Grand Central Theatre

33 Grand Central Terminal,
New York, NY 10017

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Grand Central Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This little Art Moderne-style newsreel theater operated inside the vast Grand Central Terminal from 1937 until about three decades later, when the space was gutted for retail use. The theater also screened cartoons and short subjects. A large incandescent clock above the screen reminded theater-goers of the time. At the rear of the auditorium was a standing-room section, and a small bar was located near the theater’s entrance.

It was located near track 17 and today the area is used as a wine shop, complete with the beautifully restored star-covered ceiling of the former theater’s lobby.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft, Philip Goldberg

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 19, 2005 at 8:21 pm

Some other newsreel and short subject cinemas located in train stations:

South Station Theatre, Boston
Newsreel Theatre, Cincinnati
Victoria Station News Theatre, London

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller on August 19, 2005 at 8:40 pm

Hi Joe Clark & my other theater enthusiast friends!!! Every so often, you can find a Grand Central Theatre postcard on Ebay.

bamtino
bamtino on September 10, 2005 at 8:02 am

Though it won’t really map properly, I believe the address should be listed as 33 Grand Central Terminal (Main Concourse, opposite Track 17), New York, NY 10017.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on May 2, 2006 at 7:19 am

Here is a postcard promoting the Grand Central Theatre.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 19, 2006 at 3:37 am

The theatre first opened on May 12th, 1937, charging 25 cents at all times for an hour’s worth of newsreels and short subjects. Entrance was through a turnstile attached to the boxoffice. The hours of operation were from 9AM until midnight except on Sundays, when the first show started at noon to conform with NYC law.

gilbertw
gilbertw on April 27, 2007 at 8:06 am

a short video of people going into the grand central theater is on the video VHS titled: “The winning of world war 2” “The road to victory – ratling the saber” 1990 mbi/ulanoff distributed by publishers choice videos. hosted with personal commentary by John s. d. elsenhower. I own this video.

bill gilbert
.ny.us

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 13, 2009 at 12:16 pm

Crime at the Grand Central Theater

NY Times June 27, 1946

In a daring holdup at 5:25 P.M. yesterday during the height of the commuting rush period, a lone bandit took $102 from the cashier’s booth of the Grand Central Theatre, Inc, a motion picture house that shows newsreels, in the main concourse of Grand Central Terminal.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on August 26, 2012 at 10:18 am

Auditorium with 242 seats pictured in this 1937 trade report: Boxoffice

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 23, 2014 at 1:26 pm

The April 1, 1937, issue of Motion Picture Daily said that the opening of the newsreel theater being built inside Grand Central Station had been set for May 3.

slsiege
slsiege on April 14, 2014 at 8:06 am

I passed by it many times but never went in. (In the early 1970’s, when I was going to college and Amtrak trains on the old New York Central lines were still leaving from Grand Central, I had to change stations in New York.) I distinctly recall that on one occasion, oe of the last times I saw the theater in operation, the program was the 1971 documentary “The Hellstrom Chronicle”, so the end must have come around 1973 or thereabouts.

Another thing: it probably was an inspiration for a strip in the comic series “Julis Knipl: Real Estate Photographer”, which takes place in such a theater.

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