Apollo Theater

126 Clinton Street,
New York, NY 10002

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Showing 19 comments

Greenpoint on November 2, 2013 at 7:11 pm

btkrefft: great researching!

AlAlvarez on August 30, 2011 at 7:58 am

Thanks for the cool picture, geneser1.

geneser1 on July 8, 2010 at 11:02 am

BTW – here is a link to my FaceBook where I have posted what might be the only picture of this Apollo theater when it was called: Apollo Hall in 1900!
View link

geneser1 on July 8, 2010 at 10:54 am

I and my friends used to cut through the construction area that became the Seward Park Houses to go to The Apollo theater in the late 50’s and early 60’s. We paid 35 cents to see three feature films. They make up part of a lot of precious memories of my childhood growing up on the Lower East Side of NYC.

spectrum on May 28, 2010 at 8:53 am

Checked Google Maps. Nothing there but acres of parking lots.

Dan300 on June 19, 2009 at 11:45 am

Are there any pictures of this movie theater.

edblank on May 27, 2008 at 6:05 pm

None of the old 42nd Street theaters was nice by the time I started frequenting them in 1967, but as an out-of-towner who knew that a movie could play in only one theater in a “zone” at a time, I was fascinated to find first-run movies playing with companion features in dumpy 42nd Street houses while the same new films were running at higher prices just around the corner on Broadway and Seventh Avenue.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on February 5, 2008 at 9:12 am

I discovered more about the connection of RKO and Loew’s to the downtown Apollo and Hollywood in the August 25, 1935 issue of New York State Exhibitor. About a year before that, the M&S circuit, which owned both theatres, made a management deal with RKO to run them. But M&S was extremely disappointed with the results and sued to end the agreement, winning $45,000 in damages from RKO. M&S then leased the Apollo and Hollywood to Loew’s, which did well enough with the Apollo to continue running it but returned the Hollywood to M&S due to poor attendance.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 22, 2007 at 9:24 am

I suspect that Eugene DeRosa was architect of the Apollo Theatre, though I have no actual proof. But on November 1, 1925, The New York Times reported that DeRosa would be the architect of four theatres being built on the Lower East Side by Delancey-Clinton Realty Co., one of which turned out to be the Apollo.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 17, 2007 at 4:33 pm

The photo was probably taken in 1935, when the Apollo had a short-lived affiliation with RKO, which took over the independent house in an attempt to break Loew’s domination of the Lower East Side. At that time, RKO had no theatres below 14th Street (and there only the Jefferson). But the RKO Apollo proved a fast flop (not helped by the Depression) and Loew’s bought the Apollo’s lease from RKO to make sure that there were no more invasions of its turf. Though Loew’s operated the Apollo for at least fifteen years (until the early 1950s), I don’t understand why Loew’s Apollo is not given as one of its alternate names. I reported it as such last October, and it’s also mentioned in the introductory remarks. The Loew’s connection was far more important than RKO’s, which lasted only a matter of months.

jazzie on April 24, 2007 at 9:34 pm

The Apollo Theater on Clinton Street south of Delancey Bridge traffic was still open in the 1950’s and 60’s. It was known for it’s “Always a Western” sign. One of the three featured movies was always a Western.
It was closed temporarily, changed management or something, but it was still operating in the 70’s and I think the 80’s as well.

The Palestine changed it’s name to the Winston in the 1960’s.

Cookman on January 1, 2007 at 12:07 pm

I used to go to the Apollo Theatre up to the mid to late 60’s where I used to see Jerry Lewis films and many Vincent Price classics. They had delicious hot dogs. Around that same time they had a live show around Halloween that was always a sell out. The 7th Precient used to be right next door and they had their PAL events there every Christmas. There was a cool toy store across the street and I once saw Robert Kennedy at a campaign stop on the same street. It went out of favor as people started going to the Essex Theatre a few blocks away for their films – or the Delancey Theatre (where I saw the Batman movie).

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 27, 2006 at 4:08 am

I believe that the alternate name above the name is incorrect. I would almost bet that it was never called the Lower East Side Apollo. However, it was Loew’s Apollo for quite a few years, until the early 1950s…While reading issues from Cue Magazine for January 1964 through December 1966, I found listings for the Apollo except for a period in 1965-66. The Apollo was reported “closed” in the issue of July 31, 1965, but turns up again in issues beginning March 10, 1966. I don’t know if the theatre was closed all that time or just failing to report its programs in time to meet Cue’s deadlines.
Throughout this three-year period, the Apollo was showing late-run TRIPLE features, with programs changing three times per week!
Among the triplets were:
“Strait-Jacket,” “Incredible Mr. Limpet” & “Ring of Treason"
"Psycho,” “Synanon” & “Iron Angels"
"Girl Happy,” “Joy in the Morning” & “Tarzan the Magnificent"
"Bye Bye Birdie,” “Bunny Lake Is Missing” & “Dementia 13"
"The Russians Are Coming…,” “The Train” & “The Wild Westerners”

Astyanax on September 5, 2006 at 7:02 am

I recall around 1963 attending a function at a catering hall, situated either in the theater basement, or a few doors north of the entrance. The Apollo was still open at the time.

bassmanbob on July 26, 2006 at 5:23 am

I was going to see movies with my Sister at the Apollo well into the late 60’s. The building was knocked down to build the new 7th precient police plaza. By the 60’s they were showing 3 B movies every week.

bamtino on August 29, 2005 at 12:17 am

The theatre was closed by May, 1954.

bamtino on August 28, 2005 at 11:51 pm

Loew’s was still operating this theatre as late as 1953. A NY Times display ad for 2/26/1953 shows that they were playing the Doris Day film, “April in Paris.”

bamtino on August 28, 2005 at 4:34 pm

Along with the Palestine, the Charles, and the Ruby, all on the Lower East Side, construction of this theatre was announced in November 1925.
The theatre had 1st floor seating of 1068, mezzanine and balcony seating of 630, and boxes seating 90. There was also an open-air roof-top theatre with a capacity of 1000.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 14, 2005 at 11:28 pm

The 1930 edition of Film Daily Yearbook lists the Apollo Theatre as having 1,788 seats and an Apollo Roof Theatre seating 1,000.

The Wurlitzer theatre organ Opus#1419 was installed in 1926, indicating an approximate opening year.

The Apollo Theatre is still listed as open in the 1941 and 1943 editions of F.D.Y. with a seating capacity of 1,712.