Symphony Space/Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre

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

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Showing 76 - 100 of 108 comments

br91975 on September 11, 2005 at 2:26 pm

The street address of the Thalia was/is 250 W. 95th Street.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 11, 2005 at 2:05 pm

The introduction is very confusing. The entrance and address of the Thalia were on West 95th Street, not on Broadway. The color photo shows a conversion of that West 95th Street entrance, and is also not on Broadway. The Thalia’s architect was Benjamin (aka Ben) Schlanger. Here are three small images. The auditorium was notorious for a gradual UPWARDS incline of the rows of seats:

Theaterat on September 2, 2005 at 4:57 pm

Used to go here quite often in lte late v70s and early 80s. A very small, yet comfortable theater. The audience were film buffs, and I always managed to have interesting conversations with them. The double features were always interesting, or united by a theme. Among the many great shows I saw here were “ The Blue Angel” and “Cabaret” “The Maltese Falcon” and “The Big Sleep”,“White Heat” and “The Roaring Twenties”,“Cninatown” and “Five Easy Pieces”, The Original “War Of The Worlds” with “The Day The Earth Stood Still”“ Mutiny on the Bounty”-1935 and “The Caine Mutiny”. “Captain Blood” and “The Sea Hawk”, Etc. etc,It would de nice to go again, but I cannot interest amy friends or my girl to go. They rather stay home and watch DVDs!

RobertR on July 11, 2005 at 12:50 am

Check out this ad for “The Stripper” in 1963. Has anyone heard of Cinema 181?
View link

RobertR on July 6, 2005 at 11:58 pm

AIP at the Symphony

View link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on June 8, 2005 at 2:50 pm

Steve, you can find the current and forthcoming programs at the website link listed in the introduction above.

steve Lewis
steve Lewis on June 8, 2005 at 1:58 pm

So what is the Symphony doing now?

RobertR on June 7, 2005 at 2:29 pm

October 5, 1952 the Symphony advertised 2 New MGM Suspense Thrillers…“Talk About A Stranger” starring George Murphy and Nancy Davis and “Shadow in the Sky” starring Ralph Meeker and Lewis Stone. The Thalia had the Academy Award winning best foreign film “Rasho-Mon” paired with “Under the Paris Sky”.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 8, 2005 at 3:46 pm

A 1935 photo of the Symphony’s exterior can be found on page 37 of the recent “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” published by Aracadia. In those days, the parade started much further uptown than it does now. The photo is a bit too fuzzy to read what was showing at the Symphony, but people, probably employees, are standing on the top of the marquee to get a better view of the parade.

hardbop on March 31, 2005 at 10:08 pm

I could be wrong, but I thought that I remember reading an article where Harvey Weinstein was interviewed and he talked about the (then) shortage of screens and how he was renting the Thalia to give his films a longer theatrical shelf life. Maybe, I’m conflating that with Fine Line. Or, maybe, Miramax also took a shot at this. In any event, I didn’t seen any Miramax, or Fine Line, films at the Thalia.

br91975 on March 31, 2005 at 10:03 pm

It was Fine Line who booked the Thalia for a time, hardbop. (I had an article somewhere – think I tossed it long ago – which made mention of a booking relationship between Fine Line and the Thalia; among the films which screened there during that time were ‘Household Saints’ and ‘Naked in New York’.)

hardbop on March 31, 2005 at 9:49 pm

I remember the Thalia well and made the trek up there many times in the 1980s. I remember a “Smile”/“Carrie” double-bill that was pretty good and the Thalia had a funky attitude.

And I remember going to the Thalia when the local businessman — a hardware store owner I believe — renovated and reopened the theatre. I used to buy those books of tickets where you got a discount and the owner sent me a refund for my unused tickets, to his credit.

BR91975 says it was Fine Line that booked the theatre to show its films exclusively, but I think it was Miramax that moved in there as a way to keep its films in theatres, but it never took off. I think the Miramax films played there after they had closed at other theatres.

Last time I went there, before the new renovation, was ‘98 when someone tried to make a go of it by booking films that hadn’t received commercial distribution. I remember seeing an atrocious film called “Crossing Fields” that played there in '98. That didn’t last long either.

Richard Schwartz seems like an interesting guy and I’d like to know more about him.

Richardhaines on March 13, 2005 at 12:04 pm

The Thalia was a great repertory cinema in the seventies and
eighties. It was run by the late Richard Swartz. Although the theater
was small and contained the bizarre upwards curve (which obscurred
the screen with heads if a tall person sat in the front row), they
did show some rare movies. It had a nice art decor design. It was a fun place to attend which I went to NYU in the seventies. In the eighties they installed selzin
motors and a silver screen so they could show 3-D movies. Swartz
hunted down rare dual projector prints of “The French Line” (in Technicolor with the cut bubbble bath sequence) and even borrowed
a print of “Carnival of Souls” from Herk Harvey. At one point they
advertised an uncut print of “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” but
this turned out to be a regular cut print. After Richard Swartz died of AIDS, the theater folded along with most of the great NYC
repertory cinemas,

Briefly it was an Indian cinema run by Malik Tirlok that played films from that country. I booked my own 3-D movie, “Run for Cover”, in it before it shut down again.

RobertR on October 24, 2004 at 6:23 am

Someone should make a seperate page for the Thalia. This theatre was too important to be an afterthought on the Symphony Space page.

AbbeyKatz on October 24, 2004 at 6:09 am

I wonder what “bringing the Thalia back to life by incorporating the old theater into its newly redesigned complex” means. If the photo’s suggestive, it doesn’t bode well. When I lived in the Village (West & East) 1962-69, the Thalia was Wonderful! I was very poor, saw theater mostly standing room, got most of my entertainment browsing bookstores. But I’d travel a million miles for the old Thalia just the way it was then.

steve Lewis
steve Lewis on August 24, 2004 at 6:47 pm

I worked at the Symphony theater for quite a few years as a projectionist. At that time I believe that it was owned by Columbia University (I could be wrong but that’s what I heard) and was managed by a man named Sam Figler. Sam was an interesting person that used to be the personal assistant for the Shuberts. I understand that he created the Gregg shorthand language and sold it to Gregg for almost nothing. I was there until they closed it as a regular theater in the 70’s. They reopened it briefly as a spanish theater and had some live shows there as well. I still have an old oak coat rack that was in the theater and I used to have the twin 78 RPM players that they used for silent film. I gave it to a friend of mine that I lost track of. What a shame.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 22, 2004 at 10:51 pm

Nothing to forgive, David S. It’s just that I was utterly certain about that and checked the New York Times microfilm to confirm. You may note that the Playboy was a theatre that I submitted and have had great times there over the decades.

davids on July 22, 2004 at 9:39 pm

Thanks, Warren.In general, is there an easy way to find a movie theatre that changed names?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 22, 2004 at 9:06 pm

Look under Directors Guild of America Theatre, which is the current name for the onetime Playboy.

davids on July 22, 2004 at 8:34 pm

Hi, Gerald. Forget what I said about CRIA. Agree with u 100% on the Thalia. their film noir series were something. Now can u, or any body else out there, show me the way to the Playboy, the one that was located on 57th between 7th and 6th. Could nt find it on the list.

RobertR on April 30, 2004 at 6:27 pm

No still 2 seperate entrances.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 30, 2004 at 5:19 pm

Yes, the Thalia does deserve its own listing, since it was originally a separate theatre from the Symphony. In fact, it may still be. I don’t know whether the two are now physically connected or not.

RobertR on April 30, 2004 at 5:01 pm

Dosent the Thalia deserve it’s own listing?

RobertR on April 30, 2004 at 5:00 pm

The Thalia is open but sadly I dont find the programs exciting enough to drive into the city for. The old Thalia used to run everything and anything. I remember a triple bill of Zsa Zsa Gabor in Queen of Outer Space, Plan 9 from Outer Space and the one with Beverly Garland where the creature looked like a giant Asparagus, damn I cant remember the name. Those were fun times.