Monday, May 01, 2006

Loew's Canal Memories

Last week while I was down on the LES I stopped by the Tenement Museum. In the window of 97 Orchard Street was a poster that was a sampling of a placematters exhibit that is being done in collaboration with City Lore.
It showed a 1939 photo of the Loew's Canal, my "home" movie theater of my childhood. I remember that one of the first movies I saw there was "How To Marry A Millionaire" with my mother. It must have been in 1952-3. I also remember, I think, seeing the Blob there with my childhood flame, Nancy Bueller, aka "The Most Beautiful Girl In Knickerbocker Village." This was I think in 1958. The Blob was scary, but it was nothing compared with some other movie where some aliens drag you into some underground cave. I had nightmares about that movie well into my adulthood. Here's some more info on the Loew's Canal from cinedmatreasures:"The Canal Theatre opened in New York City on September 8, 1927. Designed in the popular Spanish baroque style, it was one of the first movie palaces to feature the “Atmospheric” style in its auditorium. Theatre seated almost 2,400 and featured a Wurlitzer organ. In 1957, the curtain came down on the Canal’s last show and theatre closed. It's interesting to go into that store it is now because, much of the ceiling plasterwork is still there. I didn't even kow it was a theater when I first went in the store, but once inside it was screaming "theater", that's how I discovered it. I already sort of picked up on it in the former lobby area. I guess the owners of the store were wondering why I was constantly looking at the ceiling instead of their merchandise! A lot of the ornamentation still exists in both the lobby and what was the small auditorium. When I went back outside, sure enough, there was a marquee too (which I totally didn't notice), that's how I really knew I was just in a theater."
Here's a slide show with "now and then" pics of the canal along with the weird Blob soundtrack, by a young Burt Bacharach.

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