Trans-Lux Modern Theatre
625 Madison Avenue,
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This was the very first Trans-Lux cinema and opened on March 14th, 1931, in space that was originally a corner store on the NE corner of Madison Avenue and W. 58th Street. The theatre had a frontage of 26 feet, a depth of 72 feet, and a ceiling height in the auditorium of 11 feet 3 inches. Interior decor was modern, with no frills. The rear-projection system created a glow bright enough for patrons to read by, and eliminated the need for ushers.
The 45-minute programs of newsreels and short subjects changed twice weekly. Entrance was through a turnstile. If you didn’t have a quarter to insert in the slot, you could get change from the boxoffice attendant. The Trans-Lux proved so popular that it was replaced two years later by a much larger theatre on Madison Avenue between 59th and 60th Streets. This one closed and reverted back to retail use.
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