Loew's Yorkville Theatre

157 E. 86th Street,
New York, NY 10028

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Loew's Yorkville Theatre, New York City

The Yorkville Theatre was built in 1902, and was operated by the Shubert Bros. It was operating as a vaudeville house known as the Yorkville Theatre when Marcus Loew took it over in 1910. It was typical of its time, with two separate balconies and tiers of box seats flanking both sides of the stage. It was one of Loew’s earliest New York City area theatres, along with the Lincoln Square, Majestic, West End, and Royal (Brooklyn), which were also acquisitions. Loew’s Yorkville Theatre proved so successful that three years later, the circuit built the much larger and more opulent Orpheum Theatre in the same block, but closer to 3rd Avenue. Loew’s continued to operate the Yorkville Theatre, but favored the Orpheum Theatre in programming.

Loew’s Yorkville Theatre switched to a cheaper grade of vaudville and subsequent-run movies. It was closed in 1928.

Contributed by Warren G. Harris

Recent comments (view all 27 comments)

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 16, 2010 at 12:20 pm

It was directly across the street from the other two Loews, between Third and Lexington.

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Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 22, 2010 at 12:03 pm

As far as I can tell, the Yorkville ran German operettas and legit shows after the Loews days, but not movies.

TLSLOEWS on May 1, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Thanks AlAlvarez.

spectrum on April 11, 2012 at 1:46 pm

From the Google aerial and street views, it looks like the entire building is still standing; merely converted to retail. Upper floors look vacant. Maybe the upper part of the auditorium is unaltered??

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 18, 2013 at 8:37 pm

Ruth Crosby Dimmick’s 1913 book Our Theatres To-day and Yesterday says that the Yorkville Theatre was built in 1902 and was operated by the Shuberts for a while until being taken over my Marcus Loew and reopened as a movie and variety theater on October 1, 1909.

mailmanmike54 on November 15, 2013 at 7:47 pm

Years ago in a book i found a admission ticket to the Yorkville Theatre dated feb 11 1922 , price for ticket was $1.10

TonyV on March 23, 2017 at 8:57 pm

I lived at 150 East 86th St. That is between Lexington and 3rd Avenue on the South side of the Street. The picture above was directly across the street from my window and was not the site of a movie theater at leat from the 1940’s onward. Just to the right of it (East) was an Automat Restaurant, then the Linden Bar and then Loew’s Orpheum theater. There were three movie theaters on the 86th Street block between Lexington and 3rd. To the East of my apartment house was the Grande Theater, an independent located at 160 East 86th St. Directly East of it was Loew’s 86th Street theater. It was not on the corner of 3rd Avenue. Directly across the street was the Loew’s Orpheum. It was larger and had vaudeville in its day. It received films after they left Broadway for the first run in the neighborhood. The Loew’s 86th Street played them a few weeks later. The Grande played films later still. There was also the RKO 86th St a bit West of Lexington on the North side. Finally there was the Schwarzer Adler theater East of 3rd Avenue on the South side. It played German language films and was quite inconspicuous as it had no marquee. Sorry for the length but I hope this clears up the apparent confusion about the location of the all the 86th Strete theaters at least in the forties and fifties. I lived on that block for 18 years directly across the street from the pictured building which is still there (2016) My apartment house is replaced by a giant hi-rise.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 24, 2017 at 12:52 am

A fairly detailed history of the Yorkville Theatre can be found here It confirms TonyV’s claim that there was no theater in this building in the 1940s and later. The Yorkville closed for good in 1928.

Loew’s 86th Street, as Tony notes, was across from the Orpheum. Its address was 162 E. 86th, and a description of its organ, installed when Loew took over in 1916, can be found on this web page.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 24, 2017 at 6:38 am

The Schwarzer Adler was the Grande. Was there a second Schwarzer Adler in the forties?

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