City Hall Theatre

31-32 Park Row,
New York, NY 10038

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City Hall Theatre exterior

Viewing: Photo | Street View

A City Hall Theatre is listed in the 1914-1915 edition of American Motion Picture Directory with an address of 93 Park Row (could have been a mis-print). This theatre was located at 31-32 Park Row in Manhattan and exhibited motion pictures from 1916, closing around 1946.

Contributed by Damien Farley

Recent comments (view all 22 comments)

LuisV
LuisV on June 14, 2008 at 5:35 pm

After I posted above, I realized that 5th Avenue and Central Park West both have odd and even #’s on the same side of the street as they knew that no structures would ever be built on the Park sides.

There is another oddity in addresses downtown in the Financial District. The numbers for the addresses on Broad Street run North to South instead of the standard South to North. Don’t know why that is. :–)

jflundy
jflundy on July 5, 2008 at 6:25 pm

I have come upon several photos of the City Hall Theater marquee which could not be used because of copyright issues, This is the best one i have seen and it is available thanks to Frank Pfuhler. Frank has kindly made vailable about 3000 photos from his collection of traction subjects on Webshots.

View link shows a TARS conduit streetcar on Park Row at City Hall from sometime between 1939 and 1947 as it waits to run back uptown. The City Hall Theater is in the background.
Perhaps someone can make out the movies ‘now showing" on the marquee.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 6, 2008 at 11:10 am

Even with a magnifier, I can’t read the message on the marquee. One can’t really guess a date by the cars, since new ones weren’t manufactured during WWII. During some of those years, the City Hall operated as a newsreel house. The photo confirms that the entrance and auditorium were in the building shown in this 2007 view with a yellow Nikon Digital sign across the top:
View link

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on January 19, 2010 at 6:39 pm

This was still listed as open in the Film Daily Yearbook for 1946. It is listed as closed in the 1947 edition.

nycelluloidgirl
nycelluloidgirl on February 5, 2012 at 4:37 am

The marquee says “Bing Crosby – Martha Raye” from the film “Double or Nothing.” Released September 17, 1937.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 6, 2012 at 9:53 am

The July 8, 1915, issue of The New York Times said that the Reliable Investment Company, headed by Joseph Weinstock, had leased the property at 31 Park Row from the Jay Gould estate, and on expiration of the lease of the current tenants (on May 1, 1916) intended to replace the existing building with a moving picture theater.

I’m not sure if the original building, which dated from 1881 or 1882, was ultimately demolished, or was merely remodeled. However, plans for altering the City Hall Theatre building were filed in 1922, according to the February 4 issue of Real Estate Record and Builders' Guide. Architect Louis A. Sheinart was responsible for the plans, which included removing an existing wall, installing a new wall, beams, seats, stairs, and a marquee. A bowling alley was also mentioned as part of the project.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on April 19, 2012 at 4:36 pm

This started operating as the City Hall News Theatre at 31 Park Row on April 29th, 1943, according to a report in the next day’s issue of The New York Times. Programming consisted of the latest newsreels, short subjects, and cartoons, with complete changes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Admission was 25 cents at all times. Since that downtown business district virtually closed down at night, the City Hall Newsreel Theatre was open only from 9:00am to 6:00pm daily.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 18, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Appears to be a blank marquee. I wouldn’t be surprised if this theater was dark for stretches during the Depression.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 18, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Actually, Tinseltoes… I believe that this is a photo of the Tribune Theatre, which was located closer to the Brooklyn Bridge entrance, in a block of buildings that no longer exist.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 18, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Ed’s right. The Tribune Theatre was in the white building partly seen about a block to the left of the City Hall Theatre in the photo at the top of this page.

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