Coliseum Cinemas

4260-4261 Broadway,
New York, NY 10033

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Showing 1 - 25 of 141 comments

ridethectrain on July 4, 2023 at 9:08 pm

Please correct, total capacity 2440

Capacity when it closed as a quad Theatres 1 thru 4 had 239 seats (The orchestra was converted into store space)

The original capacity was Orchestra 1435 Theatres 1 and 2 502 (It ran briefly as a triplex under RKO)

ridethectrain on July 5, 2021 at 4:32 am

Please update, became a twin on November 10, 1978 as a twin, never was a triplex under RKO or Cineplex Odeon. Cineplex Odeon closed the location as a twin on November 9, 1989. Became independent on June 28, 1991 as a quad and closed November 3, 2011

Ace on November 24, 2020 at 5:02 pm

November 2020 update: The theater is gone for good, down to the last brick. The former balcony entrance and decrepit “Coliseum Cinemas” marquee were among the last portions of the theater to come down.

It endured a prolonged decay 9 years after closing, but the Coliseum now belongs to the annals of time.

Ace on October 14, 2020 at 2:18 am

October 2020 update: Less than a month after its centennial (September 23, 1920), DeRosa and Pereira’s intricate architecture can no longer be seen from the corner of 181st/Broadway. The former theater has been halfway demolished and remains as a gutted stump behind the scaffolding, roughly up to the level of the still-intact marquee (for now).

Inevitable, but heartbreaking.

Ace on April 24, 2020 at 8:37 am

@kidblast 1: To be fair, there was a push for the building to be granted landmark status, but it had been subdivided so many times since the early ‘80’s that it made it structurally ineligible for that status.

I did some digging of my own via Dept. of Buildings public records, and gathered that Lloyd Goldman (of BLDG Mgmt., owners of the property) has owned the building housing the Coliseum for quite awhile before it closed. Perhaps the theater’s perpetual troubles (closing in 1989, 2002 and finally in 2011) finally convinced him to go another route.

At least we still have the United Palace. The former RKO Hamilton remains vacant, occasionally used for fashion shows and pop-up stores, but it likely won’t be repurposed for a theater or art space.

There goes the neighborhood theaters….

kidblast1 on February 10, 2020 at 5:16 pm

Passed by a few days ago in February 2020 … netting and scaffolding up and I couldn’t see or hear if anyone was working in it or on it? The Washington Heights Community Board dropped the ball on this vital Theater in the Heights that was among 17 others from West 155th Street to West 193rd Street. The CB should be tarred and feathered.

Willburg145 on February 10, 2020 at 2:25 am

It’s a shame there are no interior pictures posted.

Ace on November 4, 2019 at 1:31 pm

November 2019 update: Passed by the (former) theater yesterday; almost entirely covered by scaffolding and sidewalk sheds from head to toe. Last remnants of the marquee are still visible by the former entrance. It looks as if they’re demolishing it brick by brick as the rooftop is starting to come down.

The building is 10 months shy of its centennial; not certain if they’ll be anything left by then. :/

Orlando on July 1, 2019 at 7:38 pm

as of June 30, 2019, thru a hole in the 181st entrance I caught a glimpse of the marble staircase which are awaiting…. the facade on 181st St. and the the angel’s face on Broadway also await. Windows, up above open exit doors are open to let the pigeons have their final days of their home also lost their lease. I will post again in two weeks… No walls have come down since my last post but the end is near… Goodbye RKO Coliseum. It lasted 99 years but won’t be for its' centennial. Like the Loew’s Victoria. A Dunkin Donuts is set to take over the corner.

Orlando on May 6, 2019 at 3:55 pm

as of May 5, 2019, there are no posted permits for demolition on any part of the exterior of the former Coliseum. Scaffolding is limited to the first story of the structure and “el raton” abatements (raton hotels) along 181st St. and Broadway perimeters of the building. Like the Loew’s Victoria, the building will be demolished on it’s centennial. This still leeaves the Regent and the decrepit Hamilton and the newer former RKO 23rd Street as the companies leftover legacies. P.S. and the Marble Hill if that’s still standing even though a Bronx location. Still painful to see the longest running RKO venue in the borough go. The last to carry the RKO name and (vertical RKO sign on 181st Street into the 2000’s.

dallasmovietheaters on March 1, 2019 at 11:58 am

Original William H. McElfatrick architectural design from 1917 in photos.

br91975 on January 8, 2019 at 8:36 pm

Thank you for your report, EsseXploreR. Has the theatre been gutted to the bare brick walls?

EsseXploreR on January 7, 2019 at 2:30 pm

I was recently inside the structure. All of the gorgeous plaster has been stripped out of all the auditoriums (including the stage area) and lobby. It now stands gutted and awaiting demolition.

Ace on December 30, 2018 at 10:27 pm

As of late December 2018, all of the businesses located in the former RKO Coliseum building have been vacated, leaving the property completely abandoned. Sidewalk sheds and asbestos removal notices have taken their place….tell-tale signs that the former movie palace might face the wrecking ball in 2019. :(

DavidZornig on November 19, 2016 at 3:53 am

Wider version of the B.S. Moss Coliseum, circa 1920’s photo added credit Wurts Brothers.

RobertR on August 17, 2015 at 5:00 pm

I was suprised this closed, there were not many theatres left uptown.

Metropolite on July 27, 2015 at 8:20 pm

DNA Info reports the Coliseum may become a shopping center.

npete on June 2, 2015 at 10:49 pm

I live about 15 blocks from this theater and am really worried about it—it’s been shutdown for years and it looks like there has been zero movement in reusing the space. Obviously, all the retail stores are fine, but the projectors, theater seats, and related multiplex fixtures have seemingly all been left to rot. I would really love to see this place get preserved in some way, whether it is kept a movie theater or not (though, that would be preferable, as there aren’t any movie theaters in my neighborhood at all currently. :(

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 10, 2015 at 8:40 pm

The name “Piera” in the last line of the first paragraph of the introduction should be Pereira. De Rosa and Pereira were in partnership from about 1917 to about 1921. I’m pretty sure this was Percival Pereira, who had worked in Thomas Lamb’s office until 1915, then had a brief association with C. Howard Crane, who opened a New York branch office that year.

The May, 1919, issue of The Bridgemen’s Magazine had this item:

“New York.—Theater—B. S. Moss Co., 729 Seventh avenue, soon lets contract building 2-story, 137x161ft. brick and steel, concrete foundation, on 181st street and Broadway. About $475,000. De Rosa & Pereira, 110 W. Fortieth street, architects.”

R68Dtrain2500 on December 24, 2014 at 3:33 am

No wounder this theater must been a fromer movie house for 94 years and was converted to 4 Multiplex because of the original stage was making away for a retail store back in july 1991

jordanlage on May 26, 2014 at 5:04 pm

Anyone know of a former small theater that may have been located on the north side of West 187th St. between Cabrini Blvd. & Fort Washington Ave.? A deli is now in that space. Looks like it could have been a former theater. Just curious.

guarina on May 25, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Tinseltoes, That was on my birthday. That was the last winter we lived in New York. We moved south in March.

RobertR on May 25, 2012 at 7:34 pm

I never knew the neighborhood run was that rigid on one week playdates on the first tier. I guess when pictures still had strong legs the second and third tier really benefitted.

guarina on May 25, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Yes, thanks. Sal Mineo in “Rebel without a Cause” reminded me of him.