Brandt's Murray Hill Theatre

74 E. 42nd Street,
New York, NY 10017

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Located at Park Avenue on the south side of E. 42nd Street, across the street from Grand Central Station in the Art Deco style Airlines Building. Opened in the 1930’s as the Airlines Theatre, it was renamed Embassy Newsreel Theatre in 1941. This theatre advertised in 1949 its showing of the British film “The Facts of Love”. It was last operated as Brandt’s Murray Hill Theatre.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 23, 2004 at 8:33 am

The Embassy was a 527-seat newsreel theatre directly across the street from Grand Central Station, and not to be confused with an even smaller one inside the terminal itself. If I recall correctly, this Embassy Newsreel was part of an airlines terminal that got torn down for an office building. The entrance was on 42nd Street, just west of Park Avenue. The new building had public exhibition space run by the Whitney Museum, but I don’t know if that still exists…After the arrival of daily TV news broadcasts, most of the Embassy newsreel theatres switched to feature movies, some in the “art” category.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 13, 2005 at 1:02 pm

The address for the Embassy Newsreel Theatre was 74 East 42nd Street, and it contained 527 seats, according to the 1945 edition of the Motion Picture Theatre Directory published by the New York Film Board of Trade.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on June 3, 2006 at 5:24 am

In 1952, this was apparently known as Brandt’s Murray Hill and running double-bills of foreign imports and Hollywood reissues:

AlAlvarez on November 25, 2009 at 1:58 pm

This is listed as the AIR LINES theatre in the 1942 Film daily Year Book.

AlAlvarez on December 14, 2009 at 6:46 am

The 1943 Film Daily Year Book lists a Newsreel Theatre at 74 E. 42nd street as well as the aforementioned Air Lines theatre at 42nd and Park.

Does anyone know if all three theatres were the same?

Tinseltoes on February 14, 2010 at 7:56 am

The cinema can be seen to the extreme right of this view of the Airlines Terminal building. Instead of a marquee, the Embassy had an attraction board over the entrance. This photo also suggests that there was no entrance to the cinema on the Park Avenue side of the terminal building.
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AlAlvarez on February 15, 2010 at 6:59 pm

The Airlines name makes even more sense now. Seating and location all match although the mailing address was once on 42nd street. This theatre opened on October 18, 1940 as the Airlines Newsreel and had the same publicity agent as the Grand central Newsreel inside the terminal.

From 1949 it was a late run double feature house. In February 1951, after the Loew’s 42nd Street (aka Murray Hill) had closed, this became Brandt’s Murray Hill.

Airlines and Murray Hill should be added as aka names.

Tinseltoes on September 5, 2012 at 7:19 am

Seventy-one years ago today, this had its grand opening as the Embassy Newsreel Theatre, which suggests that the Embassy chain had replaced the original management. The advertised address was the Airline Terminal on the south side of 42nd Street at Park Avenue. The theatre’s policy was “1 hour of latest world-wide news events, finest shorts & Embassy exclusives.” Programs changed every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:00 PM. If you arrived at 5:00 PM on those days, you could see two shows for the price of one.

Tinseltoes on September 5, 2012 at 11:15 am

I’ve displayed an enlarged portion of this NYPL photo, which is dated March, 1941, and taken about six months before the Embassy take-over:nypl

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