6. A 1930s Movie Theater

Remnants of the Grand Central Theatre.
Remnants of the Grand Central Theatre.

In the 1930s, Grand Central used to be home to the Grand Central Theatre, a 242-seat theater that ran newsreels, shorts, and cartoons. The little theater, designed by Tony Sarg (the artist who created the first balloons for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade), was billed as the “most intimate theatre in America” according to the website I Ride the Harlem Line. Sarg tailored the movie-going experience to the commuter with an illuminated clock next to the screen for those worried about missing their train. Organizers even considered having the clock run 30 seconds fast. In vintage advertisements on Gothamist, the theater advertised their seats with “Neck-to-knee Comfort for N.Y. Commuters.”

The theater was in operation for nearly three decades before it was turned into a retail space. Today, you can still see remnants of it inside the Grande Harvest Wine shop next to Track 17. If you look up, you will find a mural from the theater that depicts the solar system and shooting stars.