5th Avenue Cinema

66 5th Avenue,
New York, NY 10011

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January 14, 1971

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The 5th Avenue Playhouse was opened December 16, 1925. It was renamed 5th Avenue Cinema in 1954 when it was operated by Ragoff & Becker. 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. Closed in 1973, the theatre building is now part of the New School for Social Research.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 25 comments)

BoxOfficeBill on May 13, 2006 at 4:00 am

Warren— Thanks for the info on the Freudian double-bill, timely for this week’s celebration of Sigmund’s 150th birthday. As an unabashed Freudian, I delighted in it. One of my movie-going buddies from the ‘60s wrote an homage to Freud in last week’s Wall Street Journal, which tickled me even though it missed the point. We owe a lot to F because his approach (though not conclusions) were so wonderfully counterintuitiveâ€"a healthy psyche is not always a happy psyche, but its tensions are good because the simplistic alternative is worse.

“Secrets of a Soul” is a 1927 film directed by GW Pabst about a grown man’s phobia of knives (sounds silly, but Pabst is, well, Pabst and appropriately named for his papally blue ribbon distinction). “Eternal Mask” is a 1937 Swiss film about guilt obsession directed by Werner Hochbaum (I don’t know whether phallic Hochbaum is appropriately named). In both cases, the psychoanalysis is dumb (there is no talking cure). Freud’s social theory is what sets him apart, and a good reason to celebrate his 150th. Cheers to the Fifth Avenue for celebrating him.

Lost Memory: Lamb, the architect of the Fifth Avenue? The mind boggles.

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?

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!

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez 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 ??

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.

dallasmovietheaters on January 28, 2017 at 7:40 pm

The Fifth Avenue Playhouse opened on December 16, 1925and converted to the Fifth Avenue Cinema in 1954.

Astyanax on May 27, 2017 at 5:30 pm

Any sign of the Hirshfeld mural?

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