West End Theatre

362 W. 125th Street,
New York, NY 10027

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AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on February 28, 2010 at 6:42 pm

The West End appears in a Paramount Week ad in 1921. It was already open in 1903 when the Sunset was being constructed next door.

In the 1934 Film Daily Yearbook the West End is listed as closed with 1672 seats. In the 1937 edition a De Luxe theatre at this address is open with 1672 seats, so it must be a name change that went along with renovation and re-opening. By 1941 it was the West End again.

It stopped showing films in 1975.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 16, 2007 at 6:59 am

Fight in the theater in 1906, from the LA Times:
http://tinyurl.com/2bqoh9

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 17, 2006 at 4:41 am

I apologize for any confusion that I might have caused by mentioning another West End Theatre in Harlem. A picture and more details about that other West End can be found under the listing for Loew’s Seventh Avenue, which occupied the same ground site that had been intended for it on the NE corner of Seventh Avenue & 124th Street.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 11, 2006 at 4:08 am

In 1937, the West End was treated to a $150,000 renovation, and re-opened in November with a stage and film policy. The management couldn’t afford the “big names” that performed at the rival Apollo Theatre, so the emphasis was on scantily-dressed chorus girls and what Variety described as “smutty Negro comedians.” The movies were late-run, after they’d finished their tours of the RKO and Loew’s circuits. In about a year, the West End returned to and remained a cinema with late-run double bills changing several times a week.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 10, 2006 at 11:00 am

I’ve seen literature on such a theatre in “free Renaissance” style at the Performing Arts Library in Lincoln Center, NYC. There was a prospectous with several drawings of it, but no actual photographs. It was supposed to be called the West End, but I don’t think that it was ever built, and the name was later used for this theatre on West 125th Street. I made some notes. If I can find them, I will post further.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 10, 2006 at 10:53 am

Al; The West End Theatre is now the Lagree Baptist Church. The West End Theatre is located in the middle of the block and only has a frontage on 125th Street. The building you are searching for would have been built to the left of the West End Theatre. In the photo posted by Warren on 20th November 2005 there is a building next to the West End, which is still there today (just seen in my photo posted 8th May 2006). To me that looks too low a building to be a 1,800 seat theatre on a single floor. But I could be wong…..I will try and check out the next door building when I am in NYC in a couple of weeks time and see what lays behind and whether the facade goes around the corner to St. Nicholas Avenue.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 10, 2006 at 10:24 am

I have been searching for a theatre called the Palace St Nicholas which was showing movies in 1918. I finally found something about it in a 1903 NY Times article.

It was to be built as a playhouse adjoining the West End Theatre property on St. Nicholas Avenue and Hamilton Place. It ran boxing and plays as well as movies and also had an Annex (roof?).

It was built by a sindicate of theatrical and business men and has a frontage of 188 feet on St. Nicholas and 100 feet 11 inches on Hamilton (125th St?).

Louise M. Goldstein (Murray Hill Lyceum), Charles Bimberg, and Archibald Bimberg composed the syndicate who expect the building to be ready by February 1904.

The building style will be free Renaissance and the material Roman buff brick, limestone and terra cotta with a seating capcaity of 1800.

Is this the LAGREE BAPTIST CHURCH?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 23, 2006 at 6:19 am

The West End when it first opened in 1902 under Weber & Fields management:
www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/westend2.jpg

durhamw
durhamw on September 27, 2005 at 4:04 am

The comedy team of Joe Weber and Lew Fields built the theatre in 1902; in 1904, according to papers in the Shubert Archive, they leased it to Edward W. Stair and Albert L. Wilbur and it continued in service as a vaudeville and legit theatre. A year or two later, the Shubert Theatrical Company acquired a half-interest in the lease. Business relations between the Shuberts, Edward Stair (long a partner of J. H. Havlin in ownership of vaudeville and cheap melodrama theatres) and Albert Wilbur (Boston-based theatre owner and manger) were fluid and complex, but Wilbur probably provided Shubert access to the property. The West End Theatre lease was assigned to the United States Amusement Company, a Shubert-Erlanger vaudeville venture in 1907-08. From 1908 to 1912 it was booked as a part of the Shubert’s “subway circuit” by the Sam S. Shubert Booking Agency. 1912-14 it was subleased to managers who installed stock companies. Shuberts disengaged in 1914.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 2, 2005 at 11:45 pm

The West End Theatre opened in 1902 as a live theatre. It is listed in Film Daily Yearbook;1926 edition as having a seating capacity of 1,500. The 1927 edition gives it 2,000 seats and the 1930 edition of F.D.Y. list it as ‘Closed’ with 1672 seats.

In the 1941 edition of F.D.Y. it is listed with a seating capacity of 1,670 and this has been reduced to 1,100 in the 1943 edition and also the 1950 edition.