Posts Tagged ‘Bleecker Street Cinema’

Escaping the day in the Bleecker Street Cinema

May 26, 2016

These days at 144 Bleecker Street, you’ll find a Duane Reade. But quite a different world existed there between 1960 and 1990.


For 30 years, the two 1832 row houses at this address housed what used to be called a revival theater or art house theater—a place to catch offbeat, experimental, and foreign films before these categories were lumped together as independent cinema.

There was no surround sound or seats with cup holders. Yet the marquee in this 1960s photo looking toward LaGuardia Place hints at the treasures that awaited viewers who ducked inside to escape a dreary New York day.

[Photo: Robert Otter]

The Village’s art house movie theaters

October 17, 2008

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.