Yiddish Art Theatre, 189 Second Avenue (at 12th Street) New York Architecture Images-Lower East Side

Yiddish Art Theatre


189 Second Avenue (at 12th Street)






Romanesque Revival








Yiddish Art Theatre, 189 Second Avenue (at 12th Street)
In 1926, Jacob Ben-Ami erected the largest and most opulent of Yiddish theatres across the street from the Herrmann home at 193 Second Avenue. Named the Yiddish Art Theatre, it played Yiddish theatre only for six years before succumbing to the economic difficulties of the Depression.

In an interview for Max Wilk's book They're Playing Our Song, Bernard Herrmann recalled growing up along Tin Pan Alley and Second Avenue, and claimed that he played violin for some Yiddish theatr productionse. While that claim may be exaggerated, he did attest to his knowledge of Yiddish Theatre when composing The King of Schnorrers. It is likely that Herrmann attended shows at neighborhood theatres, including the Yiddish Art Theatre directly across the street from his home.

In the 1960s, the theatre was renamed The Fillmore East and was home to many rock concerts. It was restored in the 1980s and converted into a multiplex movie theatre. Though the vast interior was divided to accomodate multiple screening rooms, the lobby is still a magnificent sight.
The claim you make that the Yiddish Theater on 2nd ave was formally the Filmore East is incorrect. The previous name of this theater was the Entermedia. The Filmore East was located about 3 blocks south and was demolished around 1997. However the head building (the former lobby) of the Filmore still stands, as does the head building of the Anderson theater on 2nd ave between 3 & 4 St., and is now a bank.