Fine Arts Theatre

704 South Avenue,
Rochester, NY 14620

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dallasmovietheaters on January 9, 2018 at 9:30 pm

The Princess Theatre opened in 1912 and transformed to sound in October 1927. Unfortunately, a fire ended its run in December of 1927. Architect Leander McCord drew a plan to revive the theatre for owner Morris Fogel launching in October of 1928 under the nameplate of the Rexy Theatre.

The theatre struggled in the TV age closing briefly in 1953. It was repositioned and retitled as the Rexy Art Theatre launching on March 21, 1953. The Rexy Art Theatre closed with “The Browning Version” on July 30, 1953 after just three months.

After being dormant for four years, the theatre got one more chance at exhibition being renamed the Fine Arts Theatre and launching April 24, 1958 with “The Three Faces of Eve”. During April of 1975, the art cinema turned X and XXX adult theatre. In September of 1976, the theatre’s 64 year run appears to end. The theatre was repurposed for other retail ventures.

rivest266 on January 23, 2016 at 6:46 pm

April 24th, 1958 grand opening ad as Fine Arts in photo section.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on April 20, 2013 at 4:31 am

In the American Motion Picture Directory 1914-1915, the Princess Theatre is listed at 702 South Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 20, 2013 at 1:26 am

Given its location, the Fine Arts Theatre might be the house that was mentioned in the July 20, 1912, issue of Motography:

“Articles of incorporation have been filed for the Stage-Simpson Amusement Company, which will open a motion picture theater at South avenue and Gregory street, Rochester, about July 15. The company is capitalized at $1,000, and the directors are Clarence G. Stage, Maggie Stage and Frank I. Simpson.”
Frank I. Simpson was mentioned as operator of the Princess Theatre at Rochester in the October 25, 1913, issue of The Moving Picture World. We don’t have a Princess Theatre listed yet, and the side walls of the building the Fine Arts was in look old enough to have been built in the early 1910s. It’s quite possible that this house opened in 1912 as the Princess Theatre.

dhroc on June 18, 2011 at 8:19 pm

It was run by JoMor. Showed a lot of ‘art’ films as well as mainstream. JoMor abandoned it when they started building more suburban theatres.