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New York, NY: New York Movie Palaces Remembered in Hollywood Reporter Article

Posted on Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 11:40 AM

The Hollywood Reporter published an article recently about the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Strand Theatre in New York City, which they identified as the beginning of movie palaces in the Times Square and surrounding areas:

A century ago this month, Samuel "Roxy" Rothafel converted the Strand Theatre at 47th Street and Broadway from a proposed musical venue into a movie theater, a move that eventually would transform the area around Times Square into the nation's most celebrated moviegoing mecca for millions and usher in a heyday of grand movie palace construction.

Within six years, Rothafel opened the Rialto and Rivoli theaters and took over the 5,300-seat Capitol Theatre (all were located on Broadway between 42nd and 50th streets). Later, the impresario's national celebrity helped finance the 5,920-seat Roxy (at 50th Street and 7th Avenue) in 1927, built at a staggering $12 million. A 110-piece orchestra was one attraction, along with precision dancers, the Roxyettes (later known as the Rockettes), who went with him to Rockefeller Center for the opening of Radio City Music Hall and the RKO Roxy Theatre in 1932, which was backed by RKO. The palaces, Rothafel once said, let the moviegoer "release his imagination -- where light and music and color paint the pictures of a delightful world."

Click the Read link below to view the full article and see photos of some of the venues, including the Rivoli, the Capitol, and the Roxy.

While most of the large movie palaces no longer exist, it's enjoyable to see photos of what used to be, even if it stirs a little resentment and animosity towards the blandness and the loss of such grandness in many of today's multiplexes.

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