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The Universal Theatre was the first atmospheric in the Greater New York area and was designed by John Eberson. It was supposed to be part of a national circuit owned by Universal Pictures, which unfortunately couldn’t get product other than its own and after just a year sold the theatre to the Loew’s circuit, which re-named it the 46th Street Theatre. As both the Universal and Loew’s 46th, it housed vaudeville + movies until the introduction of talkies, when it started showing movies only.
This theatre was designed by Thomas Lamb. Much of your info is incorrect. It was only briefly known as the 51st Street Theatre during some of the Depression years, when Warner Brothers sub-leased it for plays, concerts, etcetera. As soon as the Depression was over, Warners re-claimed it as the Hollywood and made it a showcase for its most-important releases such as “Yankee Doodle Dandy” and “Casablanca.” When the movie of “Life With Father” in 1947, it was re-named the Warner Theatre and then the Mark Hellinger when it was sold to house stage plays. The Warner Theatre name was then transferred to the Strand Theatre (B'way & 47th Street) when it dropped its stage show + feature film policy for movies only.
Loew’s State was designed by Thomas Lamb in the Adams style. For many years, it was the most famous vaudeville theatre in the USA except for the nearby Palace.
The movies shown at the State were always secondary to the vaudeville program and for the most part were “move-overs” from the Capitol, Paramount, or other Broadway houses. In 1946, vaudeville was finally discontinued at the State and it became a first-run theatre, mostly for MGM product until the studio and Loew’s circuit were “divorced” by Federal decree.
This theatre is an atmospheric design by Thomas Lamb and first opened on Christmas Day, 1928. Lamb built it simultaneously with Proctor’s 58th Street in Manhattan (now demolished), which was also an atmospheric but different in decor from Keith’s Flushing.