Trans-Lux Modern Theatre

1619 Broadway,
New York, NY 10019

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rivest266 on September 25, 2013 at 6:59 pm

Grand opening ad in the photo section for this cinema.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on November 16, 2010 at 10:46 am

Not purpose built, but a conversion of a confectionary factory, Gale’s Bioscope Show opened as a twin screen cinema in Canning Town, London, UK in 1908. It was destroyed in a fire in 1909. /theaters/28119/

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 16, 2010 at 10:33 am

The earliest purpose-built twin cinema to go into operation that I know of was the Duplex Theatre, Detroit, Michigan, which was opened in 1915. The Duplex was apparently too far ahead of its time, as it was closed in 1922. A link in the second comment on the Cinema Treasures page fetches a page with several photos and a floor plan of the theater.

Detroit got a second twin theater a few years later, when the Catherine Theatre (later the Carver Tehatre) was twinned.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on November 15, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Christofer; One of the earliest examples of a purpose-built twin cinema was the 1930 built, Twin Regal Kinemas in Manchester, England. UK.

William on November 15, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Christofer, Warren has not posted in a long time now. Most of his photobucket links have not worked in the last year or so. You might find a shot or two under the Trans-Lux 49th. Street Theatre. People for the longest time mixed the two houses up.

christofermeissner on November 15, 2010 at 2:13 pm

I’ve checked out the Bexley Theatre page but information on that one seems to be scarce, apart from the couple of exterior photos that are linked to in the profile. Any additional information (especially about citable sources) about the Bexley would be most welcome as well!

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on November 15, 2010 at 1:54 pm

If you’re interested in early twin theatres be sure to check out the Bexley Theatre in Bexley, Ohio, built in 1935 and unfortunately demolished in 1997.

christofermeissner on November 15, 2010 at 12:33 pm

I am doing some research into early twin theatres and am interested in seeing the images of this theater that Warren G. Harris posted back in 2005. Unfortunately, those links do not seem to still be operative. Warren, if you are still around, do you still have or have access to those images of the Trans-Lux twin theatre?

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 15, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Image of the Trans-Lux during a run of La Cucaracha, Boxoffice, January 12, 1935:

Tinseltoes on January 3, 2010 at 4:06 pm

The Trans-Lux’s grand entrance can be seen at bottom right of this vintage photo of the Brill Building: View link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 26, 2005 at 11:12 am

Though the newsreel programs changed twice a week, there were “daily inserts of the latest news events” as soon as they became available. The auditorium nearest to 49th Street was advertised as the “Theatre on the Left” and presented “entertaining short pictures in lively variety— gems of comedy, drama and travel selected from the world’s best.” The opening bill consisted of two “Grantland Rice Sportlights,” an “Aesop’s Fables” cartoon, a “McLean Dance Classic” in color, and an item from the “Vagabond Adventures” series…The auditorium on the 50th Street side was the “Theatre on the Right” and showed “up-to-the-minute programs composed of the best features of Paramount News, Pathe News, and Universal News.” Both theatres were limited in what they showed due to competition from the Embassy Newsreel Theatre on Broadway & 47th, which also charged 25 cents for the same type of fare.

shoeshoe14 on September 23, 2005 at 2:15 pm

I usually find the info from the local history rooms in various town libraries in the albums of property. Pics are usually included as well as functions etc, taken by the historical commission.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 23, 2005 at 9:21 am

In this partial view, the marquee doesn’t impress, but one can see the lighting effects on the sofit, as well as the changeable attraction boards above the entrances to the two auditoriums:

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 22, 2005 at 3:48 pm

Unfortunately, I don’t think that any of the photos posted at the Trans-Lux West (aka Trans-Lux) listing are actually of that theatre. They’re all of the Trans-Lux twin in the Brill Building! Perhaps some of the Trans-Lux West will turn up eventually. I have none myself.

William on September 22, 2005 at 2:39 pm

Good work Warren, with what I posted last week on the Trans-Lux 49th Street. About how those pictures look like they were in the Brill Building and not the Trans-Lux 49th Street house. With the original photos that RobertR posted of the theatre and the ones Warren posted there had tobe two different theatre locations.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 22, 2005 at 1:41 pm

Thomas W. Lamb was the head of a large architectural firm that bore his name. He had a staff of architects working under him. Although he is usually given personal credit for theatres bearing his corporate name, it must be assumed that some were designed by others, though he probably had the final approval of the blueprints. On many theatres, especially towards the end of his lifetime, he was no more than a consultant.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 22, 2005 at 1:32 pm

This theatre had such a short life and vanished so many decades ago that I was unaware of it until photos turned up at the listing for the Trans-Lux West (originally known as Trans-Lux 49th Street). When I first saw the photos, I thought that my mind was playing tricks on me, because I was sure that the Trans-Lux West was a block south of the Brill Building, and not part of it. In any case, these are the photos of the Trans-Lux at 1619 Broadway that were mistakenly posted at the listing for the Trans-Lux West. I hope that one of the moderators can remove them from the listing for the Trans-Lux West.

shoeshoe14 on September 22, 2005 at 12:29 pm

I don’t know if there’s an exact answer to this question, but how many theaters did Lamb design? It seems like thousands.