15 Classic Photos of New York Moviegoers at the Cinema in the 1940s

Weegee is best known for his images of urban crime, death, and nightlife but these photographs are part of a series Weegee made in New York City theaters in the mid-1940s with infrared film. From bemused children to entwined couples, lonely sleepers to exhilarated teenage girls, this gallery of portraits constitutes a powerful, unique, and moving tribute to cinema lovers. The passion conveyed in these images—their lyricism, magic, and poetry—remind us of the quintessential role played by the arts, and specifically still and moving images, in our society.

(Photos © Weegee/ International Center of Photography)

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