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.
© Matthew Lambros and After the Final Curtain, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matthew Lambros and After the Final Curtain with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
19 thoughts on “Embassy Theatre”
This one is one of the best ones you’ve visited, in my opinion. So beautiful. Are you aware if the curtains from the stage and box seats are original. It looks great. Chandelier (which seems very bizarre but beautiful) and the film equipment still being there is very cool.
I think he should offer field trips for fans to go along with him!
Something like that may happen in the near future. Keep an eye out for the announcement.
As a child, over 55 years ago, I remember attending and watching first run movies for 25 cents. The Capitol was 30 cents.
Me, too. And you could stay all day, right? There would be 2 films usually, I think.
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they are dismantling the embacy theater i will be doing the demolition there in the next couple of months . there will be many items up for sale … please contact me .. reply here
I spent many hours at the Embassy Theater. Mr Hood was the manager back then. I hope they can restore it back to it’s original beauty. Good memories from the Embassy Theater.
Went to the Embassy back in the early 40’s I remember going by myself around 1950 and paid 9 cents for admission. My 2 brothers and I went to the Capitol theater more frequently than the Embassy. 2 full feature films, 20 cartoons, Movietone News, and coming attractions were the norm. Admission was 25 cents. After the movie, we would go to Texas Lunch or Nick the Greek and have a chili dog for a quarter.
Did you sell off all the things of interest? I am not in the film industry, but a few posters or vaudeville show Announcements would be interesting since I was born and raised in Port Chester. What are you doing with the place? A diner theatre would be cool; I love the old theatres and achetecture.
I don’t own the theater and have no idea what happened to the items that were left behind.
My wife and I saw Pippin on Broadway back in 1972. Irene Ryan (Granny on the Beverly Hillbillies) played a part. We went to dinner with John Rubinstein and Irene. She asked where we were from and we told her Port Chester, New York. She said “My husband and I played Port Chester at the Embassy Theater back in the vaudeville days!” What a great memory!
Seeing these pictures made me cry. Such a sad ‘death of a theater’. Cannot compare to the tin cans of today.
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What organ did it have and where did it end up?
It had a 2-8 Marr and Colton organ, but I don’t know where it ended up.
I also grew up in Port Chester, growing up in PC was magical. Going to the Embassy Theatre and meeting up with friends on the weekend is something that most people remember. So glad to know that we all share wonderful memories of this town. This is very rare to find these days.
Hi Matt, we would love to feature this article and images on the @PortChesterOnTheGo Instagram account. We will give you full credit. Do we have permission to feature this? Thanks! -PCOTG
Sure! Just make sure to tag my Instagram @afterthefinalcurtain