623 Eighth Avenue,
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This late-run movie theatre on the west side of Eighth Avenue near W. 41st Street depended partially on spillovers from the nearby Loew’s American Theatre. Very little information about the Arena’s history seems to be available, but it opened in 1918, and various Film Daily Year Books list its seating capacity in the 800 to 1,000 range, though the most often cited figure is 953.
In 1944, an Italian-American group that had been running vintage Italian films at the Park Theatre (originally Majestic Theatre) in Columbus Circle under the name of Cinema Verdi switched to the Arena Theatre when the Park Theatre went legit as the re-christened International Theatre. Now known as the Arena Cinema Verdi, the Eighth Avenue house operated until 1948-49, when it was demolished to make way for construction of the Port Authority Bus Terminal.
The Cinema Verdi policy was then moved to the Princess Theatre, where it remained until that closed for demolition around 1954-55.
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