Thursday, January 5, 2012

Second Avenue Theatre, 35- 37 Second Avenue, New York, NY

The Second Avenue Theatre  will be one of the sites featured on my Footsteps of Yiddish Theatre walking tour for the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation on Sunday, June 8, 2012, 11 a.m. to      1 p.m.

It is free but reservations required: RSVP to or call (212) 475-9585 ext. 35
Meeting location available upon registration.

The Second Avenue Theatre opened on September 14, 1911 with God, Man and Devil by Jacob Gordin.

Excerpts from the New York Clipper, September 23, 1911:
"David Kessler's Second Avenue Theatre, New York City, the new theatre of the Ghetto, at Second Street and Second Avenue, opened Thursday night, Sept. 14, and Mayor [William Jay] Gaynor was present to help.
"The theatre cost $800,000, and is to represent everything that is artistic in the Yiddish drama."

"On opening night thousands were turned away, and the project looks like a huge success."

"David Kessler's Second Avenue Theatre seats 2,000 people without crowding. Besides the large orchestra floor there is a balcony, a gallery and twelve boxes arranged in tiers. The building extends from First Street to Second Street, and from Second Avenue half way to Third Street.
"In the interior the decorations are unique and costly. The draperies and upholsterings are in olive green, in contrast with the deep bronze walls and ceilings. The drop curtain, of the same shade of green as the draperies, is painted in covent[?] design, encircling the letters D. K. for David Kessler. The building is thoroughly fireproof, even the floors being of cement. There are twenty-one exits and the fire preventative conditions are said to be superior to anything in the city."

The theatre was demolished in 1959.       

Postcard part of the collection of Theatre Talks LLC

Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, chosen 2010 Best Book of the Year by the Theatre Historical Society.


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