Madison Theatre

1036 Madison Avenue,
Albany, NY 12208

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Madison Theatre (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Boston Culinary Group, Mad-Del Theatres Corp, Stanley-Warner Theatres, Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp.

Architects: Thomas White Lamb

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Norma Jean's Madison 5, Norma Jean Madison Theatre

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News About This Theater

Madison Theatre

Opened as the Madison Theatre on May 29, 1929 with John Boles in “The Desert Song”. The theatre was part of the Stanley Warner chain until 1975. It was equipped with an organ (make unknown).

It was taken over by an independent operator on May 6, 1995 and renamed the Norma Jean’s Madison 5, when it was split into five auditoriums.

Two more screens were later added, made from former retail units.

The Norma Jean Madison Theatre, one of Albany’s oldest movie houses, finally closed in December 2001 after failing to pay its creditors. The Norma Jean Madison Theatre hadn’t shown a movie since early-November and owed its distributors and vendors tens of thousands of dollars.

One of those groups, Boston Concessions Group of Cambridge, Massachusetts, took over the theatre in Spring of 2002, and it was closed in 2003. After standing empty a while, an independent group took over and it re-opened on May 20, 2005. The other Norma Jean Theatre, located just outside Canandaigua, was also closed and sold two months ago after the owner went $67,000 in debt.

The Madison Theater was closed on September 8, 2013, to be remodelled into a twin screen theatre, with additional retail space. It reopened on January 17, 2014. In the summer of 2019 it was taken over by the Cosmic Cinemas chain but never reopened and Cosmic Cinemas went broke in November 2019. It was due to be reopened by an independent operator in December 2019, but then Covid-19 pandemic hit in March 2020. It finally reopened on December 17, 2021 with “Spider-Man No Way Home”. It was closed on February 25, 2024 and the building is ‘For Sale’.

Contributed by Cinema Treasures

Recent comments (view all 27 comments)

JayPregent on September 13, 2007 at 12:01 pm

Just felt I had to make a comment here.

I have been going to the Madison since I was a little kid. Saw many movies there and remember the original interior.

Since 1998 I have been the technician for the projection and sound equipment. First for Paul Feidler, who chopped it up and gave it the name Norma Jean. I rehabbed the equipment for BCG when they took it over.

When they left all the equipment was pulled.

In the spring of 2005 I was working on a booth install in California and got back with less than two weeks to get the new equipment running in one theater for Star Wars.

We then went on, one screen at a time getting them open. All 7 screens have been open for over a year.

I must confess that I am also one of the partnership that owns the theater and as of the summer of 07, the manager too.

The building has suffered from quite a bit of neglect over the years. With it open I hope to continue the improvements as the business will permit.

We have digital sound on 3 screens with the possibility of more as my time permits. Another dream is to get the 70mm sound working. Iâ€\m really just short a lens and the time.

We may not have all the state of the art wiz bang that the malls have to offer but I promise that you will enjoy yourself with a personal touch as everyone is appreciated.

Oh yea and I noticed that my head projectionist has already posted a while back too.

The new web site is

My email is if you canâ€\t reach me through the web site.


joemasher on November 24, 2008 at 8:56 am

The name of this theater should be changed back to Madison Theater. The Norma Jean operation has been disassociated with this theater for some time.

nerwall16 on May 30, 2009 at 6:18 pm

jay pregent came into my theater today and gave me his card so i looked up the madison. very cool

TLSLOEWS on February 22, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Not the Madsion theatre I was looking for.

Tinker3cat on April 8, 2012 at 7:06 pm

I loved going to the “Madison” while attending Albany College of Pharmacy in the 60’s. It’s design was plain ,but it was clean and spacious. It looked Quite elegant in it’s neighborhood setting. When attending “ Von Ryan’s Express” starring Frank Sinatra ,a power outage resulted in issuance of free pass to everyone attending. I remember this since such has never happened to me before or since. Just lucky I guess. The film turned out great! Ray , Charlotte NC

gd14lawn on September 8, 2013 at 4:05 am

The Madison is closing after tomorrow’s afternoon shows. The theater has been sold and will be remodeled. The number of screens is being reduced from 7 to 2 and additional retail space will be reclaimed.

Article at:

gd14lawn on December 8, 2013 at 6:38 pm

It appears that the Madison will also host live entertainment when the renovations are complete.

“The space at the back of the building, part of the third phase, will be converted into an entertainment area. The entertainment area will be used for comedy shows, concerts, lectures, and movies as well, according to Fishgold. However, there are some limitations as to what kinds of performances he will allow.”

Full article at:

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on November 22, 2019 at 3:43 pm

Cosmic Cinemas never ended up reopening this theatre. It will be reopened by an independent operator in December.

rivest266 on May 11, 2024 at 6:59 pm

It reopened as the Norma Jean’s Madison 5 on May 6th, 1995. Ad posted.

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