Reopen and preserve the Coliseum Cinemas in Washington Heights
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I hold my neighborhood, Washington Heights, very close to my heart. Although things change, and people change, one thing that I know is missing in my community is the charming Coliseum Theater, located in the heart of uptown life in Manhattan. B.S Moss' Coliseum Theater opened on September 24th, 1920, to rave reviews and a FULL HOUSE! It was designed by Eugene De Rosa, who designed a number of Broadway theaters during the Roaring Twenties. In addition to Harold Lloyd, who performed at the theater on opening night, the Marx Brothers, W.C. Fields, Eddie Cantor, and Gertrude Berg all performed there. The 3,500 seat theater was the third largest in the city and was built on the site of the Blue Bell Tavern. The tavern had been in existence since before the Revolutionary War and George Washington spent a night there. According to Reginald Pelham Bolton, remains of the tavern were visible until the construction of the theater. The theater was taken over by RKO (Radio Keith Orpheum) and renamed the RKO Coliseum Theater. By the 1980s, the theater was subdivided into a triplex and the ornate marquee was taken down. The theater closed and re-opened under new management as a quadplex in 1991. This reincarnation of the theater closed in 2002. In 2004, another theater opened in the space only to close in October 2011. (Source available upon request)
as a child, I, along with thousands of people within the Washington Heights Community, used to come to this theater in order to enjoy watching movies at our convenience. I never realized that this building, which I used to pass by almost every day, had such rich history attached. So why not make it of use? Our community deserves to have a movie theater, where it was originally built to entertain audiences for decades to come. I want to make the building a Landmark, and I also want a movie theater company to buy out the building, in order to continue the glory it once had.
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