Loyal Theatre

1493 St. Nicholas Avenue,
New York, NY 10033

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dallasmovietheaters on January 25, 2016 at 5:43 pm

J.J. Lyon built the Majestic Rooftop Theater in 1912 seating 265 at the site of a former church. The Majestic Theatre was also created there opening in 1913 with lots of seats (original seat count is listed at 1,800). The Big Three Corporation — operators of the Garden, University, Pictorium and Seventh Ave. Theatre among their seven theaters at the time operate it for much of the decade before divesting their operation. The Braddon Amusement Circuit took on the theatre next and one of the few claims to fame for the Majestic was housing a radio transmitter for radio telephony that hit experimenter’s radios in Washington Heights just prior to commercial radio taking off in the U.S. It existed alongside the rooftop theatre.

Jaydo takes on the theatre transitioning it to sound and also its Gem from silent into sound theatre. Jaydo sells the struggling theater to Fairdeal Enterprises which leads to a lawsuit in 1936 of little consequence other than the holding of the Majestic passing to Springer & Cocalis' Spraco Corp. It is that circuit which changes the name to the Loyal Theatre in 1937. But patrons aren’t loyal and the theater ceases in 1941. The auditorium is gutted and the 1493 St. Nicholas facility is converted into the Palace Bowling Center launching in 1942. Though ending this addresses' cinema exhibition, Architect William L. Hohouser’s conversion project makes the national magazine, Lighting, among others as a creative transformation of a faded cinema locale.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 23, 2014 at 1:14 pm

The Majestic apparently became the Loyal in 1937. The April 1 issue of Motion Picture Daily said that Springer & Cocalis would reopen the Loyal Theatre, formerly the Majestic, in Washington Heights, on April 2.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 16, 2006 at 8:24 am

The Film Daily Yearbook;1926 edition has the Majestic Theatre listed at 1493 St. Nicholas Ave, with 1,000 seats. Same details in 1930 but with a seating capacity given as 1,400. In the 1941 edition of F.D.Y. the details are the same as in 1930 apart from the name change to Loyal Theatre and it is listed as (Closed).