6. The RKO Hamilton Theater

The Hamilton Theater, located at 146th Street, was designed by Thomas Lamb and opened on January 23, 1913.  B. S. Moss (from the Coliseum Theatre, the first theater on our walk)  and Solomon Brill financed and developed the theater. The Hamilton was originally named the Lafayette, but its name was changed to Moss and Brill’s Hamilton Theatre before construction was completed. This change was possibly to avoid confusion with a nearby theater also named the Lafayette that was under construction at the same time.

When RKO bought the theater, they redecorated its interior, in 1943, and modernized its lobby in 1954. The theater closed in 1958 and the space was subsequently used as a sports arena and then as a discotheque. The lobby is now an outlet of the El Mundo store while the interior of the theater has been left to deteriorate. The theater’s marquee was taken down in 1995. (For more photographs of the theater’s interior check out After the Final Curtain

Interior image by Matt Lambros of After the Final Curtain