Loew's Orpheum Theatre

168 E. 86th Street,
New York, NY 10128

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Loew's Orpheum Theatre exterior

Loew’s Orpheum Theatre opened on October 19, 1913. A Kimball 2 manual 20 rank organ was installed in 1915. It was twinned in July 1968, with the former balcony being named Loew’s Cine 3rd Avenue.

The theatre closed in November 1989 and was demolished.

In November 1991, a new 7-screen Loews Orpheum Theatre opened on the site, which remains open in 2010.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 70 comments)

TLSLOEWS on February 17, 2010 at 11:18 am

Coll phots Tinseltoes.

bigjoe59 on February 3, 2011 at 10:43 am

in his comment of Oct.22, 2005 Robert refers to the X rated “Inga”
a film shown at the Loews' Cine as “porn”. i am a librarian by
education and vocation as a result am very picky about the use
of language. i do not think Loew’s would have booked an actual
porn film into the Cine. many X rated films at the time “Inga” was
released would probably get R rating today. so please unless its
actual porn do not refer to it as such. refer to it as an
exploitation film to use and old term. thank you.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 3, 2011 at 11:44 am

Chris, when “INGA” was released, it was considered a porn film since graphic sex films were not yet in existence. Loews was the first chain to book X-rated independent Swedish sex films like “WITHOUT A STITCH” and “INGA” into mainstream theatres and was even accused of promoting pornography by MPAA President Jack Valenti.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on February 16, 2011 at 8:07 pm

This photograph of the Loew’s Orpheum Theatre was taken in 1930 by George Mann of the comedy dance team, Barto and Mann.

TLSLOEWS on February 18, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Thanks Brad for the link.

tone10029 on August 4, 2012 at 10:55 pm

Great photo!I was 11 years old when my folks took me to see “Superman The Movie"at this great theatre.It’s one of my best memories of being a kid in NYC during the 70s and 80s.Saw some other classic films there too,including"The Empire Strikes Back”,“Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”,“Aliens”,“King Kong 76” and “Top Gun”.At the 3rd.Ave.side of the theatre ,I saw “Prophecy”,“Stir Crazy”,“Superman II”,and “Beetlejuice”.I miss the way this theatre used to be.

SethLewis on August 5, 2012 at 5:36 am

Vivid memories of this as a single screen with How the West Was Won in Cinerama, Cat Ballou, Major Dundee in the 60’s then of the twin with both the Orpheum and Cine providing good old school movie going experiences…Among the picture I saw in the Orpheum – See No Evil (after its Music Hall run), Ryan’s Daughter (after the Ziegfeld), French Connection (at least 4 times), The Anderson Tapes…then much later The Abyss (in 70 MM), Farewell to the King, U2 Rattle and Hum, Lethal Weapon 2…At the Cine – Valachi Papers with Charles Bronson, Johnny Handsome, License to Kill

The Loews theatres were in their day at different times Columbia, Paramount, Warner Bros and Universal showcase houses with some Fox product in the 80s and 90s

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 5, 2012 at 7:23 am

This theatre never had Cinerama capability.

BillJunior on August 2, 2016 at 3:30 pm

I want ask a question about this Orpheum. I was reading a 1928 “NY Supreme Court Papers on Appeal” on Google Books that mentioned the following: “…said premises Nos. 152-164 East 87th Street Borough of Manhattan, City of New York, on the EAST IS LOEW’S ORPHEUM THEATRE, which has a frontage of about 155 feet on the southerly side of EAST 87th.” Was there another Loew’s Orpheum on 87th as well as on 86th?

The public’s ‘appeal’ was due to the fact that a fireproof garage was built (or was to be built) on the south side of E. 87th at 152-166 East. Directly across from the address was a fire house and that building at 159 E 87th stands today, as of 2016.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 2, 2016 at 4:24 pm

According to the New York Times, the Orpheum also had a “large frontage” on 87th Street and extended the full block.

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