Trans-Lux 60th Street

638 Madison Avenue,
New York, NY 10065

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Trans-Lux 60th Street

Viewing: Photo | Street View

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”.

Contributed by Warren G. Harris

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 21, 2005 at 12:41 pm

In 1952, the Trans-Lux 60th Street shared the NYC premiere engagement of Charles Chaplin’s long-awaited “Limelight” with the Astor Theatre on Broadway. The Astor ran “grind” with continuous performances, but the Trans-Lux 60th had a reserved-seat policy. It gave two performances daily at 2:30 and 8:30 PM. On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays there were extra matinees at 5:30 PM, and late shows on Fridays and Saturdays at 11:30 PM. All tickets were $2.40, with the exception of weekday matinees at $1.80.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 23, 2005 at 6:36 am

A caption for this old photo says that it shows the Trans-Lux 60th Street, but I can’t swear by it as some T-L theatres were very similar in apearance. The surrounding businesses include the Blue Room Restaurant, Edwoods (men’s clothing), Maria Rass Importers, and Mme. Cima Green (lingerie). If anyone can come up with addresses for those places, it should prove whether or not this is the T-L 60th:

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on March 3, 2008 at 5:00 am

Anna Magnani at the Trans-Lux 60th on Madison in 1953.

AlAlvarez on November 10, 2009 at 2:26 pm

This switched from newsreel to features in 1949.

AlAlvarez on March 3, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Closed in January 1955 with a Swan Song Festival of revivals. By then it was advertised as the TRANS-LUX 60TH ON MADISON.

Tinseltoes on January 16, 2011 at 9:05 am

On January 18th, 1949, the Trans-Lux 60th St. on Madison dropped its newsreel policy in favor of single first-run features, starting with the American premiere engagement of J. Arthur Rank’s “Take My Life."
The B&W drama starred Marius Goring. one of the leads in the boxoffice smash, "The Red Shoes.” Greta Gynt and Hugh Williams co-starred in the Eagle Lion Films release.

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