Warners' Theatre

1664 Broadway,
New York, NY 10019

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Showing 26 - 50 of 54 comments

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on June 20, 2007 at 8:42 am

The theatre had two periods as Cine Roma, a showcase for Italian films, the first starting in March, 1936 and the second running from May 1940 until early 1942. The first period continued into 1937, when the theatre became Minsky’s Oriental with skin shows that were prohibited by law from using the word “burlesque” or variants thereof such as “burlesk.” Cine Roma moved to the nearby Broadway Theatre for a time, but I don’t know the exact duration. Cine Roma might have been dormant for a time before the name turned up again at the Ambassador in January 1940, where it doesn’t seem to have lasted long before returning to this theatre in May. By that time, the theatre’s Oriental phase had ended, and it was showing foreign films as the Continental.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 11, 2007 at 4:41 am

Messages posted above by “myrtleave” on 8/28/05 and by “usher” on 9/10/05 are NOT about this theatre. Both pertain to Manhattan’s original Strand Theatre, which had Warner as a later name but is listed here at Cinema Treasures as Strand.

scorseseisgod on March 10, 2007 at 12:10 pm

Here’s a photo from the opening night of “The Jazz Singer,” October 6, 1927. Enjoy!


RobertR on January 28, 2007 at 10:02 am

The movie that changed the world
View link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 6, 2006 at 2:07 am

The theatre opened as the Republic in 1944, not 1945. The exact opening date was August 12, 1944, with the Republic musical, “Atlantic City” (see ad above that I posted on 5/5/06).

AlAlvarez on May 6, 2006 at 1:36 am

This must hold the record for most name changes in Manhattan. Following this theatre is like tracing someone on a witness relocation program.

1924 Piccadilly
1925 Warner's
1935 New Yorker
1936 Oriental
1938 Continental
1943 Abbey
1944 Manhattan
1945 Republic

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 5, 2006 at 5:27 am

First attraction as the Republic Theatre, Broadway showcase for product from Republic Pictures:

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 3, 2006 at 6:30 am

As Brandt’s Manhattan in June, 1944. This booking was soon followed by a revival of Disney’s “Fantasia” with “Multi-Sound”:

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 28, 2006 at 4:25 am

Margie Hart was one of the top four striptease stars of the 1930-40s, along with Ann Corio, Gypsy Rose Lee, and Georgia Sothern. She was said to have the most perfect figure of all of them, and had a reputation for doffing her g-string when the patrons demanded it. Hart was reportedly the highest paid of her contemporaries. She saved her money, retired early, and died in 2000 at age 84 or 85.

VincentParisi on January 27, 2006 at 9:16 am

I believe the last line of Rodgers and Hart’s ‘Zip’ is
“Who the hell is Margie Haaaart?"
So who the hell was she?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 27, 2006 at 7:39 am

As the Oriental Theatre with Minsky’s burlesque (see my post above of 5/13/05 for more details):

VincentParisi on January 27, 2006 at 6:22 am

Interestingly this theater was a classy first run roadshow house in the late twenties and by the early thirties it was grinding out double features at pop prices. The same thing with the Gaity which was roadshowing in the early 30’s and then by the mid was presenting burlesque.
I thought this only happened in the late 60’s when the theaters that were showing top Hollywood roadshow product in only one or two short years would be showing porno and exploitation films.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 27, 2006 at 3:44 am

The Warner Cinerama, originally the Strand, was situated on the NW corner of Broadway & 47th Street, which is well above Times Square and borders on what’s known as Duffy Square (home of the current booth for cut-rate tickets to stage plays).

IanJudge on January 26, 2006 at 5:25 pm

The Warner Cinerama in NYC (Times Sq.) is listed under the STRAND THEATRE on this site.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on January 26, 2006 at 4:45 pm

Fellas: I think we are talking about two different theatres. This place was at 1664 Broadway. The Warner where Cinerama was installed was at 1585 Broadway. The later was open at least through the 60’s. From the looks of pictures at the link below it had many more than 1322 seats as well. I don’t see any listing for the Warner Cinerama on this site. But it could be disguised under another name.


Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 20, 2005 at 4:53 am

This theatre also had a short run as the New Yorker, using the former Warner marquee. Note how the “WB” on the front was changed to “NY”:

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 14, 2005 at 6:32 am

Here’s another photo (from 1931) showing varying names. The sign across the roof says Warner Bros. Theatre. A vertical sign on the front reads Warner Theatre. The front of the marquee displays only the WB trademark:

barrygoodkin on October 29, 2005 at 5:11 am

The Piccadilly Theatre opened on September 27, 1924 with the world premiere of “Barbara Frietchie” a Thomas H. Ince film production with Florence Vidor and Edmund Lowe and also musical and stage novelties including John Hammond at the Marr & Colton organ and Vincent Lopez and his Piccadilly orchestra.

Carlton on September 10, 2005 at 4:40 am

I first went to the Warner’s to see This is Cinerama. I’ll never forget the experience. There was a red curtain that ran almost 180 degrees around the front of the theatre. I had an aisle seat in the center section in row 5. When the film started it was in black and white in the usual square aspect. Lowell Thomas explained the history of motion pictures and then in a grave voice intoned:“Ladies and Gentlemen THIS IS CINERAMA!”. At that moment the red curtain began to open a-l-l the way and you were surrouned by the screen. At first I didn’t know what I was watching. It was shadowy and indistint with a clicket, clickety sound filling the theatre. Then we came out into the sun and were climbing the Cyclone roller coaster at Coney Island. Note I didn’t say we saw but rather we were riding the coaster. From there on in it was one fabulous scene after another, with the flight over the Grand Canyon almost as good as being there. I saw the film at least twic more and at one showing tore myself from the opening scene to turn a watch the faces of the audience…it was amazing. I saw at least two more Cinerama films. One was Cinerama Holiday which began like the first but the opening scene was flying over the Alps in a SwissAir DC 6 rather than the roller coaster.

spencerst on August 28, 2005 at 8:27 pm

here is cinerama at the warner-1956
View link

Linde on July 26, 2005 at 6:56 pm

New York Times, July 5, 1926, p.6 reviewed the Hal Roach film “The Devil Horse” and stated that it was appearing at Warner’s Theatre. Do you think this is the same theater as Warners'?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on June 9, 2005 at 6:26 am

The spelling seems to vary, even in the same photograph. A photo of the marquee on the opening night of “The Jazz Singer” says Warners' Theatre across the front. The view of the marquee’s right side is closely cropped, and all I can see is Warners, though there might have been an apostrophe after it that didn’t make the cut. But to further complicate matters, a vertical sign says Warner, with Theatre in small letters horizontally below it. But the opposite side of that vertical sign says only Warners, with no apostrophe at the end…This photo reminds of how close the theatre was to the original Roseland dance hall. There was only a small store separating their entrances and marquees.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 8, 2005 at 7:54 pm

It’s odd, but after many years of being familiar with the name, I have only just now noticed that the apostrophe comes after the “s” and not after the “r” in Warners'. So it’s the possessive of the plural, (referring to all of the Warner brothers, I suppose) rather than the possessive of the name Warner itself. Strange.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 22, 2005 at 8:42 am

The Piccadilly was intended as the crown jewel of its original owner and builder, Lee A. Ochs, pioneer exhibitor who started with a nickelodeon in 1904. Though he sold the Piccadilly to Warner Brothers, he still owned 10 theatres in upper Manhattan and the Bronx at the time of this death in 1935 at age 55. While playing golf at the Film Daily’s annual golf tournament, Ochs had an attack of appendicitis and died as the result of an emergency operation. The Ochs circuit conisted of the Costello, Gem, Manhattan, Majestic, and Uptown Theatres in Mahattan, and the Kingsbridge, Ogden, United States, Tuxedo, and Mosholu in the Bronx. Most of the theatres were sold to rival companies. The Ochs family retained some, but leased them out for others to operate.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 14, 2005 at 9:21 am

Following is an excerpt from an article by Jack Robinson in Marquee Magazine about NYC burlesque theatres: “The most elegant of Minsky’s Times Square houses was the Oriental, a failed movie house at Broadway and 51st Street, previously known as the Warner-Piccadilly. It provided the shell for Minsky’s most ambitious project. Patrons more often than not wore evening clothes. Such literary notables as Conde Nast and Frank Crowninshield were regulars at the Oriental and wrote articles about burlesque for Vogue and Vanity Fair. The staff at the Oriental wore Chinese costumes and the whole atmosphere of the house was one of Far Eastern splendor. The Minskys spared no expense at the Oriental, and it was a lavish production that audiences could look forward to. Sometimes horses or a live elephant would be used in their more imaginative offerings. Two or three big name comics, several exotics or strippers, and a long line of chorus girls made up the most ambitious productions that burlesque had yet seen. Fiorello LaGuardia objected to ‘flesh in motion.’ His license commissioner at the time was Paul Moss, brother of B.S. Moss, who operated movie houses in the are. Paul Moss was directed by the mayor to revoke the licenses of all 17 burlesque houses in the city, and they were immediately closed. The mayor’s action, which threw hundreds of people out of work in the midst of the Depression, rocked the NYC entertainment world and evoked the opinion that their unemployment was far more immoral than any show ever presented on a burlesque stage.”