The Mark Hellinger was one of the last 1920s movie palaces built in the Times Square area, and is the only one still standing. Originally built as the Hollywood Theater, it outdid them all; a fantasy of plasterwork, paint, and gilding. With an elaborate, domed foyer and an even more elaborate auditorium, both with domed ceilings and colorful paintings covering almost every surface, it is an imaginative play on Baroque and Rococo styles.
Renamed in 1949 for columnist and former Warner Brothers producer Mark Hellinger, the theater was used as a movie theater and live-performance venue. It struggled through the 1960s and 70s decline of Times Square. The Mark Hellinger was one of more than 40 theaters considered by the LPC for landmark status after the demolition of the Morosco and Helen Hayes theaters, and was among the first 25 to be designated. In 1989, the Mark Hellinger was reincarnated as the Times Square Church and once again enjoys capacity attendance.
Photographs by Larry Lederman © All rights reserved