5th Avenue Cinema

66 Fifth Avenue,
New York, NY 10011

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January 14, 1971

Viewing: Photo | Street View

A premiere art house in the Greenwich Village area of New York for many decades where the offerings were always synonymous with high quality. Satyajit Ray’s PATHER PANCHALI was introduced to New York moviegoers in this small venue. Pasolini’s ACCATTONE had its first commercial run here. The theatre building is now part of the New School for Social Research.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 30 comments)

Astyanax on July 11, 2006 at 5:49 am

This Rugoff coffee house cinema always had creative double bills, insuring packed audiences. A memorable pair were “The Girl With the Green Eyes” & “Billy Liar”. Apart from the Hirschfield mural, a rather plain venue, but the features were truly memorable. Is Parsons still using the space as an auditorium?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 11, 2006 at 5:40 am

An article about pioneer “art” theatres in a 2005 issue of Film History Magazine claims that this was a “legit” playhouse prior to opening as a cinema in late 1926. Michael Mindlin, who’d been a stage producer, received encouragement from the then powerful National Board of Review of Motion Pictures, which had its headquarters in the building next door. The first program consisted of an educational one-reeler from Germany, “The Parasol Ant”; Chaplin’s three-reel comedy, “A Dog’s Life”; a short about early French cinema, and a revival of “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.”

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on March 23, 2007 at 5:42 am

An elephant at the Fifth Avenue Cinema in 1954.

Darkgirl on January 2, 2008 at 8:28 am

It was called 5th Avenue Playhouse, according to Kristin Thompson!

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 2, 2008 at 8:57 am

The name varied over the years between “Cinema” and “Playhouse.” And more often than not, “Fifth” was used instead of “5th.”

AlAlvarez on May 16, 2008 at 7:50 pm

This stopped showing films in 1973.

mhantholz on May 20, 2010 at 11:41 pm

I lived @ FIFTH AVENUE CINEMA mid-1960s-70s. Living 4 blocks south, at the Hotel Marlton 5 West 8th St., it was the movie theater of choice—-the Art and the 8th St.Playhouse were for the fairies & débutantes at NYU and the bridge-&-tunnel mutts who got off on “Rocky Horror Show” [hawk-ptoo]. I saw a double-bill here that can’t be beat—–“L'Aventura” / “Last Year At Marienbad”. Saw them again recently—-after all the jokes, these two are among the very few from the ‘60s to have survived, their power intact. The snapper here is that not only has Parson School Of Design taken over the 5th Ave. for an auditorium, they’ve taken over my old home, the Hotel Marlton for dorms !!! Am I to be spared nothing ??

Tinseltoes on May 5, 2012 at 7:03 am

Fifty-eight years ago today, and self-described in advertising as “New York’s oldest Art Theatre— the 5th Avenue Cinema re-opened after a period of restoration and refurbishing with the American premiere of Robert Bresson’s "Diary of a Country Priest,” shown in French with English subtitles. Starting with this engagement, the 5th Avenue Cinema would now be under the same direction as the midtown Paris Theatre, then in the midst of a record-breaking engagement of the British-made “The Captain’s Paradise,” starring Alec Guinness.

cblog on November 2, 2012 at 3:23 am

My mom and I saw Dr.Strangelove here, after my Saturday morning children’s theater group at Mills College of Education, and lunch at the Schraffts 13th st. We saw other films, but Dr.Strangelove created the memory. The mural was fascinating to look at, at least for a child.

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