Essex Theatre

375 Grand Street,
New York, NY 10002

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Essex Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened in 1962 as part of the Essex Street apartment complex, this nearly 600 seat single screen played action, horror and kung fu. The bookings were usually first run and almost always had a second feature thrown in. The heyday of the Essex Theatre was the late-1970’s and early-1980’s, when Cannon was churning out Charles Bronson films like “Death Wish II”. They also played a lot of New Line and indie slasher flicks.

Contributed by RobertR

Recent comments (view all 26 comments)

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 22, 2010 at 12:33 pm

The Essex building today.

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lacosta71
lacosta71 on January 22, 2010 at 12:54 pm

I’ve passed it about a million times. But does anyone have a photo of the theater that once stood there in the 80’s?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 10, 2010 at 10:11 am

This was still open in 1994.

TPH
TPH on March 10, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Saw the 1969 Rene Clement flick, Riders in the Rain, here as part of a double feature. Don’t recall the other half of the bill. Help, anyone?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 10, 2010 at 2:20 pm

How about “Stiletto” or if you saw them in 1972, “Carnal Knowledge”.

lacosta71
lacosta71 on January 24, 2011 at 9:15 am

Awesome ad!!!
If anyone else has photos of the old Essex Theater- please please please post.

kittykitties
kittykitties on August 6, 2012 at 9:54 pm

1980’s tax photo, terrible quality, but you can just barely make out the marquee.

http://nycma.lunaimaging.com/luna/servlet/detail/RECORDSPHOTOUNITMAN~2~2~509109~182504:dof_1_00311_0013?sort=Identifier%2CBorough%2CBlock%2CLot&qvq=q:grand%2Bstreet;sort:Identifier%2CBorough%2CBlock%2CLot;lc:RECORDSPHOTOUNITMAN~2~2&mi=105&trs=191

cinemajosie
cinemajosie on February 8, 2016 at 2:53 pm

The Essex opened in the early 1960s. There was a “contest” for the naming of the theater and we couldn’t believe that they didn’t come up with anything more creative than Essex. I saw too many movies there to remember. In the 1960s, the theater was in good shape and well kept, and the movies were generally family fare, first and second run. No martial arts, horror movies, or porn—and no rats. I remember Chicken Delight, too. For fast food, it was a treat! It’s amazing that there are no good photos of the theater. Bowery Boogie ran an article about the theater not long ago, but the image of the theater and marquee turned out to be photoshopped.

Astyanax
Astyanax on February 8, 2016 at 8:43 pm

When it opened in the 60’s the Essex filled the gap as the sole neighborhood theatre that was once served by movie palaces like the Loews Canal, the Loews Delancey as well as the Apollo, the Winston, the Ruby and even the New Delancey. All those theatres gave the LES its unique character.

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