7. There Used to Be a Cinema Inside Carnegie Hall

Photo by William P. Gottlieb from Library of Congress

There are three music venues inside Carnegie Hall. Besides the main hall, now the Stern Auditorium Perelman Stage, there’s Weill Recital Hall, built as a chamber music hall, and Zankel Hall. From 1900 to 1950, the space that is now Zankel Hall was rented to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts for theatrical productions, after which it became an art house cinema (Cinema Treasures reports that it was screening gay porn in the 1970s! ), and finally a commercial cinema showing indie films run by Cineplex Odeon starting in 1987. Cineplex Odeon gave it a $1.4 million renovation, with a smaller screening room added. The latest renovation and renaming to Zankel Hall took place in the early 2000s, opening in 2003.