David Cinema

236 W. 54th Street,
New York, NY 10019

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jwmovies on August 14, 2022 at 11:30 am

FYI Al Parker AKA Andrew Okun died in 1992 2 months after his 40th birthday. Steve Taylor his aforementioned lover circa 1980 died in 1987…😔

rivest266 on October 7, 2020 at 6:09 pm

Padlocked by the city padlocked the theatre on March 1995 after 119 instances of prohibited Sex

David Cinema closingDavid Cinema closing Mon, Jun 12, 1995 – 24 · Daily News (New York, New York) · Newspapers.com

SingleScreen on November 11, 2019 at 7:53 pm

I remember going here one time after leaving the DuArt film lab. I was literally carrying at least two canisters of film. This place had a spiral staircase leading up to a lounge area.

GeorgeCheeksSr on December 28, 2015 at 8:03 pm

Why isn’t the actual picture showing as it is in the “photo section”?

edwilknyc on January 14, 2014 at 8:43 am

Walking by, I remember this theater used to advertise –“Hot & Cold Buffet”. Does anyone remember sampling this? Or the set-up?

Willburg145 on April 20, 2013 at 4:19 pm

This place was always packed on weekends. But when David Lettermen moved to the newly-refurbished Sullivan Theatre the days were counting down for the New David.

bflonyguy on October 26, 2011 at 5:45 am

To the left of the screen was a tiny metal spiral stairway (about 18" wide — so narrow that you always had to back up or back down if someone was coming toward you) leading to a large upstairs “lounge”, with a darkroom off to the side.

captainern on April 21, 2010 at 10:08 pm

great theater – very buttery popcorn
the old pfizer crowd used to hang out there all the time
last flick i caught there was holly does dallas
i think the 2nd feature was argyle jim

creepy opeator – couldn’t tell what persuasion he/she was

kimberly clark
kimberly clark on April 11, 2010 at 12:15 pm

When I was there a few times in the late Seventies it was just called “The 54th St. Theatre. I believe it was on 54th between Broadway and Seventh. The first time I went there they showed a "Premiere” feature starring Al Parker. When the first film was over they brought up lights and introduced Al Parker, the star of the film and had a Q & A session. Everyone was terribly uncomfortable with the lights up and no one really had anything to ask Al other than “How do you get it up if you’re not attracted to your co-star” Al said the co-star of this film was his lover. In the Eighties I used to see all on Castro Street in San Francisco wearing the sandpapered jeans that outlined his huge schong going down one leg of his 501’s, you could see it from a block away. Unfortunaltely, I think he died in the late eights.
The 54th Theatre had a “Behind the screen lounge” which was behind the screen and served as a “back-room” I remember leaving there with a hunky trucker once. Hot very hot! Would love to hear more dirt, I’m on FB

woody on May 16, 2009 at 8:30 am

heres a blow up of a previous posting from a higher res scan, still grainy, i was staying in the hotel next door and our room looked down on the roof of the david
View link

dave-bronx™ on July 21, 2007 at 1:06 pm

Wasn’t there a firehouse on the corner of 54th & 8th? Did they knock it down? It wasn’t that old…

stgcomm on July 21, 2007 at 12:27 pm

The sign in Ed Soler’s picture refers to a new building on the esat side of 8th Avenue between 53rd/54th, for which the land has already been cleared and construction has begun. The site is on the east end of the block and does not affect any of the structures in the photo, none of which are endangered any time in the forseeable future. The hotel on the corner is still in operation, the Divine Bar is still around, and just east of that is the “Studio 54” Theater which also is active. You can search this query in a composite view of Google Maps “260 w. 54th st new york” and see the block. “Studio 54” is just to the right of the construction site, next is a commercial low-rise, then the Divine Bar/ex-David, then the hotel on the corner.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 6, 2006 at 4:47 pm

Here’s another image from Woody’s flickr account showing a more contemporary view of the New David Cinema site. The big billboard above the building doesn’t bode well for any of the structures on that block.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 6, 2006 at 2:02 pm

I found this fuzzy image of the David’s exterior on our friend Woody’s flickr.com photostream. As for my first impression of the canopy per the photo I posted in my previous comment, I guess a partial view can be deceiving.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 6, 2006 at 11:01 am

Here’s a shot I found on flickr that looks to be for this incarnation of the David rather than the location on W. 55th Street. I only assume this because the car door in the photo looks like an 80’s or 90’s model. Anyway… looks like some fairly ornate ceiling fixtures hung in the foyer to the David, not to mention that the marquee canopy seemed to be arched and fairly wide.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 12, 2006 at 10:40 am

Here’s another ad from just a couple of days later, showing the David’s programing had quickly turned over and featuring the photo of a gentleman who looks startlingly like Gabe Kaplan:

Fantasy Island Post 3/10/82

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 12, 2006 at 10:27 am

The Ritz (that is, the uptown Ritz) was on W. 54th so I presume this was the David Theater that Greenpoint saw when he visited The Ritz in ‘93. The original Ritz, by the way, was downtown on East 11th just off 4th Avenue and is now known as Webster Hall.

Anyway… an ad for the David on 54th can be found in this cluster of porn ads from the NY Post in 1982:

Steve Scott Festival 3/8/82

Greenpoint on June 15, 2005 at 4:09 pm

“lonely sad naked guys” need love too.

That snippet of comment had to be the best thing I have ever read here…awesome!

Greenpoint on June 15, 2005 at 4:08 pm

I was going to some rave at the Ritz near the David in 93, I had no idea there were 2 Davids- I wonder which one the Ritz was near?

woody on April 2, 2005 at 1:38 pm

The David Theatre i visited in the early 90’s was located next door to the Ameritania Hotel on Broadway, it was a single storey classical facade and a grubby little theatre with a sloping floor. Badly projected porn films flickered on the screen while bored looking sleazoids and fat cab drivers cruised the aisles, it had hard plastic seats (easy to clean… if that ever happened) there were also endless corridors and blocked overflowing toilets full of silent sex hunters, one particular vivid memory is of cockroaches falling on peoples head as they climbed up the rickety spiral staircase behind the screen to the upper rooms where lonely sad naked guys sat waiting for someone to love them

stgcomm on February 5, 2005 at 11:28 am

I think this was almost next to the Studio 54 site. I used to laugh at the sign in front of it that was there around 1995…“Closed for Technical Difficulties, Projector Broken.” Uh-huh.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 28, 2004 at 5:23 am


This was a second David Cinema, located on W. 54th St which operated until about 1999.

My initial posting was for the original David Cinema, 238 West 55th Street which was operating in the mid 1970’s. I have listing guides from that era which show it at that address.

br91975 on December 27, 2004 at 8:18 pm

The David Cinema was actually located at 236 W. 54th Street; its former space is presently occupied by the upscale Divine Bar West lounge club.