North Star Theater

1250 Fifth Avenue,
New York, NY 10029

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Exterior (circa 1928)

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The North Star Theater is listed in the 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory. It is also listed in the 1926 Film Daily Yearbook as having 1,000 seats. The North Star Theater is gone from listings by 1931.

Contributed by Ken Roe/Al Alvarez/Peter Koch

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 3, 2007 at 10:19 am

No sooner does Lost Memory find this theatre and a crime gets committed.

New York Times January 2, 1925

ARREST POLICEMAN ON WOMAN’S CHARGE

Badly beaten victim says she was attacked in a theatre vestibule late at night

“Policeman William Oehlerking of the East 104th Street Station was arrested yesterday morning …charged with beating a women while he was on post. The alleged assault occurred about 2:30 o’clock in the morning in the outer vestibule of the North Star motion picture theatre at 106th street and fifth Avenue… Mrs O’Brien …could not identify the man she charged with having beaten her. Oehlerking was arrested after Captain Loonam found a belt bearing his shield number in the vestibule of the theatre.”

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 4, 2007 at 8:37 am

I read it as a hooker who refused to give the local cop services for free or maybe he just didn’t like the Irish, but I may just be too cynical for the roaring twenties.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 19, 2007 at 7:09 am

According to a caption on the back of the photo in the NYPL Digital Gallery, it was taken by P.L. Sperr on May 15, 1928. If you examine the photo closely, it appears that the North Star has been permanently closed, with some of the entrances and windows bricked up. A news report in the April 21, 1926 issue of The New York Times said that the blockfront containing the North Star had recently been sold for $650,000, for replacement by an apartment house. The seller, the Real Estate Company of Philadelphia, had owned it for twenty years, which suggests that the North Star was built in 1906, if not earlier, given that the seller might not have been the original owner. The theatre may date back to the 19th century, since it had a large scenery loft and was obviously intended as a playhouse.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 21, 2007 at 5:26 am

The North Star is not listed in the 1927 edition of the Directory of Motion Picture Theatres published by the NY Film Board of Trade, which suggests that it might have closed in 1926 when the blockfront was sold for re-development. A later story in The New York Times of December 1, 1929, said that the plot had been sold twice since 1926 and was still awaiting re-development, but did not say whether the North Star had been demolished or not. The second sale was for a medical center to be called the New York Skin and Cancer Hospital, but that project fell through and the ground plot was again being considered for an apartment building.

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