Guild Theater

33 W. 50th Street,
New York, NY 10020

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Guild Ticket Booth

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Guild Theater opened on December 2, 1938 as a newsreel house, with an entrance on the south side of Radio City Music Hall in the Associated Press Building. Furniture was designed by Finnish designer Alvar Aalto, and aisle carpeting had a motif of ‘unwinding movie reels’ in an Art Deco style.

The Rockefeller Center landmark was later taken over by the Trans-Lux circuit in 1949. Operating under successive 25 year leases, when the most recent term expired in 1999, the Guild Theatre was closed and gutted.

After first becoming a Nautica retail store, it is now occupied by the clothing chain Anthropologie, which is primed for the millions of tourists who pass by the area.

The marquee of the Guild Theater remains, though little other evidence exists that a theater once entertained moviegoers.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 111 comments)

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on April 23, 2012 at 10:46 am

I think the confusion comes from this NYT article.

[In 1949, Norman Elson, who was then the president of the competing Trans-Lux chain, took over the Newsreel theaters.

‘'That was just the beginning of TV,’‘ Peter Elson recalled, ’‘and he saw that newsreels were not much longer for the world.’‘ Norman Elson remodeled the theater and reopened it as the Guild.]

Dolbysrd
Dolbysrd on August 2, 2012 at 9:24 pm

My father worked there in the 70’s when they were running super simplex’s with magnarcs and had an old huge early b&w vidoe projector inbetween the projectors The theater had an awesome gold curtain with a screen wash and a very nice rake for the time. I remember cutting my projection teeth there showing films like Sounder and Harry and Tonto when I was just a kid.

Dolbysrd
Dolbysrd on August 2, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Does anyone know anything about the old “News Reel Theater ” emblems which were round bronze colored spheres of the globe with a camera on a tripod overlayed on it? These were on the outside of the Guide theater and were rescued from the trash when the theater was closing.

SeaBassTian
SeaBassTian on September 4, 2012 at 9:24 pm

I completely forgot about this venue. For some reason, I only came to this area when it was freezing cold? The last film I caught here was the infamous Brenda Starr in ‘89. Great marquee, at least they kept that intact.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on September 5, 2012 at 6:31 am

You probably came to the Rockefeller Center area to see the annual Christmas tree, which would explain the freezing cold weather. It was just across the way from the Guild Theatre.

Mark_L
Mark_L on September 5, 2012 at 11:14 am

According to IMDB (and my memory) Brenda Starr opened at the Guild in April, 1992.

I was visiting NYC at the time, and saw BEAUTY AND THE BEAST on Saturday morning, the day before Easter. I recall that BRENDA STARR opened at the Guild on Easter Sunday, with the 70mm print of BATB moving to one of the Embassy 2-3-4 houses.

The NY Times review for BRENDA STARR was in the 4/18/92 edition and confirms it was running at the Guild.

That was a great NYC Theatre day for me…70mm Beauty And the Beast in the morning, 5 Guys Named Moe Broadway show matinee, and finished up with the Easter Show at Radio City…not a day I will ever forget.

KtheeA
KtheeA on November 15, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Does anyone happen to know or remember whether or not there were attendants in the restrooms of this theatre in the late 1960s?

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on November 16, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Due to its small size and early newsreel history, I somehow doubt that this cinema ever had attendants in the restrooms. How could it afford them, unless the attendants worked solely for tips that they might receive.

Mediatwin
Mediatwin on March 17, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Ah, the Guild 50th. My first trip to New York was in March 1993. And the first film I ever saw in the US was at the Guild – a showing of Disney’s Aladdin, still some 8 months before it opened in the UK.

gregj63
gregj63 on August 30, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Good footage from 1989 of outside & inside this theater from Late Show with David Letterman. http://youtu.be/P8OnsEeZA-M

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