Avenue Playhouse

1187 Avenue of the Americas,
New York, NY 10036

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Avenue Playhouse

Viewing: Photo | Street View

A Manhattan art house on Sixth Avenue (now Avenue of the Americas) at 47th Street where Vittorio De Sica’s neo-realist masterpiece “Shoe Shine” began a long run in August, 1947.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 40 comments)

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 27, 2007 at 6:43 am

The exterior photo that I posted above on 8/4/05 was copied from a magazine clipping that I found in the theatre’s file at the Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library. I think it was from Life Magazine, but I can’t swear by it. If the actual photo (or negative) still exists, you might be able to purchase a print from the Time-Life archives. As I recall, it was part of an article about the revival of interest in silent movies.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on July 27, 2007 at 6:54 am

Warren, many of the photos you have posted at Photobucket (including the one on 8/5/05, say that the “page is not found.” I hope you can activate some of these defunct links, here and on other theater pages.

richardobrien on July 27, 2007 at 6:58 am

Thanks Warren. I’ll see what I can find on that photo and article. Meanwhile, interesting to find out that the Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library actually has a file on the theatre.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 27, 2007 at 7:42 am

Anyone getting a “page is not found” message at any of the links to my Photobucket scrapbook can contact me privately and I’ll be happy to send them the image that was removed. Once I remove an image, it’s unlikely that I will ever put it back, as there are only so many that a scrapbook can hold at a time. I presently have more than 600 links that are active. My contact address is .com

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 7, 2008 at 1:09 pm

In 1946-47, the Avenue Playhouse broke all of its boxoffice records with a 30-week NYC premiere engagement of Marcel Pagnol’s “The Well-Digger’s Daughter,” according to a report in The New York Times on 4/18/47. About 320,000 tickets were sold, meaning a weekly average attendance of around 10,667. Of course, it would have been much higher in the opening weeks…Here’s a new link to an image of the theatre in its previous life as the Miami:
View link

AlAlvarez on August 4, 2008 at 8:41 pm

In early 1937 there was a 47th Street Cinema operating at 104 West 47th Street and showing Irish films. Could this have been the Miami?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 17, 2011 at 9:13 pm

The status of this theatre should be changed to “Demolished” as the entire odd-numbered block front of Sixth Avenue between 46th and 47th Streets is now occupied by the monolithic 1185 Avenue of the Americas.

robboehm on June 5, 2011 at 9:46 am

As the Avon it functioned as a TV preview theatre. When I was a teen in the early 1950’s I attended one of these sessions with my parents. Most of the pilot’s we previewed never made to it the airwaves.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 6, 2013 at 11:01 pm

A permit for construction costing $300,000 was issued for the theater at 1187-1197 Sixth Avenue in 1944, according to an entry in the Office for Metropolitan History’s Manhattan New Building Database. As new construction had to be approved by the War Production Board at that time, I don’t know if this project was carried out or not. If it was, the architects were Schlanger & Sornik.

The Avon Theatre at 6th Avenue and 47th Street also is mentioned in the John and Drew Eberson archives as a 1952 project (#1624), though the nature and extent of the project is not stated.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 10, 2013 at 2:11 pm

In 2006, lostmemory posted th is comment on May 21:

“NYC issued a c/o to a 498 seat motion picture theater at this address in March of 1936. It was an existing building so this theater was most likely operating prior to that date. The owner at that time was Ben-Jim Amusement Corp.”
Then, on August 4, 2008, AlAlvaraez posted this:
“In early 1937 there was a 47th Street Cinema operating at 104 West 47th Street and showing Irish films. Could this have been the Miami?”
Now I’ve come across an item in The New York Clipper of December 6, 1913:

“Walter J. Salamon, as president of Manhattan Fee Co., will build a one-story moving picture theatre at No. 821 Sixth Avenue, L shaped to Nos. 102-104 West Forty- seventh Street, New York, to seat five hundred and seventy-two. Thos. W. Lamb, as architect, filed plans for an outlay of $125,000.”

I don’t know if the address 821 Sixth Avenue was a typo or part of some earlier numbering system, but the place did apparently sit at least partly on the site of the 47th Street Cinema AlAlvarez mentioned. I wonder if these could all have been the same theater? As the 1913 building was L-shaped, the entrance might have been moved from one street to the other for a while.

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