Warners' Theatre

1664 Broadway,
New York, NY 10019

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rivest266 on October 4, 2020 at 10:49 pm

Reopened as Abbey on April 7th, 1943. Grand opening ad posted.

DavidZornig on May 12, 2020 at 7:12 pm

It is on YouTube too, albeit with time codes and watermarks…


davidcoppock on May 12, 2020 at 4:34 pm

There is a trailer on the blu-ray for the movie “The Jazz Singer” that shows the gala world premiere outside the Warners theatre(and possibly the inside too i think?).

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on February 16, 2016 at 4:34 pm

The theatre re-opened as Warners on August 29th, 1925, with “The Limited Mail” on screen. For verification, please note the opening day ad that I posted in the Photos Section on January 31st of this year.

dallasmovietheaters on February 15, 2016 at 7:04 pm

Warner Brothers bought the Piccadilly for $835,000 on August 9, 1925 remodeling it and reopening as the Warners Theatre in October of 1925.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 3, 2010 at 4:59 am

Hollywood hype control.

The popular photos of the premier of “The Jazz Singer” featuring Al Jolson and the Warner brothers in front of the theatre were for an invitational sold out live performance by Jolson several days before the movie opened, designed as a publicity stunt. The movie was not shown that night.

On the real premier opening night, not only was Al Jolson not present, neither were the Warner brothers who had gone to California for the funeral of Sam Warner, who had died the day before.

More recent research has shown that not only was opening night not a sensation but that the film did not sell out. It was not even the most popular film of the week in Times Square and acceptance of sound hardly an overnight revolution caused by “The Jazz Singer”. Not only had “Don Juan” had already played this theatre with sound earlier in the year and done better than “The Jazz Singer”, but audiences had already been watching sound newsreels for several years.

The stories that have been repeated since have mostly been fabrications created in later years and fueled by Vitaphone publicity and Warner Bros. multi-picture deal with Al Jolson. “The Jazz Singer” was a mild success in big cities and failed in most smaller markets. The lack of sound theatres (there were only 400 nationwide at the time) made it impossible for it to make much of an impression and the Jewish cantor plot left most audiences outside the larger markets cold. In Boston, for example, the film had to be quickly pulled after a poor opening.

Much of the phenomena repeated today comes from the fictional plot of the movie “Singin’ In the Rain”. There was no audience hysteria, no Variety headlines, no sound hoopla in the opening ads, no rush to wire theatres, and no rush to train actors to speak. Silent movies continued to be made for several years and were among the most profitable. Sound caught on because Hollywood pushed it on theatres in order to create demand for weak product during the depression, not unlike the way they push 3D today.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on October 16, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Opening ad for “The Jazz Singer”. Notice that ads read “WARNER” and not “WARNERS'” as on the marquee and that the Vitaphone aspect was not played up until much later in the run.

View link

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on September 8, 2009 at 3:49 pm

I believe this closed as the Republic, not the New Yorker.

kencmcintyre on May 7, 2009 at 11:01 pm

OK, I will repost it. I think Life said it was in NYC. Thanks.

Ziggy on May 7, 2009 at 10:55 pm

ken mc, the photo you posted on April 17 is actually of the Oriental Theatre in Chicago. Great photo, but wrong page.

kencmcintyre on May 7, 2009 at 9:19 pm

Here is a larger version of the photo posted on 6/9/05:

kencmcintyre on April 18, 2009 at 1:12 am

Here is a 1946 photo from Life magazine:

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 15, 2008 at 5:51 pm

Abbey should be added as an aka name here.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on February 17, 2008 at 6:58 pm

In 1947, when the theatre was known as the Republic, This Anna Magnani film from Italy had its American premiere here.

scorseseisgod on October 29, 2007 at 3:22 pm

Thanks, Warren. All has been corrected!

scorseseisgod on October 29, 2007 at 12:09 am

Here’s a vitage ad: The Warners' Theatre Now Accepting “Exodus” Reservations by Mail:


scorseseisgod on March 10, 2007 at 8:10 pm

Here’s a photo from the opening night of “The Jazz Singer,” October 6, 1927. Enjoy!


RobertR on January 28, 2007 at 6:02 pm

The movie that changed the world
View link

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 6, 2006 at 9:36 am

This must hold the record for most name changes in Manhattan. Following this theatre is like tracing someone on a witness relocation program.

1924 Piccadilly
1925 Warner's
1935 New Yorker
1936 Oriental
1938 Continental
1943 Abbey
1944 Manhattan
1945 Republic

VincentParisi on January 27, 2006 at 5:16 pm

I believe the last line of Rodgers and Hart’s ‘Zip’ is
“Who the hell is Margie Haaaart?"
So who the hell was she?

VincentParisi on January 27, 2006 at 2:22 pm

Interestingly this theater was a classy first run roadshow house in the late twenties and by the early thirties it was grinding out double features at pop prices. The same thing with the Gaity which was roadshowing in the early 30’s and then by the mid was presenting burlesque.
I thought this only happened in the late 60’s when the theaters that were showing top Hollywood roadshow product in only one or two short years would be showing porno and exploitation films.

IanJudge on January 27, 2006 at 1:25 am

The Warner Cinerama in NYC (Times Sq.) is listed under the STRAND THEATRE on this site.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on January 27, 2006 at 12:45 am

Fellas: I think we are talking about two different theatres. This place was at 1664 Broadway. The Warner where Cinerama was installed was at 1585 Broadway. The later was open at least through the 60’s. From the looks of pictures at the link below it had many more than 1322 seats as well. I don’t see any listing for the Warner Cinerama on this site. But it could be disguised under another name.


barrygoodkin on October 29, 2005 at 1:11 pm

The Piccadilly Theatre opened on September 27, 1924 with the world premiere of “Barbara Frietchie” a Thomas H. Ince film production with Florence Vidor and Edmund Lowe and also musical and stage novelties including John Hammond at the Marr & Colton organ and Vincent Lopez and his Piccadilly orchestra.