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Henry Miller Theatre

Deena Jones2
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Henry Miller Theatre#0
Posted: 11/11/03 at 6:54pm
Is it true that they are tearing down the Henry Miller Theatre? That's what the new Urrinetown ads say. I thought it might be considered a landmark. If so, then what is taking its place?
BwayTheatre11
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joined:6/25/03
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re: Henry Miller Theatre#1
Posted: 11/11/03 at 6:56pm
I thought they were just renovating it.
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Mr Roxy
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re: re: Henry Miller Theatre#2
Posted: 11/11/03 at 6:57pm
They are renovating it out of existence. It is laughingly called progress
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BwayTheatre11
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re: re: re: Henry Miller Theatre#3
Posted: 11/11/03 at 6:57pm
So they are tearing it down?
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Mr Roxy
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re: re: re: re: Henry Miller Theatre#4
Posted: 11/11/03 at 6:58pm
Yup- for a much needed skyscraper
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Updated On: 11/11/03 at 06:58 PM
Deena Jones2
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re: re: re: re: re: Henry Miller Theatre#5
Posted: 11/11/03 at 7:01pm
So, now like the Liberty Theatre, we are losing TWO more historic theatres. It is so sad.

I posted a while ago about the loss of the Liberty and no one seemed to know what we can do about trying to save it except to go to the Landmark Commission. Any ideas????


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theatreguy
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I guess they got around the Landmark thing since they're building a new theatre in it's place.
BwayTheatre11
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Will the theatre be inside the skyscraper and then office space above?
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Mr Roxy
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Who cares as most new theaters are , to me , very antiseptic & cold.

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Deena Jones2
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joined:9/4/03
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I agree Mr. Roxy. The new theatres are just not the same. So who is managing this theatre- Shuberts, Nederlandes, Jujamcyn??? How big will it be? Where can we learn more?
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Phantom05
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The modern theatre that will be housed in the new skyscraper will be "state of the art", but considerably smaller in capacity to the current Henry Miller Theatre.

Bye!

Phantom05
------- "We Drink Your Blood And Then We Eat Your Soul, Nothings Gonna Stop Us Let The Bad Times Roll" -------"Past The Point Of No Return, No Backward Glances, Abandon Thought And Let The Dream Begin"
Deena Jones2
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Phantom- can you elaborate please?
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magruder
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Just the opposite actually...the new Henry Miller's Theatre will have a seating capacity just shy of 1,000 seats, as it had originally. Urinetown's seating capacity is 631 seats.

My understanding is this...the facade of the theatre will be moved down the street next to the Conde Nast building (on the spot currently occupied by Dallas BBQ). A new load in will be created for the theatre on 42nd Street. Elements of the current Henry Miller's Theatre may be used or recreated. From there, I've heard conflicting reports, but I THINK that the Durst family who owns the property, plan for the interior of the house to be rebuilt to what it looked like in 1918. (And yes, it's the same Durst family as in the case of Robert Durst who was just acquitted today of murder in Texas).
"Gif me the cobra jool!"
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Sumofallthings
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Looks like he'll make a killing on this project. BADUMP CHING!
BSoBW2: I punched Sondheim in the face after I saw Wicked and said, "Why couldn't you write like that!?"
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magruder
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re: Henry Miller Theatre#14
Posted: 11/11/03 at 10:25pm
Actually, it's Robert's brother, Douglas who owns and operates the theatre (and the Durst Organization).
"Gif me the cobra jool!"
Deena Jones2
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joined:9/4/03
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re: re: Henry Miller Theatre#15
Posted: 11/12/03 at 9:49am
Thanks magruder! Where did you get this info? I'd love to learn more.
WOSQ
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re: re: re: Henry Miller Theatre#16
Posted: 11/12/03 at 10:15am
The Henry Miller even in its heyday was a difficult house to book. The orchestra has a smaller seating capacity than the two balconies and the second one in particular had 200 hard-to-sell seats which is disproportionate when the total capacity is/was 950.

Prior to closing in the 70s the second balcony had 6-8 rows instead of the two that are there now. That closed off area behind the seats was seating when it was a regular house.

When Enter Laughing (the play that made Alan Arkin a star) played there for a year in the 60s the 2nd balcony was scaled at 90 cents a seat and would routinely sell out up there. That idea put a whole lot of not-your-usual-theatre-goers into a legit play, often for the first time. This was when a first run movie was $2-3.

I would hope that a new Henry Miller's would have one balcony and a larger orchestra.
"If my life weren't funny, it would just be true. And that would be unacceptable." --Carrie Fisher
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magruder
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re: re: re: re: Henry Miller Theatre#17
Posted: 11/12/03 at 10:42am
Henry Miller who built the theatre actually put in that balcony to sell very cheap seats and make theatre available to everyone. I like the idea of that.

And WOSQ is right. We can all cry and bemoan the loss of this theatre in its original form, but in its heyday, though evidently once a lovely theatre, it was never a very popular house because of all of the usual stupid Broadway superstitions and business practices. It's east of Broadway, and those east of Broadway houses still with us like the Belasco, Cort and Lyceum are always the last to be booked. The theatre housed a lot of flops, and the better shows that opened at the Henry Miller usually tried to move to another house on 45th Street if they could. Henry Miller's Theatre suffered indignity after indignity from the 60s through the 90s, as a porno house, disco and various seedy clubs, as Broadway stood idly by and allowed it to happen. Just as greed and apathy allowed the Morosco, Helen Hayes, Bijou et al to be demolished in 1982, or the Biltmore to be burned and vandalized in 1987 or the Mark Hellinger to be sold to the Times Square Church in 1989, the Henry Miller was run into the ground and nobody noticed or cared.

Now that it had a brief return to legitimacy with Cabaret and Urinetown, people start wringing their hands over the theatre's fate, but really, it's too late now. At least the plans are for it to return as a Broadway theatre, which is at least an encouraging wrinkle in that theatre's checkered history.
"Gif me the cobra jool!"
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lc1965
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re: re: re: re: re: Henry Miller Theatre#18
Posted: 11/12/03 at 10:53am
sorry if someone posted this already, but i believe the only part of the miller that is landmark is the facade, so moving the facade must be how they got around the landmark commission. it stills stinks.
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Deena Jones2
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re: re: re: re: re: re: Henry Miller Theatre#19
Posted: 11/12/03 at 11:39am
Who is managing the new theatre?
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joined:12/31/69
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In the late 60's did'nt Warhol use the theatre to show his films....and the rumour of course that Joe Dallesandro held court (turned tricks) in the offices....
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magruder
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re: Henry Miller Theatre#21
Posted: 11/12/03 at 1:04pm
Yes. Warhol's Lonesome Cowboys (starring Dallesandro), premiered at Henry Miller's Theatre. Can't vouch for Dallesandro turning tricks in the offices, however, but I wouldn't be surprised. Incidentally, the esteemed Nederlander Organization purchased the Henry Miller from the Miller family in 1967, gave reassurances to the family it would be kept as a legitimate theatre, and quickly turned it over to movies and then to pornographic films. It's also the same fine organization that sold the Mark Hellinger to the Times Square Church after the failure of Legs Diamond.

The Durst family first bought Henry Miller's Theatre in 1977, tried to restore it to legitmacy, but failed. I do give them credit for trying, however, and it was around that time that the Dursts did manage to reopen the New Apollo on 43rd Street for its brief return as a legit theatre. I remember they had plans to restore the Lyric too and even steam cleaned the facade, but unfortunately that never came to pass. Eventually, the Apollo and the Lyric were both knocked down (apart from the Lyric facade which remains on 43rd Street), with some interior details of both theatres preserved for the current Ford Center. Progress!
"Gif me the cobra jool!"
Updated On: 11/12/03 at 01:04 PM
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re: re: Henry Miller Theatre#22
Posted: 11/12/03 at 1:08pm
can one ever say to much about Joe Dallesandro! I mean really!
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Mr Roxy
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re: re: re: Henry Miller Theatre#23
Posted: 11/12/03 at 8:19pm
Years ago, the theater house the nightclub "Shout"
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