The Roosevelt Hotel, which has appeared in dozens of Hollywood movies, is to permanently close after nearly 100 years in business.
Its owner, Pakistan International Airlines, has said that the closure is due to the financial challenges of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
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“Due to the current, unprecedented environment and the continued uncertain impact from COVID-19, the owners of The Roosevelt Hotel have made the difficult decision to close the hotel and the associates were notified this week,” it said in a statement.
“The iconic hotel, along with most of New York City, has experienced very low demand and as a result the hotel will cease operations before the end of the year. There are currently no plans for the building beyond the scheduled closing.”
Located in Midtown Manhattan, minutes from Times Square and a block from Grand Central Station – to which it was once linked by an underground tunnel – it was was opened in 1924 by hotelier Frank A. Dudley and named in honour of President Franklin D. Roosevelt
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It was later acquired by Conrad Hilton, and went on to become a iconic New York backdrop for the movies.
The hotel has appeared in classics including The French Connection, Quiz Show and Malcolm X.
In Oliver Stone’s Wall Street, Michael Douglas’s ruthless broker Gordon Gekko delivered his iconic ‘greed is good’ speech in the hotel’s ballroom.
Most recently, it was used by Sacha Baron Cohen in his comedy The Dictator, and by Martin Scorsese in his sprawling mob biopic The Irishman, with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino.
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On TV, it has appeared in the shows including Blue Bloods and FBI.
Not only has it been immortalised on the big screen, bandleader Guy Lombardo installed his house band, The Royal Canadians, at the restaurant’s grill room in 1929.
It was his New Year’s Eve radio broadcasts from the hotel which helped to popularise the singing of Auld Lang Syne to bring in the New Year around the world.