The Last Days Of The Beekman Theater

posted by trooperboots on June 24, 2005 at 5:00 am

NEW YORK, NY — The Beekman Theater, on New York’s Upper East Side, will show its last film, Universal’s “The Interpreter”, this weekend before being scheduled for demolition for the site to become part of the new Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s “Breast and Imaging Center for outpatient care.

Beth Simpson, a spokeswoman for Clearview Cinemas, which has run the theater for the past 6 years, says, “We love the neighborhood, and have proudly brought quality movies to this community. Unfortunately, the theater’s landlord has exercised a lease option to take back the property. Regrettably, we have no choice but to cease operation of the theater.”

[Ed. — As many of you know, we’re quite saddened about this news and have been providing commentary for many journalists working on this story.

If you live in New York, please consider visiting the Beekman for one last show this weekend. If so, bring a camera and take some photos. We’d love to repost shots of the Beekman’s final moments.]

Comments (12)

Hibi on June 24, 2005 at 9:17 am

Awful. Where do foreign/small niche films open in NY now? Multiplexes?

ronniecolbert on June 24, 2005 at 9:32 am

that is a damn shame that this theatre has to close.
the landlord is real fool for what he is doing with the lease.
they should let clearveiw cinemas keep the theatre open.

who in their right mind would want to go a 20plex or 24plex
to see some of the latest art films that comes out.


ron c.


Shade on June 25, 2005 at 8:26 am

Foreign small films open at:

Single Screens:

Loews 72nd Street East (the ‘Tower’) (occasionally)
Paris Theater
Pioneer Theater

Metro Twin (two screens)
Cinema Village (three screens)
IFC Center (three screens)
Film Forum (three screens)
Quad (four screens)


Lincoln Plaza Cinemas
AMC Empire 25

bazookadave on June 25, 2005 at 10:59 am

Sweating bullets in the horrific humidity, I trekked up to The Beekman earlier this morning and took 4 digital pics of the front. This was way before the showtime, so there is no crowd there. It is eerily silent and the Beekman looks like I always remembered it, although the very last movie I saw there was “Manhattan Murder Mystery” in 1993.

The trees out front have grown tall and obscure the marquee somewhat.

I can post/email them to Cinema treasures, just tell me where.

Farewell to the Beekman

Dave Bazooka

Astyanax on June 26, 2005 at 10:02 am

Really sad to see it closed and torn down. Clearview should follow the suggestion from another posting and move the distinctive marquee lettering across the street when it renames the New York twin. Of course it will not be the same, but it will maintain the memory of a unique film experience.

frankie on June 27, 2005 at 9:04 am

Got this horrible news on Friday, so had to go to the Beekman’s last day. Took loads of shots,chatted with staff & patrons, saw (and enjoyed) “The Interpreter”, and walked to the subway thoroughly depressed. The Beekman was charming. There will never be another like it, even with the re-naming across the street. frankie from Brooklyn

bazookadave on June 27, 2005 at 9:33 am

Hi Frankie:
Did you get any pictures of the Beekman’s interior?

I intend to return to the site and take shots of the demolition for the record. Maybe even the new construction, when it begins. Can’t help wondering if a sign will go up announcing “Brand New Breast Cancer Research Facility and Luxury Rental Apartment Tower”.

evmovieguy on June 27, 2005 at 5:10 pm

Was there last night for the final screening. Showed up late and took alot of photos. It was an interesting and slightly strange experience. One acknowledgment to the closing was a nondescript 8 ½ x 11 sheet of white paper printed in a Palatino font hanging on one of the entrance doors. It read: “This is the closing day for the Clearview Beekman Theater. Thank you for all the wonderful years.” There were about 10 or so people there watching the film. When the Beekman’s projector had shown it’s last reel ever on it’s screen and the lights came up all was quiet. It was all very uncerimonious. I was glad I was there. A few of us hung out, took pictures, roamed around and had a good last look. I couldn’t help thinking what it must have been like the day the theater opened in 1952 (anybody know what the first film was?). And so here we are in “the future”, that period in time that we all used to hear about growing up, wondering what it would be like. The landscape and connections to yesterday’s New York City changing drastically before our eyes, and the patrons and ghosts of The Beekman’s heyday floating back there in the past.

rocketman on June 30, 2005 at 9:02 am

A sad and bad day for film buffs. Malls and multiplex theaters the rage these days. Too bad the days of the small independent theaters ae gone, it"s as if the world is being stripped of it"s personality one block at a time. no more neighborhoods, ma and pa restaurant"s , just larger and more elaborate anoymous prison cells being built to house the masses. all is one is not good in this case/

bazookadave on June 30, 2005 at 11:39 am

I agree, it looks like eventually the whole world will be owned by one corporation…cities, movies and cultures will all become sterile and look the same as each other. Snooore.

evmovieguy on June 30, 2005 at 12:14 pm

Hate to say it but it looks like ‘going to the movies’ will be gone one day, and that is just ridiculous. People will never realize the harm that this genericized, isolated culture that is in the process of taking over, will do in the end. Just recently there was a study that showed that ¾ of Americans would rather stay at home to watch movies. What the hell is that all about? It’s the dumbing down of society, and it keeps going & going & going &…

A society of apathetic robots is what we are becoming. No opinons, no points of view, no questioning the decisons that go on around you. Just a culture of consumption. Target, Walmart, Doritos, McDonalds, Xbox, Paris Hilton, endless reality shows. It’s just bad..really bad. This is not the country I grew up in, it’s turning into something else that I really don’t like at all.

bazookadave on July 1, 2005 at 6:28 am

And the apathy is exactly what the religious right wants…it makes it easier for them to take over the whole country! they already have most of it. I see fascism arriving.

Does anone know when demolition is scheduled to begin on the Beekman? any info appreciated

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