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Curbed Inside: Downtown's Million Dollar Theater

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Curbed Inside visits the interior of a structure with an eye towards revealing the design and architecture. If you've got a project you'd like Curbed to consider for shooting, drop us a line.

Yesterday we stopped by the Million Dollar Theater, the recently renovated, re-opened theater at 307 Broadway. Yes, it's quite lovely inside! Budding music bands, it'll cost you $6,500 a night rent out this former Sid Grauman-run haunt. [Photos by Marla Aufmuth]

More recently, the theater was leased by a church group who painted the interior white, so most of the restoration involved re-painting the walls, adding new carpet, and re-doing the floors.

But beyond those repairs, not much else has changed. The seats and detailing of the original theater remain, and the whole place retains a romantic, if musty, feel. The top of the theater is still being worked on, but when it’s totally finished, there’ll be 2,100 seats. One thing to note about those seats: They are incredibly small and narrow.

The theater is still working on its concession stand (a liquor license is pending), while managing partner Robert Voskanian told us that they'd like to eventually add food like sandwiches. Booked acts include Mariachi Vargas, while there'll also be a series of film nights (likely Hitchcock films), while Voskanian has also already booked nights in December 2008 for a theater group.

According to the Downtown News, which has a piece out this week on the theater, the “Million Dollar is only the third historic theater on Broadway to reopen for a regular slate of live concerts and events.” The News piece also has information about the history of the theater, noting that it "opened Feb. 1, 1918, with the debut of the cowboy film The Silent Man. Among the stars to turn out were Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin and Lillian Gish, as well as hundreds of eager fans who lined up for two blocks."