Harris Theatre

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

Unfavorite 9 people favorited this theater

Showing 26 - 44 of 44 comments

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 24, 2006 at 10:04 am

Below are two 1993 photos I took that feature the Harris Theater while it was still in operation. The main feature on the marquee is being changed over from the Bruce Willis feature “Striking Distance” to the McCauley Culkin flick “The Good Son”. What I can’t figure out is if the co-feature was being changed from the original “Warlock” film (1989) to the sequel “Warlock: The Armeggedon” or if the maintenance guys were just lazy on the one side of the marquee:

1993 Marquee change
1993 Harris Marquee and Times Sq Theater

Note the sign in the top photo annoucning the comming of the Movieplex 42 in the former Roxy Twin location down the block. Also compare this to the current view of the former Harris entrance I posted May 6th… the arched window above had certainly seen better days by 1993, eh?

Here are a couple of shots I purloined from the Harris' page on the ibdb.com site showing the original auditorium, balcony staircase and long marble foyer:

Candler Theater Auditorium
Candler staicase
Candler foyer

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 6, 2006 at 3:53 pm

Here is a shot of the facade that once contained the entrance to the Harris Theater in the Candler Building taken just a few days ago:

Former Harris entrance

The arched window seen in the center of the photo once rose directly above the Harris' marquee. The main portion of the Candler Building is just to the left and now houses a large McDonalds which occupies the first three stories in an open space that has been stripped to the bare brick walls. The former theater entrance is now a very plain and boring sheet-rocked office block vestibule.

42ndStreetMemories
42ndStreetMemories on April 5, 2006 at 9:05 am

Here’s a shot of the Harris & Lyric taken from outside the Victory in 1961. jerry

View link

ERD
ERD on January 3, 2006 at 9:19 am

The Harris was a beautiful theatre with an interesting history. Unfortunately, it was not one of the lucky theatres on the block to be saved.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 3, 2006 at 7:29 am

Hey folks. Just watched the Scorcese flick “Mean Streets” the other night and there is a scene at the end of the film where the Harvey Keitel and Robert DeNiro characters place a call from a public phone in the lobby of a theater where they’ve been watching Roger Corman’s “Tomb of Ligeia.” The theater location is not identified, but I’m thinking it was a Duece grind-house. The wide shot of Keitel on the phone shows a glimpse of the interior decor, including a squared column with a sort of simple Art Deco vertical motif as well as a busy mosiac tile pattern on the flat wall where the pay phone is mounted. There is a soda-vending machine next to the phone and big lobby cards advertising the “Tomb of Ligeia” and “X: The Man with X-Ray Eyes” as co-features. Another set of cards advertise Lee Marvin’s “Point Blank” and another feature I can’t recall as coming attractions. It’s drving me crazy… the decor looks so familiar, but I can’t place it exactly. The thing is, “Mean Streets” was presumably filmed in 1972 or ‘73 (released in '73) and all of the films advertised in those lobby cards (including the “coming attractions”) are from the early and mid 1960’s.

I understand that Scorcese might have fictionalized the films being shown in the theater (after all, the two currently featured movies are Roger Corman productions and Scorcese was fresh from Corman’s school of low-budget movie-making) and I realize that much of the itnerior work for “Mean Streets” was filmed in L.A., but I’d love to nail down the location for the shot one way or the other.

CelluloidHero2
CelluloidHero2 on August 18, 2005 at 4:35 pm

Here’s a photo I took around 1975. At the Harris ,John Wayne was starring in Brannigan. 2nd features was Dionne Warwick and Ossie Davis in Slaves. In the background is the Liberty.

View link

42ndStreetMemories
42ndStreetMemories on July 25, 2005 at 3:56 am

Here’s a shot from 1967 with the Liberty in the background. j

View link

RobertR
RobertR on May 20, 2005 at 9:05 am

Here is a shot of an Elvis flick at the Harris.

br91975
br91975 on May 18, 2005 at 6:14 am

One quirk (or, of course, more accurately, one of SEVERAL quirks) of the Harris and the other 42nd Street grindhouses: the to-the-minute starting times given for their films at each theatre’s box office. While their movie clock listings featured showtimes were, by and large, standard and typical of most other cinemas (i.e. – 10:15, 2:15, 6:10, and 10:10), the times given at the box office gave, what I presume, were the EXACT starting times (10:15, 2:13, 6:11, and 10:09). Does anyone know how far back this ‘tradition’ dated, why this was done, and whether it was due to some type of contractual obligations with the distributors and/or the ‘legitimate’ Times Square moviehouses?

DonRosen
DonRosen on February 19, 2005 at 1:49 pm

I have an exterior photo of the Harris (circa 1991). I’ll e-mail it to someone if they want to post it.

woody
woody on January 29, 2005 at 12:50 pm

Check this link to the UK Cinema Theatre Association CTA Online Yahoo group.Ive added six photos of 42nd st area cinemas, including a 1995 photo of the Adonis, the David, the Empire, Cine 42, New Amsterdam and Harem
As well as two postcards one of 42nd street in the snow in all its eighties sleazy glory and one very early eighties one of it at night…enjoy!

View link
posted by woody on Jan 29, 2005 at 3:42pm

caspers42
caspers42 on January 15, 2005 at 9:45 pm

Is their a chance that any of the Harris' interior auditiorium is still intact. I read that the liberty is completetly intact and that madame tesseas just worked around it. Any chance that the harris, or any part of it still remains?

42ndStreetMemories
42ndStreetMemories on January 14, 2005 at 3:47 am

br is correct. If you look at that John Hermanson photo of the southside in the late 60s that someone linked on cinema treasures, the arrowhead frame between Lion King & McDonalds is very visible at the far eastern end of the building and near the retail shops, the Harris is at the far western point of the building. Jerry 42nd Street Memories

br91975
br91975 on January 13, 2005 at 7:44 pm

Both are in the Candler building, Bryan. The McDonald’s occupies what were formerly several retail spaces, all of which were vacated in the mid- to late-‘90s as part of the redevelopment of 42nd Street.

br91975
br91975 on January 13, 2005 at 7:18 pm

The former Harris Theatre is actually next door, to the right of the McDonald’s featured in the photo Bryan links to; its one-time (and entirely gutted interior) space is currently occupied by the New York branch of Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum.

42ndStreetMemories
42ndStreetMemories on December 30, 2004 at 5:41 am

Most of the old 42nd St movie theaters can currently be seen on a Travel Channel show focusing on Times Square. The clips of the Deuce are during the mid-70s and current timeframes. It was shown on December 26. So it should be still in its rotation.
Jerry 42nd Street Memories

br91975
br91975 on August 10, 2004 at 8:38 pm

The Harris Theatre’s days as a moviehouse ended in June of 1994, with the Keanu Reeves-Sandra Bullock action opus, “Speed”, as one of its final two offerings. The day after the Harris closed – and following several delays – the ultimately short-lived (June 1994-March 1996), 5-screen Movieplex 42, which was located a few doors down from the Harris, heading towards 8th Avenue, opened for business.

42ndStreetMemories
42ndStreetMemories on July 17, 2004 at 2:33 pm

The Harris of the 50s & 60s would show fairly current double features, usually one week after they debuted at the New Amsterdam, which was its next-door neighbor. Jerry the K

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 16, 2003 at 9:45 pm

Minor correction: The Harris remained an active movie house into the very early ‘90’s. It was the very last of the original 42nd street playhouses turned 24-hour movie grindhouses to be closed and reclaimed by the 42nd Street redevelopment project.