A fantastic random picture find via ebay here’s a look back at the square in 1976, one that magically manages to capture 4 cinemas all in one frame. Far right and mostly obscured by the railing it’s the Warner Brothers West End, we can’t see what’s playing though sadly. Then look up and central and you’ll see a previously unknown sign for The Prince Charles Cinema which is just out of sight up Leicester Place. Then there’s the long gone Jacey which is playing Black Emanuelle, must have been amazing to walk past and see that huge billboard displaying that one. Then on the far left you can just see the marquee for The Empire, where you can make out the partial word ROSSING, which is very probably The Cassandra Crossing from 1976, the date fits and I can’t think of anything else that fits title wise. The toilets are still in the same position, though updated now, beyond the changes to the shops and restaurants this side of the square still actually looks quite the same today.
Remember that time the Odeon went totally exploitation for one week?
Before heading to Philly for Cinedelphia I stopped off in New York for a few days, this was my first time back in the city for a few years and of course I took a walk down 42nd Street. What I found was something that really made my day, in the simplest way possible the grindhouse cinemas were back on the street, at least in picture form. Yes covering a section of work boarding was a nearly life size photo recreation of what the street looked like back in 1987, complete with a series of incredible theatre marquees. I still don’t fully understand why this was there, now that the street has been cleaned up so much I can’t tell if this is meant to show you how bad the street was, or if it’s a wistful look back to all the character that used to infuse the area. Either way it was so great to stumble on, watch the video below and take a look at the pictures to get a slice of the 42nd Street experience.
And if you like the picture you can actually get a print from the original via Battman Studios right here. Only $25 and it’s 5-feet long, which seems like a great deal!