Carnegie Hall Cinema

881 7th Avenue,
New York, NY 10019

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Cinecom, Cineplex Odeon, Walter Reade Theatres

Functions: Concerts

Styles: Beaux-Arts

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News About This Theater

Carnegie Hall Cinema

This was a cute cinema tucked under the famed Carnegie Hall. It had a moderate size cinema and then a screening room size cinema on the lobby level all on the side entrance on 7th Avenue of the landmark. It opened on May 28, 1961 with the American premiere of Maria Schell in “White Nights”(Le Notti Bianche) and showed indie films. In the early-1970’s it was screening gay porn movies.

It closed for a while and then reopened under Cineplex Odeon management on June 19, 1997 then closed again on October 27, 1997. It was gutted and turned into added concert hall space named Zankel Hall which has seating for 599.

Contributed by jamal savage

Recent comments (view all 90 comments)

Jerrr26 on October 29, 2015 at 6:42 am

I was an usher when the theater first opened. I remember it showing the Apu Trilogy and I saw those films a zillion times… not a bad cinema & music education! I was a music major then at City College and the theater was owned by the family of my fellow music major, Peter Schlosser. Film Forum is now showing that famous Trilogy and that’s what made me think to search and find this site. I think it was around the summer of ‘59 or '60, when it opened and I worked. A few years after that, I studied Indian music seriously and that was partly due to the Apu influence. I think that Philip Glass, who I later worked with, was also influenced by Ravi Shankar’s great score. I never was back to the theater after that summer and sometimes wondered whatever happened to it. I had no idea of its later history & decline.

Susanjosephs on December 16, 2015 at 10:02 pm

I was a high school sophomore in the fall of 1960. On Yom Kippur, I saw the Apu Trilogy, watching all three films back to back. It was a life changing experience. I have never forgotten those films and was worried that if I saw them again, I wouldn’t have the same reaction. I was wrong. I am viewing them now and find them to be even more emotionally brilliant than when I first saw them 55 years ago. The Carnegie Cinema holds a special place in my heart and memory.

Ben Davis
Ben Davis on March 24, 2017 at 11:39 am

The Carnegie Hall Cinema is one of the repertory movie theaters included in my recently published book, “Repertory Movie Theaters of New York City: Havens for Revivals, Indies and the Avant-Garde, 1960-1994.” It’s listed on Amazon and

bigjoe59 on August 31, 2017 at 1:48 pm


I thank Purplepielord for his link of April 2013. but I still don’t see how the theater in the photo at the top could possibly have been housed in the same building as the bar Neveda Smith’s its current occupant.

Tillthen on September 4, 2017 at 9:02 pm

I saw 6 movies here from 1952 to the sixties. All 6 are getting,today, 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating – Diabolique, Purple Noon, Jeux Interdits, Pather Panchali, The Music Room and I can’t remember the 3rd by S. Ray. Great stuff, back in the day. I haven’t been in a movie theatre since ‘04, Delovely…..mediocre. Miss The Carnegie. NYC was my Oyster back then….not now.

SingleScreen on January 29, 2019 at 11:55 am

I saw Joan Bennett in person here in November of 1980. It was a double feature of Scarlet Street and Woman in the Window, but in between features there was a short version of Alice In Wonderland in which Joan appeared. Joan walked up the stage and answered questions. It was a thrill to see her in person.

ridethectrain on September 1, 2019 at 2:36 pm

Just add Cineplex Odeon open the theatre under their management on June 19, 1987

rivest266 on October 6, 2020 at 11:04 am

Opened on May 28th, 1961 with “White Nights”. Grand opening ad posted. It was owned by Cinecom Theatres in the mid 1970’s.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on December 27, 2020 at 11:11 am

Excellent piece on silent film (and organ) at the Carnegie Hall Cinema. Nice photos.

ridethectrain on July 4, 2021 at 9:59 am

Please update, theatre closed October 27, 1997

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