Friday, July 26, 2019

We'll Always Have...Paris?

Last month we heard that the Paris theater might be closing. Now we hear it's staying alive.

Deadline first reported that the theater, "the last great single-screen prestige picture palace in New York," was "expected to shutter in late July or August."

Indiewire seemed to seal the deal when they reported: "sources confirm that the Paris will likely close next month," meaning July, because that "marks the end of the lease currently held by City Cinemas." They added, "alternative uses are considered likely for the street-level space at W. 58th and Fifth Avenue."

The Paris is one of the last places (on the planet) that doesn't cater to short attention spans. The purple curtains stay closed while the speakers plays jazz, Louis Armstrong, big band. There are no riddles or word scrambles on the screen, and very few commercials. It's pleasant to be there. It would be a terrible shame to lose it.

When I visited the theater to say goodbye, I was told by two employees that the Paris is not closing. They say the rumors are absolutely not true and the Paris will go on. The reason Pavarotti is playing for such a long run, with no end in sight? The rumors of closure have driven up ticket sales, as fans go to say goodbye, and this has made Pavarotti a success for the Paris.

So which is it?

As with all rumors and denials, take it as a warning. Go, enjoy the Paris, enjoy the movie. Because you really never know when it will be your last time.


James said...

What a nice update to read!
I think I can remember seeing films at the Paris as far back as "The Decline of the American Empire". It was noteworthy that the Paris never had a concession stand. They didn't want sticky floors and corn kernels in the upholstery. As a result, the Paris always seemed more like a legitimate theater than a movie house. There were other odd and wonderful movie houses in Manhattan, like the 68th Street Playhouse where my mother (in town for a wedding) ventured up with me to see "The Gods Must Be Crazy". There was that little former newsreel theater at Rockefeller Center, called the Guild 50th - a terrible place to offer the re-released "Fantasia" (with tiny PA speakers set all over the room to hear the multi-channel 1939 stereo), and there was the Embassy Theater on Times Square - a little round-shaped room of a place with original ornamentation still in place. You had, as in other posts noted, two little theaters (one always offering "art" underneath Carnegie Hall, one in the Plaza Hotel (entering like a speakeasy), and they had sliced the once-giant Loews State into theaters so tiny and narrow that they were virtual waiting rooms with screens. If the Paris can receive a stay of mediocrity, it would be a welcome if rare breath of country air in a time of angst and foreboding.

bill said...

Today is the final day for A Repeat Performance.