Built in 1913 by renowned theater architect Thomas W. Lamb, the Hamilton opened as a vaudeville house, entertaining residents of the rapidly booming upper Manhattan neighborhood now known as Hamilton Heights.
It was a startling beauty. “At the time, vaudeville was the most popular form of theater in the United States,” states the 2000 Landmarks Preservation Commission report designating it a city landmark.
“The Hamilton’s two neo-Renaissance style facades, facing Broadway and West 146th Street, are dominated by large, round-arched windows with centered oculi.”
It projected its last film in 1958, after which the building served as a sports arena, church, and disco.
Harlem Bespoke has recent news that one of the stores leasing retail space at the Hamilton is vacating the building. Maybe it’s time to restore the entire theater to its original loveliness?
[Top photo: Museum of the City of New York]