205 East 57th Street,
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The building, in New York’s posh Sutton Place neighborhood, was originally an intimate ‘legit’ playhouse called the Bandbox Theater. In 1917, it was converted into a bank. When the bank failed early in the Depression, the structure was re-built as a single screen, modern cinema, with Benjamin Schlanger as architect. In April, 1934 the Department of Buildings issued a Certificate of Occupancy for a 570 seat motion picture theatre.
In later years, the theater was twinned and the balcony was turned into a separate theater. This particular conversion was especially unfortunate, as the Sutton’s balcony was too small to yield proper sight lines. The result was an auditorium that placed the audience far too close to the screen.
The Sutton Theater was closed in the summer of 2004, and demolished in January 2005, replaced by a condominium tower.
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