Archive for the ‘THEATRES’ Tag



From my early days in the Bronx when I use to go to the Loew’s Paradise on the grand concourse where the theatre had moving clouds and stars on the ceiling to the grand dame of all theatres Radio City Music Hall movie going has always been an exciting experience for me. When I moved back to Fort Lauderdale I rediscovered The Gateway Theatre which had been built in the early 1950s.

The first time I was there was in the 1960s when we drove all the way up from Miami Beach—hey it was a long 40 mile drive back then–to see “Where The Boys Are” and we thought of it as spending a day in the country!

I moved back to Fort Lauderdale in 1979 and one of the first movies I went to was at The Gateway Theatre which by now had been remodeled to a 4 screen theatre and I have been going there at least once a week ever since then with very few exceptions. In 1999 I moved into The Gateway Terrace apartments—no connection with theatre–and thankfully, since I haven’t had a car since 2004, I am within walking distance of the theatre.

Their 4 screens always offered varied movies from what was called ‘art’ films to blockbusters, to the latest and best of gay themed films and many exceptional foreign films plus screenings of documentaries such as from Michael Moore. Now other new theatres are starting to offer the ‘odd’ films that once were exclusive to The Gateway but they don’t offer the friendliness, concern and care for the movie goer that this theatre does. From the people behind the concession stand to George K. and Ray there is always a friendly hello and a feeling they have known you forever! And I don’t dispute their claim of “the world’s best popcorn”!

A couple of years ago new owners took over and they have spent a lot of time and money refurbishing the place with new carpets, updated restrooms, new screens with some of the latest technology and just this past month bought new seats with head rests for each of the auditoriums.

They have offered special showings of classic movies in the summertime along with film festivals and fun showings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show with emphasis on the ‘show’.

They have also filled the place with pictures of classic movie stars, old album covers and on the outside of the theatre a board saluting those who made the film industry what it is today. Now I am just waiting for them to salute the customers who made The Gateway Theatre what it is today!

One of the features has always been their comment board on the left side of the theater where patrons put up cards with about what they thought of the movie they have just seen–and many are fun to read.

By the way did I mention they also have the best popcorn in town?? They have a reward card which can earn you free sodas, movies and that popcorn along with reduced theatre tickets Monday through Thursdays.

Now I am just waiting for them to erect a board listing their most loyal customers!

I always think of The Gateway Movie Theatre as a must see when you come to Fort Lauderdale as whether the movie is good or bad, it is just a fun place to go to.

For the record I am just a customer, don’t own any part of the theatre!

If you are interested in more information  about the Gateway Theatre just go to

Posted July 2, 2014 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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It may be a ‘gay’ thing–a stereotype–but I have always loved going to the theatre to see plays and musicals but before that movies were my first love. I don’t know the first movie I ever saw but I remember as a child going to the RKO Pelham, RKO Fordham, The Globe and the Loew’s Paradise. The latter was special as it became a trademark of what was called movie palaces. There was a night sky above the auditorium with moving clouds, stars and the moon. It also had what was called a ‘wonder’ organ that was huge and played between shows.

When I became more mobile and was able to go downtown to Manhattan I found another world. There was the Roxy theatre seating over 5,900 people and years later, when it was torn down, there was an iconic picture in the papers and magazines of Gloria Swanson standing among the ruins. Many people believed it was the reason behind Steven Sondheim writing the musical “”Follies” with one of my favorite songs “I’m Still Here”.

Probably the most famous theatre in the world is the Radio City Music Hall which has the largest theatre pipe organ, seats 6,000 people, has been used for TV showings of the Tony and Grammy awards but when I was going there they had M-G-M and RKO movies with a spectacular stage show but the most spectacular being their Christmas show which still sells out every year, featuring live animals, recreating the Nativity and then Santa Claus and the Rockettes. The latter are known world wide.

Another theatre I remember is the Paramount which showed movies and famous entertainers. If you got there before 1 PM you only paid 55 cents to see the movie and such stars as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Benny Goodman and his orchestra, Tony Bennett among many others. At the same time there was the Capitol with the same format of a movie and a show where I remember seeing Josephine Baker making a triumphant return to New York after being a major star in Paris for years.

I’ve been to movie theatres all over the world but the one I remember most is the Chinese Grauman’s Theatre in Hollywood. California, which you may know as the theatre on Hollywood Boulevard where actors and actresses leave foot and hand prints. I remember it as seeing one of my all time favorite movies “Love Is A Many Splendored Thing” in the summer of 1955 in my Marine Corps uniform being invited to meet Jennifer Jones and William Holden.

Another unforgettable movie house was in Boonton, New Jersey. You walked in, went up some steps and had to turn around to sit and watch the screen. It was here I fell in love with Doris Day hearing her sing “It’s Magic” in the movie “Romance on the High Seas” in July of 1948!

I don’t recall when I first saw a play on Broadway but I was told I was taken to see the original production of the musical “Oklahoma” in 1943 when I was 7 years old and fell in love with the whole concept of live performances and Alfred Drake who played Curly

(To be continued)

Posted June 30, 2014 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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GOING AROUND TOWN   Leave a comment

October has been a good month and it looks like weather wise the last week will be great—including low humidity and a cool breeze!

Movie wise went to see “Enough Said”, “Gravity” IN 3D, “Captain Phillips”, “Naked As We Came” and “The Counselor”–3 out of 5 were outstanding (the first 3) and the other two were okay.

Theatre wise saw “Mamma Mia” which on stage is so much better than the movie version. It also led to an ‘adventure’ with Allen and I spending the day in Miami Beach and Miami (for those who don’t know they are completely 2 different cities!)

Of course, being an important part of my life, food is always involved and we continue our winning streak eating the 2-4-1 lunches at the Cafe Vico. Next week will be the last Thursday and we will be trying new places again. In addition to Cafe Vico we ate at Smokey Bones, The Dubliner Pub, Boston Market, Balan’s, Subway and IHOP. (Shhhh–don’t tell Allen–I went to the Pomperdale Deli AFTER seeing my doctor–you know the weighing in, blood tests, etc., Always go after! Had a ‘New Yorker’ which is corned beef and pastrami with Swiss cheese and dressing on a delicious soft rye bread and a good sour pickle!)

Though one of our regular go to the movies theatre closed, deservedly, we saw that the riverfront was getting ready for Halloween with a big scary show called “Festival Of Souls in The Demon Mansion” taking over the second floor, not to mention finding a new type of flower walking along the bank of the river.

On a high note there is a possibilty that I may get hired to do some writing for another blog site but don’t want to jinx it so won’t say more now.

I, also, did something strange today–I decided to walk around the perimeter of Gateway! Though it was rough on the legs I must say I enjoyed it. Of course I stopped to give John the paper and I stopped at the corner of 19th ave and 7th street to take a few pictures. Oh yes I also stopped for awhile to watch a school of fish in the canal and then I had to stop  to say hello o Norma, Harlan and Patricia who were at the point. Continuing my walk Francis was sitting outside his door so we had to catch up and Jerri came along so we did some chatting. A little later, since I was so close, I stopped to say hello to Norman who told me he was going on a cruise to nowhere for a couple of days and nights on a ship from England that is trying to sell cruises in South Florida. I finally go home feeling tired but good. I won’t mention it took me about an hour to go a little more than a mile!!! BUT I WALKED!!!! And you likeexercise—why?

I’m a little short of money–going to Miami Beach does that–at the end of the month but nothing to worry about and prepping myself for the holiday season coming up starting with the gay holiday Halloween!


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Posted October 26, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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Friday was a long, expensive , tiring but fun day! It is on days like that I feel every day of my life when I finally get home–it is as if I needed a reminder I am old! LOL

We went down to Miami Beach to see “Captain Phillips” at the Regal theatre catching the 3:30 showing. (I posted the review yesterday.) The matinee tickets were $9.50 each which is the highest we ever paid and it wasn’t even a 3D movie, but it was good so we were not complaining–that came later.

We got out of the movie at 6 PM and walked on Lincoln Road until we go to Balan’s where we had eaten before. Allen had crab linguine and iced tea while I had Chinese noodles in a soy sauce with large shrimp–yep! That old oxymoron!–and coffee. With tip our check came to $56. It didn’t come as a surprise because everything is expensive on Lincoln Road and as I said we had eaten there before. The food was good but the special added attraction, as always on the Road, is the passing parade. There are more hot bodies (both sexes) during ‘season’ but there was still a variety of eye candy to entertain us.

It was when we went to pick up the cat at 7 PM that we, at least I, got hit with sticker shock. It cost $20 to park!! Maybe we are spoiled but most movie theatres in Fort Lauderdale have free parking, even the  Riverfront theatre downtown we use to go to most Fridays gave you 3 hours free parking in the government garage! (By the way did I mention that theatre closed? It wasn’t surprising because every Friday we expected to get there and see the doors locked. It was a huge place with 15 auditoriums, of which they eventually closed 5, and the whole building had been a ‘white elephant’ since day 1 mainly because there wasn’t any parking. Along with the fact that the 4th owners of the theatre didn’t take very good care of it.

Next we drove over to Miami to the Arsht Performing Arts Center. They have 3 tiers of parking depending on how far the particular lot is from the theatre. Valet parking is $25 plus tip, the next lot,a  block away from the theatre, is $10 and the 3rd one is $8. The parking lot we usually went to, because it was so convenient, and yes cheap!, as it was right off the Interstate which made it easy to get on after the show was over, had closed because they were widening the roads and the government took it over.

We got out of “Mamma Mia!” at 10:40 and Allen dropped me off at Gateway 40 minutes later. (See my review now at

I spent most of Saturday getting caught up on emails and web site notifications plus writing reviews. How did I ever do all this plus work?!?!?

Posted October 13, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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