Eastside Cinema

919 Third Avenue,
New York, NY 10022

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Showing 1 - 25 of 26 comments

SeaBassTian
SeaBassTian on September 14, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Well, I always knew this theater as Eastside Playhouse. It had a bit of a old-school feel with a ticket window at the sunken entrance and a long, narrow auditorium. I saw quite a few films there actually. Last one I recall was The Others… Now it’s a giant carpet store, sadly.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on October 24, 2011 at 10:58 am

I saw Annie Hall here in 1977.

SethLewis
SethLewis on October 22, 2011 at 12:22 pm

This was an art house for maybe its first year…Then it went mainstream UA showing mostly United Artists product on showcase with a smattering of pictures from other studios…It was more of an art house under City

Saw Steppenwolf, The Return of the Pink Panther, Moonstruck here…probably a couple of other pictures

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on October 22, 2011 at 8:09 am

Opening ad now in the photo section.

Finistere
Finistere on March 12, 2010 at 11:42 am

Unaccompanied, I saw “Word Is Out” — the greatest gay/lesbian consciousness-raising film ever made — there in the spring of 1978. It was commercially courageous, even in cosmopolitan New York, to show such a film in that era, and I was so blown away by by this title that I went back for a second screening on another day. It was even better the second time around. Seeing “Word Is Out” (soon to be released for the first time on DVD in spring 2010) was for this viewer a kind of life-changing event and I’ve always identified the joyous experience of the film with its venue.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on March 4, 2010 at 2:31 pm

By the photo of the entrance it looked rather plain.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on March 4, 2010 at 8:50 am

This intro needs to updated.

“The Eastside Cinema actually opened on January 21, 1973. Its premiere attraction was "Under Milk Wood."
posted by DamienB on Nov 10, 2005 at 12:58pm”

randytheicon
randytheicon on June 16, 2009 at 3:09 pm

Belated reply to dave-bronx: Any damage to the plaza outside Eastside was most certainly NOT caused by “Rocky Horror” fans. The following is a quote from one of the major leaders of the RHPS scene:

“No, this was not the real reason at all. When the 8th Street theater closed, the search was on for another theater in Greenwich Village. The print and cast were moved to mid-town on a temporary basis, and the plan all along was to eventually get back downtown where the show belonged.

“In fact, we toned down a lot of our behavior because of the new
location: it was in mid-town, it was NOT a ‘Greenwich Village
neighborhood’ type atmosphere, and the last thing the cast wanted to
do was lose another theater/endanger the one we had at the moment.”

UA deserves a TON of criticism for its management practices, but not in this instance. The NYC “Rocky” fans tend to be very well behaved; any vandalism at 919 Third came from elsewhere.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 14, 2007 at 7:04 pm

Drove by the other day. I’d never attended a movie here, but as we were stopped in traffic, I just happened to gaze out of the passenger window and had some dim sense that there used to be a theatre here. The free standing sign in the shallow plaza in front of the office building is still there – and this feature must have been what jogged my hazy memory. I don’t think there is anything on the sign at the moment – it just stands there blank and purposeless, saying absolutely nothing to passersby along Third Avenue.

DixonSteele
DixonSteele on September 6, 2007 at 10:25 am

I too saw only one picture here, James Caan’s HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT in 1980.

efriedmann
efriedmann on June 22, 2007 at 2:08 pm

I saw only one movie at this theater; PLEASANTVILLE in 1999.

longislandwally75
longislandwally75 on July 16, 2006 at 6:47 pm

we had a screening of savage at the squire for long island managers

trish was there…[i was manager of squire and playhouse] at that time and shortly after promoted to rivoli where we had world prem.
george did show up…..incest plot killed it.

wally1975

BobT
BobT on November 10, 2005 at 1:57 pm

Yes, the marquee was by the street but the theatre itself was way off the street. When I ran a UA theatre on Long Island, I went to the UA Eastside at the time to see an Austrailian new wave musical called “Starstruck” and early feature by Gillian Armstrong. I liked it enough to get it booked at mine. As for “The Savage Is Loose”, both George C. Scott and wife Trish Vandevere were making personal appearances at certain theatres and Mr. Scott was supposed to be at The UA Bayshore. I attended but Mr. Scott cancelled and never showed up but when I got home, he was on some talk show, Dick Cavett I believe live, so he got well very quickly.

DamienB
DamienB on November 10, 2005 at 12:58 pm

The Eastside Cinema actually opened on January 21, 1973. Its premiere attraction was “Under Milk Wood.”

moviesmovies
moviesmovies on July 19, 2005 at 12:36 pm

Wasn’t there quite some distance from the sidewalk to the box office of this one?
I think I saw ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ here.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 18, 2005 at 12:06 pm

RobertR,
Regarding The Savage is Loose…I believe I read that George C. Scott four-walled the Eastside Cinema (or perhaps it was another place in move-over) for an extended period of time to show the film, and it kept playing to a near-empty house. It was a bit of a turkey.

bazookadave
bazookadave on July 18, 2005 at 11:23 am

I remember this theater, I saw “Baby Boom” here in 1987 and a couple of Disney cartoon feature re-releases…I believe “Snow White” and “Cinderella.”

There used to be an irish pub across the street called “the Old Stand,” and it too is now gone.

Just went by the site on Saturday, looked through the window of the carpet showroom, it is so weird to be able to see the area where I used to sit when it was an auditorium!

RobertR
RobertR on June 29, 2005 at 4:05 pm

Times were changing in 1974 when the Eastside Cinema got listed over the Rivoli.

View link

Astyanax
Astyanax on April 20, 2005 at 8:18 pm

A high-end carpet showroom has opened in the site, geared for the designer trade.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on April 6, 2005 at 11:25 pm

This is another one United Artists was cordially invited by the landlord to vacate the premises. When UA got the boot from the 8th Street Playhouse, they moved their weekend showings of Rocky Horror to this theatre, of all places. After the show would end the crowd would congregate for most of the night in the plaza-ette in front of the 919 building, and broken windows, graffiti and other damage was done to the property, which eventually led to their eviction.

When it later re-opened as the Eastside Playhouse, it was being run by Meyer Ackerman, and the opening ads stated “From the people who brought you the 68th Street Playhouse” – City Cinemas got involved with it several months later. They were already partners with Ackerman at the Village East, 57th and 68th St. Playhouses.

hardbop
hardbop on April 6, 2005 at 9:50 pm

My last visit here wasn’t pleasant. I caught Francis Coppolla’s nephew’s film “CQ.” A bulb on the projector blew about 80% into the movie. The clueless manager didn’t seem to know if she would get a replacement so I and all the other patrons left. We didn’t walk about empty-handed, though. They gave us two free passes to any City Cinemas theatres. I never did get to see the conclusion of “CQ” and I am in no hurry to do so.

Astyanax
Astyanax on February 7, 2005 at 9:59 am

When first taken over by City Cinemas, it was touted as a successor to the 68th Street Playhouse. A rather dreadful theater with no amenities, it never lived up to the reputation of the former art house. The closing of any theater is a loss, but this one minimally so.

br91975
br91975 on August 5, 2004 at 3:45 pm

I guess those plans fell through; blame it on the economy, perhaps…

RobertR
RobertR on August 5, 2004 at 2:33 pm

I thought they closed it because they were tearing down the whole block?