9. Odeon 145th Street Theatre, 256 West 145th Street
The Odeon 145th Street Theatre in Central Harlem opened in 1911. “The theatre is fireproof throughout and has a seating capacity of about 1,100,” The New York Times noted in 1911. “The theatre was opened with moving pictures and vaudeville performances early this year, and has been a success from the start.”
By 1925 Frank Schiffman and Leo Brecher, later owners of the Apollo Theater, converted the hall to show motion pictures exclusively. The Odeon 145th Street Theatre was named to differentiate it from the Odeon Theatre at 58 Clinton Street on the Lower East Side. Today the building is the home of St. Paul’s Community Church, which took possession of the building in 1952 and began extensive renovations. Ghost signs for the Odeon are visible on the upper side walls.