Theatre Talks and Walks in 2016

Currently accepting bookings for theatre talks and walks in 2016: historical societies,  libraries, senior centers, etc.

Details for Independent walks will be posted in the New Year.

BCUE2July 8, 2007, Brooklyn Center for the Urban Environment walking tour of Times Square.
Photo copyright Betty Sword, all rights reserved

LESPIJune 3, 2012, Yiddish Rialto walking tour for the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative.
Photo copyright Betty Sword, all rights reserved

Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres. The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.

Currently editing and updating the third edition of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, Volume I.

Now selling on Etsy and Amazon

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Lower East Side Preservation Initiative’s Moveable Feast

Lower East Side Preservation Initiative

An Afternoon on The Lower East Side
Sunday May 18, 2014

Part One: Tour the Bowery
2:00-4:00 pm
with theatre historian Cezar Del Valle
Meet in front of the Liz Christy Garden, Bowery and Houston Street

The Bowery entertainment district was once bursting with Yiddish, Chinese and Italian Theatres, vaudeville houses, early film venues, dime museums, and concert saloons. Explore this colorful, earthy history with theatre historian Cezar Del Valle.

Admission: $20 LESPI Members: $15

New York Public Digital Collection

New York Public Library Digital Collection

Part Two:

 LUNCH AT AN HISTORIC GREEK-AMERICAN SYNAGOGUE  

4:00 – 6:00 pm

At the Kehila Janina Kedosha synagogue, a New York City Landmark, enjoy  a delicious lunch of traditional Greek-Jewish kosher yaprakes, bourekas, kourlouia, Greek salad, seasonal fruit, hot and cold beverages.
Tour the beautifully restored 1927 synagogue interior, and visit the synagogue’s fascinating museum on the history of the congregation and Greek American Jewish life.

Meet  at: Kehila Janina Kedosha Synagogue at 280 Broome St, between EldrIdge and Allen Streets
 
Admission: $25
LESPI and Synagogue members $20
 
SPECIAL COMBINED TOUR AND LUNCH EVENT PRICE: $40   
LESPI MEMBERS: $30
Info@LESPI-nyc.org with any questions.

This program is part of Lower East Side History Month 

 
 
Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, chosen 2010 Best Book of the Year by the Theatre Historical Society.
 
He is available for theatre talks and walks in 2014, historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.

Theatre Walks and Talks 2014

From Victorian opera houses to opulent movie palaces, Cezar Del Valle offers a series of entertaining and informative theatre talks and walking tours.

east_peCurrently accepting bookings for 2014, historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.

New Walks and talks added for 2014:

Haunted Theatres for October
Holidays Past for December

“Versatile and effective in his well crafted presentations.”–Tuesday Evening Hour

“The presentation was wonderful. Thanks for coming.”–Kelly & Linda, Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council

“Our open meeting was a full-to-capacity event. Guest speaker Cezar Del Valle, a theatre historian from the New York Council for the Humanities gave an exquisite presentation.”–The Richmond Hill Historical Society

Above photograph:

The Village East Cinema, part of June 3, 2012 walking tour for the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative

Photo copyright Betty Sword, all rights reserved

Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, chosen 2010 Best Book of the Year by the Theatre Historical Society.

 

 

 

 

 

Downtown Brooklyn Cultural District Walking Tour

Photographs by Betty Sword, taken in preparation for my November 9th walking tour of the Downtown Brooklyn Cultural District  presented by the Theatre for a New Audience.

The walk begins, at 10am, in front of the BAM Peter Jay Sharp Building. For additional information:

Email humanities@tfana.org or call 212-229-2819×31

2new audienceDesigned by Hugh Hardy, of H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, the 299 seat Theatre for a New Audience opened November 2nd with A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Julie Taymor.

Built over a former parking lot, the 27,500-square-foot theatre “also houses a 50-seat rehearsal space and a lobby café.”

3new audienceThe tour begins at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (in the background to the left) and following a circular route ends at the Theatre for a A New Audience’s Polonsky Shakespeare Center (right).

theatre 22 (Medium)The BRIC Art House is the former Strand Theatre, opening in 1919 as movie palace designed by Thomas Lamb.
Originally designed by J. B. McElfatrick, the BAM Harvey opened as the Majestic Theatre on August 30, 1904 with the stage production of The Wizard of Oz. The space renamed in honor of BAM President and Executive Producer Harvey Lichtenstein when he retired in 1999.

theatre 286o (Medium)Opened in 2001, the Mark Morris Dance Center features seven column-free studios with wood-sprung floors and spacious dressing rooms with lockers and showers.
Primarily used by the company and school, the seven studios are available for rent to non-profit dance companies at deeply discounted prices.

Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, chosen 2010 Best Book of the year by the Theatre Historical Society.

He is available for theatre talks and  walks in 2014.

November 9, 2013 Walking Tour: Downtown Brooklyn Cultural District

Theatre for a New Audience

presents a special

walking tour of the Downtown Brooklyn Cultural District

With Theatre Historian Cezar Del Valle

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Free

Reservations Required

email humanities@tfana.org or call 212-229-2819×31

Meet in front of BAM Howard Gilman Opera House

Includes interiors of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, BAM Harvey, and the new Polonsky Shakespeare Center

theater-for-a-new-audience-7

“Come honor Brooklyn’s history and celebrate our new home with a portable soiree. Theatre for a New Audience is offering a walking tour led by historian Cezar Del Valle, author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, Volumes I and II. He will guide participants through Downtown Brooklyn’s theatrical past, present and future.

The tour will start in front of BAM Howard Gilman Opera House and end at the Theatre for a New Audience’s Polonsky’s Shakespeare Center. We will be making stops at the BAM Harvey and at historical sites of theatres past. We hope to see you there!”

“Special thanks to Sharon Lehner, BAM Archivist, for her help in researching and organizing this tour.”

Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, chosen 2010 Best Book of the year by the Theatre Historical Society.

He is available for theatre talks and  walks in 2014.

 

.

Kenmore Theatre, 2101 Church Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11226

Excerpts from Motion Picture News, November 10, 1928:

kenmore_pe (Medium)

“Fronting on Church Avenue, the vestibule, lined with multi-colored marble, leads into the lobby, which gives upon the main floor of the auditorium. The interior is 100×150 feet in area and will seat almost 2,500.

“A paneled wainscot is carried around the side and rear walls, and the space above is divided into a series of arches framing carnival parade scenes.

“The dome is 60 feet in diameter, with dancing figures fresco painted on the surface. In the cove running around the margin of the dome concealed lights are arranged and there are also multi-colored glass panels in the ceiling behind which groups of various color lights may be used separately, in groups or all together giving a dozen color combinations.

“The grand staircases leading from the lobby to mezzanine lounge and balcony as well as to loge boxes, are of marble, cornices and walls here, as throughout and the interior is finished in gray, old ivory and  gold.

“The orchestra pit is 40×100 feet and will accommodate 30 musicians, and is fitted with an ‘elevator  orchestra platform.’  The console of the grand organ is located in the orchestra pit. The motion picture projection room is a specially constructed sound-proof compartment at the top rear of the balcony.”

The marquee of the Kenmore went dark following a shooting in 1999.  The recently closed movie house part of my walking tour of Flatbush Theatres for the Brooklyn Center for the Urban Environment. Tour-goers, with their backs to the camera, are signing in. On an earlier walk we managed to get inside a still-operating but very worn, run-down Kenmore.

kenmore_pe (Medium)

Photo by Betty Sword, all rights reserved.

Cezar Del Valle is available for theatre walks and talks in 2013.

He is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, chosen 2010 Best Book of the year by the Theatre Historical Society.

Theatre Talks and Walks 2013 

After a brief hiatus, I am once again available for theatre walks and talks.

walk

Reviews:

“Your amount of historic knowledge was nothing short of  incredible.”

– Dana Schulz, Program and  Administrative Associate, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

“The tour, led by theatre historian Cezar Del Valle, was phenomenal! Cezar shared his encyclopedic knowledge of theatre lore, history, and gossip.”

– Richard Moses, President, Lower East Side Preservation Initiative

“Thank you so much last week for the informative lecture you provided at the GANYC*  meeting. I own New York Broadway Tours and I would love to create a tour based on some of the theatres you  suggested in Brooklyn. THANK YOU!”

– Amada Anderson

lespi

Top Photo: January 8, 2012 walking tour for the Greenwich Village Society of Historic Preservation

Bottom: June 3, 2012 walk of the Yiddish Rialto for the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative

Photos: Betty Sword, all rights reserved

*GANYC is the Guides Association of New York City

Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, chosen 2010 Best Book of the Year by the Theatre Historical Society.