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Olympia Tee


Located at 2770 Broadway at 107th Street, the Olympia Theatre opened in 1914 and was one of the first cinemas constructed on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. At the beginning of 2003, the Olympia closed, and it was demolished in October of that year. The building’s destruction capped an almost one-hundred year existence, under threat since it had first been targeted for demolition fifteen years before.

Soon after, plans were announced for a 20-story tower of luxury condominiums to be built on the site. The decision incited hisses at the Community Board meeting where it was announced, especially incensed that the new tower would take the name of nearby Straus Park, whose sunlight and space it would usurp. With very little information accessible about the theatre’s history and no physical marker at its former location, the erasure of the Olympia is almost complete as it recedes from the neighborhood’s memory, a shiny new tower in its place.

- Map graphic showing the theatre's location in relation to Straus Park, inspired by advertising artwork from the re-opening of the Olympia under new management in 1987.

- Artwork drawn from "Diaro de la Prensa" advertisement announcing the theatre's transition to a Spanish-language venue in 1964
- Artwork drawn from a 1970s advertisement for the theatre's low-priced matinees

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