Beekman Theatre

1254 2nd Avenue,
New York, NY 10021

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Alanem on May 12, 2022 at 3:53 am

I’m a retired member of IATSE LOCAL 306 New York Projectionists union. I ran the projectors at the Beekman theater during the World Premiere of “The Poseidon Adventure”. I worked overtime in the morning, as a licensed “Operator” had to be on duty in the Projection booth when the technician cut the special aperture plates for the 3 projectors so that this wide screen presentation would fit the screen perfectly. There were 3 projectors. We made a “changeover” from one machine to another every 20 minutes which no one noticed. Just so you know…projector #3 had the last sprocket roller held together with a RUBBER BAND! So much for the fancy East Side Art house! –Alan Mandel

ridethectrain on July 3, 2021 at 10:34 am

Please update, theatre open April 28, 1952 (grand opening ad in photos section) and Clearview Cinemas closed theatre closed June 23, 2005. Also, previous owners Cineplex Odeon

kieran10 on September 4, 2020 at 1:24 am

I wish I had gone to the Beekman more, as it was one of the most beautiful theaters in Manhattan in the 80s/90s. When I was in college, I dated a guy named Gary whose brother worked for Cineplex Odeon and he would get our names put at the box office to see free movies, as long as it wasn’t opening weekend. We saw a few things at the Beekman, though the only one I remember was a terrible movie with Molly Ringwald and Robert Lindsay from 1990.

Didn’t go there much at all in the next decade, but it was actually the last movie theater I ever went to in NYC. A week or so before I moved to LA, I went to see Almost Famous for the 2nd time. I was really happy I got to spend one more movie there.

HowardBHaas on November 26, 2018 at 4:47 am

I saw Stealing Beauty and The Dreamers at the Beekman when they were issued.

Gabi Gonzalez
Gabi Gonzalez on April 2, 2017 at 6:13 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:


Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on December 14, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Yes, Garyw, I don’t know about the speeches but all the ‘art houses’ had those foam core displays back then. It seemed to matter. To some of us.

garyw on December 14, 2012 at 6:17 pm

I miss the old Beekman. I have lived nearby for over 30 yrs. & it was always a nice surprise to see it utilized for all kind of premieres since it was such a beautiful showcase theater. The owner would speak before screenings to chastise those who had maybe brought in their own soda or snacks. One little thing I noticed is that even up to the end, their presentation of movie posters would always feature that little extra…cutting away part & raising it with foam core board so as to create depth & enhanced visual interest. Does any theater care enough to do that kind of thing anymore?

farhaven on September 14, 2012 at 9:26 am

Unfortunately I’ve never seen a film in the lovely old Beekman, but I recently acquired a beautiful marquee from the Beekman for Woody Allen’s “The Purple Rose of Cairo” (03/85). It is silkscreened on lucite.

Does anyone know where I can find a photo of the Beekman from March, 1985 showing the Purple Rose marquee? I can’t seem to find one anywhere.

SeaBassTian on September 2, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Can’t really fault Clearview for this closure. Nice venue, last film I watched here was In Good Company.

ferenc on March 2, 2010 at 8:19 am

I remember the Beekman very well. What a wonderful theatre. I went there to see most of the Ingmar Bergman movies. The first was Wild Strawberries. I, and a few others, had arrived late to attend a concert at Lewisohn Stadium, and it had started raining. So we went to the Beekman instead. On other occasions, I saw Through a Glass Darkly and Winter Light – two of the Bergman classics.

bazookadave on January 26, 2010 at 10:03 am

We are definitely declining when it comes to taste and education about the arts and the past. While the video-game junk decor serves a purpose, it woud still be wonderful to see a multplex constructed to resemble the great movie palaces that are mostly lost…even if this construction were limited to the lobby and foyer areas. Imagine a new multiplex with a foyer like the landmarked foyer of the RKO Flushing, or a trim, sleek art deco/art moderne lobby like the Beekman’s original interior. Cost, cost, cost will be the objection to creating such a showplace. I am sure there would be ways around high costs…for example, a contest for the creation of a showplace lobby or foyer for a multiplex, the competitors being architecture and art students from local colleges and universities who would create a permanent grand space in return for college credit, or a smaller fee than an established firm would charge. However, the results might be lost on current generations who do not have appreciation for arts or history. Also, builders of multiplexes would not want a grand permanent interior because of the expense of maintaining it, demolishing it, or future battles over landmarking. It is easier and cheaper to build for obsolescence. SIGH

edblank on January 8, 2010 at 7:06 am

Compare the Beekman interior photos to the lobbies and waiting areas of today’s multiplexes, all junked up with video-game decor. Does someone want to make the case we’re more sophisticated today, other than electronically?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 8, 2010 at 6:53 am

Here is a three page article about the Beekman, with several photos, in Boxoffice, June 7, 1952.

TLSLOEWS on December 10, 2009 at 11:21 am

Woody Allen loved this theatre as most people know. He had most of his Premiers there!

Bway on April 27, 2009 at 8:15 am

Great image of the Beekman!

HowardBHaas on March 6, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Google search exactly
Boxoffice November 22, 1952
and insert 162 and 170 for photos of Beekman foyer, including 1st from inside the auditorium!
Many other theaters have photos in this section, which I’m not posting but other people may wish to.

dave-bronx™ on December 11, 2008 at 11:01 am

New York City has to be the only place in the world where residential tenants have more rights to a property than the property owner. Anywhere else a tenants right to occupy a particular property ends with expiration of the lease for the demised premises. Upon the expiration of said lease, the property owner may offer a renewal but is not obligated to do so.

bazookadave on December 11, 2008 at 10:11 am

The legal problems of challenging multiple tenants' apartment leases was probably daunting, so they opted to end a couple of commercial leases instead of many residential ones.

Banks, hospitals, and Rite-Aids abound in NYC while the commercial diversity I remember from decades ago is long gone. If you aren’t a chain store with million-dollar backing, good luck finding retail space. But we just keep on worshiping the wealthy developers and giving them whatever they want! A bland, mall-like city will be the ultimate result.

dave-bronx™ on December 10, 2008 at 5:41 pm

More hospital space in an area long ago over-saturated with hospitals. They had to take the Beekman block because apparently there aren’t enough ancient rat-infested tenement buildings worthy of demolition over on 1st Ave.

bazookadave on December 10, 2008 at 4:04 pm

Passed by here today. Here is the building that replaced the Beekman:

View link

bazookadave on November 19, 2008 at 1:20 pm

Lost Memory thanks for reposting that link, I remember it from years back on this immense thread. The pics can be seen by going to:

Once at this main page, key in Beekman Theatre under Search All Collections at the upper right, and the list of images comes up. They are beautiful B&W images.

dave-bronx™ on November 12, 2008 at 10:02 am

Those builders and contractors listed in the advertisement paid for the privilege, and the film paid for their ad placement. Rugoff & Becker, who owned the theatre, paid nothing. McNamara, the theatre architect, apparently opted out. That is the way it was done back in the day. Today, they just buy a little 3" ad in the Voice, put a title on the marquee, turn on the lights and unlock the door, and call that a ‘Grand Opening’.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 17, 2008 at 9:49 am

Good point, KingBiscuits. I never realized that. It must have changed names mid-run.