Sutton Theater

205 East 57th Street,
New York, NY 10022

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Showing 26 - 50 of 176 comments

bigjoe59 on May 31, 2011 at 1:52 am

i know 20th Century Fox’s THE BLUE MAX had its premiere exclusive NYC engagement at the Sutton and a souvenir program was sold in the lobby. but there seems to be some debate as to whether is was a traditional two show a day roadshow engagement or a continuous performance engagement as they were called in the day. so which was it? the fact a souvenir program was sold would leave me to believe it was a traditional 2 show a day roadshow engagement. its my understanding that back in the day it was highly unusual for continuous performance engagements even exclusive in one theater to have a souvenir program no matter how “big” the film was.

AlAlvarez on May 30, 2011 at 11:58 pm

Astyanax, the take-over goes back to 1943 so it may have been independently owned before that.

Movieplace on May 30, 2011 at 10:43 pm

The developer of this new building destroyed the exterior prior to demolition to ward off any possibility of landmarking by LPC.

Astyanax on May 30, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Before being acquired by the Rugoff Becker circuit and becoming the flagship of the Cinema 5 chain, who were the orignal owners?

William on February 24, 2010 at 6:59 pm

“Gigi” was a move-over from the Royale Theatre. Most likely it was the same 35mm print. There is an ad above that shows it playing at the Sutton in it’s 45th. week.
The Sutton Theatre was equipped with 70MM projection and Dolby Stereo (CP-200 with SR cards).
The Sutton only played afew 70MM films.
“Gremlins 2: The New Batch” (June 15, 1990)
“Arachnophobia” (July 18, 1990)
“Fantasia” (Oct. 5, 1990)
“The Bonfire of the Vanities” (Dec. 21, 1990)
“The Rocketeer” (June 21, 1991)
“Beauty and the Beast” (Mar. 20, 1992)
“Beauty and the Beast” (Apr. 24, 1992)

terrywade on February 24, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Does any one know when the Sutton played ‘Gigi’ was It a roadshow version and did the Sutton have a stereo print of Gigi or even had stereo or 70MM?

Ross Melnick
Ross Melnick on August 28, 2009 at 4:45 pm

Updated — thanks!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 28, 2009 at 1:37 am

Ah, I was in a rush last night and failed to read any of the recent comments that revealed the opening date.

AlAlvarez on August 27, 2009 at 3:47 pm

Joe, the Sutton was already advertising in the NYT as showing movies in 1934.

egcarter on August 27, 2009 at 9:14 am

The Sutton #2 (larger ground-level auditorium post-twinning) was one of the two theatres (gosh, the LA house slips my mind) where Dolby SR-D (Dolby Stereo Digital) was quietly (well, it was loud) beta-tested with the engagement of STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 27, 2009 at 8:10 am

If the writer of the item in the April 23, 1955, issue of Boxoffice got the facts right, the Sutton must have opened in the mid-1930s. The article said that the opening week of “Marty” had given the Sutton the biggest gross in its 21-year history.

The earliest mention of the Sutton I’ve found in Boxoffice so far is from the August 28, 1943, issue which said that the house had been taken over by the R&B circuit, and that after being renovated the Sutton would be operated with the same policy as the circuit’s Art Theatre and 8th Street Playhouse, both of which were in Greenwich Village.

Kieranx on February 3, 2009 at 11:35 pm

Great theater. Saw Moonstruck here as a 16 year old my first few months in the city. Used to trek up 3rd Ave every so often to catch a movie here; Clara’s Heart, The Good Mother, Hardware (after it had twinned) but not too much more after it split. I really tried to patronize as many single screens as I could. I truly miss them.

SethLewis on August 22, 2008 at 5:22 pm

Growing up on the Upper East Side in the 60s and 70s, this was an iconic venue, running a mix of Universal, Fox and Cinema 5 (own brand) product in its Rugoff/Cinema 5 hey day…Some of my best Sutton memories include Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, The Sicilian Clan, The Three Stooges, Blazing Saddles, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, Young Frankenstein (several times), High Anxiety, Love & Death, Network…Attended a prevue/trailer day as they launched the twin and remember not fondly the uphill sloping in the smaller screen

Like the Beekman, there would have been a decent case for landmarking this, but only as a single screen

MPol on August 22, 2008 at 4:57 pm

Hi, movies534! I wholeheartedly agree with your phrase “Movies have been on film forever! Leave it (them) on film! Frankly, there are times when I absolutely curse the day that VCRs, video, DVD players, and ultimately DVD’s and all these elaborate home-entertainment systems that many Americans own were ushered in.

dave-bronx™ on July 11, 2008 at 8:17 pm

Yes, I would imagine the interior of the building had been gutted and rebuilt with each change of use.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 11, 2008 at 6:59 pm

Dave, there are some similarities, but I wouldn’t want to rush to any conclusions. It might be nothing more than retention of some or all of the exterior walls, with everything new inside.

dave-bronx™ on July 11, 2008 at 6:31 pm

Warren, I think the Philipp/Bandbox Theatre, Chatham/Manufacturers Bank and Sutton Theatre are all the same building. The photo in your post of 5/5/08 of the Bandbox has certain similarities to the Sutton theatre that we are all familiar with. The cornice line seems to be the same height, and the alley-way on the east side of the building is there. I think the bank applied the facade with the columns that we are familiar with, a look common to banks of that era. When converted back to a theatre the marquee was added, the street-level store-front modified and the second floor windows closed. What do you think?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 11, 2008 at 4:40 pm

Ben Schlanger was architect of the Sutton Theatre, according to an article in the October, 1934 issue of Architectural Forum. The article claimed that the Sutton was a conversion of The Bandbox Theatre. But I don’t know how much of the Bandbox remained by that time. The 299-seat “legit” playhouse had been turned into a branch of the Chatham Phoenix Bank in 1917. See my posts above of 3/23/08 and 5/5/08 for more about The Bandbox.

dave-bronx™ on May 20, 2008 at 11:55 pm

City Cinemas' parent company holds a 25% stake in the Place 57, the faux-luxury condominium building now occupying the site of the Sutton.

edblank on May 20, 2008 at 11:07 pm

Another late, lamented Manhattan movie landmark. I have fond memories of “Raging Bull,” “Network” and many other attractions there. – Ed Blank

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 5, 2008 at 5:22 pm

Here’s a link to the NYPL image of The Bandbox Theatre, which stood on the same site but was apparently demolished to make way for the Sutton:
View link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 23, 2008 at 4:05 pm

This was the Sutton Theatre (not Sutton Theater)…Prior to the Sutton, another theatre occupied the site, but it was strictly “legit” and never showed movies. It first opened in 1912 as the Adolf Philipp Theatre, and was re-named The Bandbox in 1914. With only 299 seats, The Bandbox proved a failure under several managements by stock companies. In 1917, The Bandbox was sold and converted into a branch of the Chatham Phoenix Bank. When the banking concern went bust in the Depression, Manufacturers' Trust Company acquired its assets and sold the 57th Street branch in 1933 to a syndicate that intended to build a cinema in its place. I don’t know if any elements of the original two-story building were retained. It doesn’t look like it in a 1917 photo of The Bandbox that can be found in the Digital Photo Gallery at