The Bronx was once home to over a hundred movie theaters in the years before World War II and while most no longer operate as theaters anymore, the magnificent buildings remain. Today, these grand entertainment venues are hiding in plain sight as churches, stores, offices, and even a daycare center. Join us for an upcoming virtual talk where we will explore the history of the most notable theaters from the borough’s past and see how, in altered forms, they continue to form part of the urban landscape today!

Forgotten Movie Theaters of the Bronx

In this talk:

  • Learn about The Metropolis, The Bronx’s first theater, from 1897, which originally hosted vaudeville and other live performances
  • Discover The Bronx Opera House, co-founded by George M. Cohan (of Yankee Doodle Dandy fame) in 1913 and designed by the same architect responsible for Harlem’s legendary Apollo Theatre
  • Uncover the history of the Boulevard Theatre, which was associated with big names like noted theater architect Thomas W. Lamb (United Palace), theater magnate Marcus Loew, and Irving Berlin who “sang a number of his latest hits” on opening night
  • Find out more about the Wakefield Theatre, where a young woman in her early 20s served as manager during World War II and also received a commendation from the police for catching a car thief outside the theater.
  • Explore the Loew’s Paradise, one of the five legendary Loews Wonder Theatres, the zenith of the atmospheric movie palaces, now a designated NYC Landmark and Interior Landmark, in which “the whole composition is designed to create an illusion of being seated in an Italian garden”; now a church.
Spooner Theater in the Bronx

From the beloved Loew’s Paradise Theatre to the tiny City Island Theatre that is now a seafood restaurant, this talk will reveal how the opulent theaters of the past have been transformed by the evolving city. This virtual talk will be led by city planner and Untapped New York Insider Jeff Reuben. Jeff has been a contributing writer to Untapped since 2015!

Tickets to this talk are $10. You can attend this talk for free if you are an Untapped New York Insider! Gain access to unlimited free virtual events per month and unlock a video archive of 100+ past virtual experiences as an Untapped New York Insider starting at $10/month. Already an Insider? Register here! If you can’t make it live, register for this event and we will send you a link to the recording once it airs!

Forgotten Movie Theaters of the Bronx

Next, check out Inside Look at the 5 NYC Loews Wonder Theatres