West End Theatre

362 W. 125th Street,
New York, NY 10027

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Shubert Brothers Theater Company

Firms: Neville & Bagge

Previous Names: De Luxe Theatre

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The West End Theatre was opened in 1902 as a legitimate theatre. It was screening movies by 1921. Around 1930 it was closed, due to the Depression, and it remained closed until at least 1934. It had reopened by 1937 as the De Luxe Theatre, and by 1941 had reverted back to its West End Theatre name.

In 1974 the West End Theatre appeared to be an action and horror double feature house, and it closed in 1975. Since then it has served as a church until they moved out in 2017. The West End Theatre was demolished in December 2017/January 2018.

Contributed by Robert R

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 3, 2005 at 7:45 am

The West End Theatre opened in 1902 as a live theatre. It is listed in Film Daily Yearbook;1926 edition as having a seating capacity of 1,500. The 1927 edition gives it 2,000 seats and the 1930 edition of F.D.Y. list it as ‘Closed’ with 1672 seats.

In the 1941 edition of F.D.Y. it is listed with a seating capacity of 1,670 and this has been reduced to 1,100 in the 1943 edition and also the 1950 edition.

durhamw on September 27, 2005 at 12:04 pm

The comedy team of Joe Weber and Lew Fields built the theatre in 1902; in 1904, according to papers in the Shubert Archive, they leased it to Edward W. Stair and Albert L. Wilbur and it continued in service as a vaudeville and legit theatre. A year or two later, the Shubert Theatrical Company acquired a half-interest in the lease. Business relations between the Shuberts, Edward Stair (long a partner of J. H. Havlin in ownership of vaudeville and cheap melodrama theatres) and Albert Wilbur (Boston-based theatre owner and manger) were fluid and complex, but Wilbur probably provided Shubert access to the property. The West End Theatre lease was assigned to the United States Amusement Company, a Shubert-Erlanger vaudeville venture in 1907-08. From 1908 to 1912 it was booked as a part of the Shubert’s “subway circuit” by the Sam S. Shubert Booking Agency. 1912-14 it was subleased to managers who installed stock companies. Shuberts disengaged in 1914.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 10, 2006 at 6:24 pm

I have been searching for a theatre called the Palace St Nicholas which was showing movies in 1918. I finally found something about it in a 1903 NY Times article.

It was to be built as a playhouse adjoining the West End Theatre property on St. Nicholas Avenue and Hamilton Place. It ran boxing and plays as well as movies and also had an Annex (roof?).

It was built by a sindicate of theatrical and business men and has a frontage of 188 feet on St. Nicholas and 100 feet 11 inches on Hamilton (125th St?).

Louise M. Goldstein (Murray Hill Lyceum), Charles Bimberg, and Archibald Bimberg composed the syndicate who expect the building to be ready by February 1904.

The building style will be free Renaissance and the material Roman buff brick, limestone and terra cotta with a seating capcaity of 1800.


Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 10, 2006 at 6:53 pm

Al; The West End Theatre is now the Lagree Baptist Church. The West End Theatre is located in the middle of the block and only has a frontage on 125th Street. The building you are searching for would have been built to the left of the West End Theatre. In the photo posted by Warren on 20th November 2005 there is a building next to the West End, which is still there today (just seen in my photo posted 8th May 2006). To me that looks too low a building to be a 1,800 seat theatre on a single floor. But I could be wong…..I will try and check out the next door building when I am in NYC in a couple of weeks time and see what lays behind and whether the facade goes around the corner to St. Nicholas Avenue.

kencmcintyre on November 16, 2007 at 2:59 pm

Fight in the theater in 1906, from the LA Times:

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 1, 2010 at 2:42 am

The West End appears in a Paramount Week ad in 1921. It was already open in 1903 when the Sunset was being constructed next door.

In the 1934 Film Daily Yearbook the West End is listed as closed with 1672 seats. In the 1937 edition a De Luxe theatre at this address is open with 1672 seats, so it must be a name change that went along with renovation and re-opening. By 1941 it was the West End again.

It stopped showing films in 1975.

Luis Vazquez
Luis Vazquez on March 3, 2017 at 5:16 pm

As per this article in today’s Curbed, this old West End Theater, now LaGree Baptist Church, will soon be demolished and replaced with a 12 story Condominium. http://ny.curbed.com/2017/3/3/14801616/harlem-church-apartment-building-conversion

EsseXploreR on November 14, 2017 at 12:29 am

This was a Spanish Baroque styled theater, designed by Neville and Bragge. After it was converted to a church a drop ceiling went up over the orchestra level, and the first floor was repainted a white and gold color. The balcony level was stripped of the seating and decor. A small portion of the proscenium remained above the ceiling, but the arch was removed along with the ceiling and walls. The building is currently surrounded by scaffolding, and will be demolished soon.

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