Aug 17, 2009

Inside the Visual Arts Theater

Here's a sneak peek at the SVA Theater (formerly the Chelsea West cinema and originally the RKO 23rd Street theater). Photos courtesy of Gene Stavis.

Inside the 280267-seat theater, with screen covered by curtain. Lots of performance space.

There's actually a "wet bar" in the lobby.

The SVA Theater lobby as seen from behind the bar.


A not-too-old image of 333 W. 23rd Street, when it was still the Chelsea West Clearview Cinema. The facade is being completely made over. The apartment towers in the background and the green space to the right are part of Penn South, a progressive, nonprofit housing cooperative.
(Screen shot taken from Google maps, street view.)

The site Cinema Treasures chronicles the theater's history. Turns out that the Clearview ceased operations there a month before the 2008 Orphan Film Symposium, the SVA Theater held its first screening four days after Orphans '08.