Anderson Theatre

66 2nd Avenue,
New York, NY 10003

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Harris Theatrical Enterprises

Functions: Housing

Previous Names: Public Theatre, Antillas Theatre, CBGB Second Avenue Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Anderson Theatre

Opened in 1926 as the Public Theatre and designed for stage plays, this theatre was the brainchild of two candy vendors from the former People’s Theatre on the Bowery. Over the years it focused on Jewish acts including Yiddish Vaudeville as well as the showing of Yiddish films.

By 1953 it was full-time Spanish language cinema called the Antillas Theatre, and booked by Harris Theatrical Enterprises. That policy continued until 1957.

In late-1957 it reopened as the Anderson Theatre, named after the recently deceased play agent Phyllis Anderson who was also the wife of author Robert Anderson ("Tea and Sympathy"). The Anderson Theatre continued to run Yiddish programs until at least the mid-1960’s.

In 1977 it was taken over by CBGB and renamed the CBGB Second Avenue Theatre, booking punk rock acts such as the Talking Heads and Patti Smith but by 1979 it was no longer being used. In 1990 the theatre was partially demolished and in 1997 the remaining portions were turned into apartments.

Contributed by Al Alvarez

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

slip on June 16, 2013 at 8:16 am

Hi Al Alvarez, I’d like to use this photo in a book project. Is it yours? Please email me at


deadbass36 on April 11, 2015 at 6:46 pm

Grateful Dead played a legendary gig here on 11-23-1970. A Hells Angels benefit with the New Riders. Concert was preceded by a huge rumble out front when the Breed gang from Philly tried to bum rush the place. Angels had their HQ around the corner on 3rd St. Still do.

stevenj on April 12, 2015 at 9:58 am

In 1971 the Cockettes, a San Francisco hippy drag troupe, brought their show to the Anderson which turned out to be a disaster for them. From the website NoeHill, a photo of the marquee and a hand drawn playbill for Pearls Over Shanghai and their film Tricia’s Wedding both of which failed to wow the crowds:

Cockettes 1971

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 19, 2018 at 6:43 pm

Showing Yiddish films in early 1965 along with a stage show, as the Anderson. New York Times ads.

jmegraw on May 12, 2022 at 9:30 am

Is this the same venue as Satz’s Public Theatre?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 12, 2022 at 10:09 am

Yes, it was.

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