In early August, we reported that the Paris Theatre was likely closing soon, following a whiplash of rumors back and forth. We saw that there had only been dates of through August 15th, foreshadowing the news first reported by Vanishing NY today that it has officially closed. Located just next to The Plaza Hotel and Bergdorf Goodman, off 5th Avenue, the Paris Theatre was the last single-screen theater that shows first-run films in New York City. Its last movie was Pavarotti, the film by Ron Howard.
Vanishing NY shared an Instagram photograph taken by Joe Wagnerre of the message posted by the theater, which stated “Unfortunately our lease has ended and the Paris Theatre is now closed. We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to all our guests over the years. Thank you for your patronage and we regret we cannot continue to serve you.”
The Paris Theatre opened in 1948 by French film company, Pathé Cinema. Marlene Dietrich cut the inaugural ribbon on its opening night. The theater contains 581 seats and often shows art films as well as international films in their original language. It was one of the first theaters to show the 2011 French romantic comedy The Artist, which went on to win Best Picture at the 84th Academy Awards. Other films that have shown there include Call Me By Your Name, A Room With a View, and The Remains of the Day. This author has fond memories of seeing films there with her mother, including Jane Eyre with Charlotte Gainsbourg, when she was a young teenager.
However, the industry has changed and a single-screen cinema playing art house films is no longer a sustainable business. Indie Wire reports there are just fewer movies that fit the bill and that the subtitle film market has essentially had a “near-total collapse.” The streaming business has also given the niche segment a hard hit.
The Paris Theatre closed briefly in 1990 due to disputes about the rent price, but reopened and stayed in operation for almost another thirty years. Vanishing NY also reports that the Beekman Theatre on the Upper East Side, also run by the same group, City Cinemas, has also closed.
Next, check out 6 recent closed cinemas (including Sunshine).