7. A 1930s Movie Theater
In the 1930s, Grand Central used to be home to the Grand Central Theatre, a 242-seat theater that ran news reels, shorts and cartoons. The little theater, designed by Tony Sarg (the artist who created the first balloons for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day), was billed as the “most intimate theatre in America” according to the website I Ride the Harlem Line. The movie going experience was tailored to the commuter with an illuminated clock next to the screen so he could make sure not to miss his train. Organizers even considered having the clock run thirty seconds fast. In vintage advertisements on Gothamist, you can see how the theater advertised their seats with “Neck-to-knee Comfort for N.Y. Commuters.”
The theater was in operation for nearly three decades before it was turned into retail space. Today, you can still see remnants of it inside the Grande Harvest Wine shop next to Track 17. If you look up, you will find a mural from the theater that depicts the solar system and shooting stars.