Regency Theatre

1987 Broadway,
New York, NY 10023

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Regency Theatre

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A longtime beloved Upper West Side movie house, the Alden Theatre opened in 1931, and shut its doors as the Regency Theatre after 68 years of operation in February of 1999.

For many years the theater featured film repertory programs curated by Frank Rowley (who would later move onto the now-shuttered Biograph Cinema on West 57th Street near Broadway) and, upon purchase of the theater’s lease by Canadian-based theater chain Cineplex Odeon, became a first-run house, initially showing a combination of art-house and major release studio films. Despite its petite size, the theater had a quaint, but comfortable balcony.

When the Loews Lincoln Square Theatre, a well-designed megaplex, opened in 1994, however, the Regency Theatre found itself in what proved to be a losing battle for major studio films and focused almost exclusively on independent and foreign films, such as “The Opposite of Sex”, “I’m Not Rappaport”, “Pecker”, and “Afterglow”; and often for long runs.

In November of 1998, the Brandt Organization, which owned the property that housed the Regency Theatre and its other tenants, including a Italian restaurant of long standing, announced their plans to clear the property

Many expected a mixed residential/retail property of some 20 floors to occupy the site; instead a single-floor Victoria’s Secret was built, adding spice to one form of love but dulling the amour of those who made the Regency a true Manhattan institution.

Contributed by Dan Braun

Recent comments (view all 75 comments)

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on May 25, 2011 at 1:05 am

Thanks for the clarification. I must have been reading the split screen version of “The Chelsea Girls” history. There’s some site called WarholStars.org , which has the film also at a place called the Cinema Rendezvous on 12/01/66. But I think following the Regency’s run. After some deal was cut with a group called the Art Guild, who ran a small chain of theaters.

rivoli157
rivoli157 on November 13, 2011 at 7:00 pm

lived UWS in the 70s and 80s, loved this theatre.The revivals, the audience, all of it. Judy Garland,A Star is Born, Julie Andrews as the Star! and so many more

missfedora
missfedora on March 27, 2012 at 11:52 pm

In the 1970s I lived on West 68th and was a regular patron of the Regency. Like MarkieS, I remember the Bette Davis/Joan Crawford festival and my friend and I would arrive an hour before showtime because of the long lines extending around the corner.

Wellington1
Wellington1 on April 20, 2013 at 8:32 am

In the 1970s they held amazing summer-long festivals. I remember at least one MGM retrospective, and at least one devoted to classic Warner Brothers films. I think Olivia deHavilland showed up at their screening of ANTHONY ADVERSE.

theamazin
theamazin on June 18, 2013 at 9:53 am

I managed the Regency from March 1990 until Oct of ‘93 when I was robbed there at gunpoint. Scary moment. The theater has the smallest manager’s office I’ve ever seen. While I worked there I watched the construction of Loews Lincoln Square across the street that would eventually lead to the Regency’s demise. It was a sweet little theater.

cblanc10708
cblanc10708 on August 30, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Does anyone have a copy of an old film program from the Regency that can be scanned and emailed to me.. Thanks

headwaiter
headwaiter on September 10, 2013 at 9:12 pm

I remember this theatre as a revival theatre back in the mid and late 70’s and I used to drive in from New Jersey to see movies her. I remember seeing Gone With The Wind, Going My Way and several Marx Brothers movies. I miss this theatre very much.

johnnyc404
johnnyc404 on October 21, 2014 at 10:28 pm

I loved this movie house. It held many wonderful memories for me, back in the seventies. I love the old films, and, the Regency delivered in a BIG way. I remember one summer, the MGM festival. WOW! The enjoyment of watching those musical classics on the Big screen, most often attended by enthusiastic dancers & singers & actors. The thunderous applause after each number. It sent chills to my spine, and it made it feel as if I was witnessing Astaire, Kelly & Garland IN PERSON!! I also remember one special evening when I just missed getting tickets to ( “North By Northwest” & “Thin Man” )…Me & my friends had to wait on line for several hours ( for the next show )..well, there was an old fashioned gin mill next door, we wound up taking turns running in and out. By the time I got into the theatre I was flying, and, had to struggle to stay awake! Funny!! I wish I could go back to those wonderful times..Johnny

SethLewis
SethLewis on October 21, 2014 at 11:14 pm

This was the theatre in the famous Seinfeld Junior Mints episode where Elaine would rather buy candy than race to her then boyfriend’s hospital bedside…a great repertory and art house pre Cineplex Odeon…a brave effort at a single screen art house in CO days but with far less charm…shame that this one and the nearby 62nd and Broadway could not have been annexed into the Lincoln Plaza art house family

Alfredovu
Alfredovu on November 11, 2014 at 1:07 pm

You can find a lot of related original Newspapers ads here:

http://warholfilmads.wordpress.com/

Hope you´ll like it Regards Alfredo

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