But until 1957, it was a Loew's theater...
According to Cinema Treasures:
Loew's Avenue B is part of one of the great rags-to-riches stories of showbiz history. Movie mogul Marcus Loew erected it on the very site of the tenement building where he was born. Needless to say, his birthplace was demolished to make way for the luxurious 1,750-seat theatre, which was designed by Thomas W. Lamb and first opened on January 8, 1913, with vaudeville as its main attraction and movies thrown in just as fillers..
The Avenue B was the top Loew's house on the Lower East Side until the mid-1920s, when the circuit took over the Commodore on Second Avenue, which was a much busier area for entertainment and shopping. The Avenue B was reduced to playing movies at the end of their Loew's circuit run, and remained so until its closure around 1957-58
As Cinema Treasures commenter Warren G. Harris noted:
The theatre cost $800,000 to build. In his opening night speech, Marcus Loew said "This is the most pretentious of the houses on our string, because my better judgment was over-balanced by my sentimentalism and my longing to do something better here than I ever did before." According to corporate histories, the Avenue B was never successful, but Loew's kept it running for decades as a memorial to its founder, who was born on the spot.
Top photo via.
Previously on EV Grieve:
Former landmark countercultural theater now for rent on Avenue B