Loew's Commodore Theater

105 2nd Avenue,
New York, NY 10003

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Fillmore East

Originally opened in 1926 as the Commodore Theater operated by the Meyer & Schneider circuit. This movie house theater was taken over by Loew’s Inc. and opened as the Loew’s Commodore Theater on September 1, 1927. It became a Yiddish theatre in 1963, showing Yiddish movies and vaudeville, and was known as the Village Theater. It can credit Lenny Bruce as appearing on its stage.

In March 1968 it became the Fillmore East concert venue. Over three years, innumerable bands played here including Santana and Chicago. The Fillmore East finally closed in June 1971. On December 7, 1974 it became the N.F.E. (New Fillmore East) operated by Barry Stuart, with the group Bachman Turner Overdrive playing on opening night. This closed in 1975. It then became the Village East.

In the fall of 1980, it was converted into what was to become New York City’s best and most celebrated gay disco ‘The Saint’, which became famous world-wide. This continued until May 2, 1988 when the doors closed following a non-stop 48 hours party. The building was used sporadically for a couple of years for live events, then stood empty for a few years until the auditorium was demolished in around 1996.

Today the narrow facade remains and the lobby is now remodeled as an Emigrant Savings Bank. Apartments/condos called Hudson East were constructed on the site of the auditorium. In the lobby of the bank are pictures of the Fillmore, Village Theater and Loews Commodore Theatre as well as some posters from the Fillmore East days.

Contributed by Peter Holowczyk, William Gabel, Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 144 comments)

michaelkaplan on September 16, 2011 at 6:55 pm

The PBS American Masters documentary on Elia Kazan (mentioned above) was shown again tonight. There was a nice exterior view of the Commodore marquee.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on December 26, 2011 at 5:46 am

A few older posts (2006) on this site refer to the post-Loews brief incarnation of this as the Yiddish Village Theatre as a result of this 1966 photo of Timothy Leary from Ed Solero’s photobucket:


I found an ad for this period hiding in plain sight in the New York Times.


Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 26, 2011 at 10:54 am

Great stories to read.I think Al Jolson must have played every theatre in the USA at one timeor real close too.

bicyclereporter on March 19, 2012 at 12:53 pm

If you go inside the bank, they have a select # of pix of the theater’s interiors and exteriors, but none show the ornamentation as we’d like. There are a few Youtube videos of bands playing there, but only with shots of the columns and the proscenium.

Until today. Thanx to the Gothamist, this picture of The Doors shows a shot looking up and amazing detail! A rare shot!


Ed Solero
Ed Solero on March 19, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Here’s a clickable version of the link posted by bicyclereporter. An amazing image.

There’s also a link below that photo with three more shots from the same Doors show, starting with this image. Just click on the thumbnail pics below the photo to see the other shots in the series.

thomas27 on September 28, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Since April 22, 2013 it’s an Apple Bank for Savings branch after the acquisition of 29 Emigrant Savings Bank branches.

http://evgrieve.com/2013/04/bank-branch-become-bank-branch-at.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Bank_for_Savings#Acquisition_of_29_Emigrant_Bank_branches_in_2013

DavidZornig on September 5, 2015 at 8:18 am

December 1969 photo added, photo credit Amalie Rothschild, via New York Historical.

DavidZornig on December 28, 2018 at 10:19 am

Link with multiple 1968 Elliot Landy Getty images.


Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on February 16, 2020 at 7:27 am

A major exhibition honoring Bill Graham, who turned the former Commodore into a rock palace known as Fillmore East, is currently on view at the New York Historical Society. More details here

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