Monday, June 27, 2011

☞ READ: Harlem Churches and Theaters

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article on the many theaters of Harlem and how churches have actually helped save them. Most of these movie houses were opened over 90 years ago and were eventually taken over by churches in the latter half of the 20th century when property was not desirable uptown.  These structures still need a lot of financing to get them in top shape but constant upkeep have kept them standing all these years.

Of those discussed, The Regent (top photo) at 116th Street and ACP opened in 1913 and is probably the most ornate old movie house below 155th Street.  Then there is the multi-cultural Mt. Morris theater located further east on Fifth Avenue which was the location of Harlem resident Milton Berle's first paid public performance (albeit under a legal age).  Some of the less accurately detailed restorations such as the The Lincoln on 135th Street or the Lafayette theater on upper ACP are not mentioned and are also another outcome for Harlem's church owned historic theaters: LINK

1 comment:

  1. I'm happy that the Loew's in Wahi is still intact. You can't imagine the sadness we children felt back in 1969 when it closed as a cinema. I saw my first film there about 1960 and I even remember Batman coming to the theatre with the Batmobile parked outside sometime about 1967 or 68.

    Our Sunday routine was Mass at St. Catherine's on West 153rd St. Consult the "Legion of Decency List in the back of the Church, then walk the 12 blocks to the Loew's and wait for the 12 o'clock show to start. They even had great double features. Its a shame especially in these economic times they don't do double features anymore. In '67 I saw "To Sir With Love" for 75 cents.!

    Gone are the days!