55th Street Playhouse

New York City, United States

55th Street Playhouse

The 55th Street Playhouse—periodically referred to as the 55th Street Cinema and Europa Theatre—was a 253-seat movie house at 154 West 55th Street, Midtown Manhattan, New York City, that opened on May 20, 1927. Many classic art and foreign-language films, including those by Jean Cocteau, Sergei Eisenstein, Federico Fellini, Abel Gance, Fritz Lang, and Orson Welles, were featured at the theater. Later, Andy Warhol presented many of his notable films (including Flesh (1968) and Lonesome Cowboys (1968) and others) in this building (as well as in other area theaters, including the New Andy Warhol Garrick Theatre) in the late 1960s. Other notable films were also shown at the theater, including Boys in the Sand (1971) and Him (1974).

Originally, the theater was built to be a horse stable in 1888 by Charles T. Barney, a banker who later became president of the Knickerbocker Trust Company. The upper stories were rented out as The Holbein Studios, and were occupied by artists, such as John Singer Sargent, impressionist painter Childe Hassam, and portrait artist Cecilia Beaux. Later, in the late 1920s, the stable building was converted into a movie theater.

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