From Tenements to Loews on Delancey

Posted on: February 23rd, 2010 at 6:33 am by

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Our East Village compatriot EV Grieve sent along this photo from the official records of nyc.gov.  It depicts a street scene outside 146 Delancey in 1908, and is accompanied by the following caption:

A barefoot young boy on the sidewalk near 146 Delancey Street, Manhattan, watches laborers dig in the street. The view shows storefronts along the north side of Delancey Street looking west from Suffolk Street, in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. At right, a large bankruptcy sign, in English and Hebrew, advertises bargains for men’s furnishings

Three years later, in 1911, this row of tenement living and ground level retail between Norfolk and Suffolk Streets was leveled to make way for the Loews Delancey Theatre.  According to Cinema Treasures, the brick-box theater opened in the spring of 1912, and allegedly featured eight acts of vaudeville; movie shorts and newsreels were used strictly as filler material.  It remained a functioning theater with a single screen until roughly 1977, when it reportedly closed for good.

Here is the Loews Delancey, circa 1936:

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[Photo via Knickerbocker Village]

And here is the same spot today. Alas, that charming cornice is longer intact:

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