The Embassy is one of the 22 theaters in my new book “After the Final Curtain: The Fall of the American Movie Theater.” Find out more here.
The Embassy Theatre opened August 12, 1926 in Port Chester, NY. Designed by prominent theater architect Thomas W. Lamb, the 1,591 seat theater was built on the grounds of an old Elk Lodge. Lamb also designed the nearby Capitol Theatre, which opened just a few days after the Embassy.
Like most theaters of its time, the Embassy opened as a vaudeville house and gradually began pairing live performances with silent films before switching over to motion pictures. It was also used to host different events, including bridal showers and fashion shows. In August of 1937, the theater was added to the Leventhal-Werba Atlantic Coast circuit and was used as a live play house. The Embassy eventually switched back to showing motion pictures.
The Embassy closed in the early 1980s after showing Spanish language films for a few years. On June 26, 1986, the theater was reopened as a dance club for teenagers called the Public Domain. It was shut down by the police after only one night due to noise complaints. The theater almost became a multiplex in 1998, but the deal fell through.
The Port Chester Council of the Arts tried to get the Embassy listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and to renovate the theater for use as vaudeville museum. They cleaned up and repainted the Embassy, but were unsuccessful at obtaining the funds to restore the building. The building was gutted in the spring of 2017.
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