Home > Bronx County Archives Finding Aids > Bronx Theatre Records, 1914–1917

Bronx Theatre Records, 1914–1917

Information, Description, and Finding Aid

Collection Information

Reference: MS-BXT.1

Dates: 1914–1917

Extent: 0.25 linear ft. across 1 archival box

Finding Aid Information

Creator(s): Steven Payne, Ph.D., Librarian and Archivist

Date created/updated: May 14, 2020

Administrative History

The Bronx Theatre, located at 567 Melrose Avenue (at the intersection of Third Avenue and 150th Street), was designed by the architect W. H. McElfatrick and was completed in 1909, at which point it was opened by Percy Williams, a noted vaudeville proprietor. Its interior, which consisted of a theatre with seating capacity of 1748, two large stores, an assembly hall, and offices, was ornately decorated by Rambusch Decorating Co., Artificial Marble Works, Davis Brown, and Thomas S. Moran. Percy Williams sold the Bronx Theatre to RKO in 1912. The Bronx Theatre hosted plays, vaudeville performances, open-mic nights, and movie screenings during its years of operation. It was also home to the Melrose Dancing Academy. Among the more controversial events at the Bronx Theatre documented in this collection is the production of Sholem Asch's God of Vengeance, which the activist Margaret Sanger evidently attended. By the time the venue closed in 1947, it was known as the Central Theatre and was used mostly as a cinema.

Description/Scope and Content

The Bronx Theatre Collection consists of a large scrapbook containing newsprint advertisements for and handbills from the Bronx Theatre, 1914–1917, as well as articles on stage and early film actresses of the day. Languages of publications include English, German, and Yiddish.


The Bronx Theatre records were donated to The Bronx County Historical Society in August 2006 by the Ketcham Inn Foundation as a transfer from its collections.

Preferred Citation

[Item name or description,] Bronx Theatre records, box _, folder _, The Bronx County Archives at The Bronx County Historical Society Research Library.

Points of Access

  • Individuals -- Asch, Sholem -- Sanger, Margaret
  • Performance venues (The Bronx, New York) -- Bronx Theatre -- Central Theatre -- R.K.O.
  • Plays and performances -- God of Wrath (Got fun nekome)
  • Streets and avenues (The Bronx, New York) -- 150th Street -- Melrose Avenue -- Third Avenue

Related Collections

Container List



Contents Date



Scrapbook: Bronx Theatre 1914–1917