Trans-Lux 85th Street Theatre

1144 Madison Avenue,
New York, NY 10028

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Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Trans-Lux 85th Street Theatre opened on November 1, 1937 as a newsreel theatre.

Closed in the mid-1980’s it was demolished in the 1990’s

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 30 comments)

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on April 3, 2009 at 1:13 am

“DEEP THROAT” actually went from the the Trans-Lux 85 to the 86th Street East. It did not show at the UA East 85th Street unless it was years later when it was making the rounds with “THE DEVIL IN MISS JONES” as a second feature.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on October 3, 2010 at 5:03 pm

This 1937 photo is part of a New York Times article in today’s Real Estate section:
View link

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on December 30, 2010 at 9:56 pm

This debuted as the Trans-Lux 85th St. Cinema Cafe on October 12th, 1960, when it shared the NYC premiere engagement of Stanley Kramer-UA’s prestigious “Inherit the Wind” with the midtown Astor Theatre. “Cafe” used the French spelling, with an accent mark over the final letter, which I don’t know how to type in here.

twokids93
twokids93 on October 3, 2011 at 8:38 pm

I grew up around the corner, and what I remember about the theater is that, perhaps between first-run movies, there were certain movies that they showed at the same time of year, every year, mostly for kids, I assume. Every year I saw: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown & A Charlie Brown Christmas; The Christmas that Almost Wasn’t; National Velvet; and some more I can’t remember now. As I recall, in the 60’s & 70’s when I was growing up in NYC, they didn’t change the movie every week or constantly open new ones — they might show something for a while, or bring back favorites, like this place did.
There were also matrons, and if the matron was there you could go in without your parents. They were incredibly strict.

twokids93
twokids93 on October 3, 2011 at 9:39 pm

I think Gristedes was still across the street, on the NW corner of Madison & 85th. Across Madison was the flower store that is still there, and next to that was Baskin & Robbins.

unowen
unowen on May 27, 2012 at 6:05 pm

I saw movies here as a kid, in the 70’s it was a GREAT theatre. I grew up on the West side, and on Saturday’s, I’d trek across the park to this Trans-Lux.

I remember when you walked in, there was like a ‘path’ – my memories a little fuzzy, but, it was a BIG theatre inside.

unowen
unowen on May 27, 2012 at 6:05 pm

I saw movies here as a kid, in the 70’s it was a GREAT theatre. I grew up on the West side, and on Saturday’s, I’d trek across the park to this Trans-Lux.

I remember when you walked in, there was like a ‘path’ – my memories a little fuzzy, but, it was a BIG theatre inside.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on May 27, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Everything looks BIG when you’re a kid. This rated as one of NYC’s “small” cinemas, with not even 600 seats.

Garth
Garth on August 8, 2013 at 8:08 pm

I saw “Valentino” here on its premiere in 1977. Can’t say I recall any details about the theatre . But I do know I’ve never met another person who saw the movie.

jwb429
jwb429 on December 26, 2013 at 12:27 am

I am now almost 81 years old, but I loved to go to this theater when I was a kid. I lived in New York about 5 blocks away and on Saturday morning they played serials like “Perils of Pauline.” Comfortable and nice experience

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