Cinema Village

22 East 12th Street,
New York, NY 10003

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Cinema Village

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This venerable art house has been around for decades and is virtually the last of the old Village independent cinemas that flourished during the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

After several tough years, the theater was expanded into three screens and has continued its tradition of showing independent, foreign, and classic films.

The Cinema Village evokes a different era when "independent" really meant it.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 91 comments)

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 14, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Bigjoe, the SOBO only operated in 1971 and I believe some of the shows were live/film combo nude performance art pieces that would not be considered porn today.

The 55th St Playhouse descent into hard core porn was gradual but there was no closing period. After “THE BOYS IN THE SAND” there was a fine line between gay art films and gay sex films.

bigjoe59 on May 15, 2012 at 10:33 am

Hello- as always i thank my fellow posters for replying to my inquiries. so Al A. if i understand you reply correctly the 55th St. Playhouse went from being a top art house to a gay porn house in short order? i suppose anything is possible in the big wide world of Manhattan real estate even the fall of 1971. its just i can’t picture the theater going from being a top art house than say two or weeks later becoming the top hard-core gay porn house in Manhattan. i naturally assumed there had to have been a significant closed up period.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 15, 2012 at 11:57 am

After DEEP THROAT opened in 1972 the market changed drastically for art houses and direction the theatre operator took was more distinct between those who programmed European art films and those who programmed sexploitation or hard core and advertised it as art product.

BullyOhio on November 18, 2014 at 7:20 pm

This theater was featured in an episode of Mad About You

hdtv267 on November 19, 2014 at 4:36 am

featured how? just a passing shot? scene is supposed to take place in the theatre? What was the episode name? Be nice to know to be able to DVR it since FXX has been running them.

bigjoe59 on November 20, 2014 at 1:54 pm


I always thought the Cinema Village which has been a beacon for film goers for at 50? years was built from the ground up as a movie theater. but I read it was actually built within the gutted skeletal structure of an 1890s firehouse. how much of the firehouse actually exists?

artpf on February 13, 2015 at 12:48 pm

Built in 1963 in the shell of a turn of the century fire station, Cinema Village is the oldest continuously operated cinema in Greenwich Village and one of the oldest continuously operated art cinemas in the city.

moviebuff82 on June 8, 2015 at 11:35 am

This theater was featured in a story on “Last week Tonight” due to the fact that this theater was the only one in the NYC area to show the Fifa funded United Passions which bombed at the box office due to the scandal surrounding the soccer federation and it’s outgoing leader Sepp Blatter.

hdtv267 on June 11, 2015 at 9:49 am

Actually, no, if you paid close attention to the story and the quotes, it was because it is a terrible movie.

moviebuff82 on June 11, 2015 at 11:32 am

i know. Once in awhile this theater shows crappy movies….

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