United Palace

4140 Broadway,
New York, NY 10033

Unfavorite 31 people favorited this theater

Showing 251 - 269 of 269 comments

Bway on February 17, 2005 at 4:24 pm

What is interesting about the restoration of the RKO Keith’s Richmond Hill’s marquee was that they didn’t realize it was all still back there when they were going to “recreate” it. When they ripped the covering from the marquee (that must have been installed in the 1950’s over the original), there was the old marquee in it’s former diamond in the rough glory. They then restored the old original marquee instead of recreating it. Thankfully, it now remains as such today.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on February 17, 2005 at 11:14 am

The lobby and auditorium can be viewed in later scenes in the 2002 comedy movie “The Guru”.

Also earlier in that movie can be seen exteriors of the RKO Keith’s Richmond Hill Theatre, to which the filmakers did a restoration of the marquee.

chconnol on December 10, 2004 at 8:24 am

Warren…thank you..that’s the one!

So…what about the one on or around 137th and Broadway that has a McDonalds in it now? It has the words Gotham Theater written there and it’s clearly recognizable as a theater. Do you if this is listed?

Thanks again…

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on December 10, 2004 at 7:46 am

CC, I think you’re referring to the ex-Loew’s Rio Theatre, which has a listing of its own here.

chconnol on December 10, 2004 at 7:40 am

There’s a theater located just off Broadway at 160th Street. It looks as though the auditorium runs parallel to Broadway. Does anyone know if this theater is listed? Right now it’s a supermarket (must be a big one…) called Superextra or something like that.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 18, 2004 at 2:01 pm

I don’t think that the interior has ever been “restored.” Loew’s always took care of its major theatres, and it was still in good condtion when Reverend “Ike” took over. His people have done the best they can to maintain the original decor and to repair water leaks and such. One of its few flaws, which dates back to its construction, is that it doesn’t have enough restrooms for a theatre its size.

chconnol on November 18, 2004 at 11:43 am

If this theater was in a more “desirable” part of NYC, it would get more press. I never knew it was there until I stumbled upon it. Now, on those rare occasions when I drive into work in Manhattan, I make it a point to drive past this theater. I always hope that I’ll get into some kind of minor traffic jam so I can get a better look.

This neighborhood is thriving…it’s no ghost town. Like Flatbush, this neighborhood (Washington Heights) was profiled in NY Magazine as being one of NY’s best kept residential secrets. Therefore, it’s secret is out. Again, if and when this area changes, what will be the consequences of this theater? I think too many people know about it now and there would be a large uproar from the architectural community if anyone tried anything “funny” with this place.

Bway on November 18, 2004 at 10:54 am

The inside is too. Check out the links on this page. They meticulously restored the interior too. And unlike the valencia in Jamaica, they chose colors that are true to the originals. The Valencia’s new paint scheme is gaudy at best….however, it is maintained at least, so that is good.

chconnol on November 18, 2004 at 10:50 am

I nearly crashed my car when I once got off I-95 after coming off the GW Bridge to get out of a traffic jam and found this grand relic. My GOD this thing is AMAZING!!!!! Is it landmarked by NYC? Quite possibly the most beautiful theater remaining in NYC, handsdown. And from outside, it looks largely intact.

Bway on November 18, 2004 at 10:48 am

I think it’s great that he allowed the theater to keep it’s projection capabilities, unlike the Valencia in Jamaica.

Biff on November 18, 2004 at 9:34 am

The current seating capacity is 3361. Most known now for Latin Concerts. Called the United Palace. Rev. Ike rents it for Movies, Concerts, Filming Productions, and Theater Musicals/Plays.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 5, 2004 at 12:49 pm

Construction was finished in the autumn of 1929, but Loew’s kept postponing the opening in hopes that it would be simultaneous with the new George Washington Bridge. But bridge building delays finally forced Loew’s to open the theatre on February 22, 1930, which turned out to be well over a year before the GWB opened on October 25, 1931. The inaugural program at Loew’s 175th was Norma Shearer in MGM’s “Their Own Desire” and a stage show that had originated at the Loew’s-owned Capitol Theatre on Broadway. With a weekly program change, the theatre did well for about two weeks, but once the novelty wore off, attendance plummeted. On April 25, the 175th Street dropped stage shows and also reduced admission prices by 25%. Besides competition from the Coliseum and other theatres in the area, the 175th had to contend with an economic Depression that was getting worse by the day. In June, Loew’s also began dropping stage shows at some of its other theatres, including the Kings, Oriental, and Bedford in Brooklyn; the Plaza in Corona, Queens; and Loew’s Yonkers in Westchester.

bamtino on September 30, 2004 at 2:24 pm

The current edition of the New York Press, the “Best of Manhattan 2004” issue, lists the 175th Street as “Best Movie Palace.” The description of the theatre can be found about halfway down the following webpage:
View link
Personally, I think this NY Press designation, as well as the recent community outrage at the (fortunately short-term) closing of the Metro Twin, is evidence that the the dedication of the members of, and visitors to, CinemaTreasures and similar sites is having a positive cultural impact. Appreciation for these “treasures” is becoming more mainstream.
Another note on the 175th Street, from a daily commuter’s perspective: the dome of the theatre, with cross, is visible while traveling inbound on the George Washington Bridge. Check it out the next time you’re crossing the Hudson.

BobFurmanek on September 24, 2004 at 8:12 am

75 years ago, the Wonder Theaters were built and became prime showcases for all the great MGM product over the next 3 decades. The only Wonder Theater showing film today is Loew’s Jersey but, sadly, they are not playing any MGM product in their 75th anniversary programming.

However, the beautifully restored Lafayette Theater in Suffern, New York salutes the Loew’s Wonder Theaters by presenting a newly restored 35mm print of one of MGM’s greatest musicals, “Meet Me in St. Louis.” It will be shown this Saturday, September 25 as part of their weekly Big Screen Classics series. They will also present a vintage MGM short, and will play live music on their magnificent Wurlitzer organ.

For more information, visit their website at www.bigscreenclassics.com

Bway on August 26, 2004 at 12:09 pm

Wow, I never knew about this theater, until it was mentioned in the Valencia’s (jamaica) section of the site, which has also been converted to a church. This is a spectacular theater! Traditionally, the transformation of theater to church had been kind to a lot of theaters, like the Valencia, the Loew’s Gates, etc. Theaters lend themselves very well to churches, and if they can’t be a theater anymore, churches are the next best thing, as they dod the least “harm” to a theater in conversion.
Here’s a history of the theater:

William on March 8, 2004 at 10:21 am

They also rent it out to movie companies for location work. You can see some of the auditorium in the movie “Marci-X”.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 23, 2004 at 10:20 am

The 3,444-seat 175th Street Theatre was designed by Thomas Lamb, with an interior quite similar to a slightly smaller theatre that he designed for Loew’s in Syracuse, NY (now known as the Landmark).The 175th Street was built at the same time as the nearby George Washington Bridge, but opened before it when bridge construction fell behind schedule. Loew’s hoped that people would regularly drive over from northern New Jersey to attend the theatre, but if they ever did, they were never enough to make it very profitable. After a few months of movies with stage shows, the 175th Street went to films only for the balance of its cinematic life. Because of its location on the Upper Upper West Side, it never got the recognition it deserved as one of New York City’s most sumptuous movie palaces. The programs were never more than first-run for that neighborhood, so who would go there except locals?…In recent years, the church ownership has been renting the theatre for concerts and conventions that don’t clash with its own schedule. With help from those revenues, it has been able to maintain the 175th Street in a condition very close to the original.

WilliamMcQuade on October 10, 2003 at 4:12 pm

Recently visited it armed with a camcorder. It is still in great shape

WilliamMcQuade on March 23, 2002 at 5:10 pm

Theater chain was Loew’s & it was one of the 5 Loew’s “Wonder Theaters”