RKO Franklin Theatre

887 Prospect Avenue,
Bronx, NY 10459

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: B.S. Moss Enterprises, RKO

Architects: Eugene DeRosa

Styles: Beaux-Arts

Previous Names: B.S. Moss' Franklin Theatre

Nearby Theaters

RKO Franklin

Situated in the West Morrisania section of the Bronx, the Franklin Theatre was one of the largest theatres built by B.S. Moss. It first opened on September 5, 1921, presenting Keith-Albee vaudeville and movies, which explains how it eventually became part of the RKO circuit.

Hard-hit by declining neighborhood conditions, the RKO Franklin Theatre closed in the 1960’s and was converted into a supermarket. Demolished in the 1980’s, it has been replaced by a group of three-story garden apartments.

Contributed by Warren G. Harris

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

RobertR on October 16, 2005 at 4:38 pm

1954 was a good year for Shelly Winters, she has three films in release at the same time. On the RKO run, “Cry of the City” and in Loew’s theatres “Saskatchewan” and “Tennessee Champ”.
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BobFurmanek on February 23, 2006 at 9:04 am

To promote his new film “The Ladies Man,” Jerry Lewis appeared on stage at this theater on July 12, 1961.

William on June 13, 2006 at 9:00 am

During the planning stages (1919) of this theatre it was known as the Atlas Theatre with a planned 3163 seats.

Paul Noble
Paul Noble on June 28, 2006 at 3:05 am

The Franklin is mentioned in the 1935 Clifford Odets play, set in the Bronx, “Awake and Sing!” The family is on its way to see vaudeville at the Franklin when the daughter takes sick on Prospect Avenue, and they return home and realize she is pregnant.

BobFurmanek on February 4, 2009 at 11:44 am

On Friday January 26, 1962, the Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly-Joe DeRita) embarked on a three day promotional tour for their latest feature film, THE THREE STOOGES MEET HERCULES. They were accompanied by “The Herculean Giant” (almost 8 foot tall Dave Ballard) and popular DJ Clay Cole, who was one of the stars of the co-feature, TWIST AROUND THE CLOCK.

On Friday January 26, they appeared at the RKO Franklin at 9:00 PM.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on December 25, 2009 at 10:33 am

A 1921 photo as the B.S. Moss Franklin theatre can be seen at this Bowtie website.


Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 24, 2017 at 1:24 pm

The 1937 Film Daily Yearbook (like Cinema Treasures) lists the Franklin and the Prospect as two separate and different theatres. Unlike the Franklin, the Prospect had only 1400 seats and later became the Olympic.

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