre historian, Cezar Del Valle, has conducted a popular series of theatre talks and walks, available for historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.


Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres.


The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.


Editing and updating the third edition of the Brooklyn Theatre Index.


AboutMe


Goodreads

Medotcom