Next door at 310 was The Broadway Concert Hall.
Across the road where now stands this glass toilet
were the Germania Hall and The McGurk
This was the McGurk in 2000 before it was torn down.
In Oct 1883 an advertisement posted the appearance of Mrs Jesse James, widow to the slain gunslinger.
Further down the Bowery was Sammys Bowery Follies.
That’s how this legendary fleabag, Gay ’90s–style saloon was described in a 1944 Life magazine article (with photo, below, by Alfred Eisenstaedt).
“From 8 in the morning to 4 the next morning Sammy’s is an alcoholic haven for the derelicts whose presence has made the Bowery a universal symbol of poverty and futility,” the article stated.
“It is also a popular stopping point for prosperous people from uptown who like to see how the other half staggers.”
That mix of patrons was key to Sammy’s success. Opened in 1934 at 267 Bowery between Houston and Stanton Streets, the dive attracted old-school bums as well as tourists, politicians, actors, and others slumming it for the night.
Ex-Vaudeville performers sang and danced for the crowds on sawdust-sprinkled floors. The party went on until 1970, a year after owner Sammy Fuchs died.
Sammy cared deply for the bums and faded ladies and had a system where they could lodge their papers or keepsakes in named envelopes and he would give them a pin on number. Should they be found dead in an alley or a flophouse the cops could match the identities at Sammys and carry out any final wishes. A once famous singer, Elma Palmer Patterson, died in penury and her body was to be sent to Potters Field. Sammy paid for her internment in a marked grave,
This is the very site
In the same building was the famous Minskys Burlesque House. It was up on the sixth floor and the box office was on the first. Should a raid be sighted by the keen eyed manageress then she rang a bell and by the time the cops got into the theatre the show was lily white. Legend has it that Mae Dix invented the strip by accidentally taking off her sodden collars and cuffs and walking back on to the roars of "More! More!" from the rabid audience.
Further down E Houston was the Houston Hippodrome..a little Yiddish theatre which was closed because of a near fatal fire. It is now the site of the Sunshine Cinema
There was much cross-culturism in some theatres. One enterprising management presented the same play with an Italian and Yiddish cast in repertoire with the same set and if lucky the same cozzies.
This is the Mars Bar on Second ave
The Second Ave Theatre, now gone, was on this site.
And it was here that one of the most famous and long lasting actresses, Molly Picon, launched her New York career. She had started her craft by touring in Europe and Russia. On the morning that her appearance at the Second Ave was announced a line went round the block. The ticket buyers had either seen her in their homelands or had been told by their relatives or friends not to miss the American marvel.
After each show the audience would retire for supper to the Moscovitz and Leobovitz restaurant which I bet looked a bit more interesting than the current building.
This funeral parlour was used in "Prince of Tides"
This building is the original La Mama on 4th Ave. It was once a concert hall and an abattoir before its current use.
This hall built in the 1870's is also the home to La Mama's second space. The ten year old Weber and Fields made their disastrous debut here when Fields was tossed onto his head rather than his feet by his exuberant partner.
The wonderful Italian melodrama scene from Godfather Part Two was filmed here
There was where the Jean Cocteau Rep ran in the fifties and sixties
Added surprise. The handsome man in the baseball cap is Mr Russ, recently retired head honcho of the famous Russ and Daughters Lox and Cream Cheese Shop on East Houston. He is writing a book about the business his grandfather built up from a handcart in 1911. Many of the theatre audiences would head to the the store after performances.