RKO 23rd Street Theatre
265 8th Avenue,
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Previously operated by: RKO
Architects: Thomas White Lamb
Previous Names: Pike's Opera House, Grand Opera House
This RKO 23rd Street Theatre was on the NW corner with 8th Avenue and had the address of 265 8th Avenue. It was the second RKO 23rd Street Theatre. The first one was the original Proctor’s 23rd Street Theatre, between 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue, at 139 West 23rd Street, built in 1888. That Proctor’s 23rd Street Theatre had become outmoded, so RKO purchased the larger and better situated Grand Opera House (formerly Pike’s Opera House, built in 1868) and had architect Thomas Lamb Associates convert it into an ultramodern theatre. Much of the ornamentation on the exterior of the building was removed for the new RKO theatre.
The theatre opened August 4, 1938 with Ginger Rogers in “Having a Wonderful Time” and Richard Dix in “Sky Giant”
The theatre closed June 15, 1960, to be demolished for another building. It was destroyed by a fire on June 29, 1960. Later, RKO built what become the third RKO 23rd Street theatre further west on 23rd Street.
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