Sutton Theater

205 East 57th Street,
New York, NY 10022

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Showing 51 - 75 of 179 comments

edblank on May 20, 2008 at 3:07 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 9:22 am

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 9:05 am

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

markp on January 10, 2008 at 11:07 am

It saddens me to read over and over about all the great theatres being lost to the wrecking ball. But, as someone who has been a projectionist for almost 33 years now, the sad reality is, money talks, and condo’s and office towers rule. I myself am trying to get an old palace back up and running here in N.J. So far the owners have been renovating and hopefully soon we can get some old time movies going. But this is the exception, rather than the rule. And another thing that gets my goat is all this talk of “digital cinema”. Movies have been on FILM forever, leave it on FILM.

AdoraKiaOra on December 17, 2007 at 12:57 pm

I saw the movie ‘Broadway-The Golden Age’ here and it was just me and 2 very old ladies in the house. They sat 2 rows in front of me and they talked all the way thru the movie but it was just fine with me because it turned out that these two ladies were old Broadway chorus girls and they knew almost everyone in the movie. They were totally charming and very entertaining, it was better than any DVD commentary could ever be!
It closed very soon after and i have been past it in its new life as a new face less New York building!

Manwithnoname on July 6, 2007 at 6:17 am

On the DVD of “Young Frankenstein” in the Mel Brooks collection set, the special features section shows a shot of the Sutton with WORLD PREMIERE YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN on the marquee. I don’t know if this is also on the individually sold disc.

tkinz on June 2, 2007 at 4:47 am

This is the first theater I went to when I moved to NYC – I saw “The Crying Game” in the smaller theater and was appalled at the tiny screen and the rectangular shaped auditorium – it was almost impossible to see unless you were able to get a seat dead center. BUT I always loved the facade and marquee of this beautiful theater.

efriedmann on May 29, 2007 at 7:47 am

The only movie I ever saw at The Sutton was THE FULL MONTY in 1997.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 24, 2007 at 3:10 am

In the “old days,” every movie shown in New York State had to be approved by its official censorship board before the film opened. This was not unusual for those times. The 1946 FDYB lists state censor boards for New York, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. There were also local censor boards that ruled over the “key city territories” of Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Des Moines, Detroit, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Memphis, Milwaukee, New Haven, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Portland (Ore.), San Francisco, and Seattle…In 1946, the governing rule for the New York State Board was that “No motion picture will be licensed, or a permit granted for its exhibition within the State of New York, which may be classified or any part thereof, as obscene, indecent, immoral, inhuman, sacrilegious, or which is of such a character that its exhibition would tend to corrupt morals or incite to crime.” Only newsreels were exempted from review.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 23, 2007 at 8:27 am

If you zoom in on the photo Lost posted, you’ll see at the bottom of the “Scarlet Street” poster in the first display case to the right of the entrance, a small sign seems to read “USHERETTES WANTED.” Great photo.

dave-bronx™ on May 20, 2007 at 12:16 pm

The New York State Board of Censors?? While I wasn’t around in those days, I never would have thought that New Yorkers were so delicate and unaware of the concepts of adultery and murder that they had to be protected from the movies by a State board of censors. I’d heard of various private organizations like the Legion of Decency and a few others, but why was the State involved in that stuff? It sounds very ominous to me.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 20, 2007 at 6:59 am

The photo in the NYPL Digital Gallery was probably taken in 1946. The Sutton was a late-run “nabe” in those days. Universal’s “Scarlet Street” had its NYC premiere engagement at Loew’s Criterion in February, 1946. It was originally scheduled to open there in January, but the opening was delayed due to objections from the New York State Board of Censors, which tried to ban the film due to its bold treatment of adultery and murder. After Loew’s Criterion, “Scarlet Street” had a Loew’s circuit run with MGM’s “She Went to the Races” as supporting feature. The Sutton’s booking would have been after that, perhaps in April or May. Due to its “sophisticated” East Side clientele, the Sutton usually played only single features.

AlexNYC on May 20, 2007 at 6:06 am

Very cool. If you zoom in to the left of the box office in the photo you can also see the Beekman Radio Shop, a relic of the past.

AlAlvarez on April 11, 2007 at 12:41 pm

Variety June 22, 1955

“Biz is holding up so well for "Marty” at the arty Sutton Theatre that film rental on this United Artists release may be sufficient to pay off the $325,000 estimated negative cost.

RobertR on September 20, 2006 at 2:26 pm

A 1968 moveover of “Millie"
View link

RobertR on September 15, 2006 at 2:14 pm

An ad like this shows the high regard the Sutton once had
View link

AlAlvarez on September 11, 2006 at 10:47 pm

The Orleans is mentioned on the Strand link as it was part of that theatre originally.

jimkastner on September 11, 2006 at 5:16 pm

Whatever became of the Orleans Theatre that was located on one of the W. 40’s or 50’s Streets off of Broadway in NYC. I lived in Manhattan in 1969/70. I remember seeing one of my favorites there, “Last Summer” with Barbara Hershey, Bruce Davidson, Richard Thomas and Cathrine Burns. The marquee had two figures sitting on top of it as if they were in a New Orleans outdoor cafe. The Rod Steiger blockbuster “3 Into 2 Don’t Go” with Claire Bloom and Judy Geeson also played there. What is there today?????

AlAlvarez on July 9, 2006 at 12:17 pm

The Sutton was already open in 1934. It became a major first run “sure seater” art house in 1947 with Powell & Pressburger’s I KNOW WHERE I’M GOING and for several years specialised in British imports.

DavidHurlbutt on July 9, 2006 at 10:10 am

The above description of the Sutton states it opened in the 1950s yet THE FILM DAILY YEAR BOOK for 1944 lists the Sutton as being opened in 1944. What year did the Sutton open?

ErikH on July 9, 2006 at 7:05 am

The film with Streep and DeNiro is “Falling in Love.” One of the scenes was filmed at the Rizzoli book store.

VincentParisi on July 6, 2006 at 4:46 am

ErikH made me think of the time I was lost in my own thoughts walking up 5th Av when Rizzoli was still there when I suddenly look up in front of the store and right in front of me are DeNiro and Streep holding shopping bags of Christmas presents. This was nowhere near Christmas and if there is a movie out there with this scene of the two of them standing in front of Rizzoli’s I’m probably somehwere in the vicinity off camera.

dave-bronx™ on July 5, 2006 at 8:55 pm

Wow! What a stunningly ordinary building – certainly adds something to the neighborhood – and doesn’t it blend in well with the buildings on either side of it? What is it, by the way – more desperately needed over-priced condominiums?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 5, 2006 at 5:09 pm

I drove passed the former theater’s site just a few hours ago and had my camera in the car. While stopped in traffic waiting for the light to change, I pointed over my shoulder (and through my moon roof for the 2nd shot) and captured the uninspired glass tower that has risen on the lot:

205 East 57th at street level
Glass tower