Uptown Theatre

4037 Broadway,
New York, NY 10032

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Showing 1 - 25 of 36 comments

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on March 24, 2014 at 9:58 am

The Wurlitzer company shipped an organ, Style H-Special, opus 1403, to the Uptown Theatre, NY in July 1926.

guarina on March 3, 2014 at 4:06 am

Thanks, BobFurmanek. It’s been a long time. Good memory (or reference).

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 5, 2013 at 3:22 pm

The Uptown Theatre probably opened in late 1921 or early 1922. Items in the Bulletin of the Board of Standards and Appeals of the City of New York indicate that the application for a permit to build the theater was made on July 25, 1919, but as late as July 13, 1921, architect George Mort Pollard applied for an extension of the time the board had required for completion of the project. The extension was granted for one year. Adolph Lewisohn was the owner of the theater.

Pollard, best known for his residential buildings, designed at least one other theater in New York, the Harlem Grand. There was also a theater in his artists cooperative studio-apartment building, the Hotel des Artistes, but I’ve found no indication that it was ever used as a movie house.

BobFurmanek on June 10, 2013 at 9:50 pm

The Perez Prado film is Cha Cha Cha Boom!

guarina on June 9, 2013 at 1:56 pm

I remember seeing a movie with Bill Haley and the Comets there, and one with Dámaso Pérez Prado in ‘56, maybe “Mambo Mania” or “The Mambo Kings”.

Tinseltoes on September 8, 2011 at 9:16 am

The moderate height of the remaining building suggests that the auditorum was of the stadium type, with a raised section of seats at the rear instead of a conventional overhanging balcony(ala the current Ziegfeld in midtown).

AlAlvarez on September 7, 2011 at 10:45 am

Another missing intro.


GaryZ7 on May 4, 2010 at 3:19 pm

I was a frequent moviegoer at the Uptown Theatre in my boyhood, and I recall seeing there, among other films, DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS, THE SILVER CHALICE, THIS ISLAND EARTH, THE LAST COMMAND, HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (Anthony Quinn version), THE BUCCANEER, DAMN YANKEES, many others. I distinctly recall that around 1960 or early 1961, to the chagrin of everyone in the neighborhood, it was turned into a Sloan’s Supermarket. Years later, as mentioned in these posts, it became a Gristedes market. It was indeed a small theater, but it had a handsome lobby where there was always a large standee cutout or poster of the films being shown. I took a walk through the old neighborhood last year, and did see that the low building itself was still there, but I can’t seem to find any photograph of this theater online.

AGRoura on April 25, 2010 at 6:37 pm

The ceiling was obviously lowered for the supermarket.

AGRoura on April 25, 2010 at 3:05 pm

The photo is the streeet entrance which leads to the entrance/checkout section which looks ilke a lobby and leads you to the store. The supermarket is huge for NYC standards. It was definitely an auditorium, no columns, etc., though the ceiling is low for a theater.

Tinseltoes on April 25, 2010 at 2:54 pm

That photo linked above on 2/25/10 apparently shows only a portion of the building, which looks to me like it’s only one-story high. Perhaps they tore down the entrance/lobby portion of the theatre for the supermarket, and the auditorium housing remains behind as part of some other enterprise.

AGRoura on April 25, 2010 at 2:26 pm

I have been at this supermarket and it was definitely a movie theater. You can just know from the shape of the outside of the building. Which theater? I don’t know.

Tinseltoes on February 25, 2010 at 3:49 pm

The address is currently used for a Gristedes supermarket. This photo suggests that the Uptown theatre building is now long gone with the proverbial wind: View link

shoeshoe14 on February 14, 2010 at 3:58 am

I think it’s still there. I was biking by towards the GWB before the United Palace and noticed the looming stagehouse on the left (going north) around 170th.

AlAlvarez on February 12, 2010 at 9:44 pm

The Uptown opened in 1920.

The architect was George M. Pollard.

AlAlvarez on January 14, 2010 at 2:22 pm

The movie palaces of Washington Heights and Inwood.

View link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on June 11, 2008 at 9:10 am

I finally managed to visit the Municipal Archives to look for a photo of this Uptown Theatre. Thanks to help from an expert staff, I found one within five minutes. The photo was taken in 1940 and shows a double bill of “The Secret of Dr. Kildare” & “Big Guy” on the marquee. In comparing it to the photo of an Uptown Theatre linked above on ½/08 at 10:44am, I can say with absolute certainty that they are NOT the same Uptown Theatre. This Uptown Theatre in Manhattan had a fairly narrow corner entrance with a marquee to match. The two sides of the marquee are much wider than the front. The “mystery” Uptown marquee has a wide front and narrow sides. The NYC Uptown marquee also has three rows for lettering, while the other Uptown has only two rows. Also, the front of the NYC marquee says only “Uptown,” while the other has “Uptown Theatre.” The NYC Uptown did have a vertical sign, but it stood at midpoint above the marquee and said only “Uptown” (the vertical for the other is beyond the marquee and says “Uptown Theatre”). Hopefully, we will eventually identify the other Uptown, but it is definitely not this one in upper Manhattan. I suspect that it had a history of presenting adult exploitation movies, if that’s any help.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on February 8, 2008 at 1:25 pm

When I first saw the disputed photo of the Uptown Theatre, I was immediately reminded of a photo I’d seen at CT of the Costello Theatre. Not that the theatres were alike, but the photos were of similar size and possibly taken by the same person. Here they are again:
Yesterday, I discovered that both the Costello and Uptown were operated by Lee Ochs, so it seems possible that the Uptown depicted really is the one in upper Manhattan. The photos might be from a scrapbook kept by Ochs, who was a NYC pioneer best known for the midtown Piccadilly (aka Warner, Republic, etcetera). At the moment, this is only conjecture. I hope to go to the Municipal Archives soon to look for a tax photograph of the Uptown Theatre building. These were taken 1940-41, around ten years after the disputed Uptown photo was probably taken, so the exterior of the Uptown couldn’t have changed that much.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 22, 2008 at 3:45 pm

I still haven’t been able to identify the Uptown Theatre showing “No More Children,” but the answer will probably come in ongoing research on the movie, which had a very limited distribution and couldn’t have played in too many cinemas named Uptown. Produced independently in Los Angeles, it was released by First Division Pictures, starting on the West Coast. A trade journal ad shows it having its “first Eastern engagements” in New Jersey in July, 1929, at Fox’s Monticello in Jersey City and Walter Reade’s Lyric Theatre in Asbury Park. The movie is described as “The Flaming Sensation,” and “For Adults Only.”

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 9, 2008 at 8:59 am

I could find only one mention of “No More Children” in The New York Times, and that was in the issue of March 22nd, 1930, in a news report that the “birth control film” had been banned from being shown at the State Theatre in Elizabeth, New Jersey. I’ll post more details at the State’s listing, but that at least dates the Uptown photo to around March, 1930, which was probably the time of the first release of the movie. “No More Children” was never reviewed in the NYT, and the title does not appear in the Film Daily Year Book lists of “Features released since 1915.” I have yet to check Variety’s index.

kencmcintyre on January 8, 2008 at 9:58 pm

It looks like zero population growth was the evening’s theme on the night that picture was taken. And rather insistent about it.

fmbeall on January 8, 2008 at 9:35 pm

I am also trying to run down this photo. The large triangular rails server as a additonalattraction board over the marquee were used mostly in the east and midwest. I don’t know of them ever being used on the west coast. In Ohio they were used on the Cleveland Palace and Alhambra, and in Columbus on the Palace and Grand, in Chicago on the Garrick and modified to one side on the Palace, Oriental, State-Lake and others. This is not the Uptown in Cleveland which was over 3.000 seats. The entrance area was several sets of doors, as was the entrance to the Chicago Uptown. This theatre photo shows only two or three sets of doors, and I would guess it to be a theatre of about l200 to 1500 seats.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 2, 2008 at 4:17 pm

When you look at the smaller version of this photo, the owner of the photo has it tagged as “manhattan-nyc”. I tried matching this photo to other Uptown Theaters, but I haven’t found a match so far. It is a nice photo and I hope that I can find the theater that it belongs to.

jflundy on January 2, 2008 at 4:09 pm

I agree that the photo is not of Uptown on B'way near 170th St. Really nice photo though Lost Memory. Looks to date from the late thirties when there was a spate of exploitation films.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 2, 2008 at 1:20 pm

I seriously doubt that the photo shows this Uptown Theatre. It reminds of a cinema in the Mid-West or on the West Coast, but definitely not in New York City. Check the CT listings for other Uptowns that have photos displayed.