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Audubon Ballroom (former)

About this listing

Former theater and dance hall, site of Malcolm X's assassination (now Mary Woodward Lasker Biomedical Research Building)

Place Details

Borough : Manhattan
Neighborhood : Washington Heights
Theater, Historic Site & Museum

Place Matters Profile

The entertainment palace where William Fox started his movie empire was a popular dance hall, hosted union meetings, and was the site of the 1965 assassination of Black Muslim leader Malcolm X. It was designed by Thomas Lamb, a leading architect at the turn-of-the-century, who was commissioned Fox Theatrical Enterprises. The building's pending demolition in 1989 inspired a level of popular mobilization unusual in historic preservation. And while its partial demolition was a hollow victory, the effort helped lead to new thinking about landmarks in New York City.

Please note that the Census contains a separate listing for the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial & Education Center, installed in the former Audobon Ballroom in 2006.

On The Web

Washington Heights and Inwood Online "Audubon Ballroom"


Heather Beck

It was originally a vaudeville theater opened by William Fox (yes, as in the Fox Film Corp.), was an important meeting place for the transit worker's union in the Great Depression era, and the location of Malcolm X's death. It has such a rich history in many facets of life, from theater and cultural events to political activity. (April 2007)

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