St. Marks Cinema

133 Second Avenue,
New York, NY 10003

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St. Marks Cinema exterior

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Listed in the American Motion Picture Directory:1914-1915 edition as the Astor Theatre. By the time the 1926 edition of Film Daily Yearbook was published it had changed its name to St. Marks Theatre.

Later, this was a second-run theatre in Manhattan’s East Village on the northwest corner of St. Marks Place and Second Avenue. In the 1980’s it was a second run theatre offering films at a discount compared to what other films in Manhattan charged. They would run double bills and sometimes independent films. I believed they had midnight screenings each night of classic films. A Gap (since closed) replaced the theatre.

Contributed by Christopher Heaney

Recent comments (view all 21 comments)

jordanlage on February 8, 2009 at 6:02 pm

Lived a couple blocks away in the early-mid ‘80s. Think I recall seeing DAYS OF HEAVEN there just before the St Marks’ demise around 1984 or ‘85. TAXI DRIVER was a midnight perennial on the weekends, as was A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, for the NYU crowd. I remember an old-fashioned somewhat roccoco water fountain in the back of the auditorium. We who lived in the 'hood were very sorry to see this theater go to be ignominiously replaced by a GAP (which justly died about 10 or 12 years ago).

KingBiscuits on March 9, 2009 at 10:48 pm

The theatre closed in late April or early May 1985. The final double bill I believe was The Killing Fields and Wim Wenders' Hammett.

And the second film that played with Return Of The Jedi was Max Dugan Returns with Jason Robards and a young Matthew Broderick just before he did WarGames.

yannosh on June 6, 2009 at 7:42 pm

I went to the St Marks in the 1950’s. The cost was 25 cents. We lived at 144 east 4th street until 1959. Every Sunday we first went to 9:30 services at St Marks on 10th street. Then it was home for lunch. After lunch it was off to the movies. I have many fond memories growing up in that area.

PeggyBarnett on June 17, 2009 at 3:26 pm

We lived on the Bowery near the St. Marks from the 60’s thru the 80’s. It was fondly nicknamed “The Itch”. Nobody dared sit in the front row because it was reserved for the “Hell’s Angels” who occupied a whole tenement on 5th St. and 1st Ave. Everyone was stoned. I remember a triple feature of “Eraserhead”, “Freaks”, and at midnight “El Topo” ( or El Poto"). After the show we staggred out and had cabbage soup at the Kiev. Those were the days.

debkakes on August 25, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Drinks at St. Marks Bar & Grill, then on the St. Marks Cinema for double-feature picture show! Early 80’s on Lower East Side a vague but happy memory…the air just smelled and felt different there than the rest of the city. Sigh.

MDchanic on December 14, 2009 at 6:00 pm

I went to Stuyvesant High on 15th between 1st and 2nd, and used to go to the St. Marks for a double feature every now and then in the late ‘70’s / early '80’s – it was 25 or 50 cents to get in, no tickets, you walked through a single turnstile past the box office. Always double features, and the bill changed every week on Thursday.

Saw Monty Python and the Holy Grail there.
Made out with my first girlfriend in the back row one afternoon – ‘till we got the flashlight from the usher.

It still feels wrong every time I walk past where the marquee used to be.

kencmcintyre on December 26, 2009 at 12:46 pm

The St. Marks can be seen in Paul Mazursky’s “Moscow on the Hudson”. The two films on the marquee were “Exposed” and “An Unmarried Woman”. I’m not familiar with the first, but the second was also a Mazursky film.

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