Terrace Theater

361 West 23rd Street,
New York, NY 10011

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 26, 2014 at 11:18 am

An item in the April 17, 1935, issue of The Film Daily said that the new theater to be built at 361 W. 23rd Street was located on the site of the former home of actress Lily Langtry.

42ndStreetMemories on July 19, 2010 at 1:24 pm

ad for the Terrace Theater Christmas 1955

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kencmcintyre on December 16, 2008 at 1:46 pm

This is from Boxoffice magazine, January 1938:

New York-Singular evidence of the public’s taste in regard to motion picture programs manifested itself when the Terrace Theater, opened November 2 by the Brandt Circuit, turned to a dual bill policy after a two months' trial with single features.

“There was nothing we could do about it. It seems the public has become accustomed to double features”, “Bingo” Brandt said.

42ndStreetMemories on October 18, 2008 at 5:27 am

Anyone have any idea when the Terrace closed? I think it was before the RKO 23rd Street closed in 1960. We have AL’s account of the pistol whipping in late ‘57. But nothing after that.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on February 1, 2008 at 6:16 am

In its issue of April 25, 1935, the New York State Exhibitor reported that a new cinema seating 600 would be built at 361 West 23rd Street, with Arthur Paul Hess as architect and Amsterdam Apartments, Inc. as owner.

42ndStreetMemories on July 28, 2007 at 12:49 pm

And once in the 50s, as I posted in April ‘06.

Still searching for that 50s programming from my misspent youth. My dad would go down to the newsstand on 23rd & 8th for the Night Owl edition around 8pm, and I’d make him wait while I watched the Terrace marquee change in the distance.

I assume that the Terrace went to double features after the RKO 23rd Street opened in ‘38 with double bills. The films in Warren’s ad were RKO and Universal films which the RKO circuit would have played after the Broadway opening.

I recall The Terrace showing a lot of MGM & Paramount, in the 50s, which they may have booked after they played at the nearest Loew’s theater, The Sheridan.

But I also recall the Realart re-releases, Roy Rogers Republic films, and a Francis the Talking Mule (U-I- film) so the RKO may have passed on some of the lesser U-I double features.

The search continues…..

AlAlvarez on July 28, 2007 at 12:20 pm

Warren, you’ll find the Terrace shows up again sporadically in 42, 43, 48 and 49 in the NYT.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 28, 2007 at 7:51 am

After years of searching, I finally found an individual ad for the Terrace in The New York Times of 12/11/37. This was apparently around the time that the Terrace first opened. Perhaps the management soon decided that most of the patronage came from neighborhood residents and that advertising was better spent on store windowcards and weekly programmes mailed to subscribers.
“Stage Door” was three months old by the time it reached the Tribune, and the incoming “Magnificient Obsession” had been making the rounds for a year:

42ndStreetMemories on June 18, 2007 at 5:45 am

The first images that I’ve found in a 5 year search. It’s 1941, before my time there. If anyone has images of The Terrace please let me know. Thanks to Kenardo in Chelsea for this one:

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Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 1, 2006 at 9:31 am

Damn. That’s good work, Warren. Your a true history detective. I wonder what Walter Brennan’s characterization of Judge Roy Bean from “The Westerner” would have made of the story!

42ndStreetMemories on September 1, 2006 at 9:09 am

Thanks, Warren. Now all I need is a photo and programming from the 50s. Jerry

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 1, 2006 at 4:42 am

The Terrace was built in 1937, according to a long article headlined “Improving Plots In Old Chelsea” that was published on page 155 of The New York Times on August 8th, 1937. Here’s the portion of the article that refers to the theatre, which apparently had yet to be given a name:

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 29, 2006 at 4:20 am

I went through my collection of FDYBs and could not find a listing for the Terrace prior to the 1938 volume, which suggests that the Terrace opened in 1937 or very early in 1938 while the annual was still in preparation. The Terrace is also listed in 1938 among the theatres operated by the Brandt Circuit. The 1937 FDYB has no listing for the Terrace, nor does it appear among theatres operated by the Brandt Circuit…The 1927 FDYB shows a 600-seat Lyric Theatre at 172 West 23rd Street and the 1,500-seat Proctor’s at 143 West 23rd Street as the only cinemas operating on any part of 23rd Street, east or west.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 28, 2006 at 3:41 am

I think that the Terrace may have opened considerably later than 1927. There is no Terrace listed in the 1931 FDYB, nor any other theatre listed for that part of West 23rd Street. The 1927 article says that the Nightingale house will be demolished and replaced by a 15-story apartment house. It’s possible that the Terrace was included in that building.

42ndStreetMemories on August 28, 2006 at 3:21 am

NYT article on 2-4-27 mentions the sale of Jenny “The Swedish Nightingale” Lind’s home at 361 West 23rd Street in Chelsea. Previous poster mentions an organ being installed in the same year 1927 at The Terrace so I believe that the address listed in my 1956 Film Yearbook as 361 West 23rd Street for The Terrace is in error.

Here’s the article:
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Here’s the pic:
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Still looking for photos and info on the theater. Help! jerry

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 24, 2006 at 3:23 am

The Terrace was such a minor theatre in the overall scheme of things that it would have been too expensive to advertise it in the newspapers. Such theatres got about 99% of their patronage from people who lived or worked in the area and would know what was playing just by passing by. Many printed up “show cards” which were displayed in store windows in exchange for free passes. I’ve seen many ads in the NYT for the Apollo, and, when I find them, I’ll try to post a few at that theatre’s listing.

42ndStreetMemories on April 23, 2006 at 11:41 am

Although I wasn’t looking for the Apollo (42nd Street), I do have a few ad copies from the NY Times microfiche of the 1950s. So you should see a bundle of them out there. jerry

AlAlvarez on April 22, 2006 at 4:27 am

Unfortunately no pictures and no sign of this place in the fifties. Are you sure that ad above was from the Times? I can find no references to the Apollo in the Times during that period either.

42ndStreetMemories on April 22, 2006 at 3:38 am

Any listings from the 50s, Al? The escaped female lifers sounds like a better screenplay, Will. Did the November ‘57 story have any photos of the theater, Al? jerry

AlAlvarez on April 22, 2006 at 2:16 am

I show the Terrace in some scattered New York Times listings in the thirties and forties.

In August 1943 two escaped female “lifers” were captured here after escaping from Clinton Prison by climbing down with tied bedsheets.

In November 1957, the cashier was pistol whipped and robbed.

Some bookings
December 1937
The Perfect Specimen
Ali Baba Goes to Town
December 1942
Sleepytime Gal/Atlantic Convoy
January 1943
Apache Trail/Affairs of Martha
December 1948
Luxury Liner/A Night at the Opera

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on April 21, 2006 at 10:56 am

I want to hear more about the body in the lower lounge. Sounds like great screen play material.

42ndStreetMemories on April 21, 2006 at 10:09 am

Searching all of the NY tImes from the 50s, I see only one mention of The Terrace. Unfortunately, it is this. I can’t imagine this theater showing an “art” film. jerry

View link

42ndStreetMemories on January 8, 2006 at 1:49 am

I added this theater about 18 months ago and am still amazed that a Manhattan theater hasn’t received one posting from someone who remembers this great Chelsea theater. Help! I’m still looking for photos, booking info. Anything. Thanks.

42ndStreetMemories on July 9, 2005 at 3:23 am

Sorry to see that there haven’t been any postings on this theater since it is a childhood memory but I’d like to hear from folks who remember being there.

Anyone have info or photos? jerry k