Manhattan's Iconic Paris Theater Closes After 71 Years

by Stephanie Maida · August 30, 2019

    Thanks to an influx of glass-and-steel McCondos and the unrelenting rise of rent prices, few beacons of Old New York have managed to remain in this city. And even if they have, it seems their days are numbered. 

    The latest icon forced to shutter is cinephile favorite, The Paris Theater. Tucked on a Midtown side street between Bergdorf's and The Plaza, the last single-screen cinema has been a glamorous go-to for movie premieres and artsy film aficionados for the past 71 years. When it opened back in 1948, Marlene Dietrich had the honor of cutting the ribbon.

    With 581 seats, and a balcony beloved by A-listers, The Paris boasted that certain type of accessible glamour that could only be found in such niche New York landmarks. An Upper East Side Grande Dame was just as comfortable here as a Lower East Side film student, or, indeed, a Hollywood starlet. Carrie Bradshaw herself once said of the place, "The most amazing thing about living in a city like New York, is that any night of the week you can go to Paris.""... stroke="none" stroke-width="1" fill="none" fill-rule="evenodd">
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    Though rumours had begun swirling earlier this summer, patrons planning to catch Ron Howard's Pavarotti were surprised to see the notice of closure posted in the window this week. "Unfortunately, our lease has ended and the Paris Theatre is now closed. We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to all of our guests over the years," the note reads. Le sigh.

    'Tis certainly a sad day for cinema here in New York. But at least we still have Metrograph.

    [Photo via @applebaum1]