Loew's Avenue B Theatre

72 Avenue B,
New York, NY 10009

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Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on February 24, 2014 at 7:59 am

The Avenue B had a large organ built by M. P. Moller, their opus 1947 with four manuals and 31 ranks. It is interesting that the organ records state “contained many used parts, $5,700.” You gotta laugh, Marcus Loew builds a spectacular new theatre on the site of his childhood home, but let’s see if we can’t save a few dollars on that organ, okay?

I also find reference that Wurlitzer sold a little 2-manual, 3-rank organ to “Avenue B Theatre, New York, NY” in 1926 (opus 1372). Was there another hall with the same name? Maybe this was a lobby organ? Another mystery!

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on May 8, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Marcus Loew was born on this date in 1870.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on June 28, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Too bad the photos do not work anymore.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on November 30, 2009 at 7:08 am

From the 2005 post above:

Marcus Loew said “This is the most pretentious of the houses on our string, because my better judgment was over-balanced by my sentimentalism and my longing to do something better here than I ever did before.”

Up to the 1930’s “pretentious” meant “luxurious” and did not have the negative connotations assigned to the word today.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on November 28, 2009 at 5:46 pm

Good story of how Marcus Loew built the theatre at the site of his birth.Good history.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 14, 2008 at 9:17 am

Here’s a new direct link to a 1948 image of the exterior:
View link

kc2dhj
kc2dhj on August 20, 2007 at 8:29 am

I spent many saturdays 7 sundays in the early 50s in that wonderful place. My friends and I would go around the corner on 5th street that sold a big brown greasy bag of french fries for 15 cents and would stay watch a double feature, a action serial, and 25 cartoons.
I laugh now when I think of how many times my mother would come to get me and bring me home, boy would I get it. It was a simple white building, and still remember the lion heads that stood out of the wall.

jrobertclark
jrobertclark on August 8, 2007 at 1:39 am

Wow, I lived on the block (No. 46) in 1983-84, then at 246 E 4th St during 1984-85,and had no clue there used to be a lavish Loew’s up the street. Thanks, guys!

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 13, 2005 at 10:56 am

The theatre cost $800,000 to build. In his opening night speech, Marcus Loew said “This is the most pretentious of the houses on our string, because my better judgment was over-balanced by my sentimentalism and my longing to do something better here than I ever did before.” According to corporate histories, the Avenue B was never successful, but Loew’s kept it running for decades as a memorial to its founder, who was born on the spot.

Rollingrck
Rollingrck on October 4, 2005 at 2:13 pm

Here is a photo matching the angle of Warren’s photo as the site looks today.
View link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 27, 2005 at 12:58 pm

Here’s a 1948 exterior view of the theatre, which was reportedly built on the site of a demolished tenement where Marcus Loew was born. After Loew’s acquired the better situated Commodore in the same East Village area, the Avenue B was reduced to subsequent-run status: www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/129-2943_IMG.jpg

RobertR
RobertR on June 15, 2005 at 3:29 pm

When “Operation Petticoat” opened on the neighborhood run in 1959 the Avenue B was advertised as a Brandt Theatre.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 17, 2004 at 12:51 pm

The theatre was situated at 72 Avenue B, according to the 1926 Film Daily Year Book.