Sutton Theater

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

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Sutton Theater

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 167 comments)

Garth on August 8, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Looking for some help. Does anyone know if the Get Smart movie “The Nude Bomb” premiered here in 1979? I’m pretty sure I was at the Sutton once , and this is one of the few films where I don’t recall which Manhattan theatre I saw it in. I tried the NY Times review archive but couldn’t come up with anything.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 8, 2013 at 11:46 pm

“The Nude Bomb” opened at the Gemini in 1980.

Garth on August 9, 2013 at 3:09 am

Al you are the Guru of Manhattan theatres, thank you.

darrenparlett on August 9, 2013 at 5:02 am

haha I love THE NUDE BOMB

Garth on September 18, 2014 at 12:57 am

OK I am still at this. Did the Nicholson film “Goin' South” open here in ‘78? Hoping AlA or someone else can tell me.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on September 18, 2014 at 1:22 am

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

Logan5 on September 24, 2014 at 8:41 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 on April 14, 2015 at 9:51 pm

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

Movieholic on November 26, 2015 at 1:07 am

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 on December 25, 2015 at 7:59 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.

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