Windsor Theatre

315 E. Kingsbridge Road,
Bronx, NY 10458

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mjmansbach1
mjmansbach1 on May 12, 2013 at 3:42 am

Just this evening, I attended a show at the Historic Asolo Theater, here in Sarasota, where I now live…it was about the golden age of operetta and as we were leaving I said to my wife that the first operetta I ever saw was The New Moon by Sigmund Romberg at the Windsor Theater in The Bronx, near Poe Park…. Then I tried to remember the name of the show I saw there that starred Sam Levene, couldn’t think of it…. Thru the marvel of the Internet, I found this website and saw the comment by lesthezuck about LIght Up The sky, with Sam Levene…. Just wanted to say thanks, Les….glad to know that I wasn’t the only one who saw it….LOL….

Richard Mucciolo
Richard Mucciolo on September 19, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Here is my final addition of theatres, I have no more…the Windsor was one of the great Bronx Theatres…large inside and had vaudeville, etc …in later years it showed three movies instead of a double feature…I was about 15 and went to one…and got home so late I thought my father was going to kill me…

Sontaran6
Sontaran6 on June 23, 2011 at 4:56 pm

The Google Map picture has been corrected. Compare to the old picture linked in Lostmemory’s posting of July 2, 2008

Sontaran6
Sontaran6 on June 21, 2011 at 10:32 pm

The Google Map picture that now pops up in this post’s heading shows a stretch of Bainbridge Avenue, too far east of the Windsor to show any of the theater’s building. The posting needs a gizmo to allow a viewer to navigate around the block and fix the correct view. The Windsor’s façade still faces East Kingsbridge Road.

missfedora
missfedora on August 7, 2010 at 6:20 pm

I grew up near Fordham Road and in the 1940s the Windsor was one the “subway circuit” theaters. I don’t recall the name of the play, but I remember the actress Kay Frances was appearing there.

litartists
litartists on August 1, 2010 at 4:13 am

Shortly after the Broadway production of “Arsenic and Old Lace” closed in 1944, it toured NYC’s Subway Circuit theatres, including the Windsor Theatre in the Bronx. For my 12th birthday, the theatrical producer, Carol M. Sax, arranged for his secretary (my sister) to take me to see the comedy play at the Windsor. The play starred Josephine Hull, Jean Adair and Boris Karloff, the same cast that appeared in the Broadway production. Mr. Sax also arranged for me to go backstage after curtain and meet, his friend Josephine Hull. She was as sweet in person as she was in her role as Abby Brewster. She chatted with me for a while, introduced me to Jean Adair, and then gave me a goodbye kiss for my birthday. When the movie, starring Cary Grant, opened later that year at the Strand Theatre, I was thrilled to see Josephine Hull once again, this time on the big screen.

Sontaran6
Sontaran6 on May 10, 2009 at 11:56 pm

As I reported earlier, I remember the Lido vividly. I was just a post-Depression kid, many decades ago, but the Lido was my introduction to genuine “elegance”. Whenever the family wanted to do something really fancy, Grandma took us to the Lido — real tablecloths, great breadsticks, and more than enough suave to stun an incipient delinquent. For some reason, I remember the restaurant was shaped like an upside-down “L”. The best tables were in the back, away from Kingsbridge. We could not have gone more than a dozen times, but the Lido remains one of my fondest New York memories. It was a magnificent place!

lynncourt
lynncourt on April 1, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Hi Lesthezuck- thanks for the kind comments about the Lido Rivera Restaurant. My father was one of the owners and my uncle was a waiter there. I’m wondering if you’re someone I would remember or vice versa. Who was your friend? I’d love to hear from you.

megjones
megjones on April 1, 2009 at 3:37 pm

I’m interested in anyone who remembers the Lido Rivera restaurant next door to the theatre. I believe my grandfather may have been part owner.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 27, 2009 at 4:24 pm

This capsule biography mentions that Levitan’s projects included “theaters” in the plural, yet the Windsor is his only listing at Cinema Treasures. Does anyone know of any other theaters designed by Levitan? Perhaps none of them ever served as cinemas.
http://eng.archinform.net/arch/73731.htm

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 23, 2009 at 4:54 pm

The Windsor’s architect was Benjamin W. Levitan. He was always prominently mentioned in the Windsor’s programmes for stage presentations with this credit: “This Theatre Was Designed and Built by Benjamin W. Levitan, Architect.” Perhaps that was a requirement of the operating lease.

Sontaran6
Sontaran6 on December 18, 2008 at 10:04 pm

Thanks, Mr. Harris. You’re doubtless right. I was a teenage “action” movie freak. The Windsor was doubtless far too sophisticated for my tastes, so I just blanked all memories of it. I often caught the Number 4 bus to go home at its stop just around the corner, at Fordham and Bainbridge, so I must have seen the Windsor countless times, but….

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on December 13, 2008 at 2:47 pm

Much of the Windsor’s history consists of stage plays and vaudeville, which is probably why you don’t remember it as one of the area’s movie houses. It really wasn’t one of them. The Windsor had a status similar to the Flatbush in Brooklyn. In fact, for many years, they were part of the same “subway circuit” of stage plays.

Sontaran6
Sontaran6 on December 13, 2008 at 12:16 am

This is weird! I thought I remembered every movie theater near Fordham Road when I was a high-schooler at Fordham Prep (1947-1951), but I totally blank out on the Windsor. I can visualise the location just fine (the Kingsbridge curve west of Bainbridge, off Fordham). And I do remember the very fine Lido restaurant, mentioned by “lesthezuck”, where my Grandma loved to go. But, somehow, the Windsor remains a total blank — unlike the RKO Fordham, the Valentine, the Concourse, the Paradise, the Lido, Loew’s Grand, etc. It just goes to show that geezers (I’m 75) sometimes forget things…. Or, maybe, the Windsor seemed boring, to some kids.

mrmeljs
mrmeljs on August 5, 2008 at 4:43 am

One of my first theatre experiences was at the Windsor, and I still have the program. It was A Streetcar Named Desire, seen during the week beginning June 27, 1950, according to the program. It starred Richard Kiley as Stanley Kowalski, years before he became famous. Others in the cast were Polly Rowles as Blanche, Norma Connolly as Stella, and Harry Kersey as Mitch.
The following production, as noted in the program, starting July 4, was The Madwoman of Chaillot, starring Joan Croydon.

Movieplace
Movieplace on July 3, 2008 at 1:08 am

Does anyone know who the architect was of this theater?

drleszucker
drleszucker on January 29, 2008 at 4:03 am

..that was a typo…it should be fordham…. also, my frien’s family owned the lido rivera restaurant next to the windosr theater..a very classy restaurant at the time…later on, Jahn’s opened up across the street..great ice cream place……..but not as famous as Krum's
on the Grand Concourse……..

drleszucker
drleszucker on January 29, 2008 at 4:00 am

Iwent to the windsor theater to see movies and vaudeville..the last double feature that I remember seeing was Drums and Four Feathers…
I saw Sam Levine in a play called Light Up the Sky…also saw the
Harmonica Rascals..first with their leader Borah Minivitch and then with Johnny Puleo…. I recently went to Sam’s Warehouse Club in Elmsford, NY and met one of the men who played at the Windsor threater..that was a treat. I remember the amount of theaters in the bronx in that area…….windsor, valentine, fordhamn,
concourse, lido, university, paradise, ascot…….. most allshowed double features and cartoons and the news… we never asked when the movie started..we just made up a time with our friends and went to the movies… my childhood was fun and we could go anywhere without worrying about danger……
lesthezuck

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 4, 2007 at 4:07 pm

These “before and after” photos show how the Windsor Theatre changed its exterior signage in 1938: www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/windsor38.jpg

bobmarshall
bobmarshall on July 12, 2007 at 11:45 pm

BronxGuy – I remember seeing a stage show at the Windsor either very late 40’s or early 50’s. Only act I can remember was a group of Chinese meen kicking barrels back & forth on the stage. Can’t recall any films.
Bobmarshall

BronxGuy
BronxGuy on February 19, 2007 at 1:59 am

I used to go to the Windsor in the late forties. At that time they were showing 3 westerns, 10 cartoons, the News and maybe a comedy race. I have some recollection of seeing a “stage show” advertised but don’t recall ever seeing a show. The most vivid memory I have is of the ice cream being sold up and down the aisles by the vendors during the movie. What great Saturday afternoons were spent at the Windsor!

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 4, 2006 at 1:22 pm

It would have been difficult to miss the fact that Ray Bolger was performing on stage at the Windsor during this 1930s engagement:
www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/bolgerwindsor.jpg

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 4, 2006 at 12:00 pm

If you do extensive research on the Windsor as a theatre, I thimk you’ll find that about 75% of its history consisted of stage plays and vaudeville. The 100% cinema years were few and far between. The Windsor held a position in the Bronx similar to that of the Flatbush Theatre in Brooklyn. Both had to resort to “live” entertainment and present something different from the major cirucit cinemas that dominated those areas.

rlvjr
rlvjr on November 4, 2006 at 2:44 am

Sometime around 1950, the Windsor stage came back to life from their usual policy of double feature movies for MAE WEST in DIAMOND LIL. I was about 11 years old and did not have the money for a live show.