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07-25-2011, 08:30 PM   #16
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I never could stand to follow my nose in NYC. Too many people peeing all over the place. ;P The only place I could ever breath in the city was in Central Park and even then I was still fighting my allergies. Last thing I read all the old porn palaces were gone but I don't know if that means they're gone, gone, or just rehabbed back to being respectable theaters. Despite the stench and sleaze I still miss NYC so much, particularly Chinatown, Flor De Mayo, Zabar's, all the dance and theater, Lincoln Center, Central Park and the museums. I'm almost afraid to visit though. I don't know if I could stand to go downtown to where I worked and see the big hole in the skyline....

07-26-2011, 12:42 AM   #17
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Big billboard of Pentax logo, I mean, Pentax, not Ricoh, has been located in Shanghai for years, I can see it from almost everywhere in Shanghai...of course, as well as Ricoh's...
07-26-2011, 01:06 AM   #18
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OH, I found something!!! This was one of my favorites place to watch horror movies in Old Times Square! The Lyric Theater. It was awesomely gritty. Your shoes always stuck to the floor from all the spilled soda, but you could watch movies all day and all night for a $3 entry fee. You couldn't go sans friends if you were a female, or dare fall asleep even if you were not alone, but still it was a fun place to hang out. This was where I first saw a Freddy Kruger flick and developed a sincere appreciation for the thespian talents of horror veteran Robert Englund, grin. I think we saw the first Hannibal flick here too as I recall...

I'm not positive because there were actually 3 or 4 horror oriented movie houses in that area but I think this was the one with the old vaudeville balconies, fancy woodwork and the remnants of crystal chandeliers.

Take a look. THIS is what Times Square looked like before they turned it into Disneyland NYC. They did save some of the old vaudeville theaters apparently, but the ones they later used for porn, most of them were torn down, and only parts of the facades remain. It's a shame...

Lyric Theatre in New York, NY - Cinema Treasures

Pic I just found of the Lyric showing a slasher flick.This is how I remember it.






I can't find anything good of the inside before it was demolished, darn...

Last edited by magkelly; 07-26-2011 at 01:19 AM.
07-26-2011, 07:17 AM   #19
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In the early 1980s, I lived in Scranton, PA., about 100 miles from NYC. I begged my parents to go to NYC. They were sure we would all wind up mugged and dead in the big city, so they wouldn't take us. Now I live in Bumblefark, Iowa, which is 1000 miles from everywhere. Ah well.... :-/

07-26-2011, 02:49 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by GibbyTheMole Quote
In the early 1980s, I lived in Scranton, PA., about 100 miles from NYC. I begged my parents to go to NYC. They were sure we would all wind up mugged and dead in the big city, so they wouldn't take us.
When I lived in an X-flat at 620 E.11th between Ave's B&C, Manhattan in 1968, my aunt and uncle (he's originally from Port Washington, Long Island) came to visit from southern California but refused to get out of their car when they saw my neighborhood. Not that I blame them...

QuoteQuote:
Now I live in Bumblefark, Iowa, which is 1000 miles from everywhere. Ah well.... :-/
That's about a couple hundred miles northeast of Ft Bumfock Kansas, right? Yeah, it's quite a place. Always either too hot and too windy, or too cold and too windy, right?
07-28-2011, 11:23 AM   #21
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A Pentax billboard in Times Square would be waaaaayyyyy better than a Pentax billboard in Minneapolis.

No offense, Minneapolis.
07-29-2011, 11:26 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
OH, I found something!!! This was one of my favorites place to watch horror movies in Old Times Square! The Lyric Theater. It was awesomely gritty. Your shoes always stuck to the floor from all the spilled soda, but you could watch movies all day and all night for a $3 entry fee. You couldn't go sans friends if you were a female, or dare fall asleep even if you were not alone, but still it was a fun place to hang out. This was where I first saw a Freddy Kruger flick and developed a sincere appreciation for the thespian talents of horror veteran Robert Englund, grin. I think we saw the first Hannibal flick here too as I recall...

I'm not positive because there were actually 3 or 4 horror oriented movie houses in that area but I think this was the one with the old vaudeville balconies, fancy woodwork and the remnants of crystal chandeliers.

Take a look. THIS is what Times Square looked like before they turned it into Disneyland NYC. They did save some of the old vaudeville theaters apparently, but the ones they later used for porn, most of them were torn down, and only parts of the facades remain. It's a shame...
It's ironic that you're upset about it being Disneyland-like, considering Disney's $48mil restoration of the New Amsterdam Theater, built in 1903, kicked off the 42nd street overhaul that moved it from gritty grindhouses into what it is today. Note that they didn't tear it down but did a (breathtaking) restoration. We were just in NYC last weekend and was there for my first proper Broadway play at the New Amsterdam Theater and it's really beautiful inside. We had a little behind-the-scenes tour that described the trashing of the theater that was done to make it into a moviehouse, with the theater boxes ripped off the wall, the walls spraypainted brown, etc. You have to give them credit for restoring it rather than knocking it down and building a new one. It was the home of the Zeigfeld Follies, Eddie Cantor, etc.

Don't get me wrong, I am a fan of Robert Englund too! But I don't really need to watch my grindhouse movie in filthy movie theaters to appreciate them.

FWIW, when we were in NYC, we did spot another Pentax DSLR in use in Times Square, along with my wife's and mine.





07-29-2011, 11:54 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
When I lived in an X-flat at 620 E.11th between Ave's B&C, Manhattan in 1968, my aunt and uncle (he's originally from Port Washington, Long Island) came to visit from southern California but refused to get out of their car when they saw my neighborhood. Not that I blame them...

One of the things loved about Manhattan as a young punk was the danger level you felt in some areas, there were lines I'd draw though for where i'd stay sometimes (cards burning on the street usually was one of the lines in the sand lol)

I know your old area pretty well though and it may well have been worse by the time i was hanging out there (early 80's) than the then, but i'm not surprised your relatives wouldn't get out of the car, Christ I had trouble getting a cab to take me further than Ave A at night


I think the cleaning up of times square takes away any appeal it had for me (I remember the grindhouses and they were great (if somewhat scuzzy) places, but in reality Video killed the grindhouses long before the cleanup (it was a trendy thing in the loopy pan-sexual club crowd to go to the live sex shows there for a while as well and hoot and holler while blasted on some mind altering substance or another

07-29-2011, 12:30 PM   #24
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I saw that and I did like the restoration, but my point was that they didn't restore all of them, and they really should have. The theater I used to go to wasn't nearly as big as that one but it too deserved restoration, redemption into being used as a real theater again. What happened with the Playpen theater is another good example.

Forgetting it's more recent girlie show use that theater was one of those where Al Jolson got his start and where Sinatra first appeared. So what happens? While they are arguing about whether or not it has enough historical value to be saved it mysteriously gets wrecked on night and the owner then says "Oops, too late!" and carries on with his plan to build a huge hotel on the spot. I don't know about you I think any theater with a history like that deserved to be saved. I actually used to like the neon on that one. I think they should have preserved that in some way in a museum and then maybe restored the theater back to it's earliest look, but unfortunately it will never happen now.

I am happy that they saved the Amsterdam, but there were a good dozen theaters down in that area that had equally stunning details and a legitimate theater history that got wrecked for no good reason. They could have restored them and filled them with legit shows and it's truly sad that they didn't given those who appeared on those stages in the past.

In my own town there's this huge fuss going on now about the oldest movie theater in town. There is some talk that this theater which has an art deco look and which has been there since the 1920's will be torn down to make way for a new strip mall, which we don't need another of. They can't even fill the ones they have now the economy is so bad, but they still want to wreck this beautiful old theater to put one in. The historical society is dead set against it, and so are a lot of people that live near it. It's an icon in the neighborhood, but if the owner has his way likely it will go, unless they can match some developer's offer.

My Dad who grew up in that era just shrugs when I mention being upset by it's pending removal. To him any old building is just that an old building, but it's not like that for me. I love buildings with real histories, real character and it upsets me when I see them destroyed for something as inane as a strip mall, and that's basically what Times Square is becoming now from the pics I have seen, one big, flashy strip mall.

I'm glad Disney saved the Amsterdam, but what about the other theaters that were just destroyed? Was it worth having the T-shirt shops and so forth that replaced them? I have to question that myself. Cleaning up Times Square wasn't a bad idea. It was seedy and truly dangerous, but I don't think that theaters like that should have been destroyed. I think they should have been rehabilitated for legit use instead, like the Amsterdam. Those marquees might have been all about advertising T&A films now, but at one time you'd have walked down that same row and seen "Al Jolson or Sinatra Live" there instead....
07-29-2011, 12:46 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
I saw that and I did like the restoration, but my point was that they didn't restore all of them, and they really should have. The theater I used to go to wasn't nearly as big as that one but it too deserved restoration, redemption into being used as a real theater again. What happened with the Playpen theater is another good example.
...
I'm glad Disney saved the Amsterdam, but what about the other theaters that were just destroyed? Was it worth having the T-shirt shops and so forth that replaced them? I have to question that myself. Cleaning up Times Square wasn't a bad idea. It was seedy and truly dangerous, but I don't think that theaters like that should have been destroyed. I think they should have been rehabilitated for legit use instead, like the Amsterdam. Those marquees might have been all about advertising T&A films now, but at one time you'd have walked down that same row and seen "Al Jolson or Sinatra Live" there instead....
I do agree, of course. Unfortunately, these restorations are not insignificant cost-wise - $48 mill to restore a theater (and that was almost 20 years ago!), and in this case, the bill was not just paid by Disney but also the Port Authority, State, etc. (I don't remember the details, but it was a shared expensive; I believe the city realized that it would help revitalize the area and was worth the investment.)

There's a classic old movie theater in town here that housed an adult bookstore for many years. When the city wanted to buy the property back, the owner painted the outside in neon green to... I don't remember, maybe to devalue the property? To thumb his nose at authority? Eventually, they were able to finally get the porn out, but I don't believe anything has happened with it since then, but it is still standing! I don't think the theater part was being used; the store was just in the lobby area.
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