Loews Festival Theatre

6 W. 57th Street,
New York, NY 10019

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Loews, Walter Reade Theatres

Architects: Simon B. Zelnik

Functions: Retail

Previous Names: Festival Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Loews Festival Theatre

This theatre opened on June 23, 1963, as as an art house theatre on W. 57th Street between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue. It was a conversion of a former Milgram store by Embassy Theatres. Seating was provided for 600 in orchestra and balcony levels.

It closed as Loews Festival Theatre on August 25, 1994 with “Four Weddings and a Funeral”. It is now used for retail space.

Contributed by Jamal p. Savage

Recent comments (view all 59 comments)

Mikeoaklandpark on January 14, 2013 at 7:15 am

I workd at this theater in 81 and 82.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 16, 2013 at 10:49 pm

The architect’s surname is Zelnik, not Selnik. His surname is spelled correctly on the Playhouse Theatre and Joyce Theatre pages, but his middle initial is missing from both.

A two-page article about the Festival Theatre with photos appeared in the July, 1963, issue of International Projectionist. See it at this link.

rivest266 on September 23, 2013 at 1:53 pm

I uploaded the June 24th, 1963 grand opening ad as well as the photo from the International Projectionist.

bigjoe59 on August 14, 2016 at 3:14 pm


i went to the Festival many times during its reign as one of Manhattan’s leading art houses. this is especially true since many of its engagements were exclusive runs but there was one thing about the theater i didn’t like. in virtually all theaters when you enter the auditorium from the back the floor is flat as you walk toward the screen or in other instances actually declines as you walk toward the screen. but in the Festival the floor actually inclined as you walked toward the screen. it was rather uncomfortable if you got stuck with a seat in the first row.

edblank on August 14, 2016 at 5:03 pm

I remember now, but had forgotten, that oddity of the Festival being relatively flat for a major Manhattan first-run art house.

Mikeoaklandpark on August 17, 2016 at 11:30 am

I worked at this theater in the early 80’s Joe Torres was the manager and Martha was one of the cashiers as was Irene Cara’s mom Maria.

jakedarby1965 on March 21, 2018 at 5:31 am

I worked at the festival when it was under walter and then cinaplex odeon. 1984-87.before tha it was the little carnegie.all the old time theatres are gone.so are the good people that worked them.mr.john walgamot,mr.dan wallach,teresa rosenburgh. and many many more…

ridethectrain on July 5, 2021 at 2:17 pm

Please update, theatre closed August 25, 1994

Marcy Starnes
Marcy Starnes on July 8, 2023 at 9:40 am

I worked at the Festival Theater during the seventies and eighties. During the years, in between at other art house theaters. I came back to the Festival, in the mid eighties. I decided to leave after a short while, be of poor management.

Mikeoaklandpark on July 9, 2023 at 10:24 am

After Joe Torres got transferred the next few managers Vincent and Daisy sucked. Daisy went onto manage the Criterion Center.

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