72nd Street Playhouse

346 E. 72nd Street,
New York, NY 10021

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Associated Independent Theatres Inc., Consolidated Amusement Company, Interboro Circuit Inc., Trans-Lux Movies Corp.

Firms: Groneberg & Leuchtag

Previous Names: Granada Theatre, Trans-Lux Theatre, 72nd Street East Theatre

Nearby Theaters

72nd Street Playhouse

The 72nd Street Playhouse opened in 1914 and was operated by the Consolidated Amusement Company chain until at least 1926. By the early-1940’s it had been renamed Granada Theatre and was operated by the Interboro chain. From 1948 to 1955 it was operated by the Trans-Lux Movies Corp. chain. Small plush neighborhood theatre on the upper east side between First Avenue and Second Avenue, which I recall from the 1950’s that, for a time, it played RKO reissues. By 1962 it was operated by the Associated Independent Theatres Inc. chain and they were still the operators in 1970.

Seating was very comfortable with red or maroon velvet seats similar in style to those at the Roxy Theatre and Radio City Music Hall. The 72nd Street Playhouse was closed early-November 1984 and has since been demolished.

Contributed by Erwin Markisch

Recent comments (view all 25 comments)

BrianF on December 30, 2009 at 8:53 pm

I was a vacation relief manager at CINEMA 5’s 72nd Street East Theatre in winter of late 1983. [Tom Cruise made his debut in “Risky Business” while I was there. It was very cold that winter. A lot of cougars from the upper east side would come to the theatre to be warmed up by Cruise dancing in his underwear.] Rose Mansfield, the manager who was in her seventies back then, lived across the way on the NE corner and would watch the changing of the marquee from her window every Thursday night on her day off, then call the theatre to say a letter was crooked. Perhaps this theatre is best known for its singular CLANKING RADIATOR on the side wall of the theatre. Otherwise, it could be remembered for having the tiniest of snack bars, where there were delightful non-English speaking Asian girls with a shoe box, cash, and no coin nor cash register necessary.

PassedPawn on January 20, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Saw alot of movies here as a kid during the early to mid 70s. We called it the “dollar” theater because admission was, well, $1. I stopped going in ‘78 when they wouldn’t let me in to see Star Wars during it’s re-release without a parent. Sheesh it was only PG.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 24, 2010 at 7:03 pm

This closed in early November 1984 after a subrun showing of “Teachers”.

PassedPawn on February 24, 2010 at 8:27 pm

Thanks AlAlvarez. Was always wondering when this theater closed.

pinyay on March 27, 2010 at 10:52 am

Hey guys – I’m currently researching for a story on picturehouses/theatres in NY during the 1910s-20s….does anyone care to get in contact with memories/memories from relatives(!)…I’d really appreciate it – just to get an understanding of the ambience etc in this or any place like it…

Thanks in advance, Becks

clmcih15 on November 5, 2015 at 7:55 am

Hi pinyay, I just discovered a movie poster of movies at the Granada Theater circa 1945. excellent condition. had it framed. interested? Clmcih

clmcih15 on November 5, 2015 at 7:57 am

that’s the Granada theater at 72nd street NYC, active 1914-1950’s, now closed/razed. clmcih

Gabi Gonzalez
Gabi Gonzalez on April 2, 2017 at 6:16 am

Hello fellow movie theater lovers,

I’m doing a project for my photojournalism class at NYU about closed down independent movie theaters in New York. I hope to gain information about people’s past experiences at these movie theaters, recollections of favorite memories or not so great experiences, perhaps economical insight, contacts with owners/managers, etc. On a larger level, I hope my project is able to show the significance of the role that these establishments play in our city and the importance of keeping them afloat.

If anyone would be willing to answer a few questions via email about your personal memories at the theater, please let me know! It could be as simple as recounting a favorite movie you remember seeing back when it was open. I would greatly appreciate your insight.

You can contact me at:


Astyanax on March 22, 2022 at 8:18 am

Does anyone know how long the Cinema 5 organization managed the 72St.P?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 13, 2023 at 7:44 am

This was a Trans-Lux house from 1948 to 1955. It is odd that they gave it up when Upper East Side art houses were in such high demand, but perhaps someone else was willing to pay more.

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