Manhattan Theatre

213 Manhattan Avenue,
New York, NY 10025

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Additional Info

Functions: Church

Previous Names: Manhattan Photoplay Theatre, Brook Avenue Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Manhattan Theatre

The Manhattan Photoplay Theatre was opened by 1914 and was located at W. 109th Street and Manhattan Avenue. It also had an open-air roof theatre. It became one of the many late-run movie houses that once co-existed on New York’s Upper West Side, in this case wedged between the districts of Morningside Heights and Harlem.

The Manhattan Theatre went over to Spanish language movies in 1944 and operated into the mid-1950’s. By 1959 it was operating as the Brook Avenue Theatre, still screening Spanish language movies. The building today houses a church.

Contributed by Warren G. Harris

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

johndousmanis on September 28, 2004 at 11:51 pm

Yes there was a roof open air theater from day one when it opened. This year I was in the roof theaters projection room. There was nothing in it. There is a elevator that serviced the roof theater which has been closed for years. Many pigons in roof rooms. A health hazard. Hope to visit again. I will post it.

ifemorena on September 29, 2004 at 12:11 am

thanks, does that mean the theater is still being used as a church?

johndousmanis on September 29, 2004 at 10:12 pm

Yes the theater is only being used as a church. There are parts of the building where I have not been taken to. I hope to see the rest of the machinery areas shortly. I will post when I do. Is there anything you want more information? I will be visiting other old theaters in the city as time permits.

ifemorena on September 30, 2004 at 12:24 am

yes, i am very interested in the theaters in new york city. I am a native new yorker and looking to open a theater in new york state next year. Do you know if there are any books with pictures of these old new york theaters? Please feel free to email me directly.

johndousmanis on October 5, 2004 at 12:01 pm

ifemorena how do I e-mail you directly? Can not find a e-mail address for you on this site. Please get back to me by E-mail to with phone number. I have been servicing theater for many years and may have info you need. John

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on December 25, 2006 at 2:57 am

This theatre is mentioned in Rogelio Agrasanchez, Jr.’s excellent book MEXICAN MOVIES I N THE UNITED STATES.

It was turned into a Spanish language house by exhibitor Jeane Ansell in 1944.

A Manhattan Theatre on west 109th Street and Manhattan Avenue (213 Manhattan Avenue) was already running movies by 1918. Were there two different buildings on this location?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 29, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Still listed in the 1953 Film Daily Yearbook as an Ansell theatre, a chain that runs Spanish language theatres.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 6, 2010 at 9:21 pm

This theatre was already listed in a Paramount Week ad in 1918.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 9, 2010 at 4:17 pm

If this was closest movie theatre to the El train station then it was already there by 1915.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 11, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Listed in the 1959 Film Daily Yearbook as a Brook Avenue Theatre, a Spanish language chain. They also list the Santurce which is not yet identified on CT.

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