Theatre 80 St. Marks

80 St. Marks Place,
New York, NY 10003

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Related Websites

Theatre 80 St. Marks (Official)

Additional Info

Architects: Millard Bresin

Functions: Live Performances, Live Theater, Playhouse

Previous Names: Theatre 80

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 212.388.0388

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Theatre 80 St. Marks

Located in a former Prohibition speakeasy club named Scheib’s Place. This was a Lower East Side landmark as one of the city’s oldest revival theatres. It had rear projection 16mm and played double bills of Hollywood classics. Long before the Angelika and other trendy theatres were serving coffee and brownies, you could get them here. It was designed by the owner Howard Otway, who employed architect Millard Bresin to draw up the plans.

Upon the death of Howard Otway, the theatre was leased out for live theatre, and was managed by the Otway family trust. The original mini marquee is still there.

Home of the Pearl Theatre Company for many years, in the Summer of 2009, they announced they would be leaving the building and a new theatrical tenant was being sought. In November 2009, it was announced that the Theatre 80 St. Marks would be reopening as a movie theatre with some live theatre use. Films would be projected digitally. The new operator is Lorcan Otway, the son of the original owner of the theatre, the late Howard Otway.

Contributed by RobertR, Lorcan Otway

Recent comments (view all 72 comments)

iisentaku on October 12, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Interesting to read what others have written/said about Theatre 80. My own perspective is a bit more personal: My mother, Roxanne Smith, was Howard Otway’s co-producer. She raised money to fix up the space as a theatre. She also raised money and co-produced, THIS HERE NICE PLACE, Howard Otway’s play, that opened Theatre 80 for live theatre.

I am happy to learn that the Otway family still run Theatre 80. And, I hope that someday, someone will do the homework and write a true and full history of how the place came to be, and what happened there.

Those few of us who were around then —and can still recall any of the events— are not going to be around forever.


cblog on November 2, 2012 at 5:16 pm

This was my favorite theater when I lived in Manhattan. Much notice was made that columbian coffee was served in the lounge, and it was good. I think I was there for the last movie before Pearl, ‘Sabrina’ with Bogart and Hepburn. I missed seeing ‘A Clockwork Orange’ there, it was too cold to go out that day! Thank you Otway family for many extremely pleasant times.

cblanc10708 on April 10, 2013 at 11:50 am

Does anyone have any old film programs from Theater 80 when they were running films. Would gladly pay for any copies or even if it can be scanned. thanks. Charles, Westchester NY

cblanc10708 on April 10, 2013 at 11:53 am

I attended a screening from the Take Two Film Festival at Theater 80 this past weekend. I had not been there since 1994 when they stopped showing films. It was like no time had passed at all. What a splendid evening. Please show more films if possible.

cblanc10708 on April 10, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Digital projection. not sure if its from behind the screen..

Ben Davis
Ben Davis on February 18, 2015 at 6:37 pm

I’m writing a book on the revival/repertory movie theaters in NY in the 60s-90s, including Theatre 80. iisentaku, I would love to hear from you. My email is

Ben Davis
Ben Davis on March 24, 2017 at 2:17 pm

My book, “Repertory Movie Theaters of New York City: Havens for Revivals, Indies and the Avant-Garde, 1960-1994,” was recently published. It’s listed on Amazon and

artpf on January 6, 2019 at 2:34 pm

I used to go to this theatre all the time in the 80’s. I loved it even tho it wasn’t a great venue for seeing a movie. First of all, it was 16 mm REAR screen projection. Because the space was so small, all the seat were way too close to the screen.

Still I loved going.

I also vaguely remember there were Sid Grahman-esque hand prints outside the place in cement. I seem to recall Joan Crawford as one.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on January 6, 2019 at 9:11 pm

10 years ago they announced they were returning to film, with some live performances. What is the exact status of the place now?

zoetmb on July 6, 2021 at 1:12 am

As of July, 2021 (and probably long before) they are NOT showing movies.

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