movie theaters in chinatown

July 16th, 2011 by Mr. C

Since we’ve been on an asian film kick for the past several weeks due to the NY Asian film festival, I would love to share some cool pics I found floating on the interwebz! I wanted to pay homage to some of those grindhouse-sleazy style theaters from chinatown which included the Pagoda on 11 E. Broadway, The Music Palace on 91-93 Bowery, the Sun Sing Theater underneath the Manhattan bridge on 75–85 East Broadway, & the Rosemary Theater on 133 Canal Street which is close to the entrance of the manhattan bridge. These theaters would play host to comedy, period piece wu xia, & old skool kung fu movies! Sometimes, the films wouldn’t even have english subtitles! Some of the venues even played category 3 (adult) films!

The Rosemary is now a beautiful buddhist temple! Buddha bless you, but we still miss the theater! I’m failing to name some other smaller theaters around chinatown, though. I do remember one on the corner of Canal & Mulberry but I forgot the name. If anybody has any recollection of any phantom & lesser known theaters in chinatown, please shout it out! I grew up in the ‘burbs of NJ not far from NYC but my mom, dad, & sisters all worked in Chinatown so a lot of my weekends would be spent roaming around C-Town aimlessly! I have some distant memories of my sister taking me to see movies at the music palace, the Rosemary, & Sun Sing! I think the first time I laid my eyes on Donnie Yen films was in one of those chinatown theaters with his DRUNKEN TAI CHI! I also got my Jackie Chan fixation on with SNAKE IN THE EAGLE’S SHADOW among many other slapstick, buster keaton like movies from Jackie, Yuen Biao, & Sammo Hung!

Grady Hendrix from Subway Cinema has a great article ode to the Music Palace on the bowery! PLEASE spare us with your extracurricular activities at the Music Palace, Grady! You are one crazy Gwai Lo! Click here to read Grady’s Music Palace article!

There’s also a very cool 9 minute documentary on the MUSIC PALACE directed by Eric Lin that you can buy for $1.99 at Amazon for your viewing pleasure!

I’m really fiending for some of those dried cuttlefish treats to go with that Jackie Chan movie at those retro chinatown theaters! Is that cat urine, I smell?

The Museum of Chinese in America on centre street should have ALL the answers & pictures that we’re looking for in getting a slice of the old Chinatown!

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Posted in community, movies, mr. c, photos | Comments (2)

2 Responses to “movie theaters in chinatown”

  1. dbborroughs Says:

    Great piece. I missed the chance to see films down in Chinatown and I’ve always regretted it. As I wander around I try to figure out which building was which theater…the pictures help

  2. Mr. C Says:

    Thanks DB! I think you would of really enjoyed & appreciated the theaters in C-town since I know that you’re a true cinephile.



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