Sutton Theater

205 East 57th Street,
New York, NY 10022

Unfavorite 22 people favorited this theater

Showing 151 - 175 of 176 comments

umbaba
umbaba on July 29, 2004 at 3:19 am

The reason there won’t be any single theaters is because the multiplexes bring in the kids that have the money to pay for the crap they’re showing. The Astor Plaza shuts down next week, the only one left is the Ziegfeld which shows a movie that’s playing on 6 screens across town and Radio City, which only shows an occasional premiere for invited audience. There’s no more movie people around guys….we are a rare breed.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on July 29, 2004 at 2:19 am

This is really pissing me off. Every old time theater is being sold and closed. Someone in NYC should get the mayor involved. NYC will be left with no theater history. We will be overwhelemd with these damn multiplexes.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on July 28, 2004 at 9:49 pm

According to an anonymous source, the Sutton property was sold, the theatre is a tenant, and the new owner intends to tear it down and build something else. However, someone was trying to get the New York City Landmarks Commission to consider giving it landmark status. The new owner got wind of it and quickly contracted to have the exterior destroyed before it could be landmarked. Hopefully, there will be a fight with the landmarks commission who could file suit to get restoration ordered, or at least get some hefty fines levied.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on July 26, 2004 at 2:42 pm

The Sutton was originally Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company, the only change to the exterior when it was converted to a theatre in the 50s was the addition of the marquee. The Wendy’s on Third Avenue btwn 57 & 58 is part of the Sutton property. The Sutton, The Murray Hill and The Beekman were all similiar in that they had the concession area tucked under the stadium with a large window so you could still watch the movie while getting your candy and popcorn. The Beekman still has this set-up.

genahy
genahy on June 29, 2004 at 6:27 pm

I just saw a film at Sutton recently, and had the good luck to be in the better downstairs original theater. It was quite beautiful. Yes, they were only selling tickets inside still. I didn’t notice the hacked facade that much. I hope they keep this place open. It is one of the last of a dying breed.

Shade
Shade on June 12, 2004 at 11:50 am

After reading these posts I had to make my way over to the Sutton and it’s shocking to see what’s been done to the facade. It makes no sense. It isn’t just a mild chip or hack here and there. The entire front has been hacked and hacked all over. I am amazed that anyone was able to do this without anyone noticing. It’s definitely an undeniably vandalism. I’ve never seen anything like it.

I caught Kill Bill Vol. 2 on its last night here on Thursday and they were only selling tickets on the inside at concessions. The door to Sutton 1 is right next to Sutton 2. The upstairs is very strange. If you’re sitting on the side it’s hard to enjoy the film. The bottom theater is fine and a fine experience.

I’ll head back over for the Broadway documentary going on now. It’s so odd to see such a nice large marquee and signage in a once character-filled city like New York, laying beneath a vandalized facade, and knowing that this too will be erased from the city’s character and another soulless square bland building will then exist here.

It’s amazing it’s legal to destroy property like this. It’s so obviously not a proper job of whatever they said they were doing.

RobertR
RobertR on May 5, 2004 at 4:23 am

The downstairs is original. Read the posts about the hacking of the facade on this site and The Rivoli site, the ends coming.

umbaba
umbaba on May 5, 2004 at 4:08 am

Can someone tell me which theater is with the original Sutton screen….the top(balcony) or bottom. I’ve never been there..and when is it closing?

RobertR
RobertR on May 5, 2004 at 3:42 am

Thats a great story and congratulations to you and your fiancee. Glad you got to see The Sutton before it closes.

Stevecee
Stevecee on May 5, 2004 at 3:14 am

Hi all at Cinema Treasures and all loyal followers,

We live in the UK and recently visited New York,we stayed on 57th street and were looking for a movie theatre that was still playing the movie we wanted to see,luckily we came upon the Sutton.
Our first thoughts of the place when we first walked in early afternoon to get tickets for the 7pm showing were not good,the place was deserted apart from one member of staff who was no kidding,sitting down asleep,sound asleep to the point where we couldnt wake them with our intentionally loud conversation,the Junior mints and popcorn were a free for all!
Obviously being law obiding British citizens we left empty handed but with cautious thoughts in our minds about returning to the later showing.
Throwing caution to the wind and really wanting to see this movie we returned just before 7,half expecting the place to have been robbed,luckily it was busy,so we decided to stay.

In the end both the staff there were very helpful and friendly,snacks were good and most importantly the screen was excellent.
Although we are more used to the modern multiplexes this movie theatre was a breath of fresh air,the floor and seats were clean,the movie played perfectly and the sound was great.
What a pleasure to enjoy a movie(which by the way was also excellent)in such a respected theatre with such history.
We were lucky to get the main screen and sneaking a peak at screen two we were glad.
All in all after the initial first impression a great time was had by all in a classic American theatre,well done to all the staff for making us feel at home and to all of New York city for a fantastic time which included my Proposal of marriage to my partner(she said yes!)

Thanks again,

Steve Cunnington and Leanne Onderka ,Nortants,UK

RobertR
RobertR on April 28, 2004 at 3:37 am

Ah I think I got my answer to why they destroyed the facade, read the postings for the UA Rivoli. They announced they were cleaning the facade of the Rivoli but actually destroyed it to prevent the facade being given landmark status. This way they could tear down the buiilding at will, which they did shortly later. Now City Cinemas which owns the property (somehow isnt Pacific involved too) will wind up closing it, tearing it down and building condos or an office tower. City Cinemas is no better then the geniuses at UA-Regal.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on April 27, 2004 at 11:45 pm

Isn’t the Cinema Rendezvous/Playboy/57th Street Playhouse/Trans-Lux Normandie/DGA Theatre listed anywhere? I can’t find it under any name.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on April 27, 2004 at 11:32 pm

I believe the Cinema Rendezvous was also the Trans-Lux Normandie at one time.

SethLewis
SethLewis on April 27, 2004 at 8:26 pm

The Cinema Rendezvous was in various incarnations the Playboy and the 57th St Playhouse and is now the DGA screening room I believe

dhal
dhal on April 27, 2004 at 6:14 pm

Does anyone remember the Cinema Rendezvous on 57th Street? I don’t remember what comapany owned it. It was open in the late sixties and early seventies as a first run house.

br91975
br91975 on April 4, 2004 at 7:17 am

The exterior of the Sutton, quite frankly, looks like a pure wreck at this point. (Congratulations, Ismael Leyva – your men truly did their ‘job’.) I’d be shocked and stunned if the Sutton is still open for business within two years' time.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 2, 2004 at 5:45 am

The Beekman didn’t open until 1952. The Metro opened in 1933 as the Midtown, and the Sutton opened one or two years after that. But I think that the Sutton has been operating “continuously” for longer than the Midtown/Metro, which closed for a considerable period of time before its emergence as the Metro…As for the longest continuously operated movie theatre in the five boroughs of NYC, there seems to be no contest because the Ridgewood in Brooklyn has been with us since 1913!

dickdziadzio
dickdziadzio on April 1, 2004 at 11:32 am

Is this the longest continuously operated movie Theatre still
open in Manhattan or is it the Beekmen or Metro? The Nova may have
held that title until it closed.

SethLewis
SethLewis on February 12, 2004 at 12:31 am

This is a real shame…like the old Plaza on 58th St this is a theatre that should have been left to age gracefully and carry on as a landmark…The twinning of it was bad enough…Among the pictures I saw here in the 70s were Butch Cassidy, The Sicilian Clan, Network, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, High Anxiety, Young Frankenstein, The Three Stooges Revue…The other great thing from a location point of view is that people queuing had a long block to do it in…part of the fun of going to the movies in Manhattan in the cold when theatres got 6 shows a day in

ryan0290
ryan0290 on February 11, 2004 at 9:31 pm

I am assuming the facade is stone? If so, the last thing one would want to do is hack bits and pieces away. It is unclear in the article and the picture, but why the hell would you do that? Stone cannot be ‘patched’. It doesn’t look like they were trying to flatten it so it could be covered up (as was so popular in the 1940s-70s). Pehaps they are trying to make it so ugly and unrepairable that they can tear it down and build condos, that’s my guess. Sort of a version of ‘demolition by neglect’ but they decided to give the neglect part a head start. A ugh…

br91975
br91975 on February 11, 2004 at 3:26 pm

Ismael Leyva – a sense of decorum — as well as the desire to post additional messages on this site in the future — restrain me from offering my exact opinion of you as a human being but I’m sure everyone associated with this site one way or another (or anyone who otherwise loves movie theatres or appreciates architecture in general) shares in my unspoken sentiments. If there’s any legal action that can be taken against you and/or the Clarett Group, I sincerely hope it’s pursued (and hope as well that the Sutton Theatre is both restored and remains open).

William
William on February 11, 2004 at 10:09 am

The Sutton Theatre is located at 205 E. 57th Street and it seated 576 people when it was a single screen theatre.

RobertR
RobertR on February 11, 2004 at 9:21 am

I read the above post and the story on the homepage and cant make heads or tails of any of it??? Whats the scoop? Did City Cinemas close the theatre?

JimRankin
JimRankin on February 10, 2004 at 7:19 am

This has to be one of the strangest ‘Signatures’ the Theatre Historical Soc. (www.HistoricTheatres.org) has ever received in its Guestbook:

“Tue February 10 2004 – 16:11:52
Name: Ismael Leyva
E-mail address:
City and State/Country: New York, NY
I’m a THSA member!:
How did you find out about our website?: I’ve been here before
What is your favorite type of historic theatre?: I like all of them!
Comments/Suggestions: I’m proud of the work my firm has just done on the Sutton theater on 57th Street. We started with a lovely Ionic stone facade, and with the excuse of a "repair” smashed everything that gave the building any distinction. Please e-mail me at or call me at (212) 290-1425 (w) or (212) 582-9364 (h) to suggest more theaters that I can vandalize for a profit

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 7, 2003 at 6:56 pm

Judging from the exterior architecture, I think this theater more likely dates to the ‘40’s… but I have no factual data on that. Back in the early '70’s, I saw the Marx Brothers classic Animal Crackers here, which enjoyed a successful theatrical re-release (“in glorious black and white” as the ads went) after many years out of issue. That was probably '74 or so.

As for other theaters on 57th Street, there was another called The Festival on the West Side just off 7th Avenue and down the block from the Hard Rock Cafe. Not sure how far that cinema dated back… I recall seeing “The Complete Beatles” there around 1982 or ‘83. I believe there was also a theater called the 57th Street Playhouse near Carnegie Hall between 6th and 7th Avenues. Not to mention the old Carnegie Cinemas, but I think they were actually on 7th Avenue, not 57th.