Columbia Theatre

1324 Amsterdam Avenue,
New York, NY 10027

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This was listed as the Pershing Theatre in the 1926 and 1927 editions of Film Daily Yearbook. It was on the west side of Amsterdam Avenue between 125th Street and LaSalle (or 123rd Street).

In the 1930 edition of Film Daily Yearbook it had been re-named Columbia Theatre, a name it retained until closing in the early-1950’s. The 1951 Film Daily Yearbook gives a seating count of 590. I believe it was demolished in around 1954.

I remember it from my childhood back in the early-1950’s when it played ‘family’ movies. I don’t remember it surviving the urban renewal around that time that built the projects on the south side of 125th Street between Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway. I just remember going to the Saturday kids programs.

Contributed by Lou Roque, Ken Roe, Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 24, 2007 at 1:38 pm

A certificate of occupancy dated November 3, 1922 shows a motion picture theater located at 1324-1326 Amsterdam Avenue. Seating was 485 on the first floor and 113 in the balcony. The name of the architect appears to be Simeon D. Bioendrath. Its difficult to read the name.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 24, 2007 at 2:22 pm

The name of the architect is Simeon B. Eisendrath. Thanks to Bryan Krefft for deciphering the name.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 24, 2007 at 2:24 pm

Make that Simeon D. Eisendrath.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 24, 2007 at 2:34 pm

I wish my Grandparents were still with us so I could ask them about this theater. I remember my Grandfather used to play “448” for the daily lotto number because my Grandmother lived at 448 W. 125th Street in the late 1930’s when they were dating. That address was on the block between B'way and Amsterdam that was bulldozed to make way for the projects that also claimed this theater. I imagine they might have enjoyed a few dates at the Columbia.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 10, 2007 at 10:42 pm

A Robert-Morton theater organ was installed in the Pershing Theater in 1927.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 13, 2009 at 1:13 pm

The Pershing Theater was operating in 1921.

NY Times November 13, 1921

MOVIE AUDIENCE IN FRIGHT.; Basement Blaze Works Up Into Theatre in Amsterdam Avenue.

Fire in the cellar under the hardware store of Louis Weschsler, 1326 Amsterdam Avenue, seeped into the Pershing Moving Picture Theatre in the same building last night and threw the audience of 500 into a fright.

missmelbatoast
missmelbatoast on July 24, 2009 at 1:28 pm

This 1947 photo comes courtesy of LIFE …
View link

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on February 19, 2010 at 11:06 pm

According to the NYT, a man shot himself in the chest here in November 1929 which may have triggered the name change in order to escape the notoriety of the suicide.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 10, 2011 at 2:39 pm

I think the Life photo is the Columbia in Paducah, KY.

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