Pioneer Theater

155 East Third Street,
New York, NY 10009

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Pioneer Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened in February 2000, this little theater in the East Village was surrounded by a video store and pizzeria, which were all owned by the same company. Specialized in independent films—particularly of the punk rock variety. Very small but charming screening room. The Pioneer closed on November 7, 2008.

Contributed by Gena H.

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

hardbop on December 14, 2006 at 1:35 pm

I was down here on Sunday. One thing I don’t like about the theatre if the rake, or lack of, of the theatre. If people sit up front, it blocks the view.

mp775 on October 6, 2008 at 8:22 pm

The Pioneer Theater opened in February 2000. The first film shown was the documentary The Blank Generation.

theatrelvr on October 31, 2008 at 8:02 pm

It pains me to write this, as I am the Gena H. who contributed the original description, but Pioneer Theater is closing following Halloween. There will be a party to remember this great theater in November. Check their web site for more details. Another Lower East Side casualty. New York is losing every last bit of fun it had.

Edward Havens
Edward Havens on October 31, 2008 at 9:25 pm

Thank you, gentrification!

I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Pioneer as a movie theatre (I generally hate anything small boxy theatres with no ambiance) but they had some of the best alternate programming I’ve ever seen. I’d love to run a theatre like it in Los Angeles, if I had deeper pockets and a better space to do it in.

KingBiscuits on October 31, 2008 at 11:06 pm

I kind of got the idea that this theatre never did that well. The fare always seemed to be too obscure, even for New York.

alanbobet on November 6, 2008 at 1:14 pm

I too was a frequent patron of the Two Boots Pioneer theatre since 2004 and I will certainly miss it when it finally closes after tomorrow’s farewell party at 6PM, which I will be there. In my opinion it was the best independent little single movie theatre in NYC and it was a miracle that it lasted almost 9 years since it’s opening in 2000, when it was not economically feaseable to open a new single movie house in this era of multiplexes. It will certainly leva a void in this area and that leaves only the Ziegfeld and Paris theatres as the only single movie theatres in Manhattan.

mp775 on April 1, 2009 at 3:33 pm

“Thank you, gentrification!”

Edward, I think the Pioneer was more a product of gentrification than a victim of it.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 1, 2009 at 3:55 pm

Quite true, mp775.

Once the Sunshine on Houston re-opened it made this theatre even less viable for the newbys.

mp775 on April 30, 2009 at 9:47 pm

So what has become of Two Boots' basement now that the theater is closed?

ChrisHe on November 1, 2013 at 7:57 pm

I used to see a handful of films here a year and while the site lines were atrocious, it booked films that almost certainly wouldn’t have otherwise received theatrical distribution in New York City. They used to change the films each week and the films that played here didn’t play in any other theatre. They also occasionally showed revivals. Because the films came and went on a weekly basis, I often missed films, thinking that I’d catch with them on DVD. However, several films that played here that I missed & wanted to see were so independent that they never made it to DVD.

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