136 N. Main Street,
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The Embassy Theatre, located in Port Chester, NY (Westchester County) opened in 1926, with 1,591 seats. Built on the grounds of an old Elk Lodge, this old grande dame was originally owned and operated by the Rogowsky brothers, Sam, Jack, Herbert, and Maurice. It has remained in the family to this day (my dad worked the popcorn booth. I am too young to have been involved).
The Embassy Theatre presented vaudeville in its earliest days, and later switched to silent films and talkies as motion pictures became more popular. Movies were still shown in the Embassy Theatre until the early-1980’s (while inspecting the projection booth recently, I can a film reel for Richard Pryor’s 1982 film “Some Kind of Hero”), and as the local population grew increasingly Hispanic, the theater operated as Spanish language for a spell.
In 1986, a group of entrepreneurs attempted to turn the Embassy Theatre into a video dance club for teenagers called Public Domain. After one night, the cops shut the place down. Sadly, the Embassy Theatre has remained vacant to this day.
An ornate chandlier still hangs amid plaster debris and a water-damaged interior. There are no current plans to renovate, as it would be an expensive undertaking. I don’t want to see her go, but my dad has been talking about demolition.
If anyone has a plan of action to save the Embassy Theatre, let me know! It’s one of few remaining theaters of its time in the area.
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