Loew's Lexington Theatre

571 Lexington Avenue,
New York, NY 10022

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Momgolda on December 30, 2014 at 2:52 pm

I went to this theater as a child, every Saturday. Played with the goldfish in the lobby. Red Buttons gave out Christmas gifts from the P.A.L. at this theater. Is the Loew’s that we pronounced Lowees have anything to do with the Loews Theater of today pronounced Lows?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 6, 2010 at 8:56 am

Hammerstein never sold this theatre to his friend Marcus Loew.

Hammerstein’s theatre was foreclosed in 1915. In January 1916 it was leased to a sponsor who changed the policy to movies and renamed it the Biltmore with hopes of becoming the east side version of the Broadway Strand. It was a short-lived experiment.

After much deliberation the bank auctioned it off in March, 1918. The buyer, Manhattan Life Insurance, promptly resold it a month later. The theatre changed hands again several times until Marcus Loew took it over in late 1923 and put movies back in, four years after Hammerstein’s death.

TLSLOEWS on December 8, 2009 at 11:27 am

Nice old picture, first time I have heard of this theatre.

BobFurmanek on October 31, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Loew’s Lexington closed on April 3, 1960.

kencmcintyre on November 20, 2008 at 7:24 pm

Here is an excerpt from a NYT article dated 8/28/59:

The 70-year-old manager of Loew’s Lexington Theatre at 571 Lexington Avenue was pistol-whipped with a revolver and robbed of $1850 last night, police reported today.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 15, 2008 at 10:18 am

Here is a 1916 ad for the Lexington operating as the Biltmore.

View link

Hyford on February 11, 2008 at 12:00 pm

It was Hammerstein’s intention of presenting American opera in his new theatre since his contract which he entered into in 1910 with The Met (in which they gave him $10 million) forbidding him from presenting classical opera in America for ten years. (He had been their major competition at his Manhattan Opera House on West 34th Street opposite Penna Station).
The only show is was able to present at the Lexington was Irving Berlin’s “Yip, Yip, Yaphank.”

Hyford on February 11, 2008 at 11:48 am

Oscar Hammertein, the builder, was the grandfather of the lyricist, Oscar Hammertein II.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 14, 2006 at 4:54 am

New York Times ads in late January 1916 list the Biltmore as the former Lexington.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 14, 2006 at 2:26 am

For a short period in 1916 this operated as the Biltmore Theatre.

RobertR on December 16, 2005 at 2:27 pm

Interesting ad from 1943
View link

balto18 on July 12, 2005 at 7:19 pm

Hey all—anyone have any photos of the Loew’s Lexington, or information about its organ? I have a record of Marsh McCurdy playing my favorite song, “Valencia”, on the Loew’s Lexington organ. (To be honest, it’s a pretty dull version of the song.)

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on July 4, 2005 at 4:19 am

Variety’s obiturary for Laurence Tisch says:

“With profits from their hotels, the brothers began buying into Loews in 1959. Tisch ousted then president-CEO Eugene Picker and took control.

Company was one of the larger movie exhibitors in the country, but the Tisch brothers were interested in the real estate they sat on. Two years later, they demolished Gotham’s Loews Lexington theater and built the Summit Hotel. They used other unprofitable theater sites to build apartment buildings and the 2,000-room Americana hotel in 1962."

Anyone know which theatre site the Americana was built on?

Loew’s annual reports from 1965, 1966, and 1967 are online and include lists of all Loew’s theatres and hotels. Unfortunately, the 1968 and later annual reports don’t include these lists.

(I’ve compiled a list of all Loew’s annual reports from 1965 through 1985. They make interesting reading. I wish I could find reports from earlier than 1965.)

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on July 4, 2005 at 1:41 am

According to this New York Times article of February 6, 1968, the Tisch brothers, who already owned several hotels, took over Loew’s Theatres in 1960.

“Loew’s Hotels was created as a subsidiary. Their first project under the Loew’s roof was the construction of the Summit Hotel on Lexington Avenue, where the old Loew’s Lexington had stood.”

This press release from Loew’s Hotels says:

“In 1959, they bought controlling interest in Loews Theatres, Inc., and began building hotels on sites of unprofitable movie theaters.”

What other Loew’s hotels are on sites of former Loew’s theatres?

chconnol on March 9, 2005 at 9:31 am

I know that hotel! I used to work over on the east side a couple of years ago.

I hate that building. Ok..so I’m no architectural critic but I know what looks good and that monstrsity doesn’t look good at all. Just my opinion.

William on November 15, 2003 at 10:07 am

During the 50’s, Loews Theatres operated this theatre.