Little Carnegie Playhouse

146 W. 57th Street,
New York, NY 10019

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Showing 1 - 25 of 63 comments

simonlucas on June 4, 2015 at 4:13 pm

@ nyer13

It’s great to hear from someone who worked there. Can you tell us any more about John Wolgamot, please?

marcystarnes on December 8, 2014 at 2:34 am

I worked there for many years, one of my favorite jobs. It was an exciting place where I got to meet and speak to my favorite movie stars; Jodie Foster, Anthony Perkins, etc. Those were the days, with blockbuster movies that sold out in an hour and a half! Management staff was steady with a mature manager staff. John Crisman was the nicest manager we had. It was during this time the home company was the Walter Reade Organization, a name that confused customers as they associated it with the hospital. It was run strictly as a business for them. Walter Reade Organization which owned roughly eight theaters within the theater circuit, never once closed early for Christmas or even Thanksgiving. After they closed their doors, I worked at nearby location. Over the years, I worked within the circuit at The New Yorker, the Ziegfield, the Waverly and the Festival. I was offered two jobs after they closed. What I enjoyed most about the job was the wonderful friendships I made that endured for years, that made it a great job.

nyer13 on October 7, 2013 at 4:32 pm

In the ‘70s we usually sold out @ approx. 480 seats. We also day dated with either the Baronet or Coronet depending on the movie.

The most disappointed audiences I saw were for “La Grande Bouffe.”

nyer13 on October 7, 2013 at 4:18 pm

I worked at the Little Carnegie from ‘71 to '77 (usher/doorman). Among other notables – We played new Woody Allen films & his agents/producers had offices further east on the block. We did a screening for WNEW-FM of “Catch My Soul” – a rock Othello with Iago played by the actor who later played the colonel chasing “The A Team.” We also did screenings for Richard Brown’s film appreciation course which was then associated with The New School. As an unofficial perk I got to attend the course & met Peter Yates of “Robbery” “Bullitt” chase fame, a very nice fellow whose UK movie history is interesting as there are a few precursors to both Robbery & Bullitt in his earlier & often non-directorial work.

& John & Yoko did come in one time when I was working. John Wolgamot was the long-term mgr when I was at the theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 31, 2012 at 9:06 am

There are probably few people who remember the original 1928 look of the Little Carnegie Playhouse. It was a strikingly modern design, most likely inspired, at least in part, by the work of the German Bauhaus. Here are two photos from the December 1, 1928, issue of Motion Picture News showing the auditorium and lounge.

I don’t know how much of the original design was lost in the early 1940s remodeling by Thomas Lamb’s office, but whatever might have remained after that was wiped out in the gut renovation designed by John McNamara that was undertaken in 1952. So far I’ve been unable to discover who the theater’s original architect was.

marcystarnes on October 13, 2011 at 7:25 pm

Most of the films that Played at The Little Carnegie Theater in the seventies and eighties, were a big sucess: Annie Hall, Tess, Tommy, The French Lieutenant’s Woman. I would like to see a photo.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 1, 2011 at 7:01 am

“The Talented Mr Ripley” is actually a very fine movie.

robboehm on August 31, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Loved Purple Noon. Didn’t see the English remake. They never hold up.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 31, 2011 at 8:10 am

“Plein Soleil” was later successfully remade in English as “The Talented Mr. Ripley”.

miclup on August 29, 2011 at 9:34 pm

I was very fortunate to work at the Little Carnegie as a teenager in the late 70s/early 80s. What a magnificent place! Like a smaller version of the Beekman but even better. The doors to the theater were amazingly deco. Seeing the photo of the interior posted in one of the comments was shocking. In my mind, this place was huge. It was actually quite teanie. But what programming! Because they were a premiere platform theater, everything opened here to huge crowds, celebrities, and very long runs. I worked there for several years during high school and the only 2 films I remember are PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK and MANHATTAN. They were hugely successful and played for months.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 31, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Here is a fresh link to the picture of the Little Carnegie on the cover of Boxoffice, October 4, 1952.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 6, 2010 at 7:13 am

World’s Wonder News theatre:

View link

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 3, 2010 at 7:05 am

The Little Carnegie closed in April 1982 after an extended run-in with Susan Sarandon’s aforementioned lemony breasts.

“Atlantic City” was not a bad way out for this classy venue.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 28, 2010 at 1:11 am

A photo of the auditorium of the Little Carnegie as remodeled by John McNamara was featured on the cover of Boxoffice, October 4, 1952. Two giant salamanders, cleverly disguising themselves as Art Moderne ornamentation, waited on either side of the screen to pounce upon and devour arriving audience members.

kencmcintyre on September 2, 2009 at 6:55 pm

“I am a Camera” was playing at the Little Carnegie in October 1955. Click on the ad for an expanded view.

Astyanax on February 7, 2009 at 9:28 am

Saw Louis Malle’s “Murmurs of the Heart” there. Enjoyed the movie, but hated having to leave the plush and comfortable lounge area.

worldpeople3 on February 7, 2009 at 1:10 am

I found this website after doing a search for information about the little Carnegie and the Thalia. I lived in New York for a year in 1980 and attended the Little Carnegie only once, to see the Woody Allen film Manhattan. What a wonderful experience, to see that film on the big screen with a New York audience. At the end the film got a standing ovation from the audience. This Seattle boy was impressed.

Henry Smith

kencmcintyre on February 4, 2009 at 6:55 pm

This is from Boxoffice magazine in May 1943:

NEW YORK-Martin J. Lewis and Erwin Lesser, operators of a chain of art houses here, and Goldberg Brothers, operators of the Studio Theater, Philadelphia, have jointly purchased the Little Carnegie Theater, West 57th St., from Jack Davis, former British theater operator. The new management will take possession at once and will operate it as a first-run art theater.

Robert C. Spodick has resigned as manager of the Ascot, first-run foreign film house in the Bronx, to become manager of the Little Carnegie. Spodick has been manager of the Yorktown and publicity man and assistant at various Loew houses.

edblank on May 7, 2008 at 12:19 pm

Great illustrations, Warren. Just to see the interior brings back vivid memories. On a 1973 visit to Little Carnegie, I caught a small film called “I Love You, Rosa” at a crowded weekend performance and sitting close to the right front exit gawking at wall ornament looming over the exit. At the time I saw “Faces” there, I remember reading a John Cassavetes interview in which he said he wanted to book his pride and joy there because he had worked in Little Carnegie many years earlier. – Ed Blank

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on January 13, 2008 at 10:38 am

The program booklet for the American premiere of Antonioni’s Eclipse in December 1962 at the Little Carnegie.

longislandmovies on January 13, 2008 at 9:41 am


longislandmovies on January 13, 2008 at 9:39 am


Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on January 13, 2008 at 8:40 am

The Italian film of Rossini’s comic opera Cenerentola (Cinderella) played here in 1953.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on October 17, 2007 at 6:36 am

“Salute to Italian Films Week,” October 1952.