Loew's Canal Theatre

31 Canal Street,
New York, NY 10002

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View from the balcony

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Not much is known about this aging relic dating from September 1927, which is located on the far eastern end of Canal Street.

The theater is entered through a narrow entrance on Canal Street, which leads towards a large auditorium whose west wall is shared with a side street.

The theatre was opened and operated by Loew’s Theatres, until the 1960’s. Then, it became an ‘indie’ before it closed circa 1979-1980. Structurally, the theater appears to be in good shape. Exterior staircases on the side street are still present. Additionally, while shuttered, the theater has not yet been converted to retail space.

In 2010, hope was raised for the possible renovation of the long shuttered Loew’s Canal Theatre when the building’s current owners supported an effort by the Committee to Revitalize and Enrich the Arts and Tomorrow’s Economy(CREATE) to conduct a feasibility study for the conversion of the Canal Theatre into a multipurpose performance arts center. The group received $150,000 from the city for a feasibility study and $140.00 for additional studies.

Also that year, the facade of the lobby portion of the building was declared a city landmark. The auditorium was reported to be in remarkably good shape, with most of the decor intact.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 139 comments)

BoweryBoogie on April 26, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Who has some clear shots of the interior as of this spring?

NYCer on April 26, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Mr. Sung recently unveiled his new condo development in a former public school building nearby that he bought 30 years ago. Units start at $500K and he’s hired a real estate broker to market it to Orthodox Jewish families.

If it took 30 years for him to finish this project, who knows how long the theater will take! Theater will probably crumble first.

Two recent articles on the condos (LoDown) and how Mr. Sung’s acquired the school building (WSJ):



Flynn on August 15, 2012 at 12:52 am

I’ve been looking for something else, but find other things by accident instead. This website has a few nice images of the theatre with some historical information. I’m just passing through to share.


davidfrancis on June 27, 2014 at 8:30 am

new foto tour of the interior:


Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on December 30, 2014 at 7:58 am

I recently posted about the Loew’s Canal at After the Final Curtain

Bway on December 30, 2014 at 1:36 pm

Great photos! It seems to be in a little worse shape than Loews 46th St, but even so, looks repairable. A lot of the plaster seems to have been lost on the right side, as well as part of the Proscenium due to water I assume. But it’s remarkably clean….the floors of the balcony and inner lobby appear to have been swept clean! It looks restorable.

JoshKarpf on January 30, 2015 at 5:43 am

Workers are going in and out of the building this week. The two permits on the door say “interior clean up,” though they bear the address of another location: http://i.imgur.com/x8RzBKi.jpg

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on January 30, 2015 at 7:18 am

It’s the correct address. It’s just the address of the auditorium.

theatrefan on February 6, 2015 at 4:08 pm

Matt, Your photography of this palace is absoloutly amazing. I can’t wait to see your book on the Kings when it comes out. I used to go into the lobby when it was an electronics store, but they had so much stuff it was kind of hard to make a lot of the terra cotta details out, never got as far as the auditorium though.

theatrefan on February 12, 2015 at 9:54 am

Auditorium #10 in the Sony/Loews Theatres Lincoln Square complex on New York’s Upper West Side is named in honor of this former Loew’s Motion Picture Palace.

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