777 Theatre

777 Eighth Avenue,
New York, NY 10036

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Hollywood Theater in Taxi Driver

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Hollywood Twin Cinema was unusual because it was built as a 350-seat twin porn movie theatre, opening in November 1971. Then, amid a lot of fanfare, became a twin revival theatre from 1981. It showed classic double bills and sometimes would play a rarely seen classic for more then a few days. The nice thing about it being a twin was that it gave freedom to revive recent films as double features.

It operated successfully until 1986 when internal problems with its management caused it to close. The theatre returned to porn with gay in one twin and straight in the other. When the Times Square cleanup started, the theatre closed in 1994 and became the information and meeting area for the Big Apple Bus Company, which gives tours of the city.

In late-2013, it was reopened as an off-Broadway theatre known as 777 Theatre. Seating in three auditoriums is for 55, 99 & 127 seats.

Contributed by RobertR

Recent comments (view all 91 comments)

rlrl2010 on November 22, 2013 at 4:08 am

didn’t B Smiths bar/restaurant open around 1986 on the NW corner of 47th and 8th? wasn’t there the Haymarket Saloon across the street near the corner of 47th?

rlrl2010 on November 22, 2013 at 12:36 pm

was 47th/48th on 8th Avenue as prostitution- infested as it was down by the Port Authority or was it tamer? would you see it by the Ramada(now the Hilton Garden), Firehouse and Blarney Stone(now its the Social Bar)? if so did the hookers hang out in groups with pimps or was there less “traffic” up there?

LeonNorman1814 on November 22, 2013 at 12:47 pm

I do remember B Smiths on that corner and Moulin Rouge right next to it on 8th Ave but I don’t remember the Saloon. I never saw prostitutes and pimps on that corner as I would think they would make more money closer to 42nd but I truly wouldn’t know. I saw people coming and going, it was near times square but didn’t feel like a part of the smuttiness in my memories.

rlrl2010 on November 22, 2013 at 12:51 pm

I think the Hollywood Twin Cinema was right next to B Smiths. Moulin Rouge escapes me. the Lighting Store, Ray’s Pizza, further up I recall well.

rlrl2010 on November 22, 2013 at 12:56 pm

as a teen in the late 70’s mostly when i would pass thru this block of Eighth it seemed quiet but i do recall one time i saw prostitution and drug addicted people on this block, so i always wondered what it was like normally.

LeonNorman1814 on November 22, 2013 at 1:09 pm

rlrl2010 I think my days in that part of town were in the 80’s and I’m wondering how much changed. I will keep searching for Newspaper ads that might tell the story. As I close in on 50yrs of age I seem to forget more and more (LOL) so??? The one thing I won’t forget were the good times, many regrets but many more good times of that era and that world.

rlrl2010 on November 22, 2013 at 1:19 pm

the building of Worldwide Plaza at 49th-50th (1986-1989) improved the immediate area but it wasn’t until about 1996 or 1997 where i started to see a significant improvement. in the area.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 18, 2013 at 5:34 pm

I found an old Hollywood Twin schedule flyer, that dates back to mid-September thru mid-October, 1981. I uploaded images of the flyer to the photo section, above. The full image shrinks down a bit too small to read, so I also uploaded a close-up of the top, plus a bit of the reverse side, showing what the prices were. Apparently, regular admission was $4.00 for a standard revival double feature. However, deep discounts were offered for package deals!

Surprisingly, many of the titles on the schedule were fairly recent releases – some from earlier in 1981 – although, typically paired with much older films. A lot of films from the 1970’s figured into this particular schedule, with only the pairings of “Grand Illusion” with “Paths of Glory,” and “All About Eve” with “A Letter To Three Wives” harkening back to Hollywood’s classic studio era.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 19, 2013 at 6:33 am

Perusing the photos of the theater, and reviewing the comments history, I think the proper original name for this, as advertized on front of the marquee, was Hollywood Twin Cinema (not pluralized). The marquee appears unchanged from the 1976 image taken from “Taxi Driver,” to some of the early 1980’s images posted from its revivial days. At some point, it appears the marquee was updated to feature yellow lettering over black background (I recall this look on several theaters in the area towards the end of the line), and the name changed to Hollywood Twin Theater. During this period, the side boards for the individual auditoriums were labeled “Cine 1” and “Cine 2.” It also appears that it may have had a go as a Spanish language cinema during this time, as evidenced by this pic, posted by CT member William a couple of years back.

LeonNorman1814 on May 21, 2014 at 2:31 pm

A little late to the party but THANK YOU Ed Solero for posting the pic to Cine 1&2 the Hollywood Twin. I had been looking for a picture and thank you for posting it. I guess the fact that I always came to this theater from the 50th street subway I ignorantly assumed the name was Cine 1 & 2. I don’t believe I ever actually saw the name on the front of the theater. For people like me who are trying to trace our past this is a great find. Might be small for others but it means a lot to me. Thanks again to Ed_Solero (& to CT member William the original poster).

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