Leonard Nimoy, who died on Friday at age 83, was a talented actor and artist. He also was an important philanthropist, making a donation that helped Symphony Space rehabilitate an historic theater.
Nimoy’s $1.5 million donation helped the Thalia, an old moviehouse that had shown films from 1938 to 1993, reopen as a theater in 2002. The rehabilitated theater had plush seats and a new floor that wasn’t sloped awkwardly like the old one. It shows lots of movies now, hosts the Thalia Book Club and has programming for kids.
Nimoy, who grew up in Boston, never actually went to moves at the old Thalia, but he understood why it was an important place, according to a 2001 story about his gift.
“My emotional connection with the Thalia is that I was watching the movies the Thalia was showing, but in Los Angeles,” he said. Now he has an apartment on the Upper West Side and has performed at Symphony Space, the theater adjacent to the Thalia.
R.I.P. Mr. Nimoy.