Harris Theatre

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

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Showing 26 - 40 of 40 comments

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 3, 2006 at 3:29 pm

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 on August 19, 2005 at 12:35 am

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.

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42ndStreetMemories on July 25, 2005 at 11:56 am

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

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RobertR on May 20, 2005 at 5:05 pm

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

br91975 on May 18, 2005 at 2:14 pm

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 on February 19, 2005 at 9:49 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 on January 29, 2005 at 8:50 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!

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

caspers42 on January 16, 2005 at 5:45 am

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 on January 14, 2005 at 11:47 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 on January 14, 2005 at 3:44 am

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 on January 14, 2005 at 3:18 am

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 on December 30, 2004 at 1:41 pm

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 on August 11, 2004 at 4:38 am

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 on July 17, 2004 at 10:33 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 17, 2003 at 5:45 am

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.