Cinema: 8th Street Playhouse

Eighth Street Movie Theatre, New York Frederick Kiesler, Film Guild Cinema 1929

Film Guild Cinema 1929

The Film Guild Cinema launched February 1, 1929 with “Two Days.” It was conceptualized by Symon Gould – one of two people along with Michael Mindlin commonly cited for the art film movement shown in decidedly non-palatial diminutive theater – and architected by Frederick Kiesler. His sketches including the four screen concept is in photos. On May 14, 1930, the theatre changed to the Eighth Street Playhouse. It announced just one month later that it would usher in early experimental television as part of its programming mission.

“Rocky Horror Picture Show” may have premiered at the nearby Waverly Theatre, but this is where it became world famous playing 15 years every Friday and Saturday night. The 3-D festival in the 1980’s saw lines of hundreds of people for every show. I remember “The House of Wax” being held over for weeks. They ran 3-D prints of movies that had not been seen in the original format since the 1950’s like “Kiss Me Kate” and “Bwana Devil”.

There were also horror festivals, Judy Garland tributes and a summer of virtually every film New Line Cinema ever produced.


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