66 2nd Avenue,
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Previously operated by: Harris Theatrical Enterprises
Previous Names: Public Theatre, Antillas Theatre, CBGB Second Avenue Theatre
Opened in 1926 as the Public Theatre and designed for stage plays, this theatre was the brainchild of two candy vendors from the former People’s Theatre on the Bowery. Over the years it focused on Jewish acts including Yiddish Vaudeville as well as the showing of Yiddish films.
By 1953 it was full-time Spanish language cinema called the Antillas Theatre, and booked by Harris Theatrical Enterprises. That policy continued until 1957.
In late-1957 it reopened as the Anderson Theatre, named after the recently deceased play agent Phyllis Anderson who was also the wife of author Robert Anderson ("Tea and Sympathy"). The Anderson Theatre continued to run Yiddish programs until at least the mid-1960’s.
In 1977 it was taken over by CBGB and renamed the CBGB Second Avenue Theatre, booking punk rock acts such as the Talking Heads and Patti Smith but by 1979 it was no longer being used. In 1990 the theatre was partially demolished and in 1997 the remaining portions were turned into apartments.
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