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 70 comments)

fred1 on September 16, 2013 at 3:42 pm

This was the last theater in NYC that still maintained its glory even after renovations. I can imanaging that my folks or my grandparents walking through its doors.

Nicholas Vargelis
Nicholas Vargelis on September 19, 2013 at 9:53 am

I was at the theater this past weekend the day it closed. I learned that the lease with Bow Tie Cinemas was terminated so that a TJ Max can take over the space.

Here is a link to photos I took during my visit:

In the photos you can see so many of the original architectural details are still intact. I suspect much of this will be lost if plans go forward to alter the space to accommodate a large retail store.

NanBronxChapter on January 4, 2014 at 9:38 am

Please Sign and pass around to Concerned Organizations and or individuals

fred1 on January 4, 2014 at 1:29 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 8:36 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.

Willburg145 on December 12, 2014 at 12:43 pm

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

pnelson on July 19, 2015 at 9:31 pm

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

DavidZornig on September 16, 2015 at 8:20 pm

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

theatrefan on September 17, 2015 at 9:59 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 on November 2, 2015 at 5:29 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

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