Embassy 72nd Street Theatre

2089 Broadway,
New York, NY 10023

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Embassy 72nd Street Theatre

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The theatre first opened in the 1930’s with a policy of one hour programs of newsreels and short subjects, and was part of a chain that also had outlets in Times Square and the Grand Central Terminal area.

With the demise of newsreels in the TV era, the theatre switched to sub-run mainstream features and then to first-run art films. It became one of the most successful theatres of that type on the Upper West Side, and was eventually twinned before being demolished for a high-rise building in the 1980’s. That building’s original groundfloor tenant, HMV Records, has already been replaced at least once, if not twice.

Contributed by Warren G. Harris

Recent comments (view all 23 comments)

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on October 25, 2006 at 4:00 pm

Yup, the entrance was on the west side of Bway btwn 72 & 73 Sts.

Paul Noble
Paul Noble on May 3, 2007 at 1:00 pm

This theater had a one-size fits-all screen. CinemaScope films were shown unsqueezed rather than cropped. I remember seeing Audrey Hepburn and Peter O'Toole at their most emaciated in “How To Steal A Million.”

SPearce
SPearce on January 10, 2008 at 5:22 am

I have a copy of the NYC edition of the Daily Worker of May 10, 1946. In it are some movie ads, evidently for theaters that would advertise in the NYC Communist Party paper at that time.

One of the ads is for Embassy Newsreel Theatres. The feature newsreels were “Alcatraz Riot” (which riot indeed occurred from the end of ‘45 well into '46) and “Kentucky Derby.” It lists several addresses for multiple Embassy Newsreel Theatres: 42nd St. & Park Ave. (Airlines Terminal), 46th St. & Broadway – 72nd St. & B'way, 50th St. – Radio City – Broad St., Newark (That is the way it is typeset – in one line.)

To Warren (who seems to be a pretty knowledgeable person related to movie theaters and publications on them (I think of them as churches of a sort), or anyone else:

Wondering if there are any quick clues of other sites at CT at which to share the following movie theater ads with their features (I am not knowledgeable enough about NYC to know):

Irving Place at East 14th St., Stanley (7th Ave. bet 42 and 41 Sts) Roxy (7th Ave. & 50th St.), Academy of Music (128 E. 14), Brandt’s Apollo 42 St., Paramount Times Square, World 49th St., RKO Jefferson, 14 St. & 3rd Ave. and the Brooklyn Paramount.

I have not yet checked out all of these theaters in the CT index; just wondering if anyone would recommend shortcut best place(s)? (There are some plays advertised too) Thanks.

SPearce
SPearce on January 10, 2008 at 6:52 pm

No. I was wondering whether there was considered to be a best general site for info on something going on with a number of movie houses at one time, or if movie houses don’t appear to the untutored eye to have their own movie house site at CT, where is the preferred site to share for every readers' best interest. Meantime, I did post on specific theater sites after all. Some ad content was more historically interesting than others but one never knows what is going to be interesting to the reader (the Stanley was the most informative in content to me). Some of the movie houses mentioned above I did not find on the CT index, but may be listed under another name, don’t know. For example, I did not find all, or even probably the main Embassys, then the Roxy, Brandt’s Apollo, and I think, World were movie houses I did not find in the CT index.

edblank
edblank on May 28, 2008 at 3:42 am

Not a fancy theater in its twinned era, but I remember the popcorn being fresher and better than at many other sites.

edblank
edblank on May 28, 2008 at 3:43 am

Oh, and this theater tended to play Henry Jaglom’s films.

WalterM
WalterM on June 28, 2014 at 7:57 pm

I remember coming here every Friday afternoon with my mother in the early 50’s to watch newsreels and WB cartoons (my favorite).

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