Closing Barnes & Noble Spot Worthy of History Section

By Michael Horowicz
|  Wednesday, Sep 1, 2010  |  Updated 2:00 PM EDT
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Closing Barnes & Noble Spot Worthy of History Section

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A customer shops at Barnes and Noble.

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The corner of 66th Street and Broadway, site of the soon to be closed Barnes and Noble store, has a storied history.

From the mid 1940’s until the bookstore went up in 1995, it was the location of the Cinema Studio Theatre. For most of its existence it was a single screen, 600 seat theater. In the 1970’s, it was twinned and became an art house in one theater, and a showcase for foreign films in the other.

Barnes & Noble Inc says it will search for a new location on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

In 1978, Woody Allen shot a scene from his New York classic, “Manhattan,” in front of the theater. When the building came down in the early 1990’s one of the walls revealed a huge ad for Omega Oil, thought to be left over from the early 1900’s.

The building also housed Colonial Bank, and then changed to the Israeli Bank Leumi. A funeral home and a 24-hour coffee shop named John’s also occupied the site, a few doors to the north on Broadway.

Barnes and Noble on Monday announced it would close its Lincoln Center store due to high rents. Company spokeswoman Mary Ellen Keating said sales were not a factor in the closing of the store, located in a busy and prosperous neighborhood. The chain has faced increasing competition in recent years from price clubs and Internet retailers.

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