Pix Theater

121 W. 42nd Street,
New York, NY 10036

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Pix Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Brandt’s Pix Theater was an exhibition site on 42nd Street between Broadway and Sixth Avenue. Last operating as the Peep-O-Rama in 2005. It was demolished, together with the rest of the block in 2006 to build the new Bank of America tower.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 29, 2006 at 12:21 pm

That’s the Pix’s C/O, Lost.

By the way, that Times article you posted about on October 15th, “A Preview of the Pix” is an interesting and informative read. Firstly, it erroneously describes the theater as having 1000 seats (as you can see from the C/O, max capacity – which may include employees for fire code – was to be 820 persons). Management intended the theater to be devoted “to the exhibition of French and other foreign pictures.” There was a fall-back plan, however, to switch to first-run Hollywood product should their initial plan prove “impracticable.” Regardless of the fare, Brandt intended to keep admissions at “popular prices.”

The theater opened on Saturday, December 23rd, 1939, with the French drama “Citadel of Silence,” produced in 1937 and starring Annabella – who had made her cinematic debut at age 16 in Abel Gance’s “Napoleon.” The designer of the Pix is listed as Ely Jacques Kahn and the theater was the first in NYC to be constructed in accordance with the “new theater building-code” to ensure the “ultimate in safety measures.” As such, the orchestra was designed with four fire exits, “two on either side of the house, leading directly into brick enclosed passageways which open onto Forty-third Street.” According to the article, the Pix was also the first theater on 42nd Street to be purpose built exclusively for motion picture exhibition.

The interior is described as “intimate” with a small loge and balcony and a color scheme that “is a blend of flame red and dubonnet” with “the upper portions of the acoustically plastered walls…decorated with white Grecian heads.” Brandt was particularly proud of the theater’s flame-red leather “body form” chairs, set in steel frames and guaranteed by Brandt not to “cause runs in milady’s sheerest hose.” The air-conditioning plant occupied most of the basement floor space and circulated fresh, refrigerated air through a network of vents in the orchestra floor. The cost to build was estimated at $300,000, on property that Brandt leased from “Freya, Inc.” for a period of only twenty-one years.

And now, I’m going to see if I can find out what on Earth the color “dubonnet” looks like!!!

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 30, 2006 at 3:44 am

Dubonnet is an aperitif wine. It’s not intended for drinking with meals. You would have it as a cocktail, either straight or mixed with something stronger like gin or vodka. Dubonnet Rouge is somewhat sweeter than Dubonnet Blanc. Most Dubonnet sold in the USA is now manufactured here. Imported French Dubonnet can also be found here in some stores, but under the name St. Raphael, as the French company sold its right to use the Dubonnet name in the USA.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 30, 2006 at 7:03 am

Wow. Now I know what the interior of the Pix looked like AND what it tasted like!!! Thanks for the entertaining commentary, guys.

bobmarshall
bobmarshall on August 15, 2007 at 8:26 pm

It did come to a sad end…but I can recall countless trips there in the mid & late 1950s to catch all the Joan Crawford films of the 40s, along with other Warner winners.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on July 8, 2008 at 8:37 am

Rialto East and Rialto III should be added as AKA names here.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 11, 2008 at 8:36 am

In 1968, the Pix Theatre was immortalized by photo realist Richard Estes in an acrilyic painting called “Hot Girls.” I don’t know if the movie titles shown were actual or imagined: View link

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on November 11, 2008 at 9:43 am

“Hot Girls For Men Only” was a 1968 British film.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 16, 2008 at 6:34 pm

Great image, Warren. Theatre status should be “closed/demolished” as the site was incorporated into the new Bank of America office tower.

edblank
edblank on January 30, 2011 at 11:46 am

Enrolling with this link.

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on November 17, 2012 at 10:27 am

If anyone has any stories about going to/ working at this threatre in its adult days, I would love to hear them. I am chronicling the histories of adult theatres in the US. Please contact me at Thanks!

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