68th Street Playhouse

1164 3rd Avenue,
New York, NY 10065

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68th Street Playhouse

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Opened in 1914. The 68th Street Playhouse was remodelled in 1933 to the plans of architect Eugene DeRosa. A former Upper Eastside institution, the 68th Street Playhouse, which showed a steady stream of indie and foreign films during its run, closed in July 1997 after a dispute between the property’s landlord and City Cinemas, a Manhattan-based exhibitor.

The theater has since been converted into a location for the clothing store chain ‘The Children’s Place’.

Contributed by Dan Braun

Recent comments (view all 69 comments)

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on November 3, 2011 at 8:40 am

Margaret, it is considered a classic novel and film and often shows on TV. The book was required high school reading at my school in the mid-seventies.

The film was often a second feature in later years and had a minor re-release in November 1947 but I can’t find any other dates at the 68th St. Playhouse.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on November 3, 2011 at 9:00 am

“A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” was remade in 1974 for American television. I never saw it, but heard it was an insult to Elia Kazan’s orginal movie.

Hunter
Hunter on December 25, 2011 at 6:43 am

I saw so many good films there. What a shame it had to close. In 1986 I saw an excellent French film called Baiser Rouge. I think “The Gods Must Be Crazy"played there for two years.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on July 28, 2012 at 5:08 am

Featured in this two-page trade ad in 1969: Boxoffice

garyw
garyw on January 3, 2013 at 6:50 am

I live on 64th St. & First Ave. & miss the old 68th St. Playhouse. I saw “Gods Must Be Crazy” & “Return of Martin Guerre” there in the 80’s among other things. I think the last thing I saw there was “Dangerous Liasons” in the 90’s which I remember seeing from the balcony. I’m a theater nut & love shared cultural experiences even if it is alongside strangers. It was a truly unique time that I’m glad I had the opportunity to experience before video began keeping most people home for their film experiences.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on January 3, 2013 at 8:28 am

I saw La Cage Au Folles opening day there which ended up laying for over a year.

robboehm
robboehm on January 3, 2013 at 5:26 pm

I saw La Cage there also. Had an aisle seat. Laughed so hard at one point that I wound up in the aisle.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 7, 2014 at 7:30 pm

The building at this address was to be remodeled, according to this item in the September 23, 1933, issue of Motion Picture Herald. It sounds as though there was already a theater in it at that time, but if so the magazine didn’t give its name:

“Catherine O'Reilly of Great Neck, to alter building and motion picture theatre at 1164 Third Avenue, New York City. Cost $4,000. Architect, Eugene De Rosa, Inc., 105 West 40tb Street.”

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 8, 2014 at 12:51 am

The 1930 edition of Film Daily Yearbook lists the 68th Street Playhouse, 68th Street & 3rd Avenue with 1,269 seats (obviously a mis-print) as in the 1931 edition of FDY it is listed with 409 seats.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on August 8, 2014 at 4:49 am

AlAlvarez AlAlvarez on August 8, 2014 at 7:48 am (remove)

According to this NYT article, the 68th Street Playhouse was converted from an apartment building to a vaudeville and movie house in 1914.

View link

It closed in July 1997 with “The Pillow book”.

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