Loyal Theatre

1493 St. Nicholas Avenue,
New York, NY 10033

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Additional Info

Architects: William I. Hohauser

Previous Names: Majestic Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Josaphat Hardy, circa 1938, in front of the Majestic

Now long forgotten, this cinema in upper Manhattan’s Washington Heights district is little documented except for film trade annuals, which variously listed its seating capacity as 1,000 or 1,400, and with an address of either 1493 or 1495 St. Nicholas Avenue. Originally opened as the Majestic Theatre in 1913, it was renamed Loyal Theatre in 1937 and closed in 1941.

It was converted into a bowling alley to the plans of theatre architect William L. Hohouser.

Contributed by Warren G. Harris

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 16, 2006 at 11:24 am

The Film Daily Yearbook;1926 edition has the Majestic Theatre listed at 1493 St. Nicholas Ave, with 1,000 seats. Same details in 1930 but with a seating capacity given as 1,400. In the 1941 edition of F.D.Y. the details are the same as in 1930 apart from the name change to Loyal Theatre and it is listed as (Closed).

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 23, 2014 at 4:14 pm

The Majestic apparently became the Loyal in 1937. The April 1 issue of Motion Picture Daily said that Springer & Cocalis would reopen the Loyal Theatre, formerly the Majestic, in Washington Heights, on April 2.

dallasmovietheaters on January 25, 2016 at 8:43 pm

J.J. Lyon built the Majestic Rooftop Theater in 1912 seating 265 at the site of a former church. The Majestic Theatre was also created there opening in 1913 with lots of seats (original seat count is listed at 1,800). The Big Three Corporation — operators of the Garden, University, Pictorium and Seventh Ave. Theatre among their seven theaters at the time operate it for much of the decade before divesting their operation. The Braddon Amusement Circuit took on the theatre next and one of the few claims to fame for the Majestic was housing a radio transmitter for radio telephony that hit experimenter’s radios in Washington Heights just prior to commercial radio taking off in the U.S. It existed alongside the rooftop theatre.

Jaydo takes on the theatre transitioning it to sound and also its Gem from silent into sound theatre. Jaydo sells the struggling theater to Fairdeal Enterprises which leads to a lawsuit in 1936 of little consequence other than the holding of the Majestic passing to Springer & Cocalis' Spraco Corp. It is that circuit which changes the name to the Loyal Theatre in 1937. But patrons aren’t loyal and the theater ceases in 1941. The auditorium is gutted and the 1493 St. Nicholas facility is converted into the Palace Bowling Center launching in 1942. Though ending this addresses' cinema exhibition, Architect William L. Hohouser’s conversion project makes the national magazine, Lighting, among others as a creative transformation of a faded cinema locale.

bigjoe59 on August 17, 2020 at 2:21 pm


as in the Bronx many theaters in upper Manhattan closed within a short period of time after the t.v. was introduced into the American home. to which I find it interesting that this theater closed in 1941 long before anyone had
heard of a t.v..

bigjoe59 on August 18, 2020 at 5:54 pm


to hdtv267. I don’t understand your reply of “yes and ?”. as I stated it was highly unusual for a movie theater to close before t.v. was introduced in to the American home. all the neighborhood theaters in the Bronx I attended when I was younger didn’t close till years after t.v. was introduced.

ymike673 on September 1, 2023 at 3:25 pm

As of 2023 the building still stands. Currently a supermarket occupies the site of the bowling alley.

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