Symphony Space/Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre

250 W. 95th Street,
New York, NY 10025

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Showing 51 - 75 of 108 comments

GFeret on February 26, 2007 at 10:07 am

Sometime back in the ‘70s my cousin Bill’s wife KAREN FERET was assocaited with the THALIA operation. I was under the impression she was a manager

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 11, 2006 at 1:33 pm

Here’s a B&W photo of the old Thalia marquee & entrance with a nice Eric Rohmer double feature advertised. The photo is mislabled as West 94th rather than West 95th Street. Lots of good B&W photography on this site including theater related shots I’ve been posting around CT.

dsadowski on September 25, 2006 at 10:23 pm

I live in Chicago, but around 1980 I flew to NYC on a whim, just to see a Buster Keaton film at the Thalia. I had the time of my life… saw the film, then got on the subway back to LaGuardia and flew back to Chicago the same day.

It was money well spent. I loved those old revival houses, and still miss the Clark Theatre we had here (2 different films a day, 365 days a year).

RobertR on September 16, 2006 at 12:41 pm

A good 1973 Times article on the Thalia
View link

steve Lewis
steve Lewis on September 13, 2006 at 12:00 pm

I totally forgot about the lens and aperture change we did at the Thalia. We did a lot of that for one reason only. To have a great presentation. Automation took a lot away from the projectionists ability to give great presentations. We really cared about what quality people saw on the screens where we worked and it was hard to convince management to do something so we went through back doors.

paulie52 on September 12, 2006 at 10:05 am

I was a projectionist at The Thalia from 1975 through 1977 and although it had it’s peculiarities, I have fond memmories of the place. At that time, The Thalia had no real focus (no pun intended). We showed everything from mainstream first run films like Woody Allen’s “Love and Death,” to the more obscure indies like “The Night Porter.” Unfortunately, the ticket buying public had lost it’s enthusiasm for this tired old art house, with most weekdays barely seeing a handful of characters, I mean customers. Some of the more interesting entertainment often took place in the back rows where many of our regulars seemed to not realize (or care) that their antics were clearly visible to whomever was in the booth! My biggest pet peeve was the postage stamp screen. My friend Steve worked upstairs at the Symphony at that time (see his post from March 2004) and found an old pair of lenses that he thought might work at The Thalia. I cut new apertures and installed the lenses and voila, we had about a 30% larger screen image on flat format films; (although I sometimes had to chop peoples heads off to squeeze the subtitles into frame.) Man, those were great times!

hardbop on April 26, 2006 at 11:50 am

I was at the Thalia yesterday for STEAMBOAT BILL JR. and I must say that I feel that since the Thalia was renovated & reopened the revival has been half-assed. I saw only three films here in ‘05 and one of them was projected video (PIXOTE). My visit yesterday at a lightly attended 4:30 screening was my first in '06.

One other use for the Thalia, which I don’t think anyone mentioned, was that in the late 90’s someone was running the theatre and using it as a showplace for films that didn’t have distributors. I caught only one film in that series in November ‘98 called CROSSING FIELDS.

RobertR on March 1, 2006 at 6:23 pm

Disney must have finally struck a new 35mm print of “Mary Poppins” because I just realized they played it here Feb 26th. Wish I had known in time to attend.

RobertR on March 1, 2006 at 6:22 pm

Disney must have finally struck a new 35mm print of “Mary Poppins” because I just realized they played it here Feb 26th. Wish I had known in time to attend.

frankie on November 28, 2005 at 9:25 am

On an afternoon off in maybe the ‘80s I went to the Thalia to see my girl Dottie Lamour in “Slightly French”, and I brought my lunch ! How we film buffs depended on the Thalia before video ! My sister & I went to the Symphony to see “Barbarella.”

RobertR on October 28, 2005 at 5:09 pm

In 1959 the Thalia revived this early John Barrymore film “Topaze”. They said it was the first showing since the original release.
View link

macheath48 on October 14, 2005 at 12:14 pm

Is the Thalia the theater that showed HAROLD & MAUDE during the late sixties, early seventies for what seemed like forever? This was the theater (the only one in the tri-state area at least) to recognize this film and helped it become a cult classic.

faberfranz on October 8, 2005 at 6:18 pm

Yes, for Pete’s sake, these are three (3) separate entities:

Originally and as “renovated” and their interiors incorporated into a new luxury high-rise, two separate entrances and (in the old days) separate marquees: Symphony on Broadway, Thalia on 95th street around the corner from it.

(1) Symphony movie theater (yes, I think I saw a movie there while it and the nearby Riviera(?) (Riverside?) (west side of broadway, 96th-97th street) were both showing movies. (Saw “Yellow Submarine” with my daughter at the now-gone theater on Broadway 96th-97th street.)

(2) The Symphony (movie theater) transformed into “Symphony Space”; same INTERIOR but deprived of a proper marquee, with a luxury apartment building complexly built on top and around it, and used exclusively for STAGE productions. Wonderful. Dance and music from all over the world, readings (e.g. Bloomsday), etc., etc. [i think the site’s ]

(3) The Thalia: “essential” part of NYC cultural life for decades as the place to see foreign films and occasional US “art” films. And then the closing and eventual reopening(s). My last sustained viewings were in 1984, I think, seeing that German serial, week after week (Potzdammer Platz?) during a difficult love affair.

Went once to double feature of excellent old (B & W) Japanese films after renovation (and 2nd new management?) and upward-slant was reassuring, but…

Might pick up again; slightly better programming now?

But yes, puh-leeeeze—separate listings for Symphony and Thalia!!

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 5, 2005 at 9:57 am

Healy was a major property owner on the Upper West Side, including the entire square block between 94th & 95th Streets and Broadway & West End Avenue, which he developed into a residential and recreation area in the early 1900s.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 5, 2005 at 9:36 am

Warren; I have notified the site managers of amendments to this page on the Thalia Theatre. Looking forward to you posting a new page dedicated to the former Symphony Theatre. Thanks.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 5, 2005 at 9:26 am

The 95th Street space was originally a restaurant and dance palace known as the Sunken Garden, which was eventually gutted and replaced in the early 1930s by a small cinema called the Thalia. This Thalia proved unsatisfactory and was replaced circa 1938 by a somewhat larger and much more modern Thalia designed by architect Benjamin (aka Ben) Schlanger. I posted some pix here of that Thalia on 9/11/05.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 5, 2005 at 8:23 am

I have enough history about the Symphony Theatre to start a listing for it, but can’t until the address of the Symphony Space/Thalia is corrected. The theatre discussed above was at 250 West 95th Street. The Symphony was at 2537 Broadway. They were entirely separate theatres and built at least 15 years apart.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 21, 2005 at 6:33 am

This listing apparently started as one for the Thalia Theatre. There is no mention in the introduction of the original Symphony Theatre, which had about 1,400 seats and was a subsequent-run mainstream cinema for much of its life. The word “Symphony” became attached to the Thalia when it was incorporated into the complex known as Symphony Space, which originally consisted only of the ex-Symphony Theatre. The address for the listing Symphony Space/Thalia Theater needs to be changed to 250 West 95th Street, and a new listing should be added for the Symphony Theatre, which had an address of 2537 Broadway. The main name for this new listing should probably be Symphony Space, with aka Symphony Theatre above it.

Theaterat on September 20, 2005 at 7:31 pm

Somehow, Symphony Space and the Thalia began to be listed togeyher in the early 1980s.Prior to that, the Thalia was its own entity.

br91975 on September 19, 2005 at 9:31 am

I’m certain the color photo in the intro is that of the main entrance to Symphony Space (or, what was at the time, THE entrance to Symphony Space). The Symphony Space marquee was boxy, as is the marquee in the photo above (the two Thalia marquees of recent vintage were both curvy in form) and the first image within the Peter Jay Sharp slideshow on the Symphony Space web page ( illustrates both a downward sidewalk slant and an entranceway similar in form to that of the original Symphony Space.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 19, 2005 at 8:53 am

The color photo in the intro is of the former Thalia entrance at 250 West 95th Street. You can tell by the downhill slant of the sidewalk. The sidewalk on Broadway in front of the former Symphony Theatre’s entrance is flat.

br91975 on September 12, 2005 at 7:26 am

The color photo in the introduction above actually shows a conversion of the Symphony Space entrance, which is still there and is separate from the entrance to the Thalia.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 12, 2005 at 7:13 am

The problem seems to be that no one ever bothered to start a listing for the Symphony Theatre, which had about 1,400 seats and was considerably larger (and older) than the Thalia. I haven’t been in the area recently, so I can’t say whether the Symphony entrance on Broadway is still there. The color photo in the introduction above shows a conversion of the Thalia entrance on West 95th Street.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on September 11, 2005 at 2:42 pm

For the life of me, I cannot understand why Symphony Space and the Thalia cannot be separate listings!!!