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Claremont Theater Building

Manhattanville

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The Claremont Theater building (currently a furniture store) is one of the oldest structures in New York City planned specifically to exhibit motion pictures, originally called “photoplays.”

Located in north Manhattanville, at the southeast corner of Broadway and 135th Street, the theater opened in November 1914. Commissioned by Arlington C. Hall and Harvey M. Hall of the Wayside Realty Company, it was designed in the neo-Renaissance style by Gaetano Ajello, an architect best-known for apartment buildings on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The building has three distinct fronts, including a clipped corner façade where the auditorium’s entrance was originally located. The corner, consequently, received the most elaborate decorative treatment and is embellished with an elegant low relief depicting an early motion picture camera set on a tripod. In 1915 Thomas Edison produced a short film in which the theater’s entrance is prominently featured. Filmed from across Broadway, it depicts groups of men, women, and children exiting the building.

To View Edison's Film: CLICK: ''vist website'' above right, allow a minute to download, then view Edison's 1915 footage of the Claremont Theater and its Manhattanville patrons, ending with great shots of the theater building and roadway vehicles of the day!

Sites & Attractions: Historic Manhattanville

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