American Theater

289 River Street,
Troy, NY 12180

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Fabian Theaters, Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp.

Architects: Abraham K. Mosley

Previous Names: Cinema Art

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News About This Theater


The American Theatre opened as a movie house in downtown Troy in the early-1920’s. It had a virtual twin, the State (Rose) Theatre on 4th Street which was torn down in the 1960’s for a parking lot.

By 1941, the American Theatre was operated by Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp., followed by the Fabian Theaters chain in the late-1940’s. It converted over to adult films in the late-1960’s when it was taken over by a local operator, John Capano, and showed them until March 2006 when the theatre was raided by the police and closed down. The theatre lobby and auditorium are still very original. The original marquee was still on the building, modified with electric lightboxes, when it was removed by the city, citing a safety hazard.

Contributed by Joe Masher

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

joemasher on July 5, 2007 at 6:38 pm

This theater is closed, and the marquee has been removed from the building. It’s currently for sale. It would make a GREAT art house, and could easily be divided into two or three screens.

avkid on August 20, 2007 at 6:27 pm

I was in Troy today on business. After I completed my scheduled tasks for the day I walked around downtown Troy for about two hours taking pictures of old buildings being given new life.
I wandered around taking pictures until I got hungry, just barely a block from the cafe I was considering, were the telltale steel remnants of a marquee and the curved entry of a movie house.
The building has almost totally been stripped of architectural importance, save the leaf pendant on the very tip of the building.
Here are the pictures:
View link

Plantweed on August 27, 2007 at 4:12 am

Vintage ads for the Cinema Art can be found here:

avkid on October 16, 2007 at 12:04 pm

Any updates on the future of the Cinema Art?

kencmcintyre on February 8, 2008 at 7:46 am

The theater is advertising “talking sound pictures” in this photo, which probably dates it around 1928:

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on May 2, 2008 at 4:11 am

Still closed. See my photos of the building

shoeshoe14 on August 25, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Saw this theatre while on a bike trip 2 weeks ago. Still closed of course and really hard to get around the back to see the building since it’s right over the railroad tracks.

joemasher on January 21, 2013 at 2:46 am

Shoeshoe, are you sure you had the right building? Threre are no railroad tracks anywhere near this building.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 5, 2015 at 11:35 am

Joe Masher’s description of the State Theatre says that it was designed by the same architect as the American Theatre, and the description of this house says that it was a twin of the State. If that’s so, then the architect of this theater was Abraham K. Mosley, who was noted as the architect of the Rose (State) Theatre in The American Contractor of April 29, 1922.

paulkazee on December 20, 2023 at 6:56 am

With a little luck and a lot of love, it will reopen in 2025.

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