United Palace of Cultural Arts

4140 Broadway,
New York, NY 10033

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Showing 201 - 225 of 228 comments

Astyanax on May 1, 2006 at 10:38 am

God bless Rev. Ike!

I passed by the theatre a few days ago and it looks fantastic. The marquee is intact and the edge-accents have been recently re-gilded. The facade remains as impressive as ever, sadly reminicent of the Loews Pitkin. If only the interior of the 175th St. should be in such grand shape.

pjacyk on April 24, 2006 at 8:40 pm

There is a new CD just released that features Lee Erwin playing the Robert-Morton Theatre Organs at Loew’s 175th and Loew’s Kings. The Kings Wonder Morton recording on the CD is of the organ’s farewell concert. More info at http://www.gstos.org/TheWondersOfItAll.htm

Greenpoint on November 19, 2005 at 8:45 pm

Thanks Bway,
The link is actually fascinating, I had no idea how ornate this former theater really was, the site itself has some amazing images.

Bway on November 19, 2005 at 7:51 pm

Thanks Greenpoint, so people can access it again, but they must have changed the page address since I posted that message. My link used to work….

Greenpoint on November 19, 2005 at 1:30 pm

your hyperlink of 8/24/04 was incorrect…
you had one to many .asp (Active Server Pages)extensions.

Heres the correct address:


Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 14, 2005 at 3:33 am

I took the “scenic” route home from Sleepy Hollow, NY, the other day via Route 9 which eventually becomes South Broadway in Yonkers and then Broadway when it crosses into the Bronx. Anyway… passed a number of former theaters on the trip including this magnificent structure. I had never seen it in person before and I was kind of stunned by how imposing a building it is! As you approach from the north, you notice the stylish arched iron-work of the balcony fire escapes and then the huge structure that houses the lobby and foyer (where the vertical Loew’s sign remains attached). The theater occupies nearly all of the trapezoidal block bounded by Broadway, 175th Street, Wadsworth Ave and 176th street with the entrances on the corner of Broadway and 175th. The auditorium runs parallel to Wadsworth Ave so the building sort of angles away from Broadway as it runs to the north with a row of tax-payer storefronts filling out the Broadway frontage. I have to get myself inside with my camera one Sunday (services at 2:45pm according to the marquee).

While coming down Broadway, I passed a couple of theaters in Yonkers (I believe one was the RKO Proctor, and then the Park Hill further to the south) and at least one in the Bronx (the former RKO Marble Hill). I was surprised at how large the old Coliseum building was at 181st Street. I also recall a building up around 204th street in Manhattan that appeared to have been a theater at one time. Anyone know what this might have been?

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on October 18, 2005 at 10:38 am

The Village Voice just voted this place the “Best House 0f Worship That Used to Be a Movie Palace.”

Bway on September 19, 2005 at 1:23 am

It’s nice to see they even left the vertical sign up! EVen if they took the letters off.

br91975 on May 7, 2005 at 8:23 pm

Not that it’s extraordinarily relevant to this page in general, but to clarify Bway’s post from this past February 17th, the New Amsterdam has hosted in its post-renovation years a stage production of ‘King David’ and its long-running ‘Lion King’; ‘Aida’’s run was exclusively held at the Palace Theater.

Bway on April 28, 2005 at 10:51 am

Thanks Robert!
It looks good. I notice the Veritcal Loew’s sign is still there, minus the letters.

RobertR on April 28, 2005 at 9:10 am

Here are pictures of the 175 St.


They should restore the vertical

Bway on February 17, 2005 at 4:54 pm

Thanks for that information. I passed by the Pantages Theater about two weeks ago, and it really looked great. I didn’t realize that the old marquee had been covered, and then uncovered. Disney has done a lot for a few old theaters. In Manhattan, of course the most famous example is the old glorious New Amsterdam theater, which now houses the Lion King (but I think had Aida for a while, but could be mistaken). The meticulously restored it to it’s former glory.
Of course, also in Hollywood, Disney restored the El Capitan Theater. It looks beautiful all lit up outside at night. That marquee, while it does have an look old look, is sort of interesting. They installed one of those modern digital signs on the three sides, and had sort of poster pictures of the film that is playing. When I was there, they were showing a rerelease of “Pirates of the Caribean”, and that was in the digital display on the marquee. Very attractive.

William on February 17, 2005 at 4:42 pm

The same thing happened when Disney was restoring the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. The marquee and the area underneth the marquee to the front doors had been covered over by fake walls and lower ceilings. The detail under the marquee was all covered over and the neon areas were made more streamlined. So when Disney restored the Pantages for the opening of “Lion King”. They found that a lot of the original facade was just covered over.

Bway on February 17, 2005 at 4:24 pm

What is interesting about the restoration of the RKO Keith’s Richmond Hill’s marquee was that they didn’t realize it was all still back there when they were going to “recreate” it. When they ripped the covering from the marquee (that must have been installed in the 1950’s over the original), there was the old marquee in it’s former diamond in the rough glory. They then restored the old original marquee instead of recreating it. Thankfully, it now remains as such today.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on February 17, 2005 at 11:14 am

The lobby and auditorium can be viewed in later scenes in the 2002 comedy movie “The Guru”.

Also earlier in that movie can be seen exteriors of the RKO Keith’s Richmond Hill Theatre, to which the filmakers did a restoration of the marquee.

chconnol on December 10, 2004 at 8:24 am

Warren…thank you..that’s the one!

So…what about the one on or around 137th and Broadway that has a McDonalds in it now? It has the words Gotham Theater written there and it’s clearly recognizable as a theater. Do you if this is listed?

Thanks again…

chconnol on December 10, 2004 at 7:40 am

There’s a theater located just off Broadway at 160th Street. It looks as though the auditorium runs parallel to Broadway. Does anyone know if this theater is listed? Right now it’s a supermarket (must be a big one…) called Superextra or something like that.

chconnol on November 18, 2004 at 11:43 am

If this theater was in a more “desirable” part of NYC, it would get more press. I never knew it was there until I stumbled upon it. Now, on those rare occasions when I drive into work in Manhattan, I make it a point to drive past this theater. I always hope that I’ll get into some kind of minor traffic jam so I can get a better look.

This neighborhood is thriving…it’s no ghost town. Like Flatbush, this neighborhood (Washington Heights) was profiled in NY Magazine as being one of NY’s best kept residential secrets. Therefore, it’s secret is out. Again, if and when this area changes, what will be the consequences of this theater? I think too many people know about it now and there would be a large uproar from the architectural community if anyone tried anything “funny” with this place.

Bway on November 18, 2004 at 10:54 am

The inside is too. Check out the links on this page. They meticulously restored the interior too. And unlike the valencia in Jamaica, they chose colors that are true to the originals. The Valencia’s new paint scheme is gaudy at best….however, it is maintained at least, so that is good.

chconnol on November 18, 2004 at 10:50 am

I nearly crashed my car when I once got off I-95 after coming off the GW Bridge to get out of a traffic jam and found this grand relic. My GOD this thing is AMAZING!!!!! Is it landmarked by NYC? Quite possibly the most beautiful theater remaining in NYC, handsdown. And from outside, it looks largely intact.

Bway on November 18, 2004 at 10:48 am

I think it’s great that he allowed the theater to keep it’s projection capabilities, unlike the Valencia in Jamaica.

Biff on November 18, 2004 at 9:34 am

The current seating capacity is 3361. Most known now for Latin Concerts. Called the United Palace. Rev. Ike rents it for Movies, Concerts, Filming Productions, and Theater Musicals/Plays.

bamtino on September 30, 2004 at 2:24 pm

The current edition of the New York Press, the “Best of Manhattan 2004” issue, lists the 175th Street as “Best Movie Palace.” The description of the theatre can be found about halfway down the following webpage:
View link
Personally, I think this NY Press designation, as well as the recent community outrage at the (fortunately short-term) closing of the Metro Twin, is evidence that the the dedication of the members of, and visitors to, CinemaTreasures and similar sites is having a positive cultural impact. Appreciation for these “treasures” is becoming more mainstream.
Another note on the 175th Street, from a daily commuter’s perspective: the dome of the theatre, with cross, is visible while traveling inbound on the George Washington Bridge. Check it out the next time you’re crossing the Hudson.

BobFurmanek on September 24, 2004 at 8:12 am

75 years ago, the Wonder Theaters were built and became prime showcases for all the great MGM product over the next 3 decades. The only Wonder Theater showing film today is Loew’s Jersey but, sadly, they are not playing any MGM product in their 75th anniversary programming.

However, the beautifully restored Lafayette Theater in Suffern, New York salutes the Loew’s Wonder Theaters by presenting a newly restored 35mm print of one of MGM’s greatest musicals, “Meet Me in St. Louis.” It will be shown this Saturday, September 25 as part of their weekly Big Screen Classics series. They will also present a vintage MGM short, and will play live music on their magnificent Wurlitzer organ.

For more information, visit their website at www.bigscreenclassics.com

Bway on August 26, 2004 at 12:09 pm

Wow, I never knew about this theater, until it was mentioned in the Valencia’s (jamaica) section of the site, which has also been converted to a church. This is a spectacular theater! Traditionally, the transformation of theater to church had been kind to a lot of theaters, like the Valencia, the Loew’s Gates, etc. Theaters lend themselves very well to churches, and if they can’t be a theater anymore, churches are the next best thing, as they dod the least “harm” to a theater in conversion.
Here’s a history of the theater: