Cosmo Theatre

176 E. 116th Street,
New York, NY 10029

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cellman70 on April 12, 2024 at 7:59 am

Thanks for all your memories…my dad was a projectionist at the Cosmo for over 30 years; I spent many a Saturday sitting on a stool in the projection booth, wearing aviator headphones and peering through a porthole window to watch the movie of the week.

Wish I could find the photo of my dad getting ready to switch reels on one of their three 35mm carbon arc protectors; and really wish I was smart enough to have saved the currently showing film posters which were thrown away after the last Saturday night showing, to be replaced by the next week’s feature!!!

bigjoe59 on February 10, 2022 at 1:36 pm


does the supermarket occupy just the entrance and lobby areas or does it occupy the entire auditorium section as well?

kidblast1 on February 9, 2022 at 7:45 pm

The former Cosmo is a supermarket nowadays although the top part of its building facade still has a movie theater look to it as seen on February 9, 2022 as seen in my photos in the Photos section herein.

bigjoe59 on June 9, 2019 at 12:53 pm


traveling west along 116 St. just before you get to 3rd Ave. one sees that the auditorium section still exits. has it been gutted or simply covered over for retail use?

Jack Theakston
Jack Theakston on January 20, 2019 at 11:06 pm

Originally opened in 1922 and was run by Steinman and Greenberg. Seating was listed as 1,200. Ran 100% Universal Pictures when it opened.

AndrewBarrett on December 27, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Does anybody have some current exterior or interior photos of the Cosmo? What store(s) is/are occupying the building now, and how much of the theatre interior is still intact?

According to “The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ” by Mr. David L. Junchen, pg. 630, the Cosmo Theatre in New York City, New York had a 2 manual, 8 rank Smith organ (with a Kramer nameplate) installed in 1921. This organ had a 3 horsepower Kinetic blower, serial #J415, which produced 10" of static wind.

Does anybody know where this organ (or its parts) is/are today?

Are the organ chambers still intact in the building?

If so, what is currently in them, and would the owner(s) allow me to take pictures of the chambers (and the building) if/when I come visit the East Coast?

This is for my Smith theatre pipe organ history webpage. Thanks a lot!

jrock on January 26, 2012 at 11:16 am

great story joot29. i lived up there for 8 years in late 1990s-2000’s and remember the blackout if 2003(or was it 04)…different times

DeliaFernandez21 on December 16, 2010 at 10:58 am

My God! Blast from the past! I grew up in Spanish Harlem in the 70s and 80s when La Marqueta was still functioning. I vividly remember our family’s weekly outings to the Cosmo Thearter! My mother, father, brother and I! I can still smell the popcorn! The beautiful marble floors and staircases, the old fashioned bathrooms and the long velvet drapes that hung from ceiling to floor in the screening room itself! What a beautiful time to grow up in and what a beautiful community with such flavor and sense of family! The best time of my life! What a great memory and an even greater loss! Those times in Spanish Harlem with my family will live in my heart forever! Que viva El Barrio y las jentes latinas que se vivieron y suigen viviendo en esa communidad tan especial!

joot29 on October 27, 2008 at 8:07 am

OMG. I’ll never forget being at the Cosmo when the blackout hit NYC (was it 1977?). If I remember correctly, it was either “Westworld” or “Island of Dr. Moreau” (or both?). Anyway…..the lights go out, the movie stops, etc…..but no one is freaking out just yet…..we’re just waiting for things to get back to normal. But they don’t. Then I can hear some commotion outside. My mother is freaking out. The noise is escalating, and then people start storming out of the theater. My mother grabs both my hand and my brother’s so hard that the next day we still had red marks on our wrists! As we walked out of the theater, it was a surreal scene. Stores being looted, traffic, commotion, sirens going off. I’ll never forget it.

yma225 on May 14, 2006 at 7:58 pm

I went to the old Cosmo’s theatre as child with my older brother and friends. The building still stands and was unfortunately converted into a clothing store sometime in the mid 80’s. I have lots of good memories of the theater. My older brother would take me there in the early & mid 60’s to see movies such as “Godzilla”, “King Kong”, and “Children of the Damn” along with one hour worth of short films and news. The Cosmos showed both English and Spanish films untill its closing. They also gave live concerts there. I saw Spanish artist such as Iris Chacon,Sandro,Rafael,Tito Puente, Celia Cruz long before they played Radio City Music Hall or Madison Square Garden. My babysitter, who did not speak English and loved the movies, would take me to see the old Mexican cowboy movies, as well as the “Cantinfla” movies staring Mario Moreno. They also showed lots of badly dubbed American films targeted to the Spanish speaking public. The theater closed for good some time in the early 80’s. The movie house was known as The Cosmo until its closing and kept its art deco “Cosmos” signage until the very end. The Theater was located at on 116th between Lexington and Third Avenues in “Spanish Harlem” better known as “El Barrio” to the thousands of Puerto Ricans, such as myself, who were the resident immigrant group of that time.

bamtino on December 17, 2005 at 9:28 am

According to a Warren comment on another page, the 1943 FDY lists this theatre with 1246 seats. The 1955 edition states that it seated 1150. In addition to the updated seat count, the function should be listed as retail, as per previous comments.

SillyMil on July 8, 2005 at 7:50 pm

OMG, the Cosmo! One of my favs growing up in Spanish Harlem. I remember seeing Jaws, Grease and others. Until recently you would’ve been able to see the name still written in the street outside the theater. Now it’s a clothing shop. Boo hoo hoo! Hey does anyone remember the Edison on 103rd & 3rd Ave? I remember they had a live show there with Tito Puente, Celia Cruz and Iris Chacon.

RobertR on July 4, 2005 at 2:37 pm

OK, I guess it’s not listed on here yet.

RobertR on July 4, 2005 at 2:03 pm

Check out this 1974 ad for “Coffy” does anyone know theatres named
San Juan, Tapia and West End all listed in uptown Manhattan? I tried doing a former name search on here but nothing came up.

View link

br91975 on October 5, 2004 at 7:21 am

The Cosmo shut its doors sometime in the late 1980s; two of the more notable – if that’s the appropriate word – Cannon releases shown at the Cosmo in its latter years were 1987’s ‘Masters of the Universe’ (a proud moment, I’m sure, in the careers of everyone involved) and 1988’s ‘Salsa’.