Roosevelt Theatre

2497 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard,
New York, NY 10030

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Roosevelt Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Roosevelt Theatre opened in c.1920 and is located on the corner of 7th Avenue and W. 145th Street. In the center of the facade there is a bust relief of Theodore Roosevelt.

By 1927 this movie theatre was operated by the Meyer & Schnieder circuit who also operated the Odeon Theatre located close-by on W. 145th Street and the Douglas Theatre on Lennox Avenue. It was at the Roosevelt Theatre that Thomas ‘Fats’ Waller won an amateur night contest playing James P. Johnson’s “Carolina Shout”.

The Roosevelt Theatre was listed in Film Daily Yearbooks for 1930-1933 as being a ‘Negro’ theatre catering to African-American audiences. It was taken over by RKO on August 25, 1937, but by 1940 to 1955 it had reverted back to being an African-American theatre.

It closed in 1978, and is currently in use as a Pioneer Supermarket.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

RobertR
RobertR on September 26, 2006 at 4:54 pm

It was still open in 1971 showing one of MGM’s Family Matinee’s.
View link

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 14, 2008 at 8:52 pm

Small item from the NYT dated 10/12/63:

A movie projectionist was shot and robbed yesterday in the projection booth of Roosevelt Theater, Seventh Avenue, the police reported today.

RobertR
RobertR on April 17, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Check out the odd vertical with the arrows…..did it once say RKO?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 12, 2010 at 7:50 pm

The architect was Charles Goodman.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 28, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Stopped showing films in 1976.

Chancellor
Chancellor on March 10, 2012 at 1:59 pm

No, actually the theater closed in 1978. The last picture I saw there was the Bill Cosby Sidney Potier 1977 film, ‘A Piece Of The Action’.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on May 2, 2017 at 9:21 am

Link to newsreel footage (silent) of opening night as RKO Roosevelt on August 25th, 1937: http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/video/newsreel-no-audio-the-marquee-of-the-rko-roosevelt-in-news-footage/508764459

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on May 2, 2017 at 9:24 am

Additional newsreel footage with sound of 8/25/37 opening night as RKO Roosevelt: http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/video/roosevelt-theater-grand-opening-bill-robinson-and-fredi-news-footage/508764465

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on May 2, 2017 at 9:33 am

RKO spent $30,000 on exterior and interior renovations as part of a 10-year contract with owner Leo Brecher. But the deal was ended in 1942 due to mutual dissatisfaction over profits earned.

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