Sutton Theater

205 E. 57th Street,
New York, NY 10022

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Sutton Theater in 1946

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 the summer of 1957 the Sutton Theater was leased to the British owned Rank Organisation, where they play their release “Reach For the Sky” starring Kenneth Moore, which ran for just under five weeks. 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.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 172 comments)

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on September 17, 2014 at 6:22 pm

It opened at the Coronet during the newspaper strike. “A WEDDING” was showing here at the time.

Logan5
Logan5 on September 24, 2014 at 1:41 pm

“The Rocketeer” showed at the Sutton 2 in 70mm 6-Track Dolby Stereo SR beginning on Friday June 21, 1991 (the film’s nationwide release date).

moondiva3174
moondiva3174 on April 14, 2015 at 2:51 pm

I just saw this theater in the movie The Devil’s Advocate. Sad it’s not there anymore.

Movieholic
Movieholic on November 25, 2015 at 6:07 pm

The only movie I saw here was the Shelley Long comedy Hello Again in 1987. I don’t remember much, other than it was a big single screen cinema with comfortable seating and a screen. My sister and I arrived late, just as the beginning credits were finished rolling. It was the day after Thanksgiving, I think, and we’d just seen Dirty Dancing, the second time for both of us, at the Quad Cinema in Greenwich Village. I wish time travel was possible. I’d go back to the days when theaters like this one were open and see anything that was playing.

vindanpar
vindanpar on December 25, 2015 at 12:59 am

Was in this theater in its latter days and found it hard to believe movies like The Blue Max and Gigi(after moving from the Royale reserved seat engagement) had prestigious runs here rather than in more spacious theaters in Times Square. Not only dumpy but too small for these kinds of films

The one movie I remember seeing here was a very strange little Isabelle Huppert number. She was in love with a too young hockey player and did unmentionable things to her body with a razorblade. Bad in the way only a French film can be bad.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on October 13, 2018 at 12:46 pm

25 years ago today the nightmare before Xmas made its new york city debut here before expanding wide.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on October 14, 2018 at 3:52 pm

Hello-

the last several years of the theater’s life it ran as a twin. to which- what was the last film to play it as a single screen theater?

NYer
NYer on October 14, 2018 at 9:21 pm

From what I can tell the last single screen show was the exclusive engagement of Jessica Lange in “Men Don’t Leave”. Opening on February 2, 1999 and played until it went wide on Feb 23.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on October 15, 2018 at 2:08 pm

Hello-

to NYer thanks for the info.

also the Sutton wasn’t the only East Side “art house”
to host a roadshow engagement. the Coronet had The Taming
of the Shrew and the Fine Arts has three-A Man for All
Seasons, The Charge of the Light Brigade and The Trojan
Women.

NYer
NYer on October 15, 2018 at 4:41 pm

“Men Don’t Leave” Opening on February 2, 1999"

Correction… 1990

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