30 September 2008

A Lamb Lies Down on Canal Street


Does this Canal Street building look a little fancy for a Zenith television store?

Well, that's because it is. 31 Canal Street was built as a theatre, by the ubiquitous theater architect Thomas W. Lamb. He chose the Spanish Baroque style for this single-screener, constructed in 1927. It remained a theatre, run by Loew's, until the 1960s, when DOB records indicate the ground floor was given over to retail and the second floor to light industry.

I have to think the retail in question was the Zenith shop, because that sign looks pretty vintage to me. The 1960s would seem to me to be the last time any appliance retailer would boast of color TVs and Hi-Fis. The store has been closed for what looks like a while. Between the Lamb facade and the Zenith sign, though, 31 Canal still remains a sight for sore eyes.


7 comments:

Nick said...

I spoke with the owners of the store (ABC Electrical and Appliance) four years ago before it closed and asked if lots of folks were interested in buying their building. The old lady replied, "Feh, make us an offer." I wish I could've. The plaster moldings were still intact in the lobby and apparently Chinese fisherman used to (or still do) live in the theater part. I also heard the artist Terence Ko was interested in buying. I would make a great, Studio 54-esque nightclub ...

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Chinese fishermen live inside the theatre? Freaky.

Anonymous said...

The black facade "window" treatment is a rare example of black terra-cotta being used as a tromp 'liel.

ken mac said...

Brooks, this is the building I asked you about a few months ago. Thanks for the info!

beatricethecat said...

i always wondered about the history of this building, thanks for clearing it all up! you would totally think someone would have bought it and fixed it up by now.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Ken, as I took a picture of it, I wondered if this building was the one you had asked about.

mingusal said...

A lot more information about this building can be found here:

http://cinematreasures.org/theater/521/

It's a wonderful site for learning more about old movie theaters here in NYC and everywhere else.