Tribune Theatre

170 Nassau Street,
New York, NY 10038

Unfavorite 1 person favorited this theater

Showing 21 comments

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 4, 2014 at 8:09 pm

The Tribune Theatre was opened by the Springer & Cocalis circuit in 1935. The April 5, 1935, issue of Motion Picture Daily named it as one of four movie houses then under construction by the chain:

“S. & C. at Work On Four New Theatres

“In addition to the Tribune and Court which are now nearing completion, Springer & Cocalis are building two other theatres, one a 1,400-seat house at 204th St. and Broadway, and a second, a 1,200-seat theatre, at Hillside development at Boston Post Road. Both houses will be ready in September.

“The Tribune, which will seat 600, is expected to be ready for opening May 1. The Court, also a 600-seater, will be opened about May I5.”

Flynn on August 14, 2012 at 8:56 pm

OK, Tinseltoes. You can email it to me at: .


Flynn on August 14, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Tinseltoes, I’m only able to locate a New York Times article on that date which simply states ‘Theater leased" without the full article.

Can you please post the full story that you found here. Thank you.

Flynn on August 13, 2012 at 11:11 pm

This is crazy! I’m not a movie buff like the rest of you folks and am only trying to determine the movie theater I went to as a child. I’m discovering more than I ever wanted to know, except what I’m actually looking for.

The Original Tribune Theater at 170 Nassau Street closed in 1959 and moved down Frankfort Street closer to William Street due to an expired lease and increased rent. Since it was no longer in the Tribune or Sun buildings and those names were copyrighted, the new theater had a different name. Perhaps after one of the studios – RKO, Century or Paramount. However, it was still referred to as the Tribune Theater.

Meanwhile in 1961 the old theater reopened as City Hall Cinema. Then of course the entire area was demolished in 1966.

Perhaps one of you followers with the proper resources can help me discover the name of this new short lived theater. I know that West Side Story which was released on 10/18/61 played there. Can one of you please check your publications of newspaper movie ads with listings and times for that time period and look for a theater downtown and specifically on Frankfort Street.


Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 3, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Could it be the Majestic in Jersey City you are thinking of?

Flynn on April 3, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Thanks AlAlvarez, but the one I’m looking for was definately in the City Hall area. Perhaps on Frankfort, Spruce, Beekman, Gold or William Streets.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 3, 2012 at 2:10 pm

There was a Majestic (Woolworth)further north on Second Avenue. Here

Flynn on April 3, 2012 at 6:37 am

This clearly proves that the Tribune Theater was renamed the City Hall Cinema and has thrown a huge monkey wrench into my search for the theater nearby that I went to as a kid.

I would greatlu appreciate if any of you folks with your vast historical theater listings can look for a Majestic Theater in this area.

Flynn on April 3, 2012 at 4:11 am

Just added a photo showing that the theater was closed in March 1966.

Flynn on March 26, 2012 at 9:29 pm

This unknown theater has some significance to me. My older sister took me there to see a Dracula movie when I was just 7 or 8 years old. I’m not sure which one because the theater seems to have screened more reruns than new features. Talk about shock therapy. I have never much cared for horror movies ever since. I need to determine exactly where it was and see a photo of it to purge the demons. lol.

Flynn on March 26, 2012 at 9:21 pm

John, part of the confusion lies in mistaking the original real City Hall Cinema at 31-32 Park Row which closed in 1936 for the one noted in the 1965 advertisement. I’m guessing that the theater that was open from 1960 to 1966 after the Tribune Theater closed in 1959 was not actually named the Tribune Theater or City Hall Cinema. However, because of it’s proximity to the Tribune building and City Hall itself, everyone referred to it as both including the newspapers.

johndereszewski on March 26, 2012 at 8:47 pm

Flynn, thanks so much for adding that terrific picture. It really shows where the old Tribune Theatre fit in to what is now an open plaza. And seeing a small portion of the old BMT elevated City Hall terminal was very much a plus.

When I first discovered the City Hall Theatre page on this site, I was surprised to learn that one movie house could serve what, even at that time, was already a 9 to 5 community. I was realy shocked that TWO theaters, situated nearly within the shadow of each other, could exist – and apparently prosper -in this neighborhood. I wonder how the attendance patterns functioned here. Was it a habit for downtown workers to quit at five, have a drink and/or a quick meal and then take in a 6 or 7 o'clock showing – or did most patrons – perhaps including the Fulton Fish Market crowd – view the presentations earlier in the day? (I doubt that there was much of a crown for the late evening showings – but who knows?)

It would really be great to hear the thoughts and observations of those who actually saw movies in the City Hall area in that bygone time.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Paging Detective Solero!

Flynn on March 26, 2012 at 9:53 am

I added a 1933 photo of where the Tribune would be just before it opened.

Flynn on March 26, 2012 at 9:50 am

The short life of the City Hall Cinema makes it obscure. I’ve spoken to people who actually worked there as ushers, ticket sellers and concessionaire. They all refer to it as the Majestic or Tribune. Regardless of it’s actual company name, people were still going to be calling it the Tribune. Funny thing is, none of them can tell me exactly where it was located. Only just around the corner and down the block. Could have been on Frankfort, Spruce or Beekman Streets, Park Row or even Gold and William Streets.

Flynn on March 25, 2012 at 12:38 am

I also grew up on the lower east side of New York. There’s a mystery about this theater that I can’t seem to solve. Pace University purchased the Tribune building in the early 1960s and the Tribune Theater appears to have closed and reopened as the City Hall Cinema around the corner on Frankfort Street. It had a short life as several blocks in that area including the Tribune building were razed in 1966 to make way for the Pace Civic Center, Bache building and Southbridge Towers. This new theater is the one I remember going to, but can’t find any information or pictures relating to it.

geneser1 on June 19, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Warren – I grew up on the Lower East Side and went to the City Hall Cinema known as The Tribune. I tried clicking on the links you provide but I only received an error. Are these still available on photobucket? How may I see them?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 25, 2008 at 4:59 pm

Here is an ad for the Tribune which shows it operating as the City Hall Cinema briefly during the summer of 1965.

View link

WHohauser on February 20, 2006 at 3:01 am

Designed by William I. Hohauser

philipgoldberg on July 11, 2004 at 11:42 pm


is the building that housed this tehater still standing?