Yiddish Art Theater

181 - 189 2nd Ave.
New York
NY 10012

Yiddish Art Theater

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The Village East Cinema, located at 181-189 Second Avenue, opened in 1926 as The Yiddish Art Theater in the heart of New York City’s Jewish Rialto district. Designed by prominent Brooklyn lawyer and Jewish community leader Louis Jaffe, the historic building was built as an elaborate, 1265 seat live theater for Yiddish theater pioneer Maurice Schwartz. The interior was designed in the Moorish Revival style that was popular in synagogues at the time, and included a forty-foot ornamental ceiling with a spectacular Star of David in the center that is still present today.

The Yiddish Art Theater housed elaborate productions from Maurice Schwartz and his troupe, such as “The Tenth Commandment” (1926) and “Yoshe Kalb” (1932) which ran for a record 300 performances. Schwartz’s loyal following and festive, imaginative plays attracted such renowned guests as Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin, George Gershwin and former New York City mayor Fiorello LaGuardia.

In 1992, the theater was restored and converted into the Village East Cinema, a beautiful, seven-screen movie theater. Its sprawling, ornate main auditorium features stadium and balcony seating as well as an oversized screen, and the theater remains one of New York City’s best places to see a film. The upper and lower lobbies of the theater were beautifully renovated in 2006 and feature new concession stands and comfortable couches and lounge areas.

(Source:www.villageeastcinema.com)

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