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 74 comments)

nsscmss on May 8, 2015 at 1:30 pm

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 on May 8, 2015 at 4:22 pm

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

nsscmss on May 8, 2015 at 6:55 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

NittyRanks on September 16, 2015 at 12:04 pm

This showed up over on a Facebook group:


DavidZornig on September 16, 2015 at 9:49 pm

The link only went to the main page. But I found and downloaded it, and added it to the Photos Section. 1951, photographer unknown.

theatrefan on September 17, 2015 at 10:38 am

Thank You DavidZornig & NittyRanks, it’s a great photo of a long gone era!

Hoco on August 14, 2016 at 9:45 pm

I use to be the Assistant Manger during 1968 or 69. Jack Reis was a great mentor. We had a lot of fun.

Hoco on August 14, 2016 at 9:51 pm

I started out as an usher with my friend Mike and moved up to assistant then Manager. Jack use to send me to other theaters as a relief Manager. I remember Soctty and Monte.

patc on August 15, 2016 at 12:15 pm

Hi Hoco, what’s your name? I was an usher then the Chief of Staff, then the Assistant Manager at the RKO in the 60’s with Jack.

patc on August 16, 2016 at 10:44 am

Monty was a great guy…. Do you remember the cashiers, Martha, Sylvia, Libby, and Olivia? I loved them…

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