98 Avenue A,
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Located on an ever-busy stretch of Avenue A, in the heart of the East Village, this theatre is easy to miss. Opened as the Hollywood Theatre on March 11, 1926, it was operated by the Mayer & Schneider (M&S) Circuit. Later taken over by RKO, followed by Loew’s Inc., and was closed in 1959.
It became merely a receptacle for retail space on the former orchestra level of the remains of the original auditorium, which have been converted into a health-oriented grocery store called the East Village Farm. The theatre’s lobby was also converted into retail space, but has been empty for several years.
Like other theatres in this area, the theatre’s auditorium runs parallel to the street, with a narrow entrance on Avenue A. Much of the theatre’s exterior has survived, including its emergency staircase. The decorations in the auditorium survived above the false ceiling of the ground floor store.
In a humorous touch only East Villagers would appreciate, several large posters of Andre the Giant can be found decorating the theatre’s façade.
Demolition of the Hollywood Theatre began in May 2015.
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