Arena Theatre

623 8th Avenue,
New York, NY 10018

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Showing 10 comments

robboehm on November 26, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Could somebody link the Village photo with it’s site on CT.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on November 25, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Great find, biff33.

The Village theatres below is also a rare photo.

Shame the site won’t allow a print feature.

biff33 on November 25, 2012 at 5:38 pm

The magazine referred to by Joe Vogel has a nice pic of the exterior. It is visible here:

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on June 4, 2012 at 8:00 pm

That site seems to require a log-in, TT.

philologist on November 11, 2010 at 8:01 pm

To Lost Memory : I’ve just turned 85 and as a young boy I would frequent the Arena every Sat. that is if I had the 10 cents for the price of admission. 1934 to ? 1940.

You noted : “If both roof and inside theatre are used at the same time,” The roof theatre must have been closed before 1934 as nothing existed above the theatre itself. Trivia…. Adjacent to the entrance, on the North side was a small shop that sold a hot dog and a fairly large stein of root beer for, believe it or not, for a NICKEL!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 23, 2010 at 6:33 am

According to the January, 1918, issue of the trade journal Architecture and Building, the Arena Theatre was designed by the firm of Eisendrath & Horwitz.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on February 17, 2008 at 11:30 am

See my previous comment for April 23, 2005 concerning the virtually unknown presentation of De Sica’s I bambini ci guardano / The Children Are Watching Us at the Arena Cinema Verdi under the title of The Little Martyr. And see the newspaper ad here.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on April 23, 2005 at 1:50 pm

Thanks for the tip. I will pursue that the next time I am in Manhattan. And I know Italian.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on April 23, 2005 at 6:13 am

Thanks for clarifying the exact location of this incarnation of “Cinema Verdi,” which was seems to have been more like a peripatetic forum for Italian movies. In looking at ads of this movie theatre, I wasn’t quite sure which side of Eighth Avenue it was on. A New York Times ad from April 25, 1947 for the Arena Cinema Verdi promotes the American premiere of a movie called “The Little Martyr,” described in the ad as “a pulsating drama of childhood.” This was in fact director Vittorio De Sica’s first truly great film, the 1943 “I bambini ci guardano”…which later was retitled to a more accurate “The Children Are Watching Us.” Incredibly, it was not reviewed by the New York Times at the time! Only four months later De Sica’s “Shoe Shine” would open at the Avenue on 6th Avenue to ecstatic reviews. If critics (and audiences) had been aware of De Sica’s perevious film on childhood, shown recently two blocks away, they might have made some connections to and references to that earlier masterpiece. Not until a 1985 16mm run at the Thalia Soho did the Times review it for Richard Schwarz’s presentation. The film, however, had already circulated in 16mm prints for non-theatrical showings and had already had other archival showings at film museums.