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 25 comments)

lacosta71 on November 11, 2009 at 7:05 pm

I grew up in that neighborhood. Early to mid 80’s I was there every Friday night with friends for a double feature. If you knew the theatre- you knew that up front was a bad place to sit because of the rats. Don’t eat the hot dogs and chicken….and you’d be alright. And DO NOT bring a crying baby into the theatre as the tough L.E.S. crowd would in unison scream “SHUT UP!!!!"
Please if anyone has pics of the theater- post.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 22, 2010 at 3:33 pm

The Essex building today.

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lacosta71 on January 22, 2010 at 3:54 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 1:11 pm

This was still open in 1994.

TPH on March 10, 2010 at 4:17 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 5:20 pm

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

lacosta71 on January 24, 2011 at 12:15 pm

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

kittykitties on August 7, 2012 at 12:54 am

1980’s tax photo, terrible quality, but you can just barely make out the marquee.;sort:Identifier%2CBorough%2CBlock%2CLot;lc:RECORDSPHOTOUNITMAN~2~2&mi=105&trs=191

cinemajosie on February 8, 2016 at 5:53 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.

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