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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Roxy Theatre: 1932

Roxy Theatre: 1932

Nov. 22, 1932. The Roxy Theatre on 49th Street. View full size. Photograph by Gottscho-Schleisner. 5x7 acetate negative, Gottscho-Schleisner Collection.

To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!

Center Theater Wurlitzer.

The Wurlitzer Theater Organ, which can be seen to stage left, was removed and eventually was installed in the Alexandria Roller Rink outside Washington. The organ remained there until 1979 when it was sold and removed.

The Center Theater

This was the RKO Roxy in Rockefeller Center (not to be confused with the first Roxy). Here's a snip from a Time magazine article on its demolition in 1953:

When the Rockefellers opened Rockefeller Center in mid-Manhattan in 1932, they assumed that the Center could support two big theaters: the 6,200-seat Radio City Music Hall and the 3,500-seat Center Theatre. The plan was for the Music Hall to have vaudeville while the Center, only a block away, would show movies. The plan fell through when vaudeville died, and the Music Hall also began showing films.

Unable to meet the competition of its bigger brother, the Center Theatre turned to stage extravaganzas (one was The Great Waltz) and an occasional opera or ballet, but did little better. It had a profitable respite with the Sonja Henie ice show from 1940 to 1950, then became NBC's biggest television theater (Milton Berle show, etc.). But its income did not keep pace with Manhattan's rising real-estate values. Last week Rockefeller Center's Chairman Laurance Rockefeller pronounced a death sentence on the relatively young building. When NBC's lease expires next May, workmen will tear down the Center's vermilion doors, mahogany walls, its six-ton, 400-bulb chandelier, once the world's biggest. On the theater's site will rise a new $11 million, 19-story office building that will connect with the U.S. Rubber Co. building and bear the same name.

The Roxy where?

Just wondering where this theater was/is and does any it still exist today?

[New York. - Dave]

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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