The Village’s art house movie theaters

There are lots of places in the city that show independent and foreign films. But movie fanatics who lived in New York in the 50s, 60s, and 70s still bemoan the loss of certain legendary theaters, like Bleecker Street Cinema, which opened in 1962 and closed in 1990.

After ceasing to show art films, Bleecker Street Cinema had a short stint as a porno palace, then was renovated for retail use. 

This page, from the 1965 Inside Guide to Greenwich Village, calls it “a film-lover’s paradise,” then lists other artsy theaters, most of which are long gone. Cinema Village still exists, but the Greenwich Theater is now an Equinox, and the Eighth Street Playhouse a retail outlet.

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5 Responses to “The Village’s art house movie theaters”

  1. Frozen Panic at the Trader Joe’s - City Room Blog - Says:

    […] memories of the Bleecker Street Cinema, a film fan’s paradise. [Ephemeral New […]

  2. Ricky Says:

    In the 70’s, when I was in high school and college I would read the The New Yorker and see all the classic movie listings and wish I could go see them on a big screen. I moved to NYC in 1980 and use to go, but now all those theaters are gone…

  3. Bruce R. Gilson Says:

    Interesting that the telephone number was an ORchard 4 number. That’s further north than I’d have thought. When my own phone was an ORchard 4, I lived on Henry St., quite a bit below that Bleecker St. address, near the East Broadway subway station. (I moved away from there to Marble Hill in 1951.)

  4. victorFlores Says:

    truth be told: I loved the Bleeker St cinema, and i am sad it is gone.

    Saw a silent movie with a piano player: I saw Desperately Seeking Susan, which had scenes in the Bleeer St Cinema. Saw Almodovar in person talking about, and showing his film. Many memories for some reason. waiting to get in. Man, i loved that place, and the movies they played

  5. Green daisy Says:

    I think the Eighth St Playhouse has a cameo in the movie Fame, when some of the kids went to see “Rocky Horror”.
    Love this site!

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