Monroe Theatre

1456 1st Avenue,
New York, NY 10021

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Brandt Theaters, Trans-Lux Movies Corp.

Previous Names: Brandt's Monroe, Trans-Lux Monroe Theatre

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The Monroe Theatre was one of the largest theatres ever built on Manhattan’s Upper East Side by an indie circuit, in this case by William Salkin & Associates, which also operated three smaller houses in the area. The Monroe Theatre first opened in January, 1926, but, as far as I know, it never presented anything but subsequent-run movies.

Perhaps the owners were counting on selling it to one of the Hollywood-connected circuits, but that never happened. In 1938, Salkin sold the Monroe Theatre to Brandt Theatres, which operated it until 1949, when it was switched to Brandt’s Trans-Lux subsidiary. The Trans-Lux Monroe Theatre closed in 1953 and was converted into a TV studio.

About five years ago, it was still standing, but it may have been demolished since as part of the area’s apartment building boom.

Contributed by Warren G. Harris

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

DougDouglass on March 14, 2004 at 3:58 pm

The theatre on the SE corner of East 76th Street became CBS-TV Studio 61 in 1953, home to “Bert Parks Show” and later “The Edge of Night”. In the 90s “Inside Edition”, “American Journal” and “Rolanda” originated here. An apartment building now stands at the location, also known as 402 East 76th Street.

RobertR on June 13, 2005 at 4:17 pm

In 1948 this is listed as Trans-Lux Monroe.

GintGotham on October 12, 2005 at 6:45 am

It appears that this is where the CBS tv special featuring Miles Davis blowing with Gil Evans and big band was broadcast from in 1959. I’m currently watching “New Rhumba” from Ken Burns' jazz documentary and there are some fine long shots.

Also, didn’t the David Brenner Show originate from here in the 1980s?


oldjeff on January 12, 2008 at 12:24 am

one of the shows that orginated here was Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians
which was on Sunday night following Ed Sullivan

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 16, 2008 at 1:33 pm

The into address of E. 79th street should be changed to E. 76th street.

Willburg145 on June 4, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Wasn’t there another theater named Monroe that eventually became El Teatro Puerto Rico?

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on November 25, 2018 at 10:24 am

Municipal tax photos of the Monroe circa 1940-41 can be viewed here and also here

Astyanax on March 22, 2022 at 8:25 am

Terrific promotion of turkeys & chickens as a giveaway. Must have been fresh poultry as frozen foods were not common then, and freezer space was miniscule.

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