72nd Street Playhouse

346 E. 72nd Street,
New York, NY 10021

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72nd Street Playhouse

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The 72nd Street Playhouse opened in 1914. By the early-1940’s it had been renamed Granada Theatre and was operated by the Interboro chain. Small plush neighborhood theatre on the upper east side between Lexington Avenue and 3rd Avenue or 3rd Avenue and 2nd Avenue, which I recall from the 1950’s that, for a time, it played RKO reissues.

Seating was very comfortable with red or maroon velvet seats similar in style to those at the Roxy Theatre and Radio City Music Hall. The 72nd Street Playhouse was closed early-November 1984 and has since been demolished.

Contributed by Erwin Markisch

Recent comments (view all 22 comments)

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on August 30, 2006 at 3:31 am

In their way more “sexy” than Russ Meyer’s Vixen playing all over town.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 30, 2006 at 6:08 am

LOL. VIXEN was a political statement with redeeming social values. Well, the last ten minutes were, anyway.

kencmcintyre on March 21, 2008 at 8:29 pm

Here is a February 1968 ad from the NYT:

BrianF on December 30, 2009 at 8:53 pm

I was a vacation relief manager at CINEMA 5’s 72nd Street East Theatre in winter of late 1983. [Tom Cruise made his debut in “Risky Business” while I was there. It was very cold that winter. A lot of cougars from the upper east side would come to the theatre to be warmed up by Cruise dancing in his underwear.] Rose Mansfield, the manager who was in her seventies back then, lived across the way on the NE corner and would watch the changing of the marquee from her window every Thursday night on her day off, then call the theatre to say a letter was crooked. Perhaps this theatre is best known for its singular CLANKING RADIATOR on the side wall of the theatre. Otherwise, it could be remembered for having the tiniest of snack bars, where there were delightful non-English speaking Asian girls with a shoe box, cash, and no coin nor cash register necessary.

PassedPawn on January 20, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Saw alot of movies here as a kid during the early to mid 70s. We called it the “dollar” theater because admission was, well, $1. I stopped going in ‘78 when they wouldn’t let me in to see Star Wars during it’s re-release without a parent. Sheesh it was only PG.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 24, 2010 at 7:03 pm

This closed in early November 1984 after a subrun showing of “Teachers”.

PassedPawn on February 24, 2010 at 8:27 pm

Thanks AlAlvarez. Was always wondering when this theater closed.

pinyay on March 27, 2010 at 10:52 am

Hey guys – I’m currently researching for a story on picturehouses/theatres in NY during the 1910s-20s….does anyone care to get in contact with memories/memories from relatives(!)…I’d really appreciate it – just to get an understanding of the ambience etc in this or any place like it…

Thanks in advance, Becks

clmcih15 on November 5, 2015 at 7:55 am

Hi pinyay, I just discovered a movie poster of movies at the Granada Theater circa 1945. excellent condition. had it framed. interested? Clmcih

clmcih15 on November 5, 2015 at 7:57 am

that’s the Granada theater at 72nd street NYC, active 1914-1950’s, now closed/razed. clmcih

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