Gotham Theatre

165 E. 125th Street,
New York, NY 10035

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Fox Circuit, Liggett-Florin Booking Service

Architects: Thomas White Lamb

Styles: Beaux-Arts

Previous Names: Gotham Music Hall, Odeon Theatre, Bon-Ton Theatre, New 125th Street Theatre, Triboro Theatre, Latino Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Latino Theater

The Gotham Music Hall first opened in 1903, a time when Harlem was a predominatly affluent white section of uptown Manhattan. The Gotham Music Hall was built solely for plays and vaudeville, with a 1,750-seat auditorium and stage housing that occupied the better part of a square block. It would probably be forgotten today except for the fact that in 1904, owners Sullivan & Kraus hired a young architect named Thomas W. Lamb to do some minor alterations. It was Lamb’s first theatre-related commission, and he went on from there to become one of the masters.

The Gotham Music Hall was taken over by William Fox in 1908 and was operated as a vaudeville & movie theatre. Movies creeped in full-time and eventually replaced stage attractions, but the Gotham Theatre was too old-fashioned to keep up with newer theatres in the area. Over the years, it went through various name changes and reductions in seating capacity– the Odeon, Bon Ton, New 125th Street, and the 985-seat Triboro Theatre by 1957 when it was operated by Liggett-Florin Booking Service. In January/February 1967 it was briefly operating as the Latino Theatre showing sub-run movies and a circus. It was demolished soon afterwards.

Contributed by Warren G. Harris

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

BoxOfficeBill on December 10, 2004 at 4:53 pm

Warren— many thanks!

pianoman on December 24, 2004 at 3:41 pm

If this is in Times Square, my book says that it showed Zamba and Black Shadows-both thrillers. Am I correct about its location? I’m only 10 years old, so I’m……well…just not as smart as you older folks. I admit it. Please reply, somebody!

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on July 8, 2005 at 4:27 pm

The 1941 and 1943 editions of Film Daily Yearbook have this theatre listed as the Triboro Theatre, 165 E. 125th Street, Manhattan with a seating capacity of 571 (closed).

In the 1950 edition of F.D.Y. it is listed as open again (same seating capacity)

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on December 25, 2006 at 8:23 am

This theatre is mentioned in Rogelio Agrasanchez, Jr.’s excellent book MEXICAN MOVIES I N THE UNITED STATES.

bobmarshall on October 17, 2007 at 12:26 am

In her bio, “Some of These Days,” Sophie Tucker mentions amateur nights “Up at the 125th Street Theater, corner of 3rd Avenue.” (she did play there.) There’s no doubt it was the latter day Tri-Boro. I grew up in the neighborhood in the 40s & 50s, and recall their showing Italian, then Spanish films, live theater (“Passion Play” an annual event), and a 3 films a day grind house. It was a fairly large theater, with two balconies, and an “island” box office outside.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 12, 2010 at 5:27 am

This theatre had a history of being raided by police for presenting scantily clad women (1930’s style) in live burlesque shows.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 15, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Does anyone know anything more about the Teatro Latino on 125th street?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 19, 2013 at 4:06 am

Ruth Crosby Dimmick’s Our Theatres To-day and Yesterday,published in 1913, says that the Gotham Theatre was opened by Sullivan & Kraus in 1901, and operated as a variety theater. In 1908, it was taken over by William Fox who operated it as a combination vaudeville and movie house.

In 1906, Sullivan & Kraus paid $500 to the City of New York for a one-year license for the Gotham Music Hall, 163-167 E. 125th Street, according to The City Record of May 10 that year. Gotham Music Hall was apparently the theater’s name before Fox leased it.

Richard_Blondet on July 11, 2017 at 1:51 am

Hey guys,

The official grand opening of the “Latino” Theatre was on Sept, 8th, 1966. The “new” proprietors were Willy Chevalier, a comedian and veteran Master of Ceremonies since the 1940s within the Spanish Theater circuit local to NYC, and another gentleman whose name escapes me. Willy had first introduced “Latino” style vaudeville to the space in 1947 when it was known as the Triboro Theater. He had attempted to purchase it in the early 1950s and call it “Teatro Santurce” (after a town in Puerto Rico) but apparently was unable to come up with the bread. By 1965, the Triboro ceased showing films and closed for business in early ‘66. It lay dormant until Chevalier and his partner leased the space in the late summer of that year.

Unfortunately for the new ownership, theatrical vaudeville/live entertainment had by then been replaced by the discoteque as the venue of choice for nightlife consumers. Their type of artistry they sought out and booked was with an older generation in mind and they simply did not respond in support. Teatro Latino/Latino Theater lasted only two years. They closed in ‘68.

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