Former Yiddish Art Theater

189 Second Avenue,
Harrison G. Wiseman, 1925-26

This part of Second Avenue was once referred to as the “Yiddish Rialto” for its many theaters catering to Jewish immigrants, for whom theater was a popular form of entertainment and an important cultural institution. The Moorish Revival structure was built for Brooklyn lawyer and civic leader Louis N. Jaffe to house the Yiddish Art Theater company, which ultimately only held four seasons here. Subsequently, it functioned as a Yiddish playhouse and theater until being converted to a cinema in 1988. The Former Yiddish Art Theater is a designated New York City Individual and Interior Landmark and listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places.