Three of the most grandiose abandoned movie theaters in New YorkBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/article/three-of-the-most-grandiose-abandoned-movie-theaters-in-new-york.html
On April 23, 1896, the first movie show in America took place in New York. Therefore, on this day, 117 years later, we want to introduce you to the project of American photographer Matt Lambros called After the Final Curtain (“After the final curtain”).
In his project, the author tells and shows the stories of abandoned American cinemas, thanks to which we can trace their path from their former grandeur and grandiose discoveries with the presence of stars, to complete oblivion. In his photographs of decline and destruction, one can clearly see the former luxury of the interiors and the significance of the temples of a relatively young, but one of the most popular art form - cinema.
We present to you three abandoned cinemas in New York, the stories of which seemed to us the most interesting.
(Total 22 photos)
1. The 2,387-seat Shore Theater was opened on June 17, 1925 as part of the Loew's cinema chain.
2. The cinema was designed in the Renaissance Revival style by the architectural firm Reilly & Hall. The decor has a nautical theme.
3. Foyer. The opening of the cinema brought together many stage and screen stars of the time. The program opened with a screening of The Sporting Venus, followed by a live performance by Siamese twins Violetta and Daisy Hilton. According to the newspapers, the crowd at the opening was so large that it had to be cordoned off by the police.
4. The theater was originally planned to show not only films, but also vaudeville. Vaudeville soon fell out of fashion, and they were no longer shown.
5. A compass is depicted in the center of the ceiling. However, the compass of the theater itself has pretty much “lost” over time. In 1964, the cinema was transferred to the Brandt company, and a year later it was decided to reorient it to live performances. The company tried to attract the attention of Brooklyn's large Jewish community by selecting appropriate performances, but the attempt failed, and the theater became a haven for burlesque shows. By the early 1970s, the theater returned to showing films, but began to specialize in dubious low-budget "adult" films. The theater finally closed in March 1973.
6. All seats in the cinema were dismantled, and the former parterre was turned into a bingo hall.
7. The facade of the cinema building in December 2010 was declared an object of historical heritage, but its “insides” are not historical heritage and can be destroyed.
8. The 3,676-seat Kings Theater opened in Brooklyn on September 7, 1929. It also belonged to the famous Loew's chain and was one of the five so-called "Loew's Miracle Theaters" in New York.
9. Lobby. The Kings Cinema has become a career path for some well-known movie stars. Many celebrities who grew up in Brooklyn, including Sylvester Stallone and Henry Winkler, once worked here as ushers.
10. Cinema control room. Loew's abandoned the theater in August 1977 due to low attendance and high running costs. Kings missed many 70s blockbusters like Jaws and Star Wars. Instead, it played mostly kung fu films and second-rate horror films that failed to attract the audience needed to keep the theater afloat.
11. Already noticeably dilapidated, the cinema was sold in 1979 and later went to the city for the tax debts of the company that bought it.
12. Over the years, there have been many proposals for the reconstruction of the cinema. There was even an idea to turn part of the lobby into a wax museum. However, it was only very recently that the restoration plan became official.
13. On February 2, 2010, New York City announced a $70 million theater restoration project in partnership with ACE Theatrical Group of Houston. According to the project, by 2015 the Kings Theater will start functioning as a performing arts center.
14. There are also plans to restore the interior of the cinema's interior space to its original 1929 grandeur. Opened after restoration, the cinema will be the third largest in New York.
46th Street Theater
15. This cinema opened on October 9, 1927 as the Universal Theatre. The opening was attended by 25 thousand people. Less than a year later, Loew's purchased the 2,675-seat theater and closed it for sound upgrades. The theater reopened its doors on September 10, 1928 as Loew's 46th Street Theatre.
16. The design of the cinema on 46th Street was carried out by the architect John Eberson, famous for creating the so-called "atmospheric" halls. It became the first "atmospheric" cinema in New York. The audience had to imagine that they were in an Italian garden at night. This effect was created, firstly, with the help of a functioning fountain.
17. And, secondly, with the help of the projection of moving clouds on the ceiling, painted in bright blue. However, by the 1940s, the projection equipment had broken down and was no longer used.
18. In the early 70s, the cinema turned into a concert hall. During this period, many famous bands and performers managed to play in it, including The Byrds, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Bee Gees, and Randy Newman.
19. However, in 1973 the theater was closed under pressure from local residents who were dissatisfied with the noise from the concerts.
20. Birds lived in the control room of the cinema for many years, which could not but affect the appearance of its walls and floor.
21. Oil once leaked from one of the projectors, and the Coke can that was used to collect it still hangs here.
22. The cinema building was sold in 1974 to a furniture company that used the auditorium to store furniture and the lobby to display it. In 1996, the building was resold to the current owner, also the furniture company Regal Furniture.