8. The Claremont Theater
The Claremont Theater, located at 135th Street, opened in 1914. It was commissioned by Arlington C. Hall and Harvey M. Hall of the Wayside Realty Company, and designed by Gaetan Ajello in the Neo-Renaissance style. The 1,350 seat theater premiered with Oscar Apfel’s The Last Volunteer. The theater leased its dance hall and roof garden to a corporation called Claremont Danse later that year. The theater reached the pinnacle of its fame in 1915 when Thomas Edison produced a short film in which the theater’s entrance was prominently featured. By 1933, the interior of the theater was converted into an automobile showroom. The Claremont, one of the oldest structures in New York City planned specifically to exhibit motion pictures, was designated a landmark by the City of New York in 2006. Today is houses the beleaguered Tuck-It-a-Way storage, one of the companies who fought Columbia University’s expansion plans in Harlem.