Embassy 1 Theatre

1560 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Embassy Newsreel Theatre exterior

The Embassy Theatre was opened by Loew’s Inc. on August 26, 1925 with Eric Von Stroheim’s “The Merry Widow”. Designed by famed theatre architect Thomas Lamb in a French Renaissance style, seating was provided for 556, all on a single floor. Decorative details were the work of the Rambusch Studio, and murals on the walls were by Arthur Crisp. The entrance on the east side of Broadway, Times Square, is a long narrow corridor, lined with polish wood panels. The concept of the Embassy Theatre was to provide movie entertainment to a refined audience, and initially when first opened almost all the staff were female. The Embassy Theatre was equipped with a Moller 3 manual, 15 ranks theatre organ, which remained in the theatre until around 1927.

In 1929 the Embassy Theatre was taken over by Guild Enterprises, and on November 1, 1929, it became the first movie theatre in the United States to operate as an all newsreel theatre, renamed Embassy Newsreel Theatre. In 1949 it became a first run movie theatre again. Later renamed New Embassy 46th Street Theatre on August 13, 1968 the World Premiere of “Targets” starring Boris Karloff was held at the New Embassy 46th Street Theatre. It was finally renamed Embassy 1 Theatre (the nearby former Mayfair/DeMille Theatre had been renamed Embassy 2, 3, 4 Theatre).

In 1987, the interior of the Embassy 1 Theatre was designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The Embassy 1 Theatre was closed as a cinema in 1997. Renovations were carried out and it reopened in 1998 as the Times Square Visitors Center. Sadly this closed in June 2014.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 122 comments)

RickB on February 28, 2016 at 9:28 am

Brief video of Broadway in late 1929, beginning with a shot of the Embassy Newsreel and proceeding up the street to the Strand. Go here <warning: autoplay audio>, click on “Sound”, find “Noise Abatement Commission” in the far right column toward the bottom and click there.

DavidZornig on November 23, 2016 at 7:53 pm

1937 photo as the Newsreel Theatre added. 13th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Photo credit Walter Kelleher.

DavidZornig on May 26, 2017 at 8:43 am

Shorpy link with the 1947 photo which can be enlarged.


vindanpar on June 25, 2017 at 1:25 am

Can anybody figure out the film playing in the ‘71 photo? I thought that the Coke sign had been modernized by '70.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on June 25, 2017 at 9:37 am

I think you mean “Daddy’s Gone A-Hunting” and that was summer of 1969. The summer of love.

vindanpar on June 25, 2017 at 11:39 am

I thought that was still the 60s as late as it was which you can tell buy the shortness of the skirts.

DavidZornig on January 30, 2018 at 7:17 pm

1955 photo added via Al Ponte’s Time Machine-New York Facebook page

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on April 17, 2018 at 1:31 pm

Numerous views of midtown theatres, starting with the Embassy Newsreel, can be seen in this B&W film footage from December, 1929

DavidZornig on June 21, 2019 at 10:06 am

Saul Smaizys 1977 photo via Flickr. Image will enlarge in link.


robboehm on June 21, 2019 at 7:25 pm

When I went to the visitors center I was impressed by all the showcases which had housed the movie posters in the long corridor and how low the ceiling of the auditorium was. The original ceiling was there and the sloping floor also intact.

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