Park & 86th Street Cinemas
1280-1288 Lexington Avenue,
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Previous Names: RKO 86th Street Twin
This theatre was a small twin cinema that outlived the more historic Loew’s Orpheum one block east. The RKO 86th Street Twin was opened on December 22, 1971 with Michael Caine in “Kidnapped” & Jerry Orbach in “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight”. On October 6, 1989 following renovations it was renamed Park & 86th Street Cinemas. I saw the movie “Battlestar Galactica” which featured Sensoround, which was awesome. At the time, was about 9 years old, so this theatre looked so large. As an adult, I realize this was a small intimate theatre.
It changed hands as far as I remember three times; as a RKO house, later RKO Century, Cineplex Odeon, and then Clearview took it over before its demise on September 26, 2002. The last two films shown there were “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and “The Road to Perdition”. It housed a Duane Reade, which had a window close to what was the screen in cinema 2 on the Lexington Avenue side of the cinema.
The only thing the theatre building retained was the escalator and elevator, the large marquee which now reads Duane Reade. The concession area downstairs now houses the checkout area.
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