Trans-Lux 60th Street
638 Madison Avenue,
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This was the third Trans-Lux newsreel theatre in New York City, but was built to replace the first, which opened in 1931 in converted retail space on the northeast corner of Madison Avenue and 58th Street. That first Trans-Lux seated only 158 people and proved much too small for the crowds it attracted.
The Trans-Lux 60th Street opened on November 10, 1933, at which time the 58th Street theatre closed forever and was converted back to retail. Programs at the Trans-Lux 60th Street changed twice weekly. The premiere program consisted of a compilation of the Pathe, Paramount, Universal, and Fox newsreels, plus a new Burns and Allen comedy short, “Walking the Baby”, Walt Disney’s color cartoon, “Lullaby Land”, and an RKO musical short, “Air Tonic”.
The newsreel policy lasted until January 1949, then the Trans-Lux 60th Street eventually became an art cinema. It was demolished in 1956 to make way for a new office building. Its final attraction was a “Farewell Festival”, which consisted of two-day runs of some of the features that premiered there: “Tight Little Island”, “Laughter in Paradise”, “Limelight”, “Kind Hearts and Coronets”, “The Actress”, “The Holly and the Ivy”, “The Little Kidnappers”, “Justice Is Done”, and “Pickwick Papers”.
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