Metropolitan Theatre

241 East 14th Street,
New York, NY 10003

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Showing 1 - 25 of 28 comments

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on November 17, 2012 at 2:45 am

If anyone has any stories about going to/ working at this threatre in its adult days, I would love to hear them. I am chronicling the histories of adult theatres in the US. Please contact me at Thanks!

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on May 22, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Hello-

i first became aware of this theater when i was a delivery boy for a local supermarket in the early 70s at which point it was already showing porn. i have always assumed it was a vaudeville house which had seen better days. but from the intro at the top am i to understand it was built from the ground up as a movie theater in 1914 and was not a conversion/renovation of an older structure into a movie theater and that it was strictly a movie theater its entire life?

William
William on September 22, 2011 at 8:11 pm

In the Google picture above the theatre was located at the 235 East 14th Street. Which is the building to the left of the DVD Store.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 25, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Since Ken Roe has added another porn Metropolitan does anyone know when the Metropolitan closed and when THE MET opened?

The Village Voice ads above are from 1970.

Bway
Bway on April 16, 2009 at 5:52 pm

I don’t even know if it should say “retail” as this theater’s function, as it most definitely was demolished. It appears to currently be a condo or apartment building, and doesn’t even appear to be retail on the first floor. Compare to the photo alalvarez posted on april 13th, which still has “Einstein Bros” on the building next door. Here’s a google street view:

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Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on April 15, 2009 at 2:43 am

Sure looks like it. (I just got a little dizzy with thoughts of a mis-spent youth…)

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on April 13, 2009 at 5:52 pm

Is this a photo of this Metropolitan?

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Judith Thissen
Judith Thissen on May 16, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Just checked a court case against Steiner dating of 1936. It lists all the shareholders of the Greater M & S Circuit, Inc.

The large stockholders (2500+) are Louis Schneider,Elias Mayer, Jacob Borodkin (& family), Max Cohen, and LB Appleton.

One Abraham C. Mayer had 100 shares, the same amount was in the hands of the Estate of Ch. Mayer. So C. Mayer may have been a family member involved in the day-to-day operation of the New Law Theater.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 16, 2008 at 3:37 pm

During the leasing of the New Law in March 1922, a blurb in the NYT lists two Mayers and a Schneider as the directors of M & S.

E. Mayer, C. Mayer and L. Schneider.

Judith Thissen
Judith Thissen on May 16, 2008 at 2:21 pm

Warren, you’re right there is little doubt that the S is of Louis Schneider — not of Schwartz who was also involved in the larger M & S circuit via the SWS (Charles Steiner, Hyman Weisner & Jacob Schwartz). Initially, SWS ran the Metropolitan according to the incorporation documents. It was merged into the Allwon Theaters group in 1922.

The M is from Elias Mayer I think. His name pops up everywhere in the legal documents. Mayer and Schneider operated from the same office in Brooklyn. I have been trying to solve the puzzle of the M & S network but without much success. It was a powerful syndicate in Jewish neighborhoods. I’d love to know who really was the central figure. Charles Steiner did much of the work but the money went elsewhere (I met his grandson). Any information on Louis Schneider?

Other persons that were heavily involved in the network: Jacob Borodkin, Max Shapiro, Harry Blinderman, David Rosenzweig.

Judith Thissen
Judith Thissen on May 16, 2008 at 9:42 am

Lorenz F.J. Weiher also designed the Palace Theater (133-135 Essex Street), the Clinton Theater and the 1917 Sunshine Theater on East Houston (listed Sunshine Cinema). Like the New 14th Street Theater, all three were part of the M & S Circuit.

The address of his office was 271 West 125 Street.

In the mid 1910s Weiher’s main competitor on the Lower East Side was architect Louis Sheinart.

Ziggy
Ziggy on May 2, 2008 at 10:26 pm

The theatre in the photos from January 11 was built as the “Theatre Francais”. It specialized in French plays and is identified in the book “Lost New York”.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on April 20, 2008 at 5:26 pm

This is the Fox City Theatre at 114 East 14th Street, next to Luchows. The fire was on June 29, 1916 as reported in the NYT.

Oops. Sorry, I also posted this on the City page by mistake.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 20, 2008 at 1:31 am

Here is a photo of a theater on E. 14th in 1916. Unfortunately the theater is not identified.
http://tinyurl.com/5wdplw

jflundy
jflundy on January 12, 2008 at 1:49 am

Here is a link to further photos at the NYPL site with three more photos of the 14th St Theater of three boxes above:
View link

jflundy
jflundy on January 6, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Warren, although this photo is on Brooklyn oriented web photo collection, it from a section, new to the site, that covers Manhattan

jflundy
jflundy on January 6, 2008 at 2:55 am

What 14th Street Theater is this photo depicting ? Taken 4-30-1916
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zouave114
zouave114 on October 20, 2007 at 6:35 pm

Hi,

I’m the great-great-grandson of Lorenz Weiher. I’ve been trying to find any additional info on his life and professional career as a builder. He is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, died in the flu epidemic of 1918. Here is a photo of him in the late 1800’s.

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Bwayniteowl
Bwayniteowl on December 21, 2006 at 11:06 pm

Here is a picture of Tammany Hall and Bryants Minstrals in 1868 just after opening of the building.
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Paul Noble
Paul Noble on December 21, 2006 at 12:11 am

The Metropolitan was a Spanish-language theater in 1953. Our high school class went for a visit to see a comedy with Tin-Tan, a Mexican comedian, and a Donald Duck cartoon. I didn’t know that Clarence “Ducky” Nash could do duck-talk in Spanish!

Bwayniteowl
Bwayniteowl on December 20, 2006 at 6:06 pm

I stand corrected and apologize for posting incorrect information. Thank you for clarifying.

Bwayniteowl
Bwayniteowl on December 19, 2006 at 6:48 pm

This theatre has a much richer past than would be indicated here. It was home to Tony Pastor’s New Fourteenth St Theatre, the home of vaudeville in NYC.

http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/research/fa/pastor.html

In 1881 Pastor leased the Germania Theatre and renamed it Tony Pastor’s New Fourteenth Street Theatre, announcing that it would be “catering to the ladies, and presenting for the amusement of the cultivated and aesthetic Pure Music and Comedy, Burlesque, and Farce.” Tony Pastor’s, as it came to be known, played variety shows until 1908. It was the most popular New York theatre of the 1880s, paving the way for the theatrical ventures of the impresarios B. F. Keith and Oscar Hammerstein, but by the first years of the twentieth century theatergoers had gone northward to venues in Times Square. In 1908 the Fourteenth Street Theatre became a motion picture theater; the same year, Pastor decided not to renew the lease.

Also from the website.

1875 when he took over the Metropolitan Theatre at 585 Broadway. It was here that he worked to perfect the form of entertainment known as legitimate vaudeville, variety which was suitable for women and children as well as the traditional male audience.

Although not a movie house that I am aware of, perhaps we could restore the Metropolitian entry at that address until more research can be done. And we could add Germania as an entry to this address.

Although I was never inside, I can remember the thrill I got when walking on 14th St in the late 70’s, I came across a slab of sidewalk that had “Tony Pastor’s” inset in white tiles. I never saw it again and had since wondered where it was but even at the time, I knew I was somewhere historic.

RobertR
RobertR on October 4, 2006 at 5:12 pm

1975 now featuring Super Panascope :)
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acmorrison
acmorrison on July 19, 2006 at 8:35 am

This indeed prolific architect always used both names and two middle initials—Lorenz F. J. Weiher. Note the spelling correction of his last name.