Friday, January 14, 2011

History in the Making: The Roxy Theatre and Kitty's hair


ABOVE: Satisfied New York filmgoers exit into the lobby, May 1943. WHAT lobby, pray tell? This is the massive 6,000-seat Roxy Theatre, at 153 W. 50th Street, "often cited as the most impressive movie palace ever built" according to Cinema Treasures. Movies at the Roxy were presented with live orchestras and vocals. In this case, the film was the Tyrone Power war thriller 'Crash Dive', accompanied by Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra and vocalists Bob Eberly and Kitty Kallen.

Ms. Kallen, by the way, is still alive; below, you can enjoy a comic-strip advertisement for Halo Shampoo where she was featured in 1954. The Roxy Theatre was torn down in 1960. Today you can eat at TGI Fridays right where these people are standing. See if they have any of Kitty's hits on the jukebox! (Courtesy LIFE images)

New York history news this week:

I've been posting movie history stories this week in honor of tomorrow's re-opening of the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria. And on Monday, it's free! [Museum of the Moving Image]

Check out this extraordinary photo of the filming of the 1929 World War I picture 'The Battle of Paris', filmed at the old Kaufman Astoria Studios, across the street from where the Museum of the Moving Image stands today. [Greater Astoria Historical Society]

New York Magazine has a very subjective take on the best year in New York's existence, along with the best musical, the best mayor, the best TV show, etc. Do you agree? [New York Magazine]

Meanwhile, the Village Voice does the same with the city's 10 best restaurants in history. Riddle: Babbo is on the list, but not really. [Village Voice]

Hat Check: Miss Weber's Millinery and a few other secrets along Sixth Avenue. [Forgotten New York]

Below: The Roxy's Kitty Kallen, loving her new shampoo! (Courtesy Duke Univ.)

2 comments:

  1. Seems like they're not exiting, but entering... to me it looks like some are running into the theatre to grab good seats.

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  2. You are right. They are ENTERING. I know because I worked there as a teenager on the candy stand zzzzz9yet to come) in this "Rotunda" and looked at it every evening. That is the ENTRANCE from outer lobby you see in the picture.

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