8th Street Playhouse

52 W. 8th Street,
New York, NY 10011

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Showing 51 - 75 of 103 comments

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 13, 2006 at 8:35 am

This ultra low-budget NY indie had its premiere at the 8th Street on January 31st, 1986. Despite the prominent placement of then-current punk stars The Ramones and Scandal in the ad, the film’s soundtrack and some of its sub-plot actually had more to do with Doo-Wop music than punk rock.

checkerphil on November 6, 2006 at 3:03 pm

I miss those old Playhouse days! If you know any former 8th St Staff, or NY Rocky Horror performers or regulars, please have them them stop by our website and share some memories. (www.rockyhorror.cc) aka The NYC RHPS Survivors/Supporters Society. We are also seeking members of former casts like the New Yorker theatre, Midway (Queens), Marboro Theatre (Brooklyn), Amboy Twin (Staten Island) We are also seeking cast members and crew from the diffrent theaters our cast went to after the Playhouse Closed. The latest Rocky Horror cast can be found at www.nycrhps.org (yup there’s still some Playhouse faces in the cast. What do you expect from time warpers?)

Mikeoaklandpark on August 17, 2006 at 7:56 am

TLA should use the auditorium as a theater if it is still intact. For many years they had a theater in Phila on Chestnut street along with the video store.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 17, 2006 at 7:04 am

Not to stray too far off topic (after all I seem to be a member of the Off Topic Bilge Brigade), but here is a link to a site that has photos of the Electric Lady Studios entrance prior to the renovations and then after. It looks like the destruction of the old entrance took place some time in 1997.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 17, 2006 at 4:31 am

Electric Lady Studios is still there, dave-bronx. They completely remodeled the entrance to the studios in the late ‘90’s – to much derision from local preservationists. If you look at Ken’s photo, the two gated window fronts just to the right of the No Standing sign are for Electric Lady Studios. The old facade had a tall rectangular recess to the right of the 8th Street Playhouse marquee from which a curved brick wall protruded slightly onto the sidewalk. The curved wall was designed to look like the shoulder of a guitar, as if a giant guitar were embedded in the facade of the building and half buried in the sidewalk. As you walked into the small vestibule the wall created, there was even a round window on the inside of the wall designed to approximate the sound hole on an acoustic guitar. Now, the entrance looks like any old plain and boring storefront. I’m sure if you dug around the internet, you’d find an article about the whole remodeling – and perhaps even a before/after photo. This would have been several years after the Playhouse closed… maybe '96 or '97.

dave-bronx™ on August 16, 2006 at 10:45 pm

I guess the Electric Lady recording studios (where Hendrix recorded) is gone – when I worked here the entrance was next door to the theatre, but the facility itself was in the basement under the theatre…

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 16, 2006 at 4:45 am

A photograph I took of the 8th Street Playhouse in May 2006:

The auditorium remains pretty well intact within the building in its current use as a TLA video store and orininal film posters and calendars from its movie theatre days adorn the walls of the former foyer lobby area.

42ndStreetMemories on July 23, 2006 at 4:23 pm

You shouldn’t be selling your product by posting to every theater you can think of. I reported this to the site owners and I hope they do something about it.

irajoel on July 23, 2006 at 10:52 am

I’m posting nice movie material that are also mostly for sale.

you can also view my entire inventory at
I have over 5,000 items including many books in non-film such as
gay and lesbian, African American, posters, graphic design, fiction, poetry and much more.

BrooklynJim on June 27, 2006 at 11:19 am

Correction: Lewis Wilson was the Batman and Douglas Croft was Robin in the 1943 chapter serial. (Robert Lowery starred in the ‘49 Columbia serial, along with nimble Johnny Duncan.) Shirley Patterson portrayed Bruce Wayne’s love interest Linda Page, and Charles (Flash Gordon’s Ming the Merciless) Middleton played Colton, a uranium miner. The DVD is currently available, but some wartime racial slurs against the Japanese may have been edited, as Columbia is now owned by Sony.

BrooklynJim on June 27, 2006 at 9:36 am

Although I passed by the 8th St. Playhouse many times in my Greenwich Village days of the 1960s, I had occasion to enjoy a novel event there only once, and that story deserves a bit of background.

Brooklyn’s Peerless Theater under the old el on Myrtle Ave. was really good at booking those old Columbia and Republic serials for us kids and our Saturday matinees. In 1953, an entire decade after it had made its wartime debut, was the very first “Batman” serial with Robert Lowery (the Batman), Lewis Croft (Robin) and J. Carroll Naish (the evil but campy Prince Tito Daka of the empire of Japan – Boo! Hiss!) I’d caught most of the 15 chapters, so when Batman got slugged and placed in a wooden box in Chapter 14, I knew I couldn’t wait to find out how he got out before being eaten by MoJo MoJo and Sako Sako (Daka’s pet alligators) in the concluding episode.

At high noon the following Saturday, I was headed out the door with my 20 cents admission in hand when I was collared by my mom. Where was I going? To see the conclusion of the Batman serial. “You’re not going anywhere. Go look in the bathroom mirror.” OK, so I had some spots on my face. Big deal. Mom said, “I’m not going to be responsible for infecting 400 neighborhood kids because of your chicken pox.”

And not one of my pals would ever reveal the ending to me!

Flash forward 13 years. The TV Batman show is all the rage in ‘66, so the wizard programmers at 8th St. Playhouse decide to do their version of a tie-in and booked the original 1943 print for one weekend only, all 420 minutes of it, complete with recaps and coming attractions. I was dizzy. I took a date who endured my revelry in finding out how it finally ended after all that time. I knew! I was more than pleased! But I only got a handshake instead of a kiss from my date, never to go beyond this one-and-only trip to a great Greenwich Village icon.

hardbop on May 30, 2006 at 6:20 am

I started to keep track of the movies I saw in ‘93 and '92 was the year where I became a serious cineaste. I’ve been going back to the library to try to see some of the stuff I caught that year. I looked up the Chabrol films and they actually screened in Dec. '91. I do remember that the first two retros the theatre ran when it switched to a rep/revival house were Kurosawa and Bergman, which took place before Chabrol, which must have been the third series. It probably switched to retros, then, in late November/Dec. 1991 and didn’t last a year.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on January 19, 2006 at 4:48 pm

In 1979 the 8th St. Playhouse was the New York home of John Carpenter’s “Halloween” for a long exclusive run. My parents actually made the trip in from New Jersey to see it, and they hadn’t done that since the old days of a movie & stage show for 99 cents at Radio City.

Squantz on January 19, 2006 at 3:26 pm

In 1950 I was an usher(ette) at the Playhouse for a short time. I was issued a scratchy beige uniform with maroon trim, and a flashlight. There I was introduced to “Tweety”, having to listen to his song all too many times. In the evenings there would be a break, when the manager turned up in black tie, and coffee would be served to the moviegoers (in real cups and saucers) — little old ladies in shoulder capes and hats were particularly happy for this ritual. I don’t remember if this was every evening, or only on weekends, or maybe at a film opening, but it gave a feeling of being at a live theater.

I was shocked to find, upon returning to NY a few years back, that it has become a video shop. Some old posters were there, but even so, it had to be put on our list of gone-forever-should-have-lived-on places.

meryl on December 14, 2005 at 12:19 pm

MarkNYLA: update your profile! ie: LA/NY theatre-related stuff

suzannejacobs on December 14, 2005 at 2:57 am

my friends and i spent every friday and saturday at the rocky horror picture show. all my friends were in the cast and we had a ball.i wish we call organize a reunuion it would be amazing.

meryl on August 24, 2005 at 2:57 am

the 8th St. Playhouse, my first job as a projectionist: spring, 1974.
double bill: Paper Moon & A Touch of Class.

moviesmovies on July 13, 2005 at 6:22 am

saw ‘The Lacemaker’ and ‘Outrageous’ here.

MKuecker on July 7, 2005 at 9:17 pm

BobT: Congrats! You are a true Rocky/Shocky fan.

MarkNYLA: Thanks for the correction. The condos are in the same area as where the theatre stood. My coordinates were just a little off. You have to remember that at that time my brain was spaced out on sensation (among other things) :)

MarkNYLA on July 7, 2005 at 2:41 am

Truth be told, Charles, the 8th Street Playhouse wasn’t replaced by condos. The building that housed the theatre is now the NYC outpost of TLA Video, a video rental company specializes in obscure, cult and offbeat titles. It’s probably the best video rental in NY, next to Kim’s Underground. This dosn’t excuse the loss of a great theatre (the first theatre I made a beeline for when I moved here), but it least something movie related took it’s place.

BobT on July 7, 2005 at 1:28 am

“Perhaps the only rice, cards, or tp that gets thrown is by the couple in 12A who are always bitchin' in the kitchen, and cryin' in the bedroom all night.”

Wow Charles, that could possibly be the most obscure movie quote ever! I would agree but only if that couple has a micro digital awaker. Ahh,the 8th Street Playhouse. Where else could you see “Street Trash”, an over the top horror comedy about bums drinking cheap hootch that makes them melt and then on another vist, see “Slaves Of New York”? Slaves of course is a cutting edge flick about a Bohemian New York artist and hat designer. Oh, did I mention it was a Merchant Ivory film starring Bernadette Peters. A definite WTF? But that’s why we love the 8th Street.

MKuecker on July 6, 2005 at 11:02 pm

Ah, the 8th St. Playhouse. Made famous for showing Rocky Horror, and is seen in the movie “Fame” when a Doris, and Ralph attend Rocky
Sal Piro – president of The RHPS Fan Club played himself – The best Rocky Horror MC there ever will be. – All the regulars got their face on film too. – Somehow the fact that it’s been replaced by luxurious condos doesn’t seem right. I bet no one in unit 3B is doing The Time Warp. Perhaps the only rice, cards, or tp that gets thrown is by the couple in 12A who are always bitchin' in the kitchen, and cryin' in the bedroom all night. BUT I digress. :)
To me, it’s another classic theatre lost to the almighty green-back.

RobertR on June 12, 2005 at 5:01 am

As late as Decmber 1973 this was still part of Cinema 5 (re-named Rugoff Theatres). They were playing “What’s Up Doc” and “Get to Know Your Rabbit”.

RobertR on June 10, 2005 at 3:37 am

In an ad from April of 1959 the 8th Street playhouse appears in a block ad as a Rugoff Theatre, this is the first time I ever heard it was part of that chain. They were playing Bernard Shaws “Doctors Dilema” released to cash in on her Gigi fame.

br91975 on April 25, 2005 at 12:09 pm

Thanks for those details, Robert, and for the memories you, Irv, and everyone else has offered. My New York is, by default and by my age, the contemporary New York of Sunday brunch, weekend lines at the Angelika and the Sunshine, and a Starbucks Vanilla Creme Frappucino (when the mood strikes), but I value the remnants of the ‘Old New York’ we still have (St. Marks Place, for being an ALMOST corporate-free zone; the Waverly Restaurant; John’s of Bleecker Street; and several many others – but far too few as well – to list). Oh, to be 10 years older and to have lived in the New York all you guys had a chance to enjoy…