627 Madison Avenue,
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Previously operated by: Loew's Inc.
Firms: Herts and Tallant
Previous Names: New German Theatre, 59th Street Plaza Theatre, Loew's Plaza Theatre
The originally 991-seat theatre (500 more seats were later added) was built by a German cultural society and first opened in 1908 with stage plays and musical concerts. The single-floor Beaux Arts auditorium was peculiarly designed, with boxed seats at the rear instead of adjacent to the stage.
The New German Theatre was an instant disaster and soon leased to the Shuberts, who turned it into a conventional playhouse under the new name of the 59th Street Plaza Theatre. The Shuberts also failed to achieve success, and in November, 1909, Marcus Loew took over the lease and converted the house to movies as Loew’s Plaza Theatre.
When Loew’s later acquired the larger and more elegant Lexington Opera House about eight blocks away, it sold the Plaza’s lease to Leo Brecher, who operated it as a subsequent-run movie house until it was demolished in 1929 to make way for an office building. Brecher then took the name Plaza for a new and much smaller theatre that he built a block away at 42 East 58th Street.
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