The New York Herald, November 22, 1914: “One of the first steps toward the development of this section as a new amusement centre has been the erection by the Riverside Drive Realty Company and the Wayside Realty Company of the new Claremont Theatre, in the block front on the east side of Broadway from 134th and 135 Street.
“The new structure, which has a seating capacity of about 1500, was designed by Goetan Ajello, architect. It has a frontage in Broadway of about two hundred feet and a depth in each street of about ninety feet, contains stores on the ground floor, a dance hall and office, 75×75, in the upper floors and a roof garden, 75×125.”
“The theatre has been dedicated to the production of moving pictures. The operation represents a total investment of about $450,000, and the property has been leased to the Wallingford Amusement Company for twenty-one years.”
The Billboard, November 7, 1914:
“The handsome Claremont Theater, which was recently opened at Broadway and 134th Street, contains all of the latest equipments, including two Powers motor-driven projecting machines.”
The New York Dramatic Mirror, March 17, 1915:
“The first ‘Edison Night,’ which is to be a regular feature of the Claremont Theater, Washington Heights, New York, every week, showing all of the Edison releases for the current week, was hugely indorsed by an attendance which at 8 o’clock filled the 1,400-capacity house. Many exhibitors were present to watch the idea and see all the films at one showing.”
“At the conclusion of the first evening performance the following Edison players were introduced to the applauding fans: Harry Beaumont, Bessie Learn, Robert Conness, Gertrude McCoy, Mrs. Bechtel, Robert Bower, Julian Reed, Frank McGlynn, Charles Sutton, Andy Clark, Mrs. Erskine, Frank A. Lyon, Harry Eytinge, Harry Linson, John Sturgeon, and director Ashley Miller.”
“The artists then partook of the feast prepared for them by Manager Dollinger in an adjoining ballroom, after which dancing was enjoyed, the players later meeting the theatre patrons in the lobby.”
The Claremont Theatre converted to an automobile showroom in 1933.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission, June 6, 2006:
“On the basis of a careful consideration of the history, the architecture and other features of this building, the Landmarks Preservation Commission finds that the Claremont Theater Building has a special character, special historical and aesthetic interest and value as part of the devlopment, heritage, and culttural characteristics of New York City.”
Above drawing and interior photograph from The World’s Greatest Achievement in Music for Theatres, 1916, reprinted by Vestal Press, 1964, part of the Theatre Talks LLC collection
For more on this neighborhood and the Claremont Theatre: Manhattanville: Old Heart of West Harlem by Eric K. Washington