Hollywood Theatre

98 Avenue A,
New York, NY 10009

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Loew's Inc., Meyer & Schneider, RKO

Architects: Harrison G. Wiseman

Styles: Baroque

Previous Names: Loew's Hollywood Theatre

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Hollywood Theatre

Located on an ever-busy stretch of Avenue A, in the heart of the East Village, this theatre is easy to miss. Opened as the Hollywood Theatre on March 11, 1926, it was operated by the Mayer & Schneider (M&S) Circuit. Later taken over by RKO, followed by Loew’s Inc., and was closed in 1959.

It became merely a receptacle for retail space on the former orchestra level of the remains of the original auditorium, which have been converted into a health-oriented grocery store called the East Village Farm. The theatre’s lobby was also converted into retail space, but has been empty for several years.

Like other theatres in this area, the theatre’s auditorium runs parallel to the street, with a narrow entrance on Avenue A. Much of the theatre’s exterior has survived, including its emergency staircase. The decorations in the auditorium survived above the false ceiling of the ground floor store.

In a humorous touch only East Villagers would appreciate, several large posters of Andre the Giant can be found decorating the theatre’s façade.

Demolition of the Hollywood Theatre began in May 2015.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 51 comments)

HowardBHaas on February 26, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Ed, it worked! that’s the 1st time I’ve tried using these links.

robboehm on February 26, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Why when I try to enlarge the image do I get a different image?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 26, 2012 at 8:09 pm

I always have the same problem with that site, robboehm. You have to click on the box that says “Zoom” above the image. Once the new small picture window opens, just pan up, down, left or right as you zoom to see portions of the image. Unfortunately, there is no way that I’ve found to simply enlarge the entire picture on my computer screen.

The side panel on the marquee reads “Visit Loew’s Ave B and Commodore Theatres for the latest hits.” There are no titles advertised on the visible portions of the marquee, but the entrance doors below do appear to be open. I imagine the programming must have consisted of lesser end-of-run fare on double bills.

midnitewriter on June 12, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Hi, this comment is for Ed Solero or anyone else with knowledge of of this theatre. I’m a reporter for Ourtown, downtown and I’d like to include this space as part of a piece I’m writing on abandoned or forgotten buildings downtown. Please let me know. You can email me direct at: . Thanks!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 13, 2012 at 8:42 am

Hey midnitewriter. Not sure what protocol is, but you should probably contact site administration for such permissions. Several email addresses to contact CT are listed here. I don’t think you’ll have any problems at all.

Profjoe on September 10, 2013 at 11:10 am

This old treasure is coming down soon. Just saw scaffolding being put in front of it. Don’t know for sure but it’s GOT to be an NYU project. They are intent at destroying the history and feel and look of New York City, for their own profit. And they have the government, press, media, and every judge in their back pocket. They are the Vito Corleone of Universities.

derp on September 11, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Yep, coming down, but doesn’t look like NYU hand….

More inside photos here

I agree with the idea that some of the interior stuff should be saved but the building is not well used.

Hamblin on May 20, 2015 at 11:30 am

In this 1927 map the name seems to be Hollywood Theatre (admittedly it’s hard to make out), which confirms Judith’s comment that it was called that right from the beginning.

Here is a map from 1925, in which the buildings occupying the site look like a row of houses, so it seems unlikely a smaller theater preceded the Hollywood.

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on June 1, 2016 at 11:32 am

I managed to get into the Hollywood shortly before demolition. Check out a short post with some photos at After the Final Curtain

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 14, 2017 at 1:30 pm

Mayer & Schneider’s new Hollywood Theatre was the subject of an article in the left column of page 462 of The Moving Picture World for April 10, 1926. Scan at Internet Archive.

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