03 February 2010

Some Stuff That's Interesting

Restless is making them ugly building looks beautiful again. Damn his eyes!

The Bowery Boys muse on J.D. Salinger and those frozen ducks on the Central Park lake.

ArchiTakes talks about an architectural feature I never knew existed: Windowflage.

New hope for the crumbling Loew's King Theater on Flatbush. [City Room]

1 comment:

Upstate Johnny G said...

Good story about the theater. I recall reading an article years ago, perhaps in a magazine called "Country Journal", detailing why the grand old theaters all failed. It has to do with the way theater revenues are split between the theater owner and the movie distributor. In "the good old days" the theater owner kept almost all of the ticket revenue from the first few days of a film's showing, with the percentage to the distributor rising progressively higher the longer the film remained showing in that theater. In more recent times, the situation has reversed. Now the distributor gets almost all of the revenue from the first week. So if you're a theater owner, you want to have smaller theaters and longer runs so that you give less of your takings to the distributor. For small towns especially this spelled the doom of their grand old movie houses. If your theater seats 1500 people and only 10000 are likely to come see the movie, then if they all come the first week you the theater owner will have to give almost all of the ticket receipts to the distributor. To make a profit you'd have to depend on the much smaller number of people who want to see the movie more than once, after the point where you get to keep most of the revenue. What theater owners want is smaller theaters, and therefore more screens in a given space, and as many blockbuster movies as Hollywood can churn out. That said, I'm happy to see that so many of these wonderful old theaters have been saved, restored, and returned to public use. It was my great pleasure to have seen many movies at "The Fox Theater" in Atlanta, and more recently both movies and live music at "Proctors" in Schenectady, NY. Three cheers for both Brooklyn and the developer for this ambitious program to save Flatbush's Loews!!