Golden Rule Theatre

125 Rivington Street,
New York, NY 10002

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Also known as the Golden Rule Hall and utilized for functions such as union organizing hall and boxing venue, the theatre was located on the ground level of a five story tenement and exhibited motion pictures from at least 1908 through 1920 or later.

Today, the space is home to Rivington Guitars, while four stories of apartments still rise above.

More information would be appreciated.

Contributed by Damien Farley

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 2, 2008 at 9:42 am

Was there another Golden Rule Theater in New York City? A silent theater list shows two of them. Golden Rule (Rivington) and Golden Rule (Third). I don’t know if “Third” means Third Avenue or Third Street.

kydebren on May 2, 2008 at 11:08 am

Can’t answer that question, Lost Memory, but if you are saying 3rd in NYC,to the best of my knowledge it would be 3rd Avenue. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 2, 2008 at 11:09 am

Golden Rule Hall dates back to at least 1882.

NY Times July 8, 1882. Free preview:


The second floor of Nos. 125 and 127 Rivington-street is occupied by a public hall, which bears the attractive title of Golden Rule Hall, and above the door, in large black letters, upon scarlet scroll, bordered with gilding, is displayed the legend “Toleration.”

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 2, 2008 at 11:21 am

Thanks Eileen. The silent theater list only specifies New York City. It doesn’t state which borough that the theater was located in. Both Golden Rule Theaters would have been operating in 1926 if that list is accurate.

Judith Thissen
Judith Thissen on May 16, 2008 at 3:04 am

Abraham Cahan — the famous Yiddish newspaper editor and novelist — made his first public speech at the Golden Rule Hall in 1882.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 16, 2008 at 8:03 pm

NY Times December 13, 1908

ONE DEAD, MANY HURT AT A PICTURE SHOW; Gallery Rail Gives Way, Throwing Forty Persons on Those Sitting Twelve Feet Below. PANIC IN JAMMED PLACE Police Reserves Called to Quiet Excited East Siders — None of the Injuries Serious — Three Arrests.

A guard rail around the edge of a balcony in a moving picture show at 125 Rivington Street gave way about 10 o'clock last night, precipitating nearly forty persons down on the heads of the people seated on the main floor, injuring eighteen persons and producing a panic that called out the firemen and police reserves from two precincts.

kencmcintyre on January 9, 2009 at 12:30 pm

The guitar store has moved, and the retail space is for sale.

seymourcox on August 9, 2009 at 11:17 am

An undated photo, from LIFE, comes this photo of Lillian Gish standing in front of a poster for a theatre with a name that begins with Golden,
View link

AlAlvarez on January 23, 2010 at 6:50 pm

A meeting of the League of City Peddlers of Greater New York was held at the Golden Rule Theatre in June 1928, indicating it may have still been open for Yiddish Vaudeville or movies.

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