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Untapped Cities contributor Matt Lambros of After the Final Curtain has a new article on his website about the abandoned Loew’s Canal Theater at 31 Canal Street, closed since the 1950s. It has a fascinating history and gorgeous interior, designed by the famous theater architect Thomas Lamb who did many of the forgotten theaters of upper Broadway  and the Empire theater on 42nd Street (now the AMC Empire).

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The Loew’s Canal Theater was built in 1927 and was the second largest theater in New York City. It was sold a year later to a company that went bankrupt and bought back in 1929. In 1932 it was bombed, along with the Loew’s 46th Street Theatre. Closed in the 1950s, it was converted into retail space on the ground floor and a warehouse in the theater space, but the last retail tenant vacated in the 2000s.

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The facade was designated a NYC landmark in 2010 but plans to revitalize the space or to convert it into condos have all fallen through. For now, the warehouse space is still active as the theater continues to dilapidate. Scroll down for photos, and see more information on After the Final Curtain.

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See more photographs of abandoned theaters from Matt Lambros’ column on Untapped Cities and also explore inside the abandoned Harlem Renaissance Theater and Casino.

2 Comments

  1. Steve G. says:

    While my heart aches at the decay of these beautiful spaces (and the lack of foresight and business sense that allowed it to happen), I’m also gladdened by the fact that so MUCH of them still exists, a testament to the artistry and craftsmanship that went into designing and building them. Looking at these pictures, I’m amazed by the amount of detail that hangs on for dear life!

  2. Lew says:

    Growing up on the lower eastside this was my favorite theatre. Saturdays for the matinee, a matinee movie,10 cartoons, the news, a short, coming attractions and a double feature. This movie theatre was my temple. We no longer have theatre’s, we have screening rooms. It saddens me to see these pictures of how it looks now…………like the Titanic.

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