RKO Jefferson Theatre

214 E. 14th Street,
New York, NY 10003

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Showing 51 - 75 of 92 comments

SPearce on January 10, 2008 at 1:26 am

From the May 10, 1046 NYC edition of the (Communist) Daily Worker RKO Jefferson 14 St. & 3rd Ave.:

Bing Crosby, Ingrid Bergman
“Bells of St. Mary’s”

Question: photos of the facade of the Jefferson posted by Thomas in May 2005: would a theater as famous as B.F. Keith’s Vaudeville house really have been only as wide across as the facade in the photo suggests in its heyday? I will have to change my mental image (or at least the ones provided me by “the movies”) of what the approach to B.F. Keith’s might have been. Thank you.

Adamsdad on October 24, 2007 at 11:06 pm

And a cigarette ad, (Kents, perhaps), on the side of the side of the bus in the foreground.

dave-bronx™ on October 24, 2007 at 10:24 pm

…with the side of the Palladium looming in the background.

Adamsdad on October 22, 2007 at 6:05 pm

The Jefferson was probably the toughest house in Manhattan because it was adjacent to a very tough neighborhood, the Gashouse District. And its vaudeville attendance would have dwindled when thousands of people were evicted from their homes to make way for Stuyevsant Town beginning in 1945. The first resident in Stuy Town didn’t move in until 1947-1948.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 13, 2007 at 11:08 am

The introduction needs correcting. The Jefferson first opened in 1913, not 1910. Please see my previous posts about the Jefferson dated 3/22/04 and 3/27/04.

bobmarshall on August 28, 2007 at 9:57 pm

From Nathan Silver’s “Lost New York”:
“(the Jefferson)…After it became linked to the big time Keith circuit in 1920, its players included The Marx Brothers, Mae West, Jack Benny & Fred Allen. ‘The Jefferson was considered the toughtest house in New York’ said George Burns in his book, "Gracie.” It was a movie house from the 30’s through 60’s and finally demolished in 1999."


kc2dhj on August 20, 2007 at 12:54 pm

Iremember the huge fish tanks that were in the lobby (circa early 60s) and that I saw a live spook show with “Zacherley”

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 20, 2007 at 10:42 am

The Jefferson first opened on January 25, 1913, just two days after the uptown Hamilton. Both theatres were operated by B.S. Moss and Sol Brill: www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/hamjeff.jpg

kencmcintyre on March 18, 2007 at 4:43 pm

Here is a 1986 photo by Michael Putnam:

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on December 19, 2006 at 8:29 pm

I remember passing by this place in the 80’s. It must be said that it did look like hell.

fjmarkowitz on April 13, 2006 at 8:29 am

Thanks John – wow- “Pinky”, quite a movie for its time
also noticed the Rangers/Bruins hockey game for 70 cents!!!
I think the cheapest seat now is $28!!!

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 13, 2006 at 8:12 am

Celebrate New Year’s Eve (1949) at RKO! Please note that the Jerfferson and several other theatres listed in the ad also had stage presentations:

drewcarolan on July 28, 2005 at 11:15 am

The Jefferson was Spanish speaking movie house in the 70’s.
I photographed it in 1976.

Go to http://drewcarolan.com and look under NewYork

There was an after hours type palce in the loft above the marquee in the late 80’s.

RobertR on July 10, 2005 at 2:32 pm

1952 saw a mass release of King King and the Leopard Man
View link

RobertR on July 5, 2005 at 4:27 am

I posted that same question on the page for the Cosmo, these have yet to be identified.

dave-bronx™ on July 4, 2005 at 11:29 pm

RobertR: I notice in the above-linked ad that there is a San Juan Theatre in Manhattan, and a Puerto Rico Theatre in the Bx. They aren’t listed on this site (at least not under those names). Do you know where they were?

RobertR on July 4, 2005 at 5:13 pm

In 1974 the Jefferson was a Brandt house.
View link

fjmarkowitz on June 9, 2005 at 1:23 pm

I don’t re-call its name but that must be it. I started living in StuyTown around 1970 and I always re-call the place as being porno. It was a pretty sleazy block for years – its picked up quite a bit in recent years and I’m surprised the Millstein group hasn’t developed or sold the Jefferson site.

RobertR on June 9, 2005 at 1:11 pm

Are you talking about the Metropolitan?

fjmarkowitz on June 9, 2005 at 1:07 pm

Yep- there was a porno theatre there; it was knocked down at some point and there are now apartments; I assume it was once a legit place, probably had a name. And yes you are right – the SRO is gone, think it was called the Sahara.

hardbop on June 9, 2005 at 12:24 pm

You are not thinking of a porno theatre that was on the east side of Third Avenue between 14th & 15th Streets are you? I think there was one there. There was an SRO hotel on the northeast corner of 14th Street & Third Avenue that is also gone.

fjmarkowitz on June 9, 2005 at 11:48 am

Property is owned by the Millstein family – real estate developers.
Place is an eyesore – surprised given the recent re-birth of Union Square and the NYU dorms nearby.
I vaguely recall another smaller theatre on the north side of 14th street, closer to 2nd avenue – anybody have any ideas?

Thomas on May 8, 2005 at 7:30 pm

Here’s a photo ( or two ) I took of the old Jefferson back in the 1980’s.