Trans-Lux 49th Street Theatre
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Designed by Eugene DeRosa, this small newsreel theatre first opened in 1938. The entrance was on the west side of Broadway, just below the intersection with 49th Street. By the mid-1950’s, television had made newsreel houses redundant, so the Trans-Lux Theatre switched to double features or whatever first-run bookings it could get.
In 1963, it was renovated and re-named the Trans-Lux West Theatre as a link to the circuit’s brand-new Trans-Lux East Theatre on Third Avenue. Trans-Lux tried to book the two theatres day-and-date, but that didn’t prove too successful because the Broadway theatre had a quite different clientele.
The Trans-Lux West Theatre closed in the 1970’s, but re-opened in the 1980’s as the Grand Pussycat Cinema, with a spectacular neon frontage hiding its newsreel origin. The Grand Pussycat Cinema was so successful that it spawned a copycat around the corner on 49th Street called the Kitty Kat Cinema, converted from a restaurant.
Both were demolished in 1987 to make way for a skyscraper hotel.
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