Loews Festival Theatre

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

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Showing 1 - 25 of 59 comments

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.

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.

ridethectrain on July 5, 2021 at 2:17 pm

Please update, theatre closed August 25, 1994

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…

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Mikeoaklandpark on January 14, 2013 at 7:15 am

I workd at this theater in 81 and 82.

Lockjawal on January 13, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Like Suthnuh24, I was also part of the Fr-Sat RHPS crowd between ‘78 & 80. Used to do the floor show as Dr. Scott. Good times & great parties afterwards! “..TO THE KITCHEN..!” (INSIDE JOKE)

P.S. also worked at The Plaza theatre on 58th St. during this time so I got to see RH for free on courtesy pass.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on October 13, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Marcy, if you look at previous posts you will find photo links.

Marcy Starnes
Marcy Starnes on October 13, 2011 at 7:01 pm

Run for many years under The Walter Reade Theaters. I wish we could see a photo of the theater, as this does not do it justice.

ClintGuy on April 25, 2011 at 7:15 am

Lance sees “Desperate Characters” here in an episode (around 11) of AN AMERICAN FAMILY which is currently being rerun this weekend in various PBS outlets. He is filmed walking along the street to it (you can see the Solow office building being constructed across the street)and going into the lobby, and the film crew actually filmed a minute or so of the film on screen!

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 4, 2010 at 12:31 pm

This closed as Loew’s Festival in August 1994 with “Four Weddings and a Funeral”.

KingBiscuits on July 10, 2009 at 11:06 pm

This theatre played Army Of Shadows in one of their French film festivals back in 1984. The official US release would not come until 2007, when Rialto had a successful run of the 1969 film.

suthnuh24 on July 10, 2009 at 8:54 pm

The Festival Theater is where our crowd gathered on Saturday night for the midnight showings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show around 1978 through 1980 thereabouts, where a lot of us acted out the movie as it played. It may have been a poor theater for normal movie goers, but for our purposes it was just fine. The theater personnel put up with a lot from us, and occasionally joined in the fun.

bflonyguy on March 6, 2009 at 5:31 am

I saw “Salo” here, too. It was a weeknight, and the ticket-window girl was reading and wouldn’t look up. An usher pssst-ed me over, took my 5 bucks, and let me in. I was one of maybe four patrons in the theater that night. Didn’t the owner think it was odd that the takings were, like, zero?
One of the few times I had to briefly close my eyes during a movie (and, believe me, I’m not a prude!!!): “Salo”, the endings of “Day of the Locust” and “Star 80”, and anything with Marisa Tomei.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on May 28, 2008 at 4:06 am

In June of 1990 this venue was used for a festival of new Italian cinema of the sort that plays the Walter Reade now from time to time. I remember coming down from the galactic hinterlands just to see Nanni Loy’s marvelous Neapolitan musical about street kids, Scugnizzi.

edblank on May 27, 2008 at 7:45 pm

The last I caught here was Sam Shepard’s “Far North,” with Jessica Lange, in 1988.

cinepaul on October 6, 2007 at 10:35 am

First time I was here was January ‘72 for Pasolini’s “Decameron”; even though it was X-rated, I was admitted without any fuss (I was just 17). In April 1981, I saw a Pasolini triple-bill here – Decameron, Canturbury Tales, and Arabian Nights – from the first row of the balcony, which was probably the best seat in the house. In late '84 and early '85, the Festival hosted, over two or three months, a massive festival of French films, most of which had not been released previously. I saw Lelouch’s A Nous Deux and Demy’s Une Chambre en Ville (I wish someone could post the schedule for this!) Last time (I think)I was here was for the awful Godfather Part III, in March of '91.

P.S. I would agree with barrywerks post of 8/21/04 that the first few rows of seats were slanted upward somewhat toward the screen, like the Thalia. I have a distinct memory of that.