840 Ninth Avenue (405 West 55th Street)
Opened: December 21, 1922
Architect: George Keister
The theatre on this site was built by developer John A. Chaloner and featured vaudeville and film presentations. The demise of vaudeville, the depression and its then-remote location in Hell's Kitchen reduced it to a late-run double-feature house. The theatre was renamed the Town Theatre in 1939 when it was renovated and reduced in capacity to 1,000 seats. The theatre escaped the porn fate of many area theatres when it was converted into a TV studio in the 1950s with the main floor used for production and the balcony used for live audiences. The space was, for a time, the home of Sesame Street.
The theatre was demolished in 2002 and replaced by the studios for the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, which also includes a 255-seat performance space.
Next: City Cinemas Cinema 1, 2, and 3