Costello Theatre

23 Fort Washington Avenue,
New York, NY 10032

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bigjoe59 on December 13, 2012 at 10:34 am


i was looking at back issues of Moving Picture World on and happened upon a May issue which gave the opening date of the theater as May 20, 1914. it was built to honor star Maurice Costello. also the article gave a different address than the own stated at the top of this page.

Tinseltoes on May 18, 2012 at 11:14 am

Here’s a vintage view from the LaGuardia Archives: lunaimaging

Tinseltoes on July 13, 2011 at 5:44 am

That would have been the original B&W Paramount version with Gary Cooper and Helen Hayes. “A Farewell to Arms” was later re-made in B&W by Warner Bros. as “Force of Arms” (William Holden-Nancy Olson), and still later in CinemaScope and color by David O. Selznick for 20th-Fox with Jennifer Jones and Rock Hudson.

Smittysf on July 12, 2011 at 8:20 pm

My mom remembers going go the theatre with her friend Ruth schwartzman in 1932. They were thrown out of A Farewell to Arms and apparently a few others due to crying too much.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 29, 2010 at 4:52 am

Andrew Craig Morrison’s book “Theaters” identifies Louis A. Sheinart as the architect of the Costello Theatre.

lellins on August 19, 2010 at 8:18 am

I lived at 160th street and riverside drive and went to the Costello on Satudays (in the 40’s). You could get in for free if you had the right colored card – cards were distributed to kids every week. Otherwise, it cost 25 cents. Later on it did become a spanish movie theatre.

It was located at the very beginning of Fort Washinton Avenue (159th street).

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 25, 2008 at 7:09 am

The Costello first opened in 1914 and had Louis A. Sheinart as architect, according to Craig Morrison’s historical reference book, “Theaters.”

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 16, 2006 at 5:02 am

The LOC image is apparently a print made from a nitrate negative. I’ve added some light to bring out more background detail:

AlAlvarez on April 15, 2006 at 11:07 pm

The church is on 159th Street although the theatre sometimes advertised as being off the 157th subway stop. If you look at a map at the way Morgan Place/Riverside Drive curves upward, advertising 157th St makes perfect sense as you could probably spot the building easily from there in the 30’s and 40’s. Does anyone know if this was a German neighborhood before the war?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 15, 2006 at 10:40 am

Thanks! The LOC data says a nitrate negative. I doubt if a print would look much different, since it’s a night scene.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 15, 2006 at 10:04 am

Is the photo posted on 3/08/05 a print or a negative? I can’t tell.

AlAlvarez on April 14, 2006 at 10:52 pm

It appears the Costello showed German films from 1931 to 1938 until the product dried up. During the war it switched to Spanish films.

I have also now asked that this theatre be moved from the mythical city of Audubon.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 15, 2005 at 10:52 am

Please correct the address to “New York, NY.” This theater is in upper Manhattan and should come up when searching for “New York” by city.

bamtino on August 28, 2005 at 9:09 pm

By the way, this theatre should be listed as being located in “New York, NY.”

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 23, 2004 at 9:54 am

The 1949 Film Daily Year Book says that the Costello Theatre was located at 23 Fort Washington Avenue and had 585 seats. Does the building still exist?