2537 Broadway, New York, NY 10025
One of the Upper West Side’s gems is the Symphony Space theatre on Broadway and 95th street. This theatre has a rich history on this side of the island, and it started back in June of 1918 with a performance depicting the destruction of a small French village by Germans during WWI and was accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra. This stage became known as the Symphony Theatre. In 1931, the basement of the space opened as the Thalia Theatre and became known as a cinema for movie buffs. Known for its showings of Hollywood classics, foreign films, and revivals. Future Oscar winners like Martin Scorsese were frequent patrons of the space and the space was immortalized in Woody Allen’s Annie Hall.
Unfortunately, during the economic downturn of the 70s the Symphony Theatre shut down, but the Thalia prevailed and made its mark as an icon of the Upper West Side. In 1978, conductor Allan Miller rented the Symphony Theatre for a 12 hour event and ended up deciding to lease it long term. This was the beginning of what Symphony Space is today; with a variety of events such as film screenings, live performances, comedy specials, children’s events, live music, and more, the space has grown to be home to both rising and established artists.
Symphony Space has grown to be beloved by Upper West Siders and New Yorkers alike. Their variety of events and the affordable prices makes it easy for anyone to join the celebration of art, music, and performance. Many events are often free and those that do have a fee are relatively low, often under $30. Another exciting perk of this performance space is they are often able to get big names like Trevor Noah and Chelsea Clinton, yet they still make it accessible and moderately priced. So, ff you are bored and don’t know how to spend an evening or a Saturday afternoon, check the events page of Symphony Space and join a community of people celebrating the arts and reinforcing Upper West Side history.
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