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Coliseum Theatre (Washington Heights)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coliseum Theatre
B.S. Moss' Coliseum Theatre
New Coliseum Theatre
Coliseum Cinemas
Coliseum Cinemas 701 W 181st St jeh.jpg
Coliseum Theatre in 2013
Address4260 Broadway
New York City
United States
Coordinates40°51′02″N 73°56′07″W / 40.850451°N 73.935275°W / 40.850451; -73.935275
OwnerThe Greater New York Vaudeville Theatre Corp[1]
Current useDemolished
OpenedSeptember 30, 1920
Years active1920–2002
ArchitectEugene De Rosa
Percival Raymond Pereira
BuilderFleischmann Construction[1]

The Coliseum Theatre was a cultural and performing arts center located at 4260 Broadway between West 181st and 182nd Streets in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. A full-block building, it was bounded on the east by Bennett Avenue.

During the American Revolution, it was the location of the Blue Bell Tavern, which stood from 1720 to right before the Coliseum was erected, in 1915.[2][3]

Built in 1920 as B.S. Moss' Coliseum Theatre, the venue was originally a movie palace designed by architect Eugene De Rosa.[4] Marble interiors were done by Voska, Foelsch, & Sidlo Inc, terra cotta by New York Architectural Terra Cotta Company, ornamental plastering by Architectural Plastering Company, Inc., Peter Clark installed the rigging system, windows supplied by S. H. Pomeroy Company, Inc., Sexauer & Lemke Inc. installed the ornamental iron work, draperies and wall coverings by Louis Kuhn Studio, mirrors & console tables by Nonnenbacher & Co, and the pipe organ was installed by M. P. Moller[5]

The Coliseum was launched by Bow Tie Cinemas before being taken over by RKO Pictures. It housed many vaudeville acts, including The Marx Brothers, W.C. Fields, Eddie Cantor, Uncle Don’s Kiddie Show, and Gertrude Berg.[4]

During the 1980s, a local arts group wanted to rejuvenate the Coliseum as a community arts center, and put on a fundraiser benefit performance Salute to Ol' Vaudeville. It also was the site of the Dominican Film Festival and Children's Film Festival before closing.[6]

In 2011, the building was denied larkmark status, and a shopping mall is slated to be opened after demolition.[7]



  1. ^ a b "Museum of the City of New York - Search Result".
  2. ^ "RKO Coliseum Theater | Washington Heights NYC". 4 February 2019.
  3. ^ Jeremy Megraw (January 13, 2012). "Ghost Light: Illuminating Our City's Theatres: RKO Coliseum". The New York Public Library. Retrieved April 11, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Coliseum Cinemas in New York, NY - Cinema Treasures".
  5. ^ "Architecture and Building". 1921.
  6. ^ "Ghost Light: Illuminating Our City's Theaters: RKO Coliseum".
  7. ^ "Old movie theaters are hoping for a Hollywood ending". 21 November 2018.
This page was last edited on 22 December 2021, at 09:02
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