Metropolitan Theatre

241 East 14th Street,
New York, NY 10003

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Metropolitan Theatre exterior

Viewing: Photo | Street View

At its closing in 1988, the Metropolitan Theatre was perhaps the most notorious porno theatre in New York City, but it first opened in 1914 as the New 14th Street Theatre. Prolific architect Lorenz F.J. Welher’s design was one of his first for a full-fledged movie theatre rather than nickelodeon.

Around 1940, the theatre was re-named the Arrow Theatre, which stuck until the 1960’s, when it turned XXX as the Metropolitan (known to regulars as the Met).

Through the decades, the interior was never changed or even re-painted. The original screen still hung against the back wall, with a newer, larger screen placed some feet in front. The sliding glass skylight remained affixed to the ceiling, and soiled red damask covered the walls.

The theatre has since been razed and replaced by an apartment building.

Contributed by Warren G. Harris

Recent comments (view all 29 comments)

Judith Thissen
Judith Thissen on May 16, 2008 at 7:50 am

Just checked a court case against Steiner dating of 1936. It lists all the shareholders of the Greater M & S Circuit, Inc.

The large stockholders (2500+) are Louis Schneider,Elias Mayer, Jacob Borodkin (& family), Max Cohen, and LB Appleton.

One Abraham C. Mayer had 100 shares, the same amount was in the hands of the Estate of Ch. Mayer. So C. Mayer may have been a family member involved in the day-to-day operation of the New Law Theater.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 13, 2009 at 9:52 am

Is this a photo of this Metropolitan?

View link

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on April 14, 2009 at 6:43 pm

Sure looks like it. (I just got a little dizzy with thoughts of a mis-spent youth…)

Bway on April 16, 2009 at 9:52 am

I don’t even know if it should say “retail” as this theater’s function, as it most definitely was demolished. It appears to currently be a condo or apartment building, and doesn’t even appear to be retail on the first floor. Compare to the photo alalvarez posted on april 13th, which still has “Einstein Bros” on the building next door. Here’s a google street view:

View link

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 25, 2011 at 7:36 am

Since Ken Roe has added another porn Metropolitan does anyone know when the Metropolitan closed and when THE MET opened?

The Village Voice ads above are from 1970.

William on September 22, 2011 at 12:11 pm

In the Google picture above the theatre was located at the 235 East 14th Street. Which is the building to the left of the DVD Store.

bigjoe59 on May 22, 2012 at 1:54 pm


i first became aware of this theater when i was a delivery boy for a local supermarket in the early 70s at which point it was already showing porn. i have always assumed it was a vaudeville house which had seen better days. but from the intro at the top am i to understand it was built from the ground up as a movie theater in 1914 and was not a conversion/renovation of an older structure into a movie theater and that it was strictly a movie theater its entire life?

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on November 16, 2012 at 6:45 pm

If anyone has any stories about going to/ working at this threatre in its adult days, I would love to hear them. I am chronicling the histories of adult theatres in the US. Please contact me at Thanks!

Bob Klein
Bob Klein on May 3, 2016 at 12:38 pm

The second photo in the photo section above, uploaded on February 1, 2016 is not a photo of this Metropolitan Theatre. It is a circa 1900 photo of Theatre Francais which was located at 107 West 14th Street.

That theatre was also known as the 14th Street Theatre and later known as the Civic Repertory Theatre, but it was not known as the New 14th Street Theatre aka Metropolitan Theatre which is the theatre listed here.

It is easy to get confused when theatres use similar names.

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