14. Wakefield Theatre
With its marquee gone and its front facade altered, the Wakefield Theatre doesn’t look much like an old movie house. Today occupied by Greater Faith Temple church and retail businesses, it opened as a cinema in 1927 and operated for over 40 years.
However, behind the one-story entrance on White Plains Road, the large brick theater auditorium is easily seen from the elevated platform of the 233rd Street subway station. Although it now serves a religious rather than commercial role, the church still uses the auditorium for services, including musical performances, as can be seen in this video.
Many old theater facades across New York City have been altered, so in some cases the most reliable way to spot an old venue is to look for the large, windowless brick box set back from the avenue.
You can continue to explore the forgotten theaters of the Bronx in a virtual talk with Jeff Reuben in our Insiders on-demand archive. The archive contains more than 100 recordings of past live-streamed events. Access to the archives is free for Untapped New York Insiders!