Joyce Theater

175 8th Avenue,
New York, NY 10011

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Ben Davis
Ben Davis on March 24, 2017 at 6:10 pm

A chapter devoted exclusively to the Elgin is included in my recently published book, “Repertory Movie Theaters of New York: Havens for Revivals, Indies and the Avant-Garde, 1960-1994.” It’s listed on Amazon and

burdelleaste on August 18, 2013 at 8:26 am

Every time I attend a dance performance at the Joyce I always think of the Elgin. Among the many movies I saw there I will always most strongly associate this theater with the first time I saw “El Topo.” Never saw ‘Rocky Horror" there, having burnt out on that experience at the 8th St,. Playhouse.

NeonSky on September 10, 2012 at 7:48 pm

I am looking for a photo of the old Elgin Theater for a documentary. Might anyone have one? It would be hugely appreciated. Please let me know at: . Thanks!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 5, 2011 at 5:19 pm

I would have to agree with you, Willburg145. Particularly since the interior was gutted and only the facade remains intact.

Willburg145 on July 5, 2011 at 3:00 pm

If the theater is vacated by the dance company I am sure the building will be torn down and a new apartment complex will take its place. It’s sad but given the value of the land it is no surprise. I have no inside knowlege and am merely making an assumption.

CSWalczak on July 28, 2010 at 2:05 am

This article reports that the Joyce’s current principal tenant may have to leave due to proposed rent increases though apparently the name of the theater would remain the same: View link

johncabell on May 25, 2008 at 8:34 pm

It was not an overhang. The balcony was raised above the street-level lobby, which made it possible to have these extra rows. Going through the balcony was also the only way to get to the projection booth.

edblank on May 25, 2008 at 5:31 pm

Thanks, John and Warren. That all adds up for me. As a nonsmoker, I would never have made my way up a full flight of stairs to the balcony to sit among smokers. But a few steps up to enjoy stadium seating back then – definitely.
I was only at the Elgin three or four times, always for revivals in the pre-video era. But I remember it being one of the NYC theaters where I was cold to the bone during at least winter visit. I have to assume it was run on the cheap in those final years.

johncabell on May 25, 2008 at 4:52 pm

There was a balcony, and in those days smoking was still allowed up there. There was also a house cat in residence for most of the time I worked there.

edblank on May 25, 2008 at 6:10 am

An Elgin memory: Seeing “The Lady From Shanghai,” for the first time, in the 1970s. It was on a double bill of revivals, I think with “Gilda.”
Was there a balcony? I seem to recall being upstairs.
In any event, I was engrossed in the movie. Suddenly a cat leaped up on the seat beside me, startling the wits out of me. You can imagine what I thought it was at first. But then, that’s almost certainly why a cat was in there roaming freely.
Had an identical experience watching “Fade to Black” some time later in one of the steeply raked upstairs auditoriums at the Mayfair/DeMille, which by then was called the Embassy 2,3,4. – Ed Blank

johncabell on May 11, 2008 at 4:29 pm

I just came upon this thread â€" is anybody still here?

I worked at the Elgin for many years during the ‘70s, when I was going to NYU (or not, as the case may have been …), put up the last marquee (the bogus double bill of “We Have Been Evicted” & “Gone with the Wind”) and was there on its last day as a revival house and, on the outside, its first as a gay porn theater.

It was my second job ever: my first was at a stuffy mid-town first-run theater (the Cinema Studio); that summer some gonzo guys for way downtown four-walled the house for The Janus Film Festival. They loved movies — talked about them all the time — but were unpretentious former hippies who were pretty much just like Hawkeye and Trapper John.

These guys — Chuck Zlatkin and Steve Gould â€" seemed the epitome of cool. I begged them to hire me away from the drab, pretentious Upper West Side movie house where the manager cursed children under his breath for spilling water on the carpet and we ushers had to wear rayon pants with a stripe down the side.

“We’re assholes too â€" but different kinds of assholes,” Gould told me on my first day at the Elgin, where the dress code was almost pants optional.

Best job I ever had.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on September 25, 2007 at 3:37 pm

Any photos of this house during its Elgin days?

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on August 20, 2007 at 3:12 pm

From the Joyce Theatre website:

Converted from the Elgin Theater, a 1941 movie house, the Joyce theater building required a major renovation to create an elegant, intimate home for dance in New York City.

The Elgin was originally a revival movie house that was closed by the community when it became a pornographic movie theater.

The renovation took two years to complete and was guided by architect Hugh Hardy who preserved and expanded the patterned brick facade of the art-deco building. The entire interior was gutted to create a 472-seat theater with the technical specifications to serve the needs of small and medium-sized dance companies.

EduardoSuave on August 20, 2007 at 2:34 pm

I remember going to the Elgin a lot during the summer of 1975. I distinctly recall seeing at least a couple of Russ Meyer films during that period.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 13, 2007 at 10:43 am

A British newspaper covers midgnight movies and EL TOPO at the Elgin.

View link

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on January 26, 2007 at 3:06 pm

The first time I made the trip alone from New Jersey to a Manhattan revival house was to see “The Birds” at the Elgin. To this sheltered teenager it seemed a slightly dangerous place, and had a strange smell too (pot?). But that was part of why it was so memorable. And where else in those days could you see “The Birds” on a screen that big? I went back several more times – I recall seeing “Nights of Cabiria” there.

42ndStreetMemories on January 26, 2007 at 2:42 pm

Duke, I lived on 24th & 8th and many of my friends were Cuban & Puerto Rican. Whenever we went by the Elgin, I would ask them to translate the titles as I scanned every lobby card. The poster artwork was great.

Thanks for the tip on the book, AlAlvarez.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 26, 2007 at 2:01 pm

Duke, I grew up watching many of those with my family in Miami including the later Spanish films with Joselito, Marisol and Sara Montiel. If you get a chance do pick up a book called MEXICAN MOVIES IN THE UNITED STATES by Rogelio Agrasanchez, Jr.

It is full of ad copy, poster art and anecdotes from that era and was written in English.

Duke1955 on January 26, 2007 at 12:55 pm

The Elgin Theater holds very dear memories for me. I grew up in Chelsea and lived on 19th street between 8th and 9th avenues. Being of Puerto Rican descent, my grandmother loved the Spanish movies shown at the Elgin in those days. They were actually Mexican films. My grandmother would take me along and I got to spend some really nice times with her. I still remember those great Mexican “singing cowboys”, Pedro Infante, Jorge Negrete, Luis Aguilar and Pedro Admendariz. I also remember the great dramatic actresses, Libertad Lamarque (Argentina),Maria Feliz, Dolores Del Rio. My favorites were of course, the comedians, Cantinflas and Tin Tan. Evita Peron was highly jealous of Libertad Lamarque and blocked all her films from being shown in Argentina. The memomories of the time that I spent with Grandmother watching those films at the Elgin will forever be in my mind. Priceless memories.

RobertR on September 25, 2006 at 11:32 am

The Garrick is listed but it needs to have Andy Warhol added as an alternate name.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 25, 2006 at 2:13 am

Thanks, Al… Is the Warhol Garrick on your list of theaters to submit to CT (be it high or low in priority)?

Lost… isn’t searching the TImes' archive thoroughly addicting?!?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on September 24, 2006 at 1:42 pm

Ed, the Film-makers Cooperative booked for Warhol so it may have been Mekas booking the Elgin on films such as THE CHELSEA GIRLS.

The Andy Warhol Garrick theatre was at 152 Bleecker Street.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 24, 2006 at 12:06 pm

Hmmm. The article I read about Mekas' plans for the Elgin screenings was from May of ‘69, Al. In the interview that accompanies the piece, Mekas remarks how Warhol was already distributing his own films by that time. Do you know whether the mid-'68 run at the Elgin was programmed by Mekas or Warhol himself? This would roughly coincide with the Filmmakers’ Co-operative having moved out of the New Cinema Playhouse in mid-‘68. I’ve also seen in articles from this period references to Warhol being the only living American filmmaker to have a cinema named after him in the VIllage. Does anyone know which theater this might be? I see no aka’s for a Warhol or Andy Warhol Theater.