Exhuming the Fabled Essex Theatre on Grand Street [HISTORY]

Posted on: February 10th, 2016 at 5:14 am by
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​Finally, the day has come when a true photo emerges of the fabled Essex Theatre on Grand Street. We couldn’t understand how so few images of the movie house were public. Almost like it never existed.


A Boogie reader shares the above image of the Essex Theatre in January 1985. It’s a side view of the movie house, looking westward down Grand Street. The marquee is clearly visible, advertising a double-feature of both The Mutilator and Pieces. And you can just barely catch a glimpse of Kossar’s Bialys.

As previously reported, the single-screen, 600-seat theater at 375 Grand Street was built by architect William Kohn, and opened in 1962 as part of the Seward Park Co-ops. It joined a number of local screens, including the Loews Delancey just up the block. Moviegoers could bank on seeing first-run action, horror, and Kung Fu flicks here during its late-seventies and early-eighties heyday. Essex Theatre was considered a “gore venue”; it basically was not worthy of documentation besides show listings. People thought of it in the same vein as a porn theater.

These days, however, the former theater is occupied by the CenterLight medical center.

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July 2014

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