Regency Theatre

1987 Broadway,
New York, NY 10023

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Brandt Theaters, Cineplex Odeon, Island Theater Circuit

Previous Names: Alden Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Regency Theatre

A long-time beloved Upper West Side movie house, the Alden Theatre opened in 1931, and shut its doors as the Regency Theatre after 68 years of operation on March 4, 1999 with Cate Blanchett in “Elizabeth”.

For many years the theatre featured film repertory programs curated by Frank Rowley (who would later move onto the now-shuttered Biograph Cinema on W. 57th Street near Broadway) and, upon purchase of the theatre’s lease by Canadian-based theatre chain Cineplex Odeon, became a first-run house, initially showing a combination of art-house and major release studio films. Despite its petite size, the theatre had a quaint, but comfortable balcony.

When the Loews Lincoln Square Theatre, a well-designed megaplex, opened in 1994, however, the Regency Theatre found itself in what proved to be a losing battle for major studio films and focused almost exclusively on independent and foreign films, such as “The Opposite of Sex”, “I’m Not Rappaport”, “Pecker”, and “Afterglow”; and often for long runs.

In November of 1998, the Brandt Organization, which owned the property that housed the Regency Theatre and its other tenants, including a Italian restaurant of long standing, announced their plans to clear the property.

Many expected a mixed residential/retail property of some 20 floors to occupy the site; instead a single-floor Victoria’s Secret was built, adding spice to one form of love but dulling the amour of those who made the Regency Theatre a true Manhattan institution.

Contributed by Dan Braun

Recent comments (view all 86 comments)

SharonK on November 28, 2016 at 4:24 pm

Loved this theatre in the mid-1970s, it always had a fantastic slate of great old Hollywood films. Saw Waterloo Bridge, Philadelphia Story, Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, Unfaithfully Yours, among many other great movies. I love opera and I also remember seeing Interrupted Melody here, about the opera singer Marjorie Lawrence. Fabulous theatre.

moviebuff82 on March 17, 2017 at 3:41 pm

When Cineplex Odeon took over the older chains such as RKO-Stanley Warner-Century (owned by the Almi Group, a company known for art house movies and tv shows) as well as Brandt Theatres and Plitt, it marked a milestone for the Canadian theatre exhibitor as it expanded to other states two years after the merger of Cineplex (which owned a 14 screen theater in Beverly Hills in the USA) and Canadian Odeon theaters. It became even bigger when it merged with Sony-owned Loews Theatres 11 years later until the combined company filed for chapter 11, unlike AMC, which bought the company five years later from Onex.

Ben Davis
Ben Davis on March 24, 2017 at 11:28 am

The Regency is one of the repertory movie theaters of the past that is highlighted in my recently published book, “Repertory Movie Theaters of New York City: Havens for Revivals, Indies and the Avant-Garde, 1960-1994.” It’s listed in Amazon and

Gabi Gonzalez
Gabi Gonzalez on April 16, 2017 at 11:20 am

Hello fellow movie theater lovers,

I’m doing a project for my photojournalism class at NYU about closed down independent movie theaters in New York. I hope to gain information about people’s past experiences at these movie theaters, recollections of favorite memories or not so great experiences, perhaps economical insight, contacts with owners/managers, etc. On a larger level, I hope my project is able to show the significance of the role that these establishments play in our city and the importance of keeping them afloat.

If anyone would be willing to answer a few questions via email about your personal memories at the theater, please let me know! It could be as simple as recounting a favorite movie you remember seeing back when it was open. I would greatly appreciate your insight.

You can contact me at:


ryan79 on October 25, 2017 at 10:04 pm

most memorable time was being introduced to films of Preston Sturges and the film Holiday with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn. the revival houses of the sixties through eighties were great.

jre on February 6, 2018 at 9:09 am

Spent many hours in that theatre watching all the classic bogart films, astaire and rogers, dietrich. wizard of oz on the big screen. some of my most cherished memories. we need another movie house like this, people still love the old movies. no netter place to watch the mgm musicals. very magical place if this is what you loved.

ridethectrain on July 4, 2021 at 11:55 am

Please update, theatre closed March 4, 1999. Last film Elizabeth

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on April 4, 2022 at 3:58 pm

When Loews Lincoln Square opened in 1994 the Regency Theatre found itself in what proved to be a losing battle for major studio films.

It’s sadly ironic that nowadays clearances are a thing of the past and the Regency could easily be playing the same titles as the big guy across the street…

theamazin on June 21, 2023 at 9:05 am

I used to manage the Regency Theater in the early 90s when it was part of the Cineplex Odeon chain. I was there as they built the Lincoln Square theater across the street. I knew the Regency’s days were numbered once the completed that multiplex. The Regency was a cozy little theater. I enjoyed my time there, but I left because I was robbed at gunpoint and vowed never to work with cash again.

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