11. Windsor Theatre
Built in the 1920s at the intersection of Kingsbridge and Fordham Roads, near the Concourse Theatre, the Windsor Theatre came under the control of theater impresario William Brandt in 1930 who renamed it Brandt’s Windsor. In addition to movies, in the early 1930s Brandt presented “tryouts” of new plays to get a little seasoning before heading to Broadway. For example, Mae West appeared in a play there in September 1931, which ran for a week and then opened on the Great White Way.
A 1931 New York Evening Post article noted that “almost any Monday evening after a first performance at the Windsor, the knowing jehus [slang for cab drivers] of Fordham Road line their vehicles up before the stage door, where fares are legion at about 11:15 P.M. The first taxi to leave for Times Square invariably contains as passengers the author, director and producer.”
In the 1940s and early 1950s, Brandt reversed the pattern. The Windsor became part of the “subway circuit,” in which plays were staged at outer borough venues following their Broadway runs. In 1942 the New York Times reported that this business model was a a “gold mine” even though, in Brandt’s words, the “admission prices were ridiculously low.”
Today, the Windsor, located near the Bronx Public Library main branch, is occupied by retail space.