Olympic Theater Concert Hall

851 Prospect Avenue,
Bronx, NY 10459

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Showing 26 - 37 of 37 comments

LuisV
LuisV on June 29, 2007 at 5:23 am

Thanks Charlie for the info! While I am always disappointed to find out that a theater is taken out of “service” to the public I am always gratified when the alternate function is that of a church. Over the years, more theaters have been (pardon the pun) faithfully preserved by religious orders than any other alternate use. I hope they prove to be great stewards of this theater and, someday, I hope to pop in to the theater that my parents went to so many years ago (though I will most defintely NOT stay for the service.

It would also be nice to see some interior shots once if the church allows it. I haven’t seen any interiors posted previously.

charliek
charliek on June 28, 2007 at 8:39 pm

Here’s some hot news on the Prospect Theatre. I noticed last week that the sign that had been hanging over the marquee for the last year – saying the building was for lease or sale by owner – was taken down. Uh oh, I thought, the Prospect has changed hands again, and who knows what’s in store for it now. Please God, don’t let it be torn down or subdivided into retail outlets. And please allow those amazing rooftop water towers (surviving almost 100 years of Bronx trials and tribulations) to remain just where they are.

So today I was strolling down Prospect Avenue, as I do on a regular basis these days, and noticed that the front door to the theatre was open, with an elderly gentleman standing inside. So I engaged him in conversation and found out that indeed the theatre has been bought, and will soon become the new home of the Abundant Life Tabernacle (currently located on Third Avenue and 143rd Street). This is great news, in my opinion, because it means, not only will the building be preserved, but the auditorium space will retain its integrity as a gathering space for people. It also means that anyone who wants to visit the old Prospect and absorb its ancient theatrical vibes will be able to do so, on any Sunday morning (as long as they are willing to sit through a religious service). It may take a while before the Abundant Life group makes their move, but I will keep this site posted on progress. Selah.

LuisV
LuisV on April 11, 2007 at 6:39 am

I went to the Bronx Zoo on Saturday and I took the #2 train. While looking out the window I noticed the “Olympic Concert Hall” aka “Prospect Theater” looking very dilapidated and with a “for sale” sign on the marquee. It was disconcerting since the rest of the neighborhood looks like it’s in the middle of a building boom and, per above postings, had been recently renovated.

I was born in the Bronx and I asked my mom if she had gone to the Prospect way back when. She said it was one of her favorite theaters, but that she usually went to The Freeman on Southern Blvd. As a matter of fact, she went into labor (with me) while she was attending some Spanish language movie on November 23, 1959!

I love the fact that I decided to come into the world while I was actually IN a theater!

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on November 20, 2006 at 1:14 pm

It looks like hell on the outside.

ArchStanton007
ArchStanton007 on March 29, 2006 at 8:03 am

Robin Williams is filming feture film “August Rush” in this theater all week.

Astyanax
Astyanax on January 11, 2005 at 6:17 pm

Glad to know that the old Prospect is alive and well. In the late ‘50’s my family would travel from B'klyn to the So. Bronx to visit relatives and frequently would catch a Spanish language movie at the Prospect. The theatre also presented live stage shows with mariachi bands and stars of the Mexican movies. Too bad that the Loews Paradise, the Loews Kings or even the DeMille have not enjoyed a similar restoration.

vasilakisgr
vasilakisgr on November 27, 2004 at 8:51 am

New e-mail

charliek
charliek on September 12, 2004 at 11:47 am

To view interesting “then” and “now” images of the Prospect Theatre, click here:
View link

Take note of how those rooftop water tanks have survived for nearly a century.

MarcoAcevedo
MarcoAcevedo on March 30, 2004 at 8:27 am

Funny, yesterday I was reminiscing about my childhood in the South Bronx in the 60s and 70s when I left a comment for the President Theater of Westchester Avenue. So of course I did a search for my beloved Prospect Theater on this site, as I’d done many times before, and once again come up empty -handed. I never dreamed it had been restored and renamed! When I searched on the Web, I was directed back to this page, and got a big surprise. I immediately recognized the interior, especially the big double columns on either side of the stage. I remember vividly keeping one eye on the screen and the other on the door situated behind the columns because I knew that at a certain point one of the uniformed ushers would emerge with a stack of ice cream cups (remember the little wooden spoons?) to sell to the kiddies from the sidelines, while the film was in progress. In retrospect it was a smart thing for the management to do; it kept us quiet as we licked away!

I lived in the McKinley Houses on Tinton Avenue a few blocks north of the theater; the Prospect was definitely my household’s social hub. There was a time in the late 60s when it seemed we were at the theater every Sunday to catch the latest Mexican mariachi western starring the great Antonio Aguilar, or Jorge Negrete, or Luis Aguilar (relation to Antonio?) who in particular had a gift for comedy as well as being a a romantic lead, and of course, being mariachis they could all sing their hearts out besides being great horsemen and two-fisted champions of good. We were Puerto Rican but I always felt my dad had a Mexican soul; he loved those movies so. My mom went for the romantic comedies and dramas starring the latest Latino pop idols: Raphael, Sandro, and later Julio Iglesias. Ialso remember seeing movie treatments of popular Latino soap operas. Unlike their American counterparts, these soaps were more like long-running miniseries, structured like novels with beginnings, middles, and endings. Of course, my brother and I loved best the masked Mexican wrestlers, who fought in the ring by day and battled master criminals, zombies, Aztec mummies and vampires by night (El Santo, the Silver-masked One, even had a secret laboratory and hot convertible sportscar, kind of like a south-of-the-border Batman). So while we went further afield (Fordham Road, Eastside Manhattan, Times Square) to catch the Hollywood blockbusters, we were nurtured by the Prospect, now the Olympic, on a week to week basis. Needless to say I’m going to have to come visit the old neighborhood after nearly 30 years to pay my respects and relive old times.

unknown
unknown on October 23, 2003 at 2:29 am

new website of the olympic theater
www.theolympictheater.com
no more .tv