Lucille Lortel Theatre

121 Christopher Street,
New York, NY 10014

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This former 1940 Greenwich Village Hudson movie theatre was known as the Hudson Playhouse in the Film Daily Yearbooks from 1941, with a seating capacity of 562.

It screened movies until it was converted into a successful opera and playhouse from 1952 as the Theatre de Lys. In 1981 it was purchased and renamed the Lucille Lortel Theatre as an anniversary present from the star’s husband.

It continues today as a successful off-Broadway theatre

Contributed by Al Alvarez

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

AlAlvarez on May 9, 2008 at 11:39 pm

LM, I show a Village movie theatre at that address in 1919 but it is not listed here yet.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 10, 2008 at 2:22 am

Listed in the 1926 edition of Film Daily Yearbook as the 590 seat New Hudson Theatre and in the 1930 edition with the same name and 500 seats.

AlAlvarez on May 10, 2008 at 7:55 am

It appears the Village has a richer movie past than I thought. I have entered the Greenwich Village Theatre (Sheridan Square) but I am looking for more info on the Greenwich (Christopher), Village (8th Ave), Rose (Bleecker & Thompson), Film Charas (10th Ave) and Casino (2nd Ave).

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 10, 2008 at 8:00 am

A 1927 story in the NY Times identifies the theater as the Greenwich Theater at 115 Eighth Avenue, corner of Fifteenth Street. So, the Greenwich Theater in the Times story was previously known as the Village Theater, then it was known as the New Hudson Theater in 1926 and 1930. I’m confused. Why would the Times call it the Greenwich Theater in 1927?

AlAlvarez on May 10, 2008 at 9:27 am

The Greenwich and Hudson were at 121 Christopher Street. The Village was at 115 Eighth Avenue. I don’t have anything on a Greenwich at eighth Avenue although that may have been a name change for the Village after the Christopher Street location became the Hudson.

AlAlvarez on May 10, 2008 at 11:17 am

Hmmm! I am now even more confused than ever.

My 1934 Yearbook lists that Village as well but the Paramount Week 1923 ad lists a York Theatre at that address and a Village theatre at 15th and 8th Avenue. That latter one maps as the 115 Eighth Avenue address while the 189 Eighth Avenue location would be closer to 20th and arguably no longer in the Village.

Although as Warren has mentioned, those Paramount ads are not really reliable.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 10, 2008 at 3:24 pm

This is a NY Times November 10, 1927 story concerning a Greenwich Theater on Eighth Avenue:

600 QUIT A MOVIE AS A FIRE STARTS; File Out Quickly as Flames Sweep Greenwich Theatre Projecting Booth. USHERS DIRECT AUDIENCE Policeman Gives Aid — Operator Has Blaze Under Control When Firemen Arrive.

About 600 men, women and children quietly filed out of the Greenwich Theatre, 115 Eighth Avenue, corner of Fifteenth Street, last night when a film became ignited and destroyed the projection machine. There was no disorder and the theatre was cleared in about four minutes, according to the manager, Phil Mallory.

We have a Greenwich Theater and a Village Theater with an address of 115 Eighth Avenue. Should we add this one?

AlAlvarez on May 10, 2008 at 3:54 pm

Please do, LM. Maybe others will help fill in the gaps.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 10, 2008 at 3:59 pm

Will do Al.

The address that I found for a Film Charas is 360 East 10th Street.

An excerpt from a NY Times story dated July 15, 1994:

“In an abandoned school building nearby, FILMS CHARAS shows movies on Tuesday nights in the spring and summer. The films are mostly recent and independently produced. Film Charas has a decidedly homey, neighborhood feel. Doris Cornish, one of its founders, introduced a recent program with a baby in her arms. Tamara Jenkins, a local film maker whose short "Fugitive Love” opened the proceedings, sat at the bar (cold beers are $2) afterward and answered questions".

Might as well add that one too.

AlAlvarez on May 17, 2009 at 9:03 am

As the Theater De lys.

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