RKO Hamilton Theatre

3560 Broadway,
New York, NY 10031

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Orlando on November 12, 2016 at 8:30 am

The RKO Hamilton closed in March along with the RKO Chester. The RKO Marble Hill changed hands later on and the RKO Palace was sold and closed in July and became a Broadway live theatre which it is 51 years later. Another loss was the RKO Greenpoint. “Harlow” closed the Palace first run and also closed the Greenpoint second run with “Operation C.I.A.”. The Hamilton and the Chester closed with “Send Me No Flowers” and “Taggart” in March 1965.

robboehm on November 7, 2016 at 4:37 pm

There is also the problem of contradictory sources. Always get that from Historical Societies. Also have found totally contradictory newspaper sources.

Orlando on November 7, 2016 at 11:32 am

The RKO Hamilton closed in 1965, still an RKO house. Mr Gabel and Mr Lambros haven’t done their research accurately. I have checked and double checked my files for accuracy. Remember Cinema Treasures is as good as the people who contribute to it. All statements should be double checked, but by who?

iatse311 on December 9, 2014 at 12:49 pm

without the http:// http://cdm16694.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p16124coll2/id/28121/rec/7

iatse311 on December 9, 2014 at 12:47 pm



LuisV on March 14, 2014 at 11:32 am

Hmmm, unable to make the link work but here it is to cut and paste. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/16/realestate/the-hamilton-theaters-changing-act.html?_r=0

LuisV on March 14, 2014 at 11:31 am

Trying again: [http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/16/realestate/the-hamilton-theaters-changing-act.html?_r=0] (RKO Hamilton)

LuisV on March 14, 2014 at 11:29 am

The New York Times showcases this beautiful theater, slated to be developed but large parts of the theater may be preserved.


Movieplace on April 2, 2013 at 2:44 pm

We are losing, by degrees, the structures that make New York City special. Pretty soon this town will look like every other city. When will we learn, that almost every real estate investor is only looking for the fast return? How will a condo on the site of the Hamilton contribute to the history and to what makes New York special? It won’t, but it will make this developer some money.

Is Harry Cipriani the only group that sees potential in these beautiful old spaces? Look at the old Bowery Bank branch across from Grand Central Terminal or the Cipriani Ballroom on Wall Street. The idea is not copy protected, so why isn’t any other developer trying to use what is there. Why do we have to lose the old Loew’s Victoria and potentially the Hamilton?

These places, so much part of the fabric of this city, are irreplaceable on many levels. No one does that kind of plasterwork anymore for one thing. Another aspect of the possible destruction of the Hamilton is, to quote Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, “Is it not cruel to let our city die by degrees, stripped of all her proud monuments, until there will be nothing left of all her history and beauty to inspire our children? If they are not inspired by the past of our city, where will they find the strength to fight for her future? Americans care about their past, but for short term gain they ignore it and tear down everything that matters. Maybe‚Ķ this is the time to take a stand, to reverse the tide, so that we won’t all end up in a uniform world of steel and glass boxes.” We will be judged no by what we have built, but by what we have destroyed.

iatse311 on April 1, 2013 at 5:03 pm


dougmarino on February 14, 2012 at 1:22 pm

so is this theatre landmark protected? who actually owns it today? I’m interested to know if that’s the reason why there are stores all around the ground level but there is such a massive un-used (and potentially valuable) space just behind it just decaying. i guess it just costs too much money to re-habilitate the space and the owners are just happy to rent the ground floor commercial space.

Bway on November 9, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Wow, great spread of photos and article!

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on November 7, 2011 at 8:14 am

I recently photographed the Hamilton. Check out the post at After the Final Curtain

Ross Melnick
Ross Melnick on June 5, 2011 at 2:38 am

We’re working to make pasted links automatically turn into hot links. New site, new software. Thanks for your patience while we work on this.

Bway on May 26, 2011 at 9:50 am

Very cool! Thanks!

Movieplace on April 12, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Thank you KenRoe. And thank you Kevin for posting. The last shot is incredibly tragic. That graffiti was not there on the boxes when I was there. However, the fact that there is not even more “artwork” makes me think that whatever entry way used by the “artists” (I am being invredibly nice) has been sealed. Frustrating though, that this sort of thing happened and that the perpetuators do not realize what it is they are defacing.

Movieplace on April 12, 2011 at 11:45 am

I thought there was nothing left of the interior of the Claremont. This is very exciting news. I grew up in a building designed by the architect of the Claremont.
I tried to cut and paste the address above but it took me to a Wikipedia page. I would love to see your recent pictures.

telliott on April 11, 2011 at 4:07 pm

I wonder how many old, abandoned theatres there are still left in New York. I mean there is this one, plus Loews Kings, Loews Canal, I think a couple of old RKOs….would be interesting to know how many are left.

Movieplace on April 11, 2011 at 2:31 pm

I forgot to ask, were was this new graffiti? Was it the theater? There was some up in the dressing rooms but that is all I remember.

Movieplace on April 11, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Dear Mr. Bradon,

I was fortunate enough to have spent a good deal of time in the Hamilton back in 2006. It sounds to me like the space is in the same condition now as I saw it back then. I am glad that you saw beauty that this space still possesses, even in it’s current condition. I remember feeling like I had just smoked 2 packs of cigarettes when I finally did leave.
I have noticed over the years, looking at blueprints of other theaters of the same vintage, that corners were cut to save money in areas that were not open to the theatergoer. No risers on stairs to save money or steeper staircases to save save space for example. The projection booth was not original to the theater and was added later, hence the awkward access ladders.
I hope that you took pictures of your adventure and that the property manager remembered how to turn on the lights (he did not remember how to in 2006).

ratkat on April 11, 2011 at 1:32 pm

I spent about four hours inside the theater on 4/9/11.I will add to this blogging site.It now is sporting fresh grafitti inside as well as outside on the fire escape area wall.The lead paint and asbestos haven(no one is interested in acquiring this property for this reason). Noticed some wonderfull unsafe features like the front of the balcony is olny about 1 foot high and there was never a railing there for safety.The stairs to the dressing room are small and steep.The projection booth can olny be entered via a metal ladder there is one on each side of the booth.There are pidgens living in it compleat with nest and eggs.They enter through a open window.Some of the theater seats have ashtrays on the rear near the top how cool!As previous bloggs tell any thing of value grew legs and walked out,brass railings,exit signs gone along with all of the toilets and urinals.The original audio amplifer is in the projection booth it is built into the room on I beams and some electrical meters and dimmers are still intact inside.The switching board for the stage lights is still behind the stage.Some interesting features were included in the theater.There are two large double doors behind the stage one on each side suitable for driving through and exiting the rich and famous.On each side there are 3 booths (no safety rails here either).They each have there own stairs and coat closets,suitable for the upper class to remain exclusive.The rear area has 3 doors in a row and there looks to be a ticket area and a coat room for common people.This makes 3 enterance areas for the theater.This theater after 98 years is still tremendous and one of the most awe inspireing adventures I have taken.It still has the energy it is famous for.Kevin Bradon.

Movieplace on February 10, 2011 at 8:41 am

Does anyone know what happened to the mural above the proscenium?

iatse311 on March 20, 2010 at 11:52 am

View link
with the 2000 NYCLPC Landmark Designation Report

Bway on March 11, 2010 at 10:21 am

Kevin, for other buildings, How do you determine the film number? Is it arranged by section and lot? Did youview both the 1930’s verion, and the 1980’s version?

ratkat on March 11, 2010 at 9:29 am

For those in need who go to 31 Chambers Street to veiw the Hamilton RKO shot.This will save some time, its on film #E-1388 section 2078 lot#1.One grainy shot taken from the midway in front of the now C-Town market.Showing retail stores on the first floor.Also on the same film is a good shot of the Bunny theater at 3589 Broadway,with billboards above the building selling beer and cars.I an seeking any information as to what the front Broadway building of the Hamilton was used for there are odd looking lighting fixtures on the third floor remaining.I am a 13 year area resident of the