Crown Gotham Theatre

969 Third Avenue,
New York, NY 10022

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Showing 1 - 25 of 33 comments

Garth on August 8, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Google NY Times Archive and you get a selection screen.I have only looked up movie reviews, not sure if the old ads are there. Check it out, there is a wealth of info.

NYer on August 8, 2013 at 3:59 pm

How do you access past NY Times? Are they digital copies of the edition or only articles? Can you see the past movie ads?

Garth on August 8, 2013 at 2:24 pm

I know I saw “Zardoz” here in 1974, because according to the NY Times it was the only Manhattan theatre showing the film upon its premiere. I also saw “Caligula” on its debut in 1980, when it was called The Penthouse.

Ian on March 9, 2013 at 7:24 am

A photo shortly before closure here:–


Tinseltoes on July 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Idealized sketch of the auditorium was featured on the front cover of this trade journal in February, 1962: Boxoffice

Astyanax on January 27, 2011 at 11:48 am

The TransLux East was singular for its intimate sense of luxury with its posh red and gold appointments and classical architectural details. When it reopened as the Gotham this was lost and was replaced with a sleek, yet cold ambiance. Other than Last Tango In Paris, the TLE could never compete with Cinema 1 or the Coronet for the exclusive mainstream bookings. The fourwalling of Caligula, and subsequent distribution patterns probably reuined it as a prime first run venue.

AlAlvarez on January 27, 2011 at 7:47 am

Opening ad;

“…and by all means bring the ladies.”

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ThePhotoplayer on May 15, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Architect was Drew Eberson. The Greek sculpture were copies from the ruins of various Greek buildings of the fifth century. They were executed by Mr. Shirley W. E. Simmons, a noted sculptor at the time. The 600-seat house actually cost $350,000 by one report. Other credits were:

Air cond: Carrier
Carpet: Alexander Smith
Decorator: Peggy Eberson
Draperies, curtain track: Novelty Scenic
Marquee: Adler, Artkraft Strauss
Lamphouses: Strong
Projector/soundhead: Century
Rectifiers: Ashcraft
Screen: Trans-Lux (of course)
Seats: Heywood-Wakefield

AlAlvarez on September 21, 2008 at 1:08 pm

Penthouse East should be an aka name here.

The “East” was most likely used to avoid any confusion with the Penthouse in Times Square which changed its name in 1975 to the Cinerama-2 and had no affiliation to Guccione.

Ian on March 15, 2007 at 1:26 pm

Exterior picture whilst still operating here:–

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RobertR on September 26, 2006 at 5:20 pm

A November 1971 reissue
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Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 2, 2006 at 4:44 am

Did he call it the Penthouse West in some sort of pornographic answer to Bill Graham’s great Fillmore rock venues?

William on June 1, 2006 at 8:03 am

Guccione also four-walled SRO’s Holly Theatre on Hollywood Blvd. for the Hollywood engagement of “Caligula” which at the time charged around $7.50-$8 for admission.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 1, 2006 at 6:47 am

Here’s an ad for Guccione’s “Caligula” from December 1980 boasting of the film’s “11th record-shattering month in NY!” Huh? Didn’t roadshow films in the late ‘50’s and early '60’s run well over a year in a few instances?

For Mature Audiences Only

The film was still being four-walled at the temporarily re-christened “Penthouse East”, but the movie clock from that day’s paper (check out the “Movie Directory” at the bottom center of the image below) clearly shows that it had already widened its distribution to a number of nabe houses like the Center in Sunnyside and the Walker and Kent in Brooklyn:

Movie Clock Daily News 12/14/80

Interesting how the Penthouse East listing says “Exclusive Engagment” even though the movie was in several other NYC theaters. Perhaps exclusive to Manhattan?

bazookadave on October 19, 2005 at 11:28 am

I saw “The Towering Inferno” at The Gotham in the 70s, and the last movie I attended here was “Hamburger Hill” in the 80s. It is one of those theaters that I remember well, saw a number of movies in, then stopped going to, and suddenly it’s years later and the theatre no longer exists and all I have is the memories!! Maybe sometime in the future it will be chic and profitable to reopen all our lost neighborhood movie houses in the same spaces, if the spaces have survived. Or maybe we’ll demolish apartment towers to build single screen theatres!!! ;–)

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 21, 2005 at 5:56 am

When this originally opened as the Trans-Lux East, the interior decor was a modern interpretation of ancient Greek. A replica of the Winged Victory stood in the lobby. Decorative sculptured panels on the auditorium walls depicted works of Myron, Paedias, and Praxiteles. Wall coverings in the lobby and lounges were created from rubbings taken from the ruins of the Acropolis. The color scheme throughout was red and gold. A mezzanine section had only 95 seats. At the rear of it, patrons were able to watch the projection machines in operation through a glass-paneled booth.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 20, 2005 at 12:58 pm

The theatre first opened under its original name of Trans-Lux East on April 11, 1963, sharing the NYC premiere engagement of “The Ugly American” with the Rivoli Theatre. Drew Eberson was credited as the architect and interior decorator. The Trans-Lux East was reportedly the first NYC cinema to be erected as part of an apartment building, due to a relaxation of safety laws.

BobT on August 10, 2005 at 12:24 pm

This was a nice little house, not up to the Baronet or Cinema 1 & 2 in the 70’s. I saw the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” back in the 70’s on a sold out Saturday afternoon. Years later to an empty house, “The Doctor and the Devils” a sorta homage to Hammer films starring Timothy Dalton. I remember the unusual balcony being very small that jutted out on the sides by the walls.

moviesmovies on July 18, 2005 at 4:30 am

Saw ‘Last Tango In Paris’ here. They used oversized ‘souvenir’ type tickets for this engagement.

hardbop on April 6, 2005 at 9:40 pm

I remember this place and I caught “El Cid” when it was revived in ‘93 and also caught that “Sound of Music” revival here in '90 as well. Sad how the whole 59th Street/Bloomindale’s Area is no longer a movie center the way it was up to the turn of the century or so.

sethbook on November 2, 2004 at 9:54 am

I always liked this theatre. THey showed some good arty movies there, like “Enemies, a Love Story,” and “Remember the Paradise.” I used to have a friend next door who worked for Fox, and she gave me passes to premieres, and most of them were at the Gotham. It attracted a nice, well-mannered crowd that went well with the carpeted swankiness of it all.

jays on September 25, 2004 at 9:28 am

br1975 you are right about the heavy Paramount and Miramax accent over at the ny 1&2 I think it used to belong to Loew’s not to long ago and at that time they also featured A lot of Paramount product as well. And thanks to Dave-bronx for the update on the Paris the first and only film I saw there was the Woody Allen film Alice with Mia Farrow. that was quite some time ago.

br91975 on September 24, 2004 at 7:26 am

Crown currently operates the New York 1 & 2 at 66th and 2nd, booking it with an odd pastiche of top-run and second-tier major studio product (with a heavy Paramount and Miramax accent), minor indie product, and move-overs from other Midtown East houses.

dave-bronx™ on September 24, 2004 at 4:00 am

The heading states this was part of City Cinemas – this is not correct – it was originally owned and operated by Trans-Lux, and later Crown. Since this was Crown’s only New York location they had City Cinemas book the films, because they had a little more clout in the Manhattan film market, but Crown was still operating it up to the end.