Metropolitan Theatre

241 East 14th Street,
New York, NY 10003

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Showing 1 - 25 of 43 comments

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on November 17, 2012 at 2:45 am

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!

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on May 22, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Hello-

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?

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on May 19, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Here'a a 1980s tax photo using #235 as the building’s address: lunaimaging

William
William on September 22, 2011 at 8:11 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.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 25, 2011 at 3:36 pm

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.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 14, 2009 at 2:59 pm

This daytime photo gives a more detailed view of the building: View link

Bway
Bway on April 16, 2009 at 5:52 pm

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

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on April 15, 2009 at 2:43 am

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

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on April 13, 2009 at 5:52 pm

Is this a photo of this Metropolitan?

View link

Judith Thissen
Judith Thissen on May 16, 2008 at 3:50 pm

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.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 16, 2008 at 3:37 pm

During the leasing of the New Law in March 1922, a blurb in the NYT lists two Mayers and a Schneider as the directors of M & S.

E. Mayer, C. Mayer and L. Schneider.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 16, 2008 at 3:28 pm

Judith, thanks for the clarification of the spelling of Mayer. I’ve seen the names of Max Shapiro and David Rosenzweig in early trade journals, but I don’t recall the exact details. But I think they were only in connection with unimportant, late-run neighborhood theatres. The NY Film Curb, which was published in the late 1920s-early 1930s, is a treasure trove of such information, and can be found in the Billy Rose Theatre Collection at the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center, NYC.

Judith Thissen
Judith Thissen on May 16, 2008 at 2:21 pm

Warren, you’re right there is little doubt that the S is of Louis Schneider — not of Schwartz who was also involved in the larger M & S circuit via the SWS (Charles Steiner, Hyman Weisner & Jacob Schwartz). Initially, SWS ran the Metropolitan according to the incorporation documents. It was merged into the Allwon Theaters group in 1922.

The M is from Elias Mayer I think. His name pops up everywhere in the legal documents. Mayer and Schneider operated from the same office in Brooklyn. I have been trying to solve the puzzle of the M & S network but without much success. It was a powerful syndicate in Jewish neighborhoods. I’d love to know who really was the central figure. Charles Steiner did much of the work but the money went elsewhere (I met his grandson). Any information on Louis Schneider?

Other persons that were heavily involved in the network: Jacob Borodkin, Max Shapiro, Harry Blinderman, David Rosenzweig.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 16, 2008 at 1:37 pm

Judith, what do you believe the initials in “M&S” to stand for? I’m pretty sure that the “S” is for Schneider. But I’ve seen the “M” name reported as Mayer, Meyer, and Meier, and I’ve yet to find which is correct.

Judith Thissen
Judith Thissen on May 16, 2008 at 9:42 am

Lorenz F.J. Weiher also designed the Palace Theater (133-135 Essex Street), the Clinton Theater and the 1917 Sunshine Theater on East Houston (listed Sunshine Cinema). Like the New 14th Street Theater, all three were part of the M & S Circuit.

The address of his office was 271 West 125 Street.

In the mid 1910s Weiher’s main competitor on the Lower East Side was architect Louis Sheinart.

Ziggy
Ziggy on May 2, 2008 at 10:26 pm

The theatre in the photos from January 11 was built as the “Theatre Francais”. It specialized in French plays and is identified in the book “Lost New York”.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 2, 2008 at 6:55 pm

Here’s a new link to a view of the auditorium in its later years. Note the folding ladder stored under the screen, perhaps used to clean it:
View link

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on April 20, 2008 at 5:26 pm

This is the Fox City Theatre at 114 East 14th Street, next to Luchows. The fire was on June 29, 1916 as reported in the NYT.

Oops. Sorry, I also posted this on the City page by mistake.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 20, 2008 at 4:22 pm

The key to identifying the theatre is the address on the burning building to the left of the theatre’s entrance. The store front shows a three digit number of 11?. I can’t make out the last number, or whether it’s odd or even. If even, the theatre would be on the south side of 14th Street.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 20, 2008 at 1:31 am

Here is a photo of a theater on E. 14th in 1916. Unfortunately the theater is not identified.
http://tinyurl.com/5wdplw

jflundy
jflundy on January 12, 2008 at 1:49 am

Here is a link to further photos at the NYPL site with three more photos of the 14th St Theater of three boxes above:
View link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 6, 2008 at 4:01 pm

Yes, I guess it is Manhattan, since a sign says that the theatre was downtown home for Paramount Pictures. I suppose it could be the 14th Street Theatre, one of many theatres on that street in the late 19th-early 20th centuries. Some of them showed movies before they became too old-fashioned to compete with purpose-built cinemas.

jflundy
jflundy on January 6, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Warren, although this photo is on Brooklyn oriented web photo collection, it from a section, new to the site, that covers Manhattan

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 6, 2008 at 3:03 pm

Don’t know, but could it be on 14th Street in Brooklyn? The photo is from a collection covering Brooklyn, not Manhattan.