Charles Theatre

193 Avenue B,
New York, NY 10009

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Brandt Theaters

Architects: Eugene DeRosa

Styles: Neo-Classical

Previous Names: Bijou Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Charles Theatre

Originally opened as the Bijou Theatre in 1926. In later years it was one of the early New York theatres to program off-beat and independent films. It showed early Warhol and had open film nights where young filmmakers could get an audience.

In the early-2000’s, it was in use as a church. It was demolished in the summer of 2012.

Contributed by RobertR

Recent comments (view all 34 comments)

jbenzon on June 12, 2009 at 8:08 am

The theater also ran jazz matinees on Sunday afternoons in the early 60s. I remember seeing Jerome Richardson and Les Spann playing flute duets or flute and guiter duets, among other acts. It helped that the theater was diagonally across the avenue from Stanley’s, one of the earliest of the hipster bars in the far east.

meredithlee on November 5, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Reverend Carlos Torres is working to restore the theater:
View link

allanxk on December 7, 2009 at 2:14 pm

There’s a nice article by Charles L. Mee, Jr. on the Charles in the November 1962 issue of Horizon magazine: “WHERE TALENT IS TRIED AND TESTED, At the Charles Theatre in New York the art of film has found a smoky and uproarious arena for self-criticism.”

pamelajfk on June 4, 2010 at 9:05 am

Does anyone recall seeing the Wolper documentary “1000 Days” about the Kennedy administration (b+w) followed by a screening of a copy of the Zapruder film in late November/early December 1964?

Is anyone aware of any other early screenings of the Zapruder film, which was not released to the general public until the mid-70’s?

Thank you.

roots66 on June 19, 2010 at 5:19 am

Here’s a glimpse at the interior.

View link

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on February 28, 2012 at 6:50 am

I recently photographed the Charles Theatre

Take a look here.

pamelajfk on August 30, 2012 at 9:46 am

Oh no, that is so sad. It was beautiful. This is the place where I saw a copy of the Zapruder film in November 1964. Anyone else?

SaraTonin on May 16, 2013 at 9:15 pm

is this the place where they used to have balls, a la Paris Is Burning?

Ben Davis
Ben Davis on December 21, 2015 at 10:54 am

I’d be interested in pictures of the theater as I’m writing a book on the repertory movie houses, including the Charles, that existed from 1960 to 1994. I can be reached at . Thanks.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on January 15, 2018 at 7:17 am

I went here once in the late 1960s for “Carmen Baby.”

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