“20 Cent Movie” at a Times Square theater

In the 1920s and 1930s, painter Reginald Marsh depicted scenes from the seedy side of the city: burlesque-show floozies, Bowery bums, and life’s other bit players—including these characters hanging around the Lyric Theater on 42nd Street.


“20 Cent Movie” dates back to 1936. Marsh was also drawn to Coney Island; he painted a number of carnivalesque beach and boardwalk scenes similar to this one.

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7 Responses to ““20 Cent Movie” at a Times Square theater”

  1. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    Can just imagine what went on inside with people sitting next to each other, ooo la la…

  2. 'tine Says:

    My dad’s in his 80s, and he remembers when movies were 10 cents. He said there was nearly a riot when movie palaces like the Loews and the Stanley in Jersey City, NJ raised their prices to 11 cents!

  3. wildnewyork Says:

    And I think for 10 cents you got a feature and a bunch of shorts too. Quite a bargain!

  4. petey Says:

    including warner brothers cartoons – on the big screen!

  5. “Why Not Use the El?” « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] had a thing for the seedy side of New York, like this Times Square theater scene he painted in […]

  6. “Tattoo and Haircut” on the Bowery « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] paintings typically feature the city’s marginalized Depression-era outcasts. ”What interested Marsh was not the individuals in a crowd, but the crowd itself … In […]

  7. The glory days of Julian’s 14th Street pool hall | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] Reginald Marsh shot these images. He’s better known as an artist of the 1920s to 1940s who was drawn to the city’s seedy underbelly along the Bowery, at Times Square, and on Coney Island. […]

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