Loew's Orpheum Twin Theatre

168 E. 86th Street,
New York, NY 10128

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Showing 1 - 25 of 75 comments

jeffg718 on July 18, 2022 at 5:23 pm

Back in 2009 I commented that my father recalled that the A.S. Beck shoe store on 3rd Avenue north of 86th Street, which had a marquee and lasted until at least the 1970s, was formerly the side entrance of Loew’s Orpheum. I did a search of the NYC tax photos database and found that the Beck store was there in the 1940s, but just north of it was a side entrance to Loew’s Orpheum. This must have been converted into retail space shortly after the photo was taken, unlike the side entrance to the RKO 86th Street, which remained until the end. Here is a link to an image of the Loew’s Orpheum side entrance: https://nycma.lunaimaging.com/luna/servlet/detail/NYCMA~5~5~170327~530575:1540-3-Avenue?sort=borough%2Cblock%2Clot%2Czip_code&qvq=w4s:/where%2F3%2BAvenue;q:1540%203%20avenue;sort:borough%2Cblock%2Clot%2Czip_code;lc:NYCMA~5~5&mi=0&trs=11

DavidZornig on November 23, 2021 at 12:54 pm

11/22/63 Stanley Kubrick handwritten note added to gallery, courtesy www.qompendium.com. The special preview of “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” was postponed for two months.

ridethectrain on July 3, 2021 at 8:50 am

Please update, Loews Cine 3rd Avenue rename Loews Orpheum 2 on December 7, 1979 and the Loews Orpheum Twin closed on November 23, 1989

ridethectrain on July 2, 2021 at 8:44 pm

Please update, Loews Orpheum open May 29, 1968 which had 995 and the upstairs Loews Cine open on July 29, 1968 which had 599 seats.

MSC77 on March 11, 2021 at 4:21 pm

Fifty years ago today, George Lucas’s directorial debut, “THX 1138,” opened here (and Loews State 2).

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 2, 2016 at 7:24 pm

According to the New York Times, the Orpheum also had a “large frontage” on 87th Street and extended the full block.

BillJunior on August 2, 2016 at 6:30 pm

I want ask a question about this Orpheum. I was reading a 1928 “NY Supreme Court Papers on Appeal” on Google Books that mentioned the following: “…said premises Nos. 152-164 East 87th Street Borough of Manhattan, City of New York, on the EAST IS LOEW’S ORPHEUM THEATRE, which has a frontage of about 155 feet on the southerly side of EAST 87th.” Was there another Loew’s Orpheum on 87th as well as on 86th?

The public’s ‘appeal’ was due to the fact that a fireproof garage was built (or was to be built) on the south side of E. 87th at 152-166 East. Directly across from the address was a fire house and that building at 159 E 87th stands today, as of 2016.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 5, 2012 at 10:23 am

This theatre never had Cinerama capability.

SethLewis on August 5, 2012 at 8:36 am

Vivid memories of this as a single screen with How the West Was Won in Cinerama, Cat Ballou, Major Dundee in the 60’s then of the twin with both the Orpheum and Cine providing good old school movie going experiences…Among the picture I saw in the Orpheum – See No Evil (after its Music Hall run), Ryan’s Daughter (after the Ziegfeld), French Connection (at least 4 times), The Anderson Tapes…then much later The Abyss (in 70 MM), Farewell to the King, U2 Rattle and Hum, Lethal Weapon 2…At the Cine – Valachi Papers with Charles Bronson, Johnny Handsome, License to Kill

The Loews theatres were in their day at different times Columbia, Paramount, Warner Bros and Universal showcase houses with some Fox product in the 80s and 90s

tone10029 on August 5, 2012 at 1:55 am

Great photo!I was 11 years old when my folks took me to see “Superman The Movie"at this great theatre.It’s one of my best memories of being a kid in NYC during the 70s and 80s.Saw some other classic films there too,including"The Empire Strikes Back”,“Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”,“Aliens”,“King Kong 76” and “Top Gun”.At the 3rd.Ave.side of the theatre ,I saw “Prophecy”,“Stir Crazy”,“Superman II”,and “Beetlejuice”.I miss the way this theatre used to be.

TLSLOEWS on February 18, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Thanks Brad for the link.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on February 16, 2011 at 11:07 pm

This photograph of the Loew’s Orpheum Theatre was taken in 1930 by George Mann of the comedy dance team, Barto and Mann.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 3, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Chris, when “INGA” was released, it was considered a porn film since graphic sex films were not yet in existence. Loews was the first chain to book X-rated independent Swedish sex films like “WITHOUT A STITCH” and “INGA” into mainstream theatres and was even accused of promoting pornography by MPAA President Jack Valenti.

bigjoe59 on February 3, 2011 at 1:43 pm

in his comment of Oct.22, 2005 Robert refers to the X rated “Inga”
a film shown at the Loews' Cine as “porn”. i am a librarian by
education and vocation as a result am very picky about the use
of language. i do not think Loew’s would have booked an actual
porn film into the Cine. many X rated films at the time “Inga” was
released would probably get R rating today. so please unless its
actual porn do not refer to it as such. refer to it as an
exploitation film to use and old term. thank you.

TLSLOEWS on February 17, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Coll phots Tinseltoes.

PassedPawn on January 26, 2010 at 3:48 pm

PH you make a great point about the sound system at Orpheum 1. Very full sound with lots of impact. I still have fond memories of how great Raiders of the Lost Ark sounded there.

belbucus on January 26, 2010 at 2:50 pm

I began a ritual of driving an hour into New York to see 70MM engagements ever since experiencing Star Wars at the Orpheum in ’77. During that period, a lot of the old “palaces” were still around and I was fortunate enough to have visited all of them before they were plexed or demolished. The big house 1 at the Orpheum was always my favorite. Perhaps not as plush as some of its contemporaries (I vaguely recall a red curtain and purple upholstery), but it made up for it in presentation. At that time the “biggest” movies usually were booked at the Orpheum uptown and the Loews Astor Plaza in midtown for their 70MM engagements (unless they went to Walter Read’s Ziegfeld), which seemed to be driven by the studios (for instance, 20th Century Fox product always seemed to end up at Loews). Although the Astor Plaza was considered the more “premier” theater of the two because of its capacity and location, I always thought projection and sound to be superior at the Orpheum. I believe they were still using carbon arcs in the lamp houses yielding a pleasing bright image – as compared the Astor Plaza which always seemed under-lamped to me. The Orpheum’s sound system usually sounded great â€" fuller and less strident in the upper midrange in comparison to the Astor or the Ziegfeld. I also recall them as having way oversized surrounds (mostly Altec A-7s) which always lent an impressive sense of envelopment when called for.

PassedPawn on January 20, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Loved Orpheum 1 in my childhood during the 70s to early 80s. Remember seeing Star Wars 1-3 (Ep. 4-6), Superman, Alien, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Fog (80) and many others big and small. At Orpheum 2 I remember flicks like Start Trek 2 and The Black Hole. After seeing a movie at one of these theaters we would go to Flaming Embers for their salad, burger and baked potato.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 14, 2010 at 11:09 pm

This Orpheum opened in 1918.

TLSLOEWS on November 28, 2009 at 7:24 pm

Cool pictures and history.

MisterShmi on July 26, 2009 at 8:31 pm

Anyone have any pictures from inside the theaters? Preferably the main theater? I have a lot of great memories of going to this theater in the late 70’s through the 80’s and would love to see the inside one more time…

jeffg718 on May 28, 2009 at 8:23 pm

Many years ago I recall my father telling me that the old Beck’s Shoe store on Third Avenue was originally the side entrance to the original Loew’s Orpheum. Since he went to that theater during the 1930’s and 1940’s there is good reason to believe he was correct about that. I remember Beck’s and recall that it did have a marquee.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 27, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Was that the same entrance used for the Cine?

bazookadave on May 27, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Holy Crow that view of the Orpheum as the Loweez takes me back!! On the left is a sliver of the Horn & Hardart Automat, which fascinated me as a kid. I remember this Loew’s fondly, but do not remember it ever looking the way it looks as the twin in the second photo. All I remember is that long after the demolition, the space formerly occupied by the Loew’s entrance lobby had become a Coconuts, which is now also gone. All our old neighborhoods are becoming unrecognizable.