72nd Street Playhouse

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

Unfavorite 7 people favorited this theater

Showing 23 comments

Gabi Gonzalez
Gabi Gonzalez on April 2, 2017 at 6:16 am

Hello fellow movie theater lovers,

I’m doing a project for my photojournalism class at NYU about closed down independent movie theaters in New York. I hope to gain information about people’s past experiences at these movie theaters, recollections of favorite memories or not so great experiences, perhaps economical insight, contacts with owners/managers, etc. On a larger level, I hope my project is able to show the significance of the role that these establishments play in our city and the importance of keeping them afloat.

If anyone would be willing to answer a few questions via email about your personal memories at the theater, please let me know! It could be as simple as recounting a favorite movie you remember seeing back when it was open. I would greatly appreciate your insight.

You can contact me at:


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

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

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

PassedPawn on February 24, 2010 at 8:27 pm

Thanks AlAlvarez. Was always wondering when this theater closed.

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 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.

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.

kencmcintyre on March 21, 2008 at 8:29 pm

Here is a February 1968 ad from the NYT:

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.

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.

RobertR on August 30, 2006 at 2:38 am

A pair of Mae West revivals in 69
View link

RobertR on April 10, 2006 at 8:32 am

Universal tried to get a few more $$ out of Sweet Charity by using it as a second feature in December of 1972.
View link

RobertR on June 9, 2005 at 2:22 pm

When Russ Meyer’s “Vixen” opened in New York on 5/16/69 it opened in 3 Manhattan locations. The 72nd St. Playhouse, The Regency & The Globe (43 St location). The ad said “the film that is breaking house records in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago is finally in New York”.

EMarkisch on May 22, 2005 at 3:55 pm

A photo of the 72nd Street Playhouse, circa 1916, can be found at the following website by typing in the word “Granada” in the “search” box: View link
The sign on the marquee advertises the attraction “Behind German Lines”, which I assume was during World War I. The design of the marquee and the attraction boards also suggests that the photo was taken during the teens.

RobertR on April 4, 2005 at 7:34 pm

Town and Country only had a few NY theatres, were they bigger elsewhere?

dave-bronx™ on March 25, 2005 at 1:18 am

The 72nd Street East, on 1st Ave and 72nd St, was run by Cinema 5 Ltd. at the time of its closing. The landlord sold it to a developer who knocked it down and put up another apartment building.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 24, 2005 at 5:40 pm

The architects of the 72nd St. Playhouse were Gronenberg & Leuchtag.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 24, 2005 at 3:40 pm

This opened as the 540 seat 72nd St. Playhouse in 1914 and still had this name in 1930. By 1941 and in the 1943 and 1950 Film Daily Yearbook’s it was known as the Granada Theatre with a seating capacity of 599.

It was last known as the 72nd St. East Theatre and was demolished in 1985.

bazookadave on November 24, 2004 at 2:44 pm

I remember the theater on 72nd and First. It played movies that were through their runs and were about to disappear from the big screen…if you missed something when it was first released, you could wait and catch it at 72nd St., nearly a year later. I saw “Jeremiah Johnson” and “Nickelodeon” here among others. Great small theater, I remember it well and it is so hard to believe it has been gone for so long.

RobertR on October 18, 2004 at 7:59 pm

Is this the theatre called 72 St East, that I think was run by Town & Country? The place I am thinking off was on 72 St & First Ave. I think it closed around 1982?

SethLewis on June 7, 2004 at 11:57 am

This was a big part of my teenage years as I lived around the block at 315 East 68th…It was really more functional than plush in my memory with not much at all of a lobby but a large marquee with a vertical 72…Part of the AIT group – most of the chains theatres were on Long Island and sistered with the Kips Bay (listed here as Bay Cinema)…The 72nd did some foreign, some first run (notably the first Planet of the Apes daydating with Loews Capitol, and the first Shaft daydating with the DeMille) and a long stint in the early to mid 70s as the East Side’s lone $1.00 house where I spent many a Saturday night…In various stages, I saw a double bill of Frenzy/Play Misty for Me, State of Siege, SlapShot, Sounder, The Seduction of Mimi, The Long Goodbye, The Sting (notable for its two week $1 stint here, Z, and probably quite a few others here…It finished its life bouncing between the Cinema 5 and Walter Reade chains

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 6, 2004 at 4:50 pm

I remember seeing Jean-Luc Godard’s “Pierrot le Fou,” starring Jean-Paul Belmondo, in January 1969 here during its New York first run engagement.