American Theater

1450 East Avenue,
Bronx, NY 10462

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American Theater

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Built in 1939 for the once-thriving Parkchester neighborhood of the Bronx, Loew’s American Theater was opened on December 26, 1940. The American Theater eventually fell on hard times.

After years of neglect, the theater was purchased by Stewart Epstein, who turned the dilapidated movie house into a 1,400-seat multiplex.

The current layout is as follows:
The orchestra level has a dividing wall right down the middle. In each of the two auditoriums, the back quarter has been walled off creating two more, totaling four downstairs. Two seat approximately 380 each; two seat approximately 80 each. The balcony was also twinned – one side seats approximately 250. The other side was divided again creating two auditoriums, each seating 105.

The renovated theater won’t solve the Bronx’s ongoing financial woes, but for now, it has brought the movies back to Parkchester. It was taken over by Bow-Tie Cinemas in April 2008 and further renovations were carried out. It was closed in September 2013 when Bow Tie’s lease ran out and the buildings' owners plan ‘other uses’ rather than movie theatre.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 73 comments)

fred1
fred1 on January 4, 2014 at 3:29 pm

Bowtie took great care in maintenance and renovations so the theater maintain its classic appearance.

Nicholas Vargelis
Nicholas Vargelis on December 7, 2014 at 10:36 am

Dear amcbayplaza13,

We all dearly miss the American Theater and I am very saddened by its destruction. I am glad you like my photos taken during its last day of operation. However, the fact that you copied them off my flickr account and uploaded them here without asking my permission or giving any credit to the photographer I find rather disrespectful.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/50992596@N00/sets/72157635654806913

Willburg145
Willburg145 on December 12, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Nicholas thanks for the great pictures. But how did you get into the projection room and ‘backstage’ areas? Really great. Thanks

pnelson
pnelson on July 19, 2015 at 11:31 pm

Nice art deco box office. Great selection of films on the marquee. Especially Haunting In Conn. Very great film.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on September 16, 2015 at 10:20 pm

1940 and current day photo as Marshall’s added, courtesy of Al Ponte’s Time Machine – New York Facebook page.

theatrefan
theatrefan on September 17, 2015 at 11:59 am

I got to go see The Butler here during the final weeks of operation in August 2013. The theatre was still in very good condition with many of the original architectural details preserved in the lobby. The staff were extremely friendly and courteous. It’s a shame this had to become a Marshall’s just like the Loew’s Oriental did. I am sure there was a great need in the community for yet another clothing store to buy designer discount duds, instead of a movie theatre, yeah right!!!

amcbayplaza13
amcbayplaza13 on November 2, 2015 at 7:29 pm

I went to see a lot of movie in this movie theater back in 2013 the staff were friendly then in mid September the place was shut down and converted into a Marshall store they could kept that movie theater open much longer than closing the movie theater down in parkchester

Ray_Silverstein
Ray_Silverstein on January 9, 2016 at 11:51 am

In late 1950/early 1951 when I was nine years old I saw in the papers that the Loew’s American was showing All About Eve, so I decided to go, hopping on the Westchester Ave. bus from Morrison Ave. to Parkchester, expecting to see all about Eve from the Garden of Eden. Boy was I disappointed! The one scene from the movie that I remembered in later years was Bette Davis standing at the top of the staircase, uttering her classic line as she descended, “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.”

amcbayplaza13
amcbayplaza13 on February 28, 2016 at 12:29 pm

But Wait there more, my older sister saw New Jack City at this movie theater , in 25 years ago , she told me that this theater wasn’t an 7 plex until Stewart Epstein, who turned the dilapidated movie house into a 1,400-seat multiplex in 1995,

luckily it’s wasn’t an modernized AMC Theatres like the AMC 84th Street 6 plex ,Manhattan and AMC Bay Plaza 13 and fresh meadows Queens N.Y. and it was the original 1939 vintage old loews theaters, was still original old movie theater place still had

the original vintage old 1939 ,loews movie theater exit signs, restrooms , walls, balcony, mirrors, box office and finally the doors. but it was operating by Bow Tie Cinemas and they used the 35mm Film projection system

this place didn’t have , IMAX, reclining seats , Prime ,ETX, dine in, Freestyle style soda machine and kiosk tickets machinery and it wasn’t operated by AMC . My older said

This theater was still original old 1939 Loews movie theater. It’s quite interesting that have a experience at this theater since she was a kid in 42 years ago then she snuck in into an R rated movie but my mom she not into bymovies but a least she experienced at this movie theater But unfortunately it was closed down and converting into an Marshall store .

amcbayplaza13
amcbayplaza13 on February 28, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Trust me guys , This vintage historic Loews American theater in Parkchester
Was still an historic vintage old Loews Theater in the Bronx , always be remembered and never be forgotten

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