12. Metropolis Theatre

One of the first theaters built in the Bronx, the Metropolis Theatre at East 142nd Street, Third, and Alexander avenues was an aesthetic achievement but a commercial disappointment.

The Metropolis Theatre opened in 1897 as a live performance venue and a book from that year touted it as “handsome and attractive.” It was designed by J.B. McElfatrick & Sons, the nation’s leading theater designers in the years before Thomas Lamb and John Eberson. Besides the main auditorium it included a roof garden and offices.

In booming, turn-of-the-century New York City, the Metropolis Theatre seemed sure to be a success.

However, less than a year after the Metropolis opened it was foreclosed and in the next three decades it went through a succession of operators and alternated between presenting live entertainment and movies. While theaters thrived elsewhere in the Bronx, it struggled and in 1929 Loew’s purchased it for use as a warehouse.

Today only a portion of the original building remains, though it includes the full facade along Third Avenue with some of its original details surviving. A supermarket sits along the 142nd Street side of the site.