Azteca Theatre

1490 Madison Avenue,
New York, NY 10029

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Harris Theatrical Enterprises

Functions: Restaurant

Previous Names: Madison Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Azteca Theatre

The Madison Theatre was a small, late-run movie theatre on Manhattan’s Upper East Side at E. 102nd Street and Madison Avenue. Circa 1940, the Madison Theatre had four changes of double features per week, on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. By the early-1950’s, it had been taken over by Harris Theatrical Enterprises and re-named the Azteca Theatre showing Spanish-language imports. It was still open in 1969.

The former theatre today houses a restaurant.

Contributed by Warren G. Harris

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 5, 2005 at 12:16 pm

I have the Madison listed in the 1930 Film Daily Yearbook, so it was opened prior to then.

The 1950 FDY has it listed as the Azteca with a seating capacity of 530. Stangely, by the time the 1957 FDY was published it is again listed as the Madison, but showing no seating capacity, which leads me to believe that it had just closed and the owners hadn’t contacted FDY with their annual update.

Theaters in the FDY without a seating capacity tend to be ones just opened (or about to open as FDY went to press) so are without their full details, or for the reason I mention above.

cjdv on January 5, 2005 at 4:27 pm

There is a Madison Theatre listed at the “cor. Madison and 102nd Street” in “The American Motion Picture Directory : a Cyclopedic Directory of the Motion Picture Industry 1914-15”. It is not in Trow’s for 1911. Don’t have 1912 Trow’s Manhattan listings on hand.

michaelappell on February 7, 2005 at 4:49 pm

My father, Bernard Appell, owned and operated the Madison Theatre from some time before I was born in 1937 until the late 1940’s when he was unable to renew his lease. I remember the house as always being packed. Sets of dishes were given away on weekends when serials were shown and contests were held. More and more Spanish Language films were shown during weekdays in the later years.He then operated the Hispanic on 115 St. & Fifth (now a church) and the Triboro on 125th (I think near the Apollo) later called the Victoria.
Dad brought live entertainment in from Cuba.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on December 25, 2006 at 3:40 am

This theatre is mentioned in Rogelio Agrasanchez, Jr.’s excellent book MEXICAN MOVIES I N THE UNITED STATES.

The Azteca was an East Harlem house managed by Jeane Ansell, a 1940’s exhibitor with a chain of over ten local theatres who was financially destroyed by a tax scandal in the fifties.

kencmcintyre on November 26, 2008 at 7:18 pm

Listed as the Azteca Theatre at 1492 Madison in the 1960 yellow pages. A Duane Reade pharmacy is now at the corner of Madison and 102nd.

drgitlow on July 11, 2009 at 7:11 pm

The Azteca was closed by 1960, when my family moved a block away. From then until the late 1970s, the marquee with its big neon signs presided over a closed building. Next door, at the corner of Madison & 102nd, was a Met supermarket. It burned in the late 70s and Red Apple took over that building as well as the Azteca building. The Azteca signage came down and Red Apple signs went up on the marquee.

When Red Apple moved out in the 90s, the original marquee finally came down, leaving no remaining evidence of any movie theater at all.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 29, 2010 at 2:25 pm

This should be listed as the Azteca with Madison as an aka.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 13, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Still advertised in the Spanish newspapers in 1963 as the Azteca.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 14, 2011 at 11:40 am

I found another ad. Still open in 1968.

SingleScreen on January 29, 2019 at 2:41 pm

There’s a newspaper ad from October 1969 that has it open.

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