Port Morris Theater

580 E. 138th Street,
Bronx, NY 10454

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All we have found on this theater so far is, it was operating in 1926. Location given is East 138th Street between St. Ann’s and Cypress Avenues. If you have any information on the Port Morris theater, please post it here.

Contributed by Bryan/Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

cjdv
cjdv on April 18, 2006 at 6:29 am

In Trow’s Business Directory for 1911, Friedman & Petters are listed as operating two “Moving Picture Exhibitions”: 414 E. 149th and 580 E. 138th Streets. Once again Trow’s does not give theatre names.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 18, 2006 at 7:43 am

Thats very interesting. Would you know if this theater is listed in the American Motion Picture Directory 1914-1915? I’m trying to find some sort of timeline if possible. I don’t believe that this theater only operated for one year. Now it appears that it might have operated for at least fifteen years.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on April 18, 2006 at 8:24 am

I’ve just looked through the entire NY State in the 1914 -1915 A.M.P.D and it’s not listed either by name or address(:

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 18, 2006 at 8:42 am

Maybe Friedman & Petters operated a nickelodeon that closed prior to 1914. That would mean that the Port Morris Theater could have opened anytime after 1915. Was it the same building? We might never know the answer to that. Every piece of information helps though, so keep those clues coming.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 18, 2006 at 4:13 pm

While were on the subject of theater research, was there ever a theater called Sohmer’s Highway located somewhere in NYC, operating in the 1920’s?

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on April 18, 2006 at 11:34 pm

I have just ‘researched’ Sohmer’s Highway Theatre and found it to be listed here: /theaters/3868/

I have added the newly found information there.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 19, 2006 at 2:09 am

Sohmer’s Highway was a real theater? I came across a message board that had some theater names and that was one of them. The site was a cached page so the conversation was already started and I couldn’t go to the beginning or end. I saw the words “movie' and "theater” and thought that I might have found something. I only wrote down two of the names because they seemed kind of “odd” for a movie theater. Sohmer’s Highway was one name and Sparta Hotel was another. I’ll see if I can find that page again. Thanks for taking the time to research Sohmer’s Highway.

charliek
charliek on May 26, 2007 at 2:11 pm

I walked by this location today, and there is a functioning clothing shop in this storefront now. It’s not clear whether the building is still for sale or not.

But the more interesting discovery on my walk occurred 2 blocks to the east, where I noticed a building that is on an irregularly shaped block bounded by 138th and 139th Streets (east-west), and Jackson Avenue and Bruckner Boulevard (north-south). The front of the building faces Bruckner. It currently houses a lumber company. This area adjoins the Port Morris neighborhood, which has always been an industrial/manufacturing district. But what struck me was that the facade of the building and the curved shape of the roof strongly resembled an old theater building. Given its size, I’d estimate it could have held a couple thousand people. However, I’ve had no luck finding references to a theater at this location via any of my sources. Lost Memory, are you there? Got any tips? If you do a google map (satellite view) of E. 139th Street and Jackson Avenue, Bronx, it is the building to the southeast of that intersection.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 26, 2007 at 4:33 pm

Charlie….In that vicinity, there is a Bruckner Lumber & Building Supply Company listed at 259 Bruckner Blvd. That might be the lumber company that you saw. I have no idea if there was ever a theater at that address. I wish that I could help you with this, but you need someone with a collection of Film Daily Year books to research this one.

sgreenb617
sgreenb617 on June 8, 2007 at 6:14 am

I can add much to this discussion from my family’s history at that location. In 1921, my grandparents, Aaron and Ida Greenberg, first operated a houseware shop at 574 E. 138th Street which was adjacent to the Port Morris Theater at 580 E. 138th Street. When the Port Morris closed, it was gutted, the sloped floor removed and it was converted into a two floor 9500 sq feet retail store. My grandfather and his brother in law, Herman Miller then opened Greenhill Hardware in the now converted Port Morris theater space in 1929. My father and my uncle later joined the business and they operated it until approximately 1960 when it was sold to another family. The new owner kept the Greenhill name and remained in the 580 E. 138th Street space until the mid 1990’s when the business relocated to E. 132nd Street where it remains to this day. I have some older photo’s, one from the 1940’s and another from the mid 1990’s if anyone would like to see them. If so, email me at Hope this helps! Shep Greenberg

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