Monday, January 28, 2013

☞ ARCHITECTURE: The Odeon Theatre c. 1919

A sketch from 1919 shows the original facade of the Odeon Theatre at West 145th Street.  Today, this building still stands just east of FDB/8th Avenue and a good portion of the ornamental details have been retained.  The church that owns the former theater has also left the original hand painted signage on the side of the building intact and what remains of the Odeon appears to be in relatively good condition. Read more about the history of this unofficial Harlem landmark in our past post: LINK

Archival rendering courtesy the Museum of the City of New York


  1. Why do so many churches own these old theatres?

    1. My guess would be that during a time in Harlem when real estate was inexpensive …i.e $1 for BrownStones..the churches much like the banks of the day..had the money to invest…My aunt is a member of this church…and has been for many years….I spent many a summer working with my Dad in front of his Harlem Up Town Gym..on the same block..145st & 8th Ave…remember Willies Burgers??..Yea worked there as well…oh I luv and miss MyHarlem….

    2. Yes, and I imagine churches would have been the only organizations who had the need for such vast spaces.

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  3. The excellent drawing of the facade is by the remarkable artist and cinema recordist Anthony Dumas. Our upcoming edition of *The Cinematograph* magazine (free) will include a feature on him. Check out our page for more.