Kings Theatre

1027 Flatbush Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11226

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theatrefan
theatrefan on February 19, 2015 at 5:57 am

There is a photo online of that sign underneath the marquee online just as Orlando describes. Also that original sign was covered up by another sign that simply said “Welcome To Loew’s Kings Showcase Theatre” I wonder where both those signs are today? I hope they were saved for prosperity.

Orlando
Orlando on February 18, 2015 at 8:45 am

The original 1929 letters were opaque 3-D glass with black outlines. Uncovered during renovation above the box office wer the same letters with the black outlines painted gold, what a suprise! They wer up for some months and spelled out: Top Line WELCOME TO LOEW’S KINGS SHOWCASE THEATRE 2nd: LATE SHOWS ON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHTS.

BobbyS
BobbyS on February 14, 2015 at 3:55 pm

Thanks Orlando for the great answers. I thought neon came along in the 30’s. Now I know I was wrong. Years and years later LED is the fashion of the times.

theatrefan
theatrefan on February 14, 2015 at 10:09 am

Orlando! Thank your for the amazing description of the original neon! Did the Kings originally use milk glass letter to spell out the titles of the films that were playing? I see that the Jersey originally had a French Curve marquee similar to the Kings, but nowhere near as ornate. Both were replaced in 1949, that the Jersey still has. I wish someone saved the neon letter from the former Kings marquee, although the Loew’s name was off of it at the end.

Orlando
Orlando on February 14, 2015 at 8:25 am

The original (first marquee)was a high hat style and had stationary lights under the canopy and the reader boards were back lit. The corners were tiffany-like curves also back lit. The vertical sign (NOT BLADE SIGN) was neon but not animated. The second marquee had larger reader boards which had lime green neon all around the chaser lights borders inside and out (2 strips of green that went on and off. The front of the marquee had two panels that spelled out “Loew’s Kings” in red Loew’s lit up first and then Kings and then did an on of sequence and repeated same. The vertical sign had L O E W ‘ S in red neon andd horizontal white tubing (neon). It was very animated and went like this, each letter would light up from top to bottom andd then the white horizontal tubing would follow, when it was all lit up, the “LOEW’S” name wouldd flash on and off three times, go off and then the white tubing would go off from top to bottom. The cycle repeated itself. The “Loew’s” name would also on occasin would grow fron the inner most part of the letters to the outer most. Each letter had an inner, middle and outer neon tube. I know it will be hard to envision this, but take my word on this, you could see this vertical sign from Maple Street where I lived on Flatbush Avenue almost 15 blocks away. The Albemarle and thhe Kenmore also had fabulous marquees and vertical signs. I wish we had the sophisticated cameras of today back then. What is imbedded in my memory will always be there forever!

P.S. Find the 1970 film “Cotton Comes To Harlem” in Pan and Scan and you will see Loew’s Victoria which had the same Loew’s Kings marquee. You will see it working in on of the night scenes. The new Kino Lorber widescreen version omits it however.

Remember Kings Theatre is a Performing Arts Center, so there is no need for any type of chasing lights. A new replica of the vertical sign will read K I N G S with Theatre below it when it is installed at a later date. Personally, I think I would like to see the terra cotta without any sign on it.

curmudgeon
curmudgeon on February 14, 2015 at 6:25 am

Hi Orlando. I’m also intrigued as to whether neon lighting was much used in the 1920’s era of the Kings. I agree with BobbyS, nothing equals the chaser bulbs to create an atmosphere of excitement and theatrical splendour. Here in Melbourne, Her Majesty’s Theatre is a true theatrical treat with the expanse of (energy efficient) chaser bulbs lighting up our theatrical district.

BobbyS
BobbyS on February 13, 2015 at 9:56 pm

Thanks for report on the neon. Did the original marquee have neon do you know? Chasing bulbs(not led)look so much better and so movie palace like.

theatrefan
theatrefan on February 13, 2015 at 8:18 am

Thanks Orlando! I hope they fix the neon. BTW she also worked as an usher at one of the Broadway houses, she always refers to that part of her life in her interviews about seeing shows on broadway.

Orlando
Orlando on February 13, 2015 at 7:40 am

By the way, Barbra Streisand N E V E R worked at the Loew’s Kings, she worked at a little Chinese restaurant on Nostrand Avenue. Read one of her biographies and “That’s the Truth” (Lily Tomlin’s character Edith Ann)!

Orlando
Orlando on February 13, 2015 at 7:34 am

The neon is on as of yesterday, but some of it is out.

theatrefan
theatrefan on February 12, 2015 at 9:48 am

Auditorium #2 in the Sony/Loews Theatres Lincoln Square complex on New York’s Upper West Side is named in honor of this former Loew’s Motion Picture Palace.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 9, 2015 at 10:06 am

I’d heard both sides of the story about Barbra Streisand working at the Kings as an usherette – Streisand herself has denied it – so I asked an employee. Before he could answer, two older women who were standing nearby yelled out, “YES! YES! SHE DID! 1959!” Then the employee agreed with them that she indeed did work there. I believe them!

markp
markp on February 8, 2015 at 2:08 pm

With all the wonderful photos of the newly opened Kings, can we get a photo on the page showing that, instead of the plastic covered chairs? I think the Kings deserves it.

GaryCohen
GaryCohen on February 8, 2015 at 9:20 am

I was there at the open house yesterday. Went to this tremendous theater many times during the 1960s and early ‘70s, forgot how stunningly beautiful this theater was. The 94 million dollar uplift did an incredible job. This theater was beautiful during its original run, now its simply magnificent. I had passed this theater boarded up on my bus ride to Manhattan daily for many years and I always hoped it would be reopened. Well now it is and I hope it will be opened for many years to come. The large group of people there seemed to be having a fantastic time and cameras were clicking. NBC News was doing a story on it and I was lucky enough to be interviewed. Supposedly it will be shown on the NBC Weekend News sometime in Feb. or March, I hope I don’t wind up on the cutting room floor. My wife and I bought tickets to see Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons again here in March, so I will be back next month. Although the Kings will be doing live concerts, wouldn’t it be nice if they could bring back some of the large scale epics of the '50s and '60s and show them in that movie palace again? What I wouldn’t give to see “How the West Was Won” there? Hopefully, the management of this magnificent theater will consider it.

PeterApruzzese
PeterApruzzese on February 8, 2015 at 7:35 am

Thanks for posting the pics, Bill. I was hoping to get out there, but will have to hope they do another open house some time soon.

theatrefan
theatrefan on February 8, 2015 at 6:01 am

Words almost cannot express how amazing it was to be here yesterday, the photo’s do not do this place proper justice. Met a lot of wonderful folks along the way as well. Thank You ACE Theatrical for allowing us to go on an incredible tour of the most majestic wonder theatre in Brooklyn The “Loew’s Kings”!

MarcH
MarcH on February 7, 2015 at 9:53 pm

was at the open house today…i almost started to cry I got so choked up. Good crowd showed up…all very enthusiastic. I wish they could have had pics of the pre-restoration on display, so people could appreciate what a loving, monumental achievement this is.

markp
markp on February 7, 2015 at 5:40 pm

Great Job Bill. Sorry I had to miss it.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 7, 2015 at 2:54 pm

One of the employees I talked to said there’s a possibility that movies will one day be shown here again. Right now, though, there’s no screen installed.

The restoration is indeed an amazing sight. I didn’t want to leave.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 7, 2015 at 2:49 pm

The Kings held a free neighborhood open house today to celebrate the re-opening. I posted some pictures in the photo section, but all the pictures I took can be seen here.

markp
markp on February 7, 2015 at 7:40 am

Well maybe another time. I got called into work for……you guessede it, 12 noon. Maybe I will get here to see a concert in the near future. If someone can post photos, it would be great.

theatrefan
theatrefan on February 6, 2015 at 3:53 pm

I can’t wait to see this place tomorrow, I have waited so long for this moment. Based on all the photo’s that have been posted the Kings looks absolutely stunning. Long live the Loew’s Kings Brooklyn Wonder Theatre!

BobbyS
BobbyS on February 5, 2015 at 6:35 pm

Great pictures! I don’t know how the oringal marquee looked when opened, but this one needs more bulbs on top, not just a faded neon! I bet they didn’t even have neon in 1929.

RickB
RickB on February 4, 2015 at 5:16 pm

From CBS News, a 22-picture slideshow, including some from Matt Lambros.

I’m just glad that we can still make things like this happen.