RKO Fordham Theatre

215 E. Fordham Road,
Bronx, NY 10458

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RKO Fordham/Troy Donahue & Connie Stevens

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Fordham Theatre was always considered one of the top Bronx theatres due to its location in the shopping hub around the Grand Concourse and Fordham Road. With William McElfatrick as architect, it was primarily designed for vaudeville and built by Keith-Albee. As Keith’s Fordham Theatre, it first opened on April 14, 1921, with six acts of “Best Keith Vaudeville” plus the feature movie, “Black Roses”.

In 1929, the Keith theatres were merged into the RKO circuit. In that year, the Fordham Theatre also got a major rival in the larger and more sumptuous Loew’s Paradise Theatre on the Grand Concourse. For several decades, the two theatres were the area leaders, although the Paradise Theatre had the advantage of showing movies that were exclusive for the Bronx. The RKO Fordham Theatre showed the same programs as six other Bronx RKO theatres, as well as some Skouras houses in areas without RKO outlets.

The Fordham Theatre survived into the era of mass distribution and was triplexed in 1976. A fourth screen was added in 1980, but a decline in the neighborhood’s business district finally forced the Fordham Theatre to close. It was demolished in March, 1987, and replaced by retail buildings.

Contributed by Warren G. Harris

Recent comments (view all 67 comments)

sjteich
sjteich on February 22, 2014 at 5:11 pm

Pat C – my name is Scott Teichman and I am on facebook as well – there’s 2 of us with the same name on Facebook – I am the one from Colorado. Sorry I haven’t responded sooner but hope to hear back from you.

Hamblin
Hamblin on May 31, 2014 at 7:54 am

A few photos at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:RKO_Fordham_Theatre,_Bronx

patc
patc on October 30, 2014 at 6:37 am

Nice pics. Looking at your photos the one in the lobby I see the Orchestra seats were visible. They later enclosed the orchestra with a half wall and glass for the other half and put doors. Then they added a concession stand in the center between the left and right of the orchestra doors. The concession was operated by ABC concessions. In the 1960’s it was run by Hannah a funny individual, but stern. They kept the Ladies room on the orchestra level pretty much the same as well as the ladies room on the mezzanine.

patc
patc on October 30, 2014 at 6:44 am

Hi Ed, looking forward hearing from you. Hope all is well. You haven’t posted in a while.

nsscmss
nsscmss on May 8, 2015 at 7:11 am

This is for patc. Pat, I wanted to say hello – I remember you pretty well. My name is Neal. I was an usher at the RKO Fordham from 1966 to 1968. In fact, my singing group, The Zircons sang there in 1964. i remember many of the names you have mentioned. But do you remember Marty Cantor?

patc
patc on May 8, 2015 at 8:17 am

To Neal. Yes I remember you. How have you been? I of course remember Marty. I made him the Chief Usher… You can Facebook me… Pat Concilio.

nsscmss
nsscmss on May 8, 2015 at 11:30 am

Pat, great to hear from you – 47 years later – LoL! There are a few Pat Concilio’s on Facebook and I don’t know which one you are – I’ll probably have to connect to you through my wife’s FB page. Looking forward to hearing from you.

nsscmss
nsscmss on May 8, 2015 at 11:30 am

Pat, great to hear from you – 47 years later – LoL! There are a few Pat Concilio’s on Facebook and I don’t know which one you are – I’ll probably have to connect to you through my wife’s FB page. Looking forward to hearing from you.

patc
patc on May 8, 2015 at 2:22 pm

Hey Neil, it’s pat Concilio putnam valley. Are you on Facebook? What’s your last name?

nsscmss
nsscmss on May 8, 2015 at 4:55 pm

Hey Pat, I am not on Facebook, but my wife is. Her name is Chrissy Schneberg. Not easy being part Italian with a last name like that! However, you can find my vocal group I sing with on Facebook: Neal Stuart and The Empire State. You can PM me through Chrissy’s page and I’ll get back to you. There’s a lot to catch up on. Hope to hear from you. Neal

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