Loew's Orpheum Twin Theatre

168 E. 86th Street,
New York, NY 10128

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Loew's Inc.

Architects: Thomas White Lamb

Previous Names: Loew's Orpheum Theatre, Loew's Cine 3rd Avenue, Loew's Orpheum 2

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News About This Theater

Loew's Orpheum Theatre exterior

The 2,230-seat Loew’s Orpheum Theatre opened on October 19, 1913. A Kimball 2 manual 20 rank organ was installed in 1915. It was twinned on May 29, 1968, with the former orchestra having 995-seats and the former balcony reopening on July 29, 1968 being named Loew’s Cine 3rd Avenue with 599-seats. The screen was renamed Loew’s Orpheum 2 on December 7, 1979.

The Loew’s Orpheum Twin Theatre was closed on November 23 1989 and was demolished.

In November 1991, a new 7-screen Loews Orpheum Theatre opened on the site, which remains open in 2023 (it has its own page on Cinema Treasures).

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 75 comments)

tone10029 on August 4, 2012 at 10:55 pm

Great photo!I was 11 years old when my folks took me to see “Superman The Movie"at this great theatre.It’s one of my best memories of being a kid in NYC during the 70s and 80s.Saw some other classic films there too,including"The Empire Strikes Back”,“Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”,“Aliens”,“King Kong 76” and “Top Gun”.At the 3rd.Ave.side of the theatre ,I saw “Prophecy”,“Stir Crazy”,“Superman II”,and “Beetlejuice”.I miss the way this theatre used to be.

SethLewis on August 5, 2012 at 5:36 am

Vivid memories of this as a single screen with How the West Was Won in Cinerama, Cat Ballou, Major Dundee in the 60’s then of the twin with both the Orpheum and Cine providing good old school movie going experiences…Among the picture I saw in the Orpheum – See No Evil (after its Music Hall run), Ryan’s Daughter (after the Ziegfeld), French Connection (at least 4 times), The Anderson Tapes…then much later The Abyss (in 70 MM), Farewell to the King, U2 Rattle and Hum, Lethal Weapon 2…At the Cine – Valachi Papers with Charles Bronson, Johnny Handsome, License to Kill

The Loews theatres were in their day at different times Columbia, Paramount, Warner Bros and Universal showcase houses with some Fox product in the 80s and 90s

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 5, 2012 at 7:23 am

This theatre never had Cinerama capability.

BillJunior on August 2, 2016 at 3:30 pm

I want ask a question about this Orpheum. I was reading a 1928 “NY Supreme Court Papers on Appeal” on Google Books that mentioned the following: “…said premises Nos. 152-164 East 87th Street Borough of Manhattan, City of New York, on the EAST IS LOEW’S ORPHEUM THEATRE, which has a frontage of about 155 feet on the southerly side of EAST 87th.” Was there another Loew’s Orpheum on 87th as well as on 86th?

The public’s ‘appeal’ was due to the fact that a fireproof garage was built (or was to be built) on the south side of E. 87th at 152-166 East. Directly across from the address was a fire house and that building at 159 E 87th stands today, as of 2016.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 2, 2016 at 4:24 pm

According to the New York Times, the Orpheum also had a “large frontage” on 87th Street and extended the full block.

MSC77 on March 11, 2021 at 1:21 pm

Fifty years ago today, George Lucas’s directorial debut, “THX 1138,” opened here (and Loews State 2).

ridethectrain on July 2, 2021 at 5:44 pm

Please update, Loews Orpheum open May 29, 1968 which had 995 and the upstairs Loews Cine open on July 29, 1968 which had 599 seats.

ridethectrain on July 3, 2021 at 5:50 am

Please update, Loews Cine 3rd Avenue rename Loews Orpheum 2 on December 7, 1979 and the Loews Orpheum Twin closed on November 23, 1989

DavidZornig on November 23, 2021 at 9:54 am

11/22/63 Stanley Kubrick handwritten note added to gallery, courtesy www.qompendium.com. The special preview of “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” was postponed for two months.

jeffg718 on July 18, 2022 at 2:23 pm

Back in 2009 I commented that my father recalled that the A.S. Beck shoe store on 3rd Avenue north of 86th Street, which had a marquee and lasted until at least the 1970s, was formerly the side entrance of Loew’s Orpheum. I did a search of the NYC tax photos database and found that the Beck store was there in the 1940s, but just north of it was a side entrance to Loew’s Orpheum. This must have been converted into retail space shortly after the photo was taken, unlike the side entrance to the RKO 86th Street, which remained until the end. Here is a link to an image of the Loew’s Orpheum side entrance: https://nycma.lunaimaging.com/luna/servlet/detail/NYCMA~5~5~170327~530575:1540-3-Avenue?sort=borough%2Cblock%2Clot%2Czip_code&qvq=w4s:/where%2F3%2BAvenue;q:1540%203%20avenue;sort:borough%2Cblock%2Clot%2Czip_code;lc:NYCMA~5~5&mi=0&trs=11

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