Festival Theatre

6 W. 57th Street,
New York, NY 10019

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Showing 51 - 59 of 59 comments

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 6, 2004 at 6:24 pm

According to the 1967 Film Daily Year Book, the Festival Theatre was situated at 6 West 57th Street, which means that it was much closer to Fifth Avenue than Sixth Avenue. If you’ve ever had to walk that stretch of West 57th, it’s one of the longest blocks in midtown Manhattan.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on March 19, 2004 at 6:42 am

In late 1991 the proprietors of the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts were close to finalizing a deal that would have allowed them to program the Festival Theatre on 57th Street as a repertory house. This plan, though reported in a Boston Globe article as imminent, would fall through.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 14, 2004 at 10:31 am

I’m pleased that the space has finally been rented. After conversion to retail, it was vacant for at least five years. The Festival is one theatre that I’ll never miss. The sightlines were deplorable due to a flat floor in the auditorium. If the theatre was crowded and someone sat in front of you, you couldn’t read the subtitles of the foreign movies unless you were able to find a better seat. And the projection always seemed dimmer than it should be, perhaps due to lack of enough amperage in the electrical system.

br91975 on March 13, 2004 at 8:24 pm

A location of the Club Monaco apparel chain currently occupies the former Festival Cinema space.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on March 13, 2004 at 12:28 pm

The Festival was known only as the Festival after opening in the early 60’s. It was where Fellini’s 8 ½ premiered in New York. I remember seeing Vittorio Gassman in THE EASY LIFE (IL SORPASSO) there in 1962 at a matinee. $1.50!

SethLewis on February 23, 2004 at 4:40 am

The Festival was the Festival…Joe Levine’s theatre was the Lincoln Art near 7th Avenue…This was a Walter Reade theatre as far as I can remember back into the mid 60s until Loews took it in the 80s…Always tought to program I remember a mix of art, 1st and 2nd run stuff here including James Bond double bills, La Grande Vadrouille my favourite French comedy ever and Ten From Your Show of Shows…In the 80s I saw Au Revoir Les Enfants and The Navigator here

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on February 19, 2004 at 10:48 am

Yes, 57th Street Playhouse was another of the names for the theatre presently owned by the DGA.

mhvbear on February 19, 2004 at 10:19 am

Wasn’t this also called the 57th Street Playhouse for a while. It functioned as a move over theater for the Cinema 1 – ‘The Last Emperor’ in 70mm and they also showed Stop Making Sense and Laurie Anderson’s Home of the Brave. I remember that this theater had one of the first digital sound sysytem in NYC.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on February 19, 2004 at 10:01 am

You have this confused with another theatre. The Festival was on the south side of 57th Street between Fifth & Sixth Avenues. It was originally built in the 1960s by producer-distributor Joseph E. Levine as a showcase for his own movies. The management later changed. It’s possible that Loew’s ran it for a while. After the Festival closed, it was converted to retail space…The theatre described above between Sixth & Seventh Avenues opened as the Normandie but had several name changes, including Cinema Rendezvous and the Playboy.