Throwback Thursday: One of the Classic Upper West Side Movie Theaters

The New Yorker Theater at 2409 Broadway at 88th Street was one of the great Upper West Side movie houses of the 20th century. Woody Allen also shot a famous scene in Annie Hall in its lobby.

Jean Kweskin Siegel, who worked there and lived across the street, sent the following photos and memories:

“The New Yorker Theatre was originally named The Adelphi. Then the Yorktown, when my family moved from 299 Riverside Drive to 215 West 88th street. I lived there until 1978.

As seen in my photos from my window across the street, the theatre was bought by the Walter Reade chain and twinned. I worked there at the time. The photos were taken by me from my 7th floor window across the street.

It was a great revival theatre while it lasted. You’ll see Dan Talbot, along with Hitchcock posted here.

I watched the filming of a Woody Allen movie from my window. I met Robert Morse while I worked there. He was quite charming. I was also robbed at the box office by a guy with a phone gun. He’d gone up and down Broadway, robbing the various theatres.

The candy machine was removed from the theatre during the twinning renovation, as shown by my photo.

The silhouettes are photos I own, of the nymphs that were on either side of the auditorium.

There was also a large Diana the Huntress and her dog above the marquee, until a storm knocked it off, where it remained for quite some time.

Growing up on the Upper West Side has brought some pleasant memories for me.”

Here’s that Woody Allen scene:

(It’s now a Duane Reade.)

To participate in Throwback Thursday, please send us a photo, preferably by email to westsiderag@gmail.com. The subject line of the email should be “Throwback Thursday.” In the email include the photo and a brief description of who is in it and where it’s taken and when.

The best way to send an older photo (if you don’t already have your images scanned) is to scan them into your computer or take a photo of the photo with a phone. We’re not looking for perfect clarity, just a good sense of the image and some information. If this isn’t an option, email us and we’ll figure out how to get a digital version of the image. (And yes, we’ll even accept photos from after 2000.)

Check out our other Throwback Thursday posts here.

HISTORY | 34 comments | permalink
    1. Wut says:

      Twinned? Twinning? What?

    2. Leon says:

      Thanks for sharing. This is great. When did this theater close? Did Duane Reade take over the Red Apple space and this space or just the Red Apple? What happened to what I assume was the large room(s) that was the theater? I love the kosher store next door with the hebrew writing.

      • Steven says:

        The theater and the building to its right were torn down and replaced by a new apartment building in the 1980s. And yes, Duane Reade is now in the space where the Red Apple was.

        • Liifeoong UWS says:

          I was so excited to see the Red Apple
          No one remembers it, and i thought i was imagining things. Hard to believe there was a grocery store on 89th and one on 90th, and now there are none.

          I had always thought the New Yorker theater was next to the bookstore. Oops.

      • What Am I, Chopped Liver? says:

        The kosher store with the Hebrew writing (the writing reads “bohsohr,” meaning meat) is a butcher shop. There used to be a handful of kosher butchers on the UWS. Only one remains today: Fischer Bros. & Leslie on W. 72 St. west of Broadway.

        • Nancy says:

          Also – Kosher Marketplace on the east side of Broadway between 90th and 91st has a full-service kosher butcher. We’ve been very happy with the meats and service there.

    3. Film Buff says:

      O.M.G.!!! Thanks for including that wonderful scene from 1977’s “Annie Hall”!

      A brief web search reveals that Woody Allen’s film won FOUR 1978 Oscars: Best Picture, Best Actress (Dianne Keaton), Best Director (Woody), and Best Writing of a Screenplay (Woody + Marshall Brickman).

      The film appears on SIX of the AFI (American Film Institute) 100 lists, including #4 on “!00 Laughs”, above The Marx Brothers’ “Duck Soup”

      And, yes, we certainly DO know about the sexual-abuse claims against Allen by the #MeToo movement and others, so spare us your
      diatribe.

      Instead let’s all focus on what a genius Allan Stewart Konigsberg (Woody’s birth name) was and what pleasure his work still brings.

      • Phoebe says:

        Film Buff: Agreed.
        But btw… oh never mind—what’s the point😑

        Loved having the New Yorker theater right around the corner…the good times:)

        BRING BACK LINCOLN PLAZA!!!

    4. Roseann Milano says:

      Was the the METRO Movie house in the ’90’s?

    5. Metromade says:

      Thanks for posting. I worked there as a cashier as well. I worked for The Walter Reade Theatre chain, and transferred from the Little Carnegie. I lived on W.90 and CPW. It was so great to walk to work. Do you remember the deli across the street with great, cheap sandwiches? The wife has dyed black hair and an old husband. I miss that about the neighborhood. Now I’m on Riverside. I love the UWS. And I loved the New Yorker.

    6. yankeefrankee says:

      It’s 89th, not 88th…

    7. lynn says:

      Thank you for the amazing TBT story and pics Jean and the WSR! I really love seeing these old photos and it makes me very nostalgic. Years ago I used to see Woody Allen around the UES and my coworkers brought me over to Elaine’s where he was playing in a jazz band. I also got to meet a very young Mel Gibson there. I miss the old days! 🙂

    8. David Silverberg says:

      Wasn’t the New Yorker book shop on that site?

    9. Tom says:

      Anyone know what THE HOLDING COMPANY was all about? Seems like it has a large space.

    10. Mary Jones says:

      Anyone remember Rocky Horror Show at the New Yorker theater?

    11. metromade says:

      Jean Kweskin Siegel, Thank you. I loved that place. I was never so beautiful or happy.

    12. B flat says:

      I don’t think that scene was shot at the new yorker, it was the thalia.

    13. Shmuel says:

      The New Yorker book store was owned by an aging hippie with long silver hair who had a connection to the City Lights book store in San Francisco. I spent many hours in there.