436 E. 149th Street,
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When first opened in August, 1913, the Bronx Opera House was considered the most beautiful theatre in the borough. The auditorium had two separate balconies, and was dominated by a huge crystal chandelier hanging from the center of the ceiling. The stage opening was 62 feet wide, but as far as I know, operas were never performed there. For many years, the theatre presented only vaudeville and plays, including a long run as part of the so-called “Subway Circuit”.
By the 1940’s, it had become a late-run movie house, with the name simplified to Bronx Theatre. The seating capacity was reduced to 1,400 by shutting down the top balcony. By 1950 it was operated by Liggett-Florin Booking Service. The theatre eventually fell victim to the overall decline of the South Bronx.
In the 1980’s, plans were announced to restore and re-open it as a performing arts center that would help to rejuvenate the area, but that never happened. In 2004, the dilapidated auditorium was being used for a Spanish evangelical church. By late-2010, the church had moved out and the auditorium has been razed. A boutique hotel was built on the site, using the front part of the building as its entrance, and it opened in August 2013.
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