Symphony Space/Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre

250 W. 95th Street,
New York, NY 10025

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Symphony Space/Leonard Nimoy Thalia

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This classic art house opened in 1931 as a 299-seat neighborhood movie house on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

By the 1960’s, the Thalia Theatre had become an intellectual staple for the community (and even appeared in Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall”) . It remained popular until it closed in 1987.

The Thalia opened a lower Manhattan theater (called the Thalia SOHO) to satisfy the need for indie and art house pictures, but it found little success and eventually closed.

Today, Symphony Space, an arts and cultural organization is bringing the Thalia Theatre back to life by incorporating the old theater into its newly redesigned complex.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 111 comments)

AlAlvarez on December 22, 2010 at 12:39 pm


The Village Voice carried ads for the Thalia back in the sixties. It may take some google archive searching but this issue, for example, shows “THE TITAN”, “THE IDIOT”, “THE ETERNAL MASK”, “ONE POTATO, TWO POTATO”, “THE NIGHT WATCH”, “BLACK ORPHEUS”, “LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD”, ANIMAL FARM", “CHARLIE CHAPLIN SHORTS”, “THE LEOPARD”, “NIGHT AND FOG”, “THE LAW”, and “THE DOLL” one week in July 1965.

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LesW on December 22, 2010 at 4:05 pm

I remember it well. I saw all of them since they were played every year, however, if I have any Programs(s) at all, I’m not hopeful that it would go back to ‘65. Keep in touch…..

TSB on December 30, 2011 at 9:01 am

LesW — I have a full program schedule from the Thalia’s summer festival from 1969. It’s good, totally readable. Do you want me to scan it and send it to you? Or photocopy and mail it to you? Let me know.

LesW on December 30, 2011 at 12:48 pm

That would be wonderful! If you can scan it and email it to me I would be most appreciative. My email address is Happy New Year!

Logan5 on July 24, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Malcolm Leo’s documentary “The Beach Boys: An American Band” (1985) showed here. Janet Maslin reviewed the film in the November 22, 1985 edition of The New York Times.

Tinseltoes on November 11, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Isaiah Sheffer, a founder of Symphony Space, has died at the age of 76: nytimes

RRF on July 7, 2013 at 7:50 pm

I remember meeting Richard Schwartz when he was operating the Thalia. What a passionate person when it came to film. He had a bed in a storage area so I assumed he must have camped out in the cinema. I remember the old screen speaker ( Western Electric? ) in use….he said it was cheaper to keep it running than to endure the labor cost to replace it.

cblanc10708 on August 30, 2013 at 1:38 pm

I was wondering if anyone has an old Thalia Theater program that can be scanned and emailed to me. Thanks

mfarricker_1 on April 7, 2014 at 9:10 pm

I have fond memories of the Thalia theater. It was located on ninety fifth street around the corner from the Symphony theater, which was on Broadway. I frequented both these movie houses as a teenager. The Symphony showed mostly English films and many old classics. The Thalia showed mostly foreign films and some silent movies, too. I was enthralled with all of them and I learned so much about life and the world from them. I usually went by myself, because most of my friends were not interested in those films. It was not unusual to be sitting next to a celebrity, in the Thalia. I remember seeing Tony Randall and many other actors in that theater and around that area. Our neighborhood was full of people from the stage and screen. Sometimes, when I still walk past that corner I get a sense of loss when I don’t see the little Thalia, tucked in among the dull towering buildings. I know that the Symphony is still providing some civilized entertainment, with book readings, but my old celluloid friends are all gone and I miss them. Now, in the twilight of my life, I often wonder if the wrecking ball really was a good thing.

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