Loew's Orpheum Theatre

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

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Showing 1 - 25 of 69 comments

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 5, 2012 at 3:23 pm

This theatre never had Cinerama capability.

SethLewis on August 5, 2012 at 1:36 pm

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

tone10029 on August 5, 2012 at 6:55 am

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.

TLSLOEWS on February 19, 2011 at 2:42 am

Thanks Brad for the link.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on February 17, 2011 at 4:07 am

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

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 3, 2011 at 7:44 pm

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.

bigjoe59 on February 3, 2011 at 6:43 pm

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.

TLSLOEWS on February 17, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Coll phots Tinseltoes.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 27, 2010 at 12:56 am

The opening date is still wrong.

It was October 19, 1913.

View link

PassedPawn on January 26, 2010 at 8:48 pm

PH you make a great point about the sound system at Orpheum 1. Very full sound with lots of impact. I still have fond memories of how great Raiders of the Lost Ark sounded there.

belbucus on January 26, 2010 at 7:50 pm

I began a ritual of driving an hour into New York to see 70MM engagements ever since experiencing Star Wars at the Orpheum in ’77. During that period, a lot of the old “palaces” were still around and I was fortunate enough to have visited all of them before they were plexed or demolished. The big house 1 at the Orpheum was always my favorite. Perhaps not as plush as some of its contemporaries (I vaguely recall a red curtain and purple upholstery), but it made up for it in presentation. At that time the “biggest” movies usually were booked at the Orpheum uptown and the Loews Astor Plaza in midtown for their 70MM engagements (unless they went to Walter Read’s Ziegfeld), which seemed to be driven by the studios (for instance, 20th Century Fox product always seemed to end up at Loews). Although the Astor Plaza was considered the more “premier” theater of the two because of its capacity and location, I always thought projection and sound to be superior at the Orpheum. I believe they were still using carbon arcs in the lamp houses yielding a pleasing bright image – as compared the Astor Plaza which always seemed under-lamped to me. The Orpheum’s sound system usually sounded great â€" fuller and less strident in the upper midrange in comparison to the Astor or the Ziegfeld. I also recall them as having way oversized surrounds (mostly Altec A-7s) which always lent an impressive sense of envelopment when called for.

PassedPawn on January 21, 2010 at 2:42 am

Loved Orpheum 1 in my childhood during the 70s to early 80s. Remember seeing Star Wars 1-3 (Ep. 4-6), Superman, Alien, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Fog (80) and many others big and small. At Orpheum 2 I remember flicks like Start Trek 2 and The Black Hole. After seeing a movie at one of these theaters we would go to Flaming Embers for their salad, burger and baked potato.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 15, 2010 at 4:09 am

This Orpheum opened in 1918.

TLSLOEWS on November 29, 2009 at 12:24 am

Cool pictures and history.

MisterShmi on July 27, 2009 at 1:31 am

Anyone have any pictures from inside the theaters? Preferably the main theater? I have a lot of great memories of going to this theater in the late 70’s through the 80’s and would love to see the inside one more time…

jeffg718 on May 29, 2009 at 1:23 am

Many years ago I recall my father telling me that the old Beck’s Shoe store on Third Avenue was originally the side entrance to the original Loew’s Orpheum. Since he went to that theater during the 1930’s and 1940’s there is good reason to believe he was correct about that. I remember Beck’s and recall that it did have a marquee.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 27, 2009 at 10:32 pm

Was that the same entrance used for the Cine?

bazookadave on May 27, 2009 at 7:51 pm

Holy Crow that view of the Orpheum as the Loweez takes me back!! On the left is a sliver of the Horn & Hardart Automat, which fascinated me as a kid. I remember this Loew’s fondly, but do not remember it ever looking the way it looks as the twin in the second photo. All I remember is that long after the demolition, the space formerly occupied by the Loew’s entrance lobby had become a Coconuts, which is now also gone. All our old neighborhoods are becoming unrecognizable.

KingBiscuits on August 22, 2008 at 2:49 am

Sorry, I thought they were the same theatre but a different creation.

Yes, the seven screen theatre is not listed.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 20, 2008 at 4:19 am

Is the living and breathing theatre KingBiscuits referring to not listed?

KingBiscuits on August 20, 2008 at 3:16 am

The seven-screen incarnation opened on November 22nd, 1991 with The Addams Family (on two screens), Curly Sue, Prospero’s Books, Little Man Tate, The Fisher King, All I Want For Christmas (matinees only) and The Butcher’s Wife (evenings only).

mp775 on April 17, 2008 at 4:52 pm

February 10, 1981Fort Apache The Bronx and </i>Stir Crazy</i> are playing.

oldjeff on January 12, 2008 at 8:44 am

There was also a great Automat on 86th Street, along with Barney Google, Lorelei, Kleine Konditorei, Cafe Geiger, and Jager House around the corner, etc. The Museum of the City of New York on Fifth Avenue and 103rd Street has along an exhibit on old toys, a mural painted by a guy who had grown up in the area, showing many of the old sites including the old Loews 72nd Street which was really unique. They also have an Automat exhibit.