175 Eighth Avenue,
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This former Chelsea movie house opened as the Elgin in 1942, designed by Simon Zelnik in elegant Art Moderne style with seating for 600. It was located on Eighth Avenue, at 19th Street. Later, the Elgin screened Spanish-language films, and still later, revival and cult films. The Elgin ended its movie house days as an adult theater. However, even as an adult theater, midnight movies, including “El Topo”, “Pink Flamingos”, and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, continued to be screened. Community pressure forced the Elgin to close in the 1978.
In 1982, architect Hugh Hardy was hired to convert the completely gutted interior of the Elgin into a 472-seat dance performance space, while preserving and restoring the beautiful Moderne facade and marquee of the theater.
The venue was renamed the Joyce, for the daughter of one of the main benefactors of the renovation of the theater. Today the Joyce is considered one of the city’s main dance performance spaces, and hosts audiences of over 140,000 each year.
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