Iconic Paris Theater in NYC Closes its Doors After Seven Decades

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The historic Paris Theatre, which sits across from The Plaza hotel, is no more. The theater has been a destination for many of the city’s intellectuals and movie connoisseurs, as motion pictures by directors including Federico Fellini and Franco Zeffirelli have been shown. Photo Credit: Cinematreasures.org

By: Alan Demarsky

The historic Paris Theatre, which sits across from The Plaza hotel, is no more.

The hostelry has shut its doors after more than 70 years of hospitality.

“The Vanishing New York blog spotted Thursday a notice of closure posted on the West 58th Street cinema’s door. “Unfortunately, our lease has ended and the Paris Theatre is now closed,” the note read,” according to Crain’s New York Business. “We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to all our guests over the years. Thank you for your patronage, and we regret that we cannot continue to serve you. Sincerely, Cinema Management.”

“The single-screen theater was operated by City Cinemas, which has removed the location from a list of its theaters on the company website. Reading International, the parent company of City Cinemas, is yet to confirm the closure and could not immediately be reached for comment,” Crain’s added.

The theater’s web site contains this bleak message:

PAGE NOT FOUND

Sorry, we couldn’t find that page

You will be automatically redirected back to the home page.

The decision apparently confirms rumors “that the theater was set to be shuttered this summer, though its closure was unexpectedly delayed for two months, likely due to the run of its last film, “Pavarotti” — exactly the kind of high-end, older-audience pleasing fare that thrived there,” Indiewire.com reported. “The theater’s significance for the art house scene is hard to overstate. The Paris was responsible for nearly 9% of the total domestic gross for “Pavarotti,” an astounding share for the Ron Howard-helmed documentary that played in over 300 theaters… The theater’s website displays a “page not found” notice before redirecting to City Cinema’s main site.”

WPIX 11 in NYC said the Paris Theatre was operated by City Cinemas. The edifice itself is owned by New York-based real estate developer Sheldon Solow.

The announcement on Jan. 20, 2016 of the closing of the Ziegfeld, the Paris became Manhattan’s sole-surviving single-screen cinema.

The theater was opened by Pathé Cinema on September 13, 1948, when actress Marlene Dietrich cut the inaugural ribbon in the presence of the U.S. Ambassador to France. Located at 4 West 58th Street, just west of Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan, it has specialized in foreign (especially French language) and independent films. It is located across the street from the Plaza Hotel, according to Wikipedia.

The theater has been a destination for many of the city’s intellectuals and movie connoisseurs, as motion pictures by directors including Federico Fellini and Franco Zeffirelli have been shown.