Anco Theatre

254 W. 42nd Street,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 1 - 25 of 76 comments

robboehm on July 4, 2017 at 3:41 am

The Empire moved a bit west of it’s original location but not as far as the AMCO.

Mikeoaklandpark on July 4, 2017 at 2:56 am

Doesn’t the AMC Empire 25 sit in it’s place now?

SingleScreen on July 2, 2017 at 1:56 am

I started going to 42nd street in January of 1986. I attended regularly for a few years, and I believe that last movie I saw there was in 1992. Somehow, I never made it to the Anco….

Alanem on December 24, 2013 at 4:48 am

My Dad Paul was the manager of the Anco theater during the mid to late 1950’s. There was a robbery there in 1959 during a showing of Shootout at the OK Corral! He also managed the Prospect theater in the Bronx before that for Cinema Circuit! As far as I can remember, the ANCO played mostly action and adventure films with some Sci-fi mixed in. It didn’t have a candy stand, just vending machines. I think it was painted pink inside!? The usher Chris sold Ice Cream from a tray during the intermission. It was owned by Cinema Circuit. The partners were Mark I. Finklestein and Max Cohen. Cohen’s daughter was ANNA COHEN! So they named it AN—CO after his daughter!

Snooze_King on August 9, 2013 at 5:43 am

Back in the ‘80s, when I arrived in TS from the West Coast, the Deuce was always hiring. I went into the employment office and the lady said, “Go apply at the porn theatres. Better still, apply at Show World Center. They’re open 24/365 and they always need mop men. It’s disgusting work, but it pays a little bit of the rent.”

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on May 19, 2012 at 11:23 pm

I am working on a project to document the history of adult theatres in the US. If anyone has any person memories of the Anco they would be willing to share, please contact me at mjprigge at uwm dot edu

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on December 18, 2011 at 1:31 am

This was my least favorite of the 42nd Street line-up, and I was not sorry to see it close. It stunk to high heaven and because of its late run bookings and rock bottom prices it seemed to attract an even lower class of patrons than the other houses, if that’s possible! When I was here there was no balcony, only a raised rear mezzanine, like at the new Ziegfeld. But that’s where the similarity ended.

woody on May 6, 2009 at 6:34 pm

photo i took in dec 1992 in the very last days of 42nd streets sleazy glory

MichelleMaren on February 20, 2008 at 4:05 am

Thanks Ed. I will definitely try to contact Matt Weber. Thanks for the help.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 18, 2008 at 12:17 am

Sorry can’t help there, Michelle. Coincidentally, the two photos you did find are from my Photobucket scrapbook. The B&W image comes with the permission of the photographer, the talented and gracious Matt Weber. Matt has a website at and he took many photos of 42nd Street and the Times Square area in the 1980’s. You might consider contacting him to see if, by chance, he has any shots of the Anco marquee from this period that offer a cleare view of your image. Good luck. If I come across anything in my own perusals, I’ll be sure to let you know about it here.

MichelleMaren on February 16, 2008 at 8:03 pm

Thanks for the welcome Ed. I was searching for photos of the Anco marquee that featured my picture and came across this site. My pic was supposed to be a take on this Jennifer Beals shot: Flash Dance
While I am grateful for the 2 pics I found here, I would like to find a shot where my face it clearly visible. If anyone has any pictures of the east and/or west sides of the Anco Theater marquee from 1984-86, please share them here. I would really appreciate it. Thanks.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 16, 2008 at 5:06 am

Welcome to CT, Michelle!

MichelleMaren on February 16, 2008 at 3:18 am

ANCO85-2My name is Michelle Maren. It’s my photo on both the east and west sides of the ANCO THEATER in 1985. That shot was taken for the adult film FLASH PANTS. I was also featured on the box cover. That picture of me remained on the ANCO marquee for a good 3 years! My MySpace Page

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 17, 2007 at 5:38 pm

Greenpoint, Warren’s photobucket account has limited space so he often rotates images in and out of there. When an image is removed, the link for it in his post on CT is disabled. Warren – I don’t think any of your links to images that are STILL in your photobucket scrapbook have been changed at all. I think Greenpoint merely stumbled across a link to one of the images you removed and assumed there was a change.

Greenpoint on December 16, 2007 at 1:06 am

Photobucket changed your profile link.
Heres the new link.

i couldnt find your 42 bonds pic is that still online.

so this is you..we finally meeet!
View link

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 6, 2007 at 9:15 pm

Here’s a vidcap from an A&E documentary on Times Square. Judging from the titles glimpsed on the Anco’s marquee (“Ice Station Zebra” and “Where Eagles Dare”), the year would be 1969.

RobertR on August 14, 2006 at 4:08 pm

Warren I love the ad for the movie playing at the Globe. I bet it was all tease :)

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 3, 2006 at 2:07 pm

Charles Bronson – a staple on the Duece – as a KGB agent:

Telefon – NY Daily News 1/25/78
One of several ads in this paper (see also the Richard Pryor ad in this clipping) that list a 42nd Street grind house along side a Broadway house (the Embassy 2) for a major studio release. Interestingly, the same paper lists Clint Eastwood’s “The Gauntlet” at the Embassy 2 (and the New Amsterdam), so one of these ads was a misprint. I assume both films were booked into the Embassy triplex on 47th (former Demille) and the wrong screen # is just a typo.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 5, 2006 at 6:30 pm

I posted another pair of Matt’s photos on the New York/Big Apple Theater’s page that reveal a connection between the Anco and the Big Apple Theaters in the 1980’s. In the photos above you’ll see a sign that reads “Sweetheart’s Anco 42nd Street Theater” just under the canopy. One of the Big Apple photos I posted reveals a similar banner. Anyone know who “Sweetheart” was and if he/she/they operated any other local houses?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 5, 2006 at 5:25 pm

Don Rosen… not sure when exactly it happened, but I believe the old Wallack’s facade ornamentation was stripped away very early on the Anco’s life as a grind house. According to Bryan’s introduction above, the facade was “hacked off” sometime in the 1940’s – in addition to other architectural indignities this once beautiful playhouse endured.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 5, 2006 at 5:15 pm

Got these two great 1985 shots from photographer Matt Weber, who has a great little website at

Hot Alexandra
Kids playing hookey

Thanks to Matt for sharing these with me and allowing me to share them with the CT community.

DonRosen on June 28, 2006 at 1:56 pm

Looking at the Wallack’s photo and the ANCO porn days photo, I wonder….What happened to the beautiful facade? Did they stucko over it?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 25, 2006 at 5:02 pm

I wondered the same thing, Robert. But it looks like they listed the theaters alphabetically in the ad.

RobertR on May 25, 2006 at 4:06 pm

I remember playing this double bill in both the Haven and the Drake. Isn’t it odd the Anco is listed above the Criterion?