3. East 86th Street Cinemas
In May, the East 86th Street Cinemas, operated by City Cinemas between 2nd and 3rd avenues closed suddenly, with Patch reporting that signs reading “theater closed” and “the end” appeared. The marquee also went empty and its cash register was gone. On Reddit, a local reported that the closing had come as a surprise to Community Board 8 and the employees of the theater. But unlike the closing of other theaters included here, the closing of this City Cinemas theater went relatively unnoticed outside of the local community.
It’s hard to see from the modernized outside, but the East 86th Street Cinema has been around as a theater since 1904 when it opened as the Yorkville Casino Theatre, according to Cinema Treasures. In the 1930s it catered to predominantly German-speaking audiences in the neighborhood. It was a single-screen theater until 1999, when it became a quad. Three months after closing, not much has changed here. The marquee is still there, with the theater name intact.