302 W. 42nd Street,
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Previously operated by: Consolidated Amusement Company
For at least part of its life, this small, late-run movie house had two entrances and two marquees, the largest at 302 W. 42nd Street, just west of 8th Avenue. The smaller one, which was probably the original and later used just for display purposes, was at 653 8th Avenue.
The theatre had a curious history, being built in the gutted interior of Vogel Brothers, a 19th-early 20th century department store that specialized in clothing for men, women, and children. Vogel’s had taken up the entire SW corner of 8th Avenue and W. 42nd Street. After the theatre was built, the remaining space fronting on the two streets was converted into stores and eateries. The Times Theatre was opened by 1926 when it was operated by the Consolidated Amusement Company chain.
Due to its location west of 8th Avenue, the Times Theatre played its movies well after all the other 42nd Street theatres, and was one of the first to show adult fare, though no more than nudist documentaries or filmed striptease shows. In 1956, the head of the nearby Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church and its allied girls' high school tried to get the Times Theatre operating license revoked, claiming that the theatre’s “lewd” advertising and programs were attracting degenerates and contributing to juvenile delinquency.
The campaign failed, but the Times Theatre closed soon after that to make way for an expanded Port Authority Bus Terminal.
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