Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre

707 7th Avenue,
New York, NY 10036

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Embassy Tri-plex Theatre

Originally opened on January 10th, 1910 as the Columbia Theatre on Times Square at the northeast corner of W. 47th Street and Broadway/7th Avenue inside a steel frame office building. It operated as a burlesque theatre and was designed by noted theatre architect William McElfatrick.

Walter Reade bought the theatre in 1928 and rebuilt it into a movie theatre. A major renovation was undertaken by architect Thomas W. Lamb who removed the two original balconies and place a single balcony in an Art Deco style auditorium. It reopened in October 1930 as the Mayfair Theatre, screening movies, with RKO as the operator. In 1935 it was taken over by Loew’s Inc. on a 10-years lease. By 1950, it had been taken over by the Brandt Theatres chain.

The name was changed to the DeMille Theatre when road-show, reserved-seat movies were popular during the early-1960’s. World Premiere’s of 70mm movies at the DeMille Theatre included “Spartacus” (October 6th 1960) “The Fall of the Roman Empire” (March 26, 1964) and “Hawaii” (October 10, 1966).

In late-1976, the theatre became the Mark I,II,III. The triplexing was crudely done by putting a wall dividing the balcony down the center, creating a a very narrow tube that inclined upward. One entered near the screen and had to climb very steep steps to reach the seating area.

It became the Embassy 2,3,4 Theatre in December 1977 when Guild Enterprises took it over. (The Embassy 1 Theatre was on Broadway at W. 46th Street, almost adjacent to the Palace Theatre). In 1997, after the Embassy 1 was closed for conversion into the Times Square Visitor Center, this theatre was renamed Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre. The Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre was one of the last Times Square movie houses to close.

It was shuttered for several years, until around 2007, when it was virtually gutted and converted into a Famous Dave’s BBQ Restaurant. This had closed by May 2013 and the building was demolished in spring of 2015.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 1,038 comments)

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on August 26, 2019 at 4:45 pm

You can also see that billboard in Midnight Cowboy. Jon Voight’s hotel room was across the street from it.

Mark_L on August 26, 2019 at 7:27 pm

WAR AND PEACE opened at the DeMille on April 28, 1968 and closed on September 10, 1968. Presentation was listed as 70mm and stereo. It was shown in 2 parts, with one ticket giving admission to both parts.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on August 27, 2019 at 5:38 am

That was the Russian-made version, not to be confused to the earlier and better remembered multi-international adaptation for Paramount Pictures release starring Audrey Hepburn, Henry Fonda, and Mel Ferrer.

bigjoe59 on August 27, 2019 at 1:12 pm


to Mark_L thanks info on War and Peace’s dates at this

Comfortably Cool- I too prefer the 1956 Paramount version directed by King Vidor. the full length Russian version recently released by Criterion doesn’t even have Dolokhov rescuing Pierre at the end. plus the dialogue wasn’t recorded live but dubbed in during post-production. so how do we know its even the voice of the actor we’re looking at?

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on August 27, 2019 at 1:29 pm

I only attended the theater after it was a triplex, and that balcony had the steepest rake of any theater I have been in either before or since…

I’m still in shock that it’s gone

StanMalone on August 27, 2019 at 2:43 pm

Ran the Russian version st Walter Reade’s Atlanta Theater in July 1972 as a midnight show. Intermission at around 3:15am and exit at 6:30. About half of the crowd of 300 that started the show made it to the end for the breakfast at the hotel down the street that was included in the ticket. 23 reels as I remember. Home for a few hours sleep then back for the 2pm show of Kansas City Bomber which was our regular attraction. Great days to be in this business.

bigjoe59 on August 27, 2019 at 3:25 pm


to DEFG – I still prefer the 1956 Paramount version. why in

      God's name would a 7 1/2 Russian version leave out
                        Dolokhov rescuing Pierre at the end? especially 
                        since Dolokhov apologizes to Pierre for his affair
                        with Helene and any hurt it caused Pierre. 
                        also I love Nino Rota's score to the 1956 film.
                        I have it on cd and have played it many times. 
                        as to your note of "very poor casting" I thought
                        Audrey Hepburn WAS Natasha. 
                        two other critiques of the Russian film.
                        while Napoleon is scene thru out the 7 1/2 hrs. 
                        he never has any dialogue or any acting 
                        there were live sync sound short films in the 
                        1920s so why would the most expensive film ever
                        made at the time not have such? the poorly dubbed
                        in Russian dialogue was a big disappointment. 
                        my favorite version of War and Peace is now the 
                        8-part 2016 BBC production. 
bigjoe59 on August 28, 2019 at 12:02 pm


to DEFG- I thank you for your reply but I’m a bit confused. are you saying the scene toward the end of the 1956 film and the 2016 BBC mini-series where Dolokhov rescues Pierre as Napoleon’s troops are leaving Russia was invented and doesn’t occur in the novel?

also might you know why Russian films in 1968 still weren’t doing live sync sound but dubbed in the dialogue in post production?

vindanpar on September 13, 2019 at 10:29 am

Didn’t Melanie do a concert here in the 70s?

bigjoe59 on September 19, 2019 at 2:13 pm


does anyone remember the last film advertised on the
HUGE sign over the Astor and the Victoria was?

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