Grand Central Terminal once had a movie theater and remnants of it can be seen in the train hub today. Grand Central Theatre, opened in 1937 (possibly earlier), showing news reels, shorts and cartoons. The 242-seat theater operated for three decades and then was gutted for retail. Today it’s the Grande Harvest Wine shop next to Track 17, a previous tenant was a photo shop. Renovations to the terminal in the 1990s revealed the ceiling, that stylistically matches the one in the main terminal.
The first film to screen at the theater was the MGM film Servant of the People: The Story of the Constitution of the United States–one supposes Americans were a little more hi-brow back then. According to the website, I Ride the Harlem Line, the theater was advertised as the “most intimate theatre in America” and was open every day until midnight.
Stop by here, talk to the staff, who love the history of the spot as much as we do, and grab a bottle of wine or spirits to go! Another fun tidbit is that the theater was designed by Tony Sarg, the same person who created the first balloons for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day, including Felix the Cat!
Join us for our popular tour of the Secrets of Grand Central, which will visit this location and many more:
See more fun facts in Top 10 Secrets of Grand Central Terminal.