Academy of Music

125 East 14th Street,
New York, NY 10003

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jflundy on March 8, 2008 at 10:30 am

A large scale photo of this theater taken during a blizzard in January of 1908 is shown at this site:

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 2, 2007 at 8:57 am

Movies were shown at the Academy of Music as early as 1897, when films of recent boxing matches were projected via the Veriscope system, according to Terry Ramsaye’s “A Million and One Nights,” an industry history published in 1926, the same year that the AOM was demolished. Recalling its original dedication to classical music and drama, Ramsaye wrote that “For many years, the Academy of Music has been a motion picture theatre, a sort of withered crone, flamboyant with garish electric garlands in the tragic gaiety of a desperate old age. The queen, deposed, is a rag picker now.”

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 29, 2007 at 11:02 am

The Academy of Music closed forever with a gala “farewell” performance on May 17th, 1926, by which time its new namesake was nearing completion. A long and detailed report can be found in the New York Times of 5/18/26. I would be happy to send a copy to anyone contacting me privately at .com

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on October 29, 2007 at 10:37 am

The first Academy of Music was the most prestigious theatre for opera in New York prior to the opening of the first Metropolitan Opera House. It’s listed in the 1897-98 edition of the Julius Cahn Official Theatrical Guide. At that time it was under the direction of E.G. Gilmore and Eugene Tompkins. The latter was also director of the Boston Theatre on Washington Street in Boston. Admission prices ranged from 25 cents to $1.50. Seating capacity: Orchestra- 498; Orchestra Circle- 436; Balcony- 508; Second Balcony- 150; Gallery- 518; Total: 2,110. The theatre had both gas and electric illumination. The proscenium opening was 44 feet wide X 40 feet high, and the stage was 66 feet deep. There were 15 in the house orchestra. In Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper of Feb. 21, 1880, there is an interior drawing made during the Masquerade Ball of the Liederkranz. That drawing, showing the very elaborate interior, plus an exterior photo shot around 1865, are in the book “The Liederkranz of New York, 1848-1948” published in NY in 1948.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 28, 2007 at 11:22 am

Here are two images, the first with the original entrance on Gramercy Place and the second with the final one on 14th Street: