Essex Theatre

375 Grand Street,
New York, NY 10002

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Showing 1 - 25 of 28 comments

davidcoppock on July 14, 2020 at 2:50 am

The opening night was by invitation only.

Gabi Gonzalez
Gabi Gonzalez on April 24, 2017 at 2:46 am

Hello fellow movie theater lovers,

I’m doing a project for my photojournalism class at NYU about closed down independent movie theaters in New York. I hope to gain information about people’s past experiences at these movie theaters, recollections of favorite memories or not so great experiences, perhaps economical insight, contacts with owners/managers, etc. On a larger level, I hope my project is able to show the significance of the role that these establishments play in our city and the importance of keeping them afloat.

If anyone would be willing to answer a few questions via email about your personal memories at the theater, please let me know! It could be as simple as recounting a favorite movie you remember seeing back when it was open. I would greatly appreciate your insight.

You can contact me at:


SingleScreen on May 15, 2016 at 7:51 pm

This was one of my favorite theaters. I went there for the first time in 1981, I believe, for a double bill of DRESSED TO KILL and BLOW OUT. I saw many double features there, especially horror and action films. DON’T OPEN TIL CHRISTMAS, EXTERMINATOR II, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, TERROR IN THE AISLES, HOUSE OF EXORCISM, SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT and so many more!

Astyanax on February 8, 2016 at 11:43 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.

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.

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

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.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 10, 2010 at 5:20 pm

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

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 1:11 pm

This was still open in 1994.

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 January 22, 2010 at 3:33 pm

The Essex building today.

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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.

Dan300 on June 19, 2009 at 2:04 pm

Does anyone have pictures of this theater. Please share.

Dan R

Dan300 on May 6, 2009 at 9:18 am

The Essex theater was a great theater. My mother use to bring me there all the time. I remember seeing all of the Bruce Lee movies there. There was a toy store right next to it. The Last movie my brother and I saw at the Essex Theater was King Kong lives, and Cocaine Wars in the 80’s . We had really good time in the Essex Theater. Great memories .

johnnyace on December 30, 2007 at 7:29 pm

I’m fairly certain however not sure that I saw a production of Sartre’s “No Exit” at the Essex. I was probably about 15 years old and the date would have been 1967. The movie I wanted to see was no longer playing but I went in anyway. That experience forever changed my life.

Would love it if someone could confirm “No Exit” having played at the Essex. Thanks!

jrobertclark on August 7, 2007 at 9:44 pm

Saw “Savage Streets” and “Avenging Angel” there on a snowy winter night in 1985….

JKane on January 25, 2007 at 1:24 pm

My fave Essex double bill, circa 1969—“The Astro-Zombies” and “The Undertaker and His Pals.” Last film I recall seeing there was “Hollywood Harry” in the late 80s, I believe with a Bronson movie. Not sure when the theater closed.

bassmanbob on January 25, 2007 at 10:15 am

I worked as a deliverykid for that Chicken Delight. I got mugged only once, at the Smith projects. They not only took my money but also the chicken!

Cookman on January 1, 2007 at 3:11 pm

The bagel bakery next door is a classic – it is still there

there used to be a Chicken Delight next door as well

RobertR on June 4, 2006 at 5:03 pm

Day and date with Broadway
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frankie on January 3, 2006 at 12:15 pm

I saw a great double bill here, maybe in the 60’s: “Pocketful of Miracles” and “The Best Man”.

bamtino on September 11, 2005 at 6:40 pm

The theatre was designed by William Eli Kohn and was built at a cost of $350,000. Seating capacity was 598 and the theatre opened, with “The Manchurian Candidate,” on November 20, 1962.
The address was 375 Grand Street, New York, NY, 10002.

RobertR on July 5, 2005 at 7:49 pm

AIP films always played the Essex
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