Sun Sing Theatre

75-85 E. Broadway,
New York, NY 10002

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 21, 2018 at 4:05 pm

The September 4, 1920 issue of Real Estate Record and Builders' Guide had a short article saying that the City of New York had granted a twenty year lease on a plot of city-owned land under the Manhattan Bridge to developer Henry E. Jacobs.

Jacobs planned to erect a two-story store and showroom building along the East Broadway frontage, which would include an entrance for a moving picture theater that would occupy the remainder of the plot. The entire project was being designed by architects Gronenberg & Leuchtag. The theater was to be leased to the Florence Theatre Corporation, also for a term of twenty years.

richardkoenigsberg on September 9, 2017 at 7:32 pm

Yes, this was the third Chinese movie theater…where I spent hours whiling away the time. You could hear the train pass by frequently. Plenty of leg space, double bills. Politically incorrect films that would shock the non-Chinese. They did a slow-motion rape scene.

AndrewBarrett on December 27, 2014 at 7:47 pm

Does anybody know anything about the Smith or Seeburg-Smith theatre pipe organ that used to be installed at the New Strand Theatre in New York City?

inspectorcollector, do you know anything about this organ?

According to “The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ” by David L. Junchen, pg. 630, the “New Strand Th.” had a Smith theatre pipe organ installed in 1916. No other details (such as size of the organ, blower info etc) were known at the time of the book’s publication. The only other info given in the entry is that the theatre was “Located at 78 East Broadway” and so must have been this same theatre.

Does anybody know more about this organ and where it (or its parts) is/are today? Thanks!

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on May 9, 2012 at 11:25 am

Thanks for the photo, LostMemory, wherever you are.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 9, 2012 at 8:11 am

FatMan, if you read previous posts you will find your answer.

FatMan1059 on May 9, 2012 at 7:26 am

I also read of a Florence Theater on 331 or 321 Bowery Street if anyone has any info on this,it seems interesting. I did a zip code check and nothing turned up on 10002, thanks.

FatMan1059 on May 9, 2012 at 7:10 am

I read an article in the December 3 1923 New York Times that the receipts were stolen by two “Highwaymen”. The receipts were from the Florence theater on West Broadway and the Atlantic Gardens theatre on the Bowery. They hijacked the taxi cab which was carrying the couriers to deposit the money in the safe at the Delancey Street Theater on Orchard Street.

FatMan1059 on May 9, 2012 at 7:00 am

@ Warren G. Harris, your 3 picture links posted in 2008 are not viewable. PHOTO BUCKET MESSAGE: Page not found But now that you’re here, go ahead and search through the billions of photos, images and videos on Photobucket. If you can post links again it would be greatly appreciated. That movie house was one of the many my friends went to in the 60’s and 70’s.

takicat on November 9, 2010 at 8:09 am

I worked on this film in 1981.We shot inside the Sun Sing and a year later saw the movie there.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 15, 2010 at 4:45 pm

I agree with Warren’s post of August 3, 2007 that this opened in 1921 as the New Strand.

Judith Thissen
Judith Thissen on January 8, 2010 at 8:38 am

In the mid 1920s the Florence Theater was operated by the M & S Chain. Jacobs was probably one of the partners in this extended network, so was Rosenzweig. There was no Yiddish vaudeville theater on this location in 1911. We would expect an ethnically mixed audience indeed but the owners were Jewish and they advertised for this theater in the Yiddish press.
By the way, Yiddish vaudeville did extend well beyond Houston Street, actually most of the Yiddish music halls were in the area below East Houston and north of East Broadway.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 26, 2008 at 7:56 am

Thank you, Warren.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 25, 2008 at 8:13 pm

New Strand should be added as an aka name here.

gwailo on September 26, 2006 at 3:58 am

The Sun Sing closed in either late ‘93 or 94. It was a nice theatre, compared to the Music Palace on the Bowery. They showed Hong Kong movies, all with English subtitles as well as Chinese subtitles for speakers of other dialects. All day double feature was $5, I believe.

The big stage was still there, from the theatre’s vaudeville days, and the Sun Sing would occasionally have live performances of Chinese opera. It was the only one of the Chinatown theatres to do that.

inspectorcollector on July 4, 2006 at 6:24 am

6 rare movies that were rescued from the Sun Sing before it was demolished are being screened at the 29th Annual Asian-American International Film Festival in NYC beginning July 13th. My partner and I have 45 feature films, 60 shorts, tickets, uniforms, theatre memorabilia and close to 10,000 lobby cards and posters from Sun Sing. and a little bit of Music Palace memorabilia too. For more information please contact

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 13, 2006 at 11:14 pm

The 1934 Year Book of Motion Pictures lists the Florence as having 1150 seats.

bamtino on August 28, 2005 at 10:14 pm

Opened as a home to both Yiddish vaudeville and motion pictures in 1911, the Florence Theatre, the exact address of which was 75-85 East Broadway, ended its existence as the Sun Sing in 1993.
A renovation in 1938 took the theatre’s capacity from 980 to 916 seats (and reports from the 1920s seem to indicate that, during that decade, it may have accommodated as many as twice that number).
By 1942, the theatre had been rechristened the New Canton Theatre and featured performances of Chinese opera and variety acts. In 1950, the facility was again re-dubbed, this time as the Sun Sing Theatre, and took to exhibiting Chinese language films, sometimes with English subtitles.
In 1960, the theatre was scheduled for demolition when faced with the addition of an upper deck to the Manhattan Bridge far above. However, city engineers were able to save the theatre and the adjoining retail space, through the use of innovative bridge supports which only caused the theatre’s seat count to be reduced, this time to 676.
In 1972, the theatre began to feature a mixed program of film and stage performances. It finally closed in 1993.