2. Loew’s 175th Street Theatre
Loew’s 175th Street Theatre opened in 1930 as the last of the five Loew’s Wonder Theaters. These movie palaces were more palatial than the ordinary movie palaces of their day and were Loew’s flagship theaters. (The five are all still standing and are located in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Jersey City–sorry Staten Island). Loew’s 175th Street Theatre was designed by Thomas Lamb, who was one of New York City’s greatest and most prolific theater architects. He designed close to 60 theaters in the City and over 300 worldwide.
The 3,292 seat theater has been described as a “as a monument to eclectic orientalia with a Moorish/Rococo influence.” In 1969, the theater was saved from possible demolition by Rev. Frederick J. Eikerenkoetter II (Reverend Ike) who transformed the theater into a church. The building, now known as the United Palace Theater, is still home to the Rev. Ike’s church and is also used as a performance venue. The church’s website provides a very informative message to those looking for reasonably priced venues in New York City– “Don’t let ‘ungodly’ costs run you away from New York!”