Loew's Oriental Theatre

1832 86th Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11214

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Showing 1 - 25 of 248 comments

theatrefan
theatrefan on January 9, 2017 at 9:32 am

walterk, Thanks for the clarification, 1540 was the Loew’s Theatres Headquarters Building, so it seems like the Pickers has nothing to do with the Loew’s Oriental. On a side note, according to the new book that just came out on the Loew’s Kings Theatre, Dorothy Solomon Panzica one of the best Managers Loew’s Theatres ever had was the manager of the Loew’s Oriental right before she became manager of the Kings, anyone remember her here at the Oriental with any stories to share?

walterk
walterk on January 7, 2017 at 4:10 pm

According to a bit in the February 11, 1927 issue of the Motion Picture News, Plans were being prepared for the erection of a theatre building at 1832 86th street in Brooklyn. The owner was the Hawthorne Amusement Corp., which was located at 1540 Broadway in Manhattan. It mentions Marcus Lowe was its president.

If you click the link, this is in the first column, just under an announcement that plans were being prepared for another Brooklyn theatre. That one was demolished this past summer.

Toward the top of the next column, one will discover that plans were also being prepared for this theatre in downtown Brooklyn.

Also mentioned were plans being prepared for a theatre on Fulton Street, note the slight difference in the address with what’s listed on CT.

theatrefan
theatrefan on January 6, 2017 at 9:06 am

Yes, I thought it seemed a little strange as well, that’s why I posted it. The only company I can find on the NYC Dept Of Buildings certificates of occupancy is “Hawthorne Amusement Corp.” perhaps other members can shed more light on this.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on January 5, 2017 at 1:34 pm

I wouldn’t place absolute faith in the claim that the Picker family built the Oriental. Perhaps movie producer David Picker, a direct descendant, could verify or deny. I know that the Pickers were pioneers in Bronx cinema history, but a lavish showplace in the outer reaches of Brooklyn seems too much of a stretch for them.

theatrefan
theatrefan on January 5, 2017 at 9:13 am

According to the NYC AGO website, this theatre was built by the Picker family and later taken over by Loew’s along with the Boulevard, Spooner & Burland in the Bronx. Here is the Link: http://www.nycago.org/Organs/Brx/html/LoewsBoulevardTheatre.html

El_Muerto
El_Muerto on February 24, 2016 at 10:24 pm

Fascinating clip-as are most from the Nelson Sullivan vid archives-of a train ride to Coney Island with Nelson Sullivan, a young NYC columnist/writer Michael Musto and friends in ‘87. Besides marveling at their train’s state of disrepair, look out for their train passing the Oriental marquee at about 4:25 in this clip. Film titles showing then are easy to read. Hope you enjoy this forgotten slice of long ago NYC. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JN4ATDfCYmo

MikeRadio
MikeRadio on February 23, 2016 at 11:31 pm

I hate bags for popcorn. Firstly they are smaller than the really large tubs we used to get. Secondly, they fall in the seats easy. 3rdly they make alot of noise crinkling when you hold them. I really miss the Oriental. Back when I was a kid in Brooklyn though we always mis pronounced Loews as Low-EEs

theatrefan
theatrefan on January 29, 2016 at 11:34 am

Thank you for posting that video, Mike. The concession stand signage is exactly like the one at the Loew’s Paradise Quad. I can’t believe that even in the mid 90’s they were still using Cups for Popcorn, not bags like every other chain by that time.

MikeRadio
MikeRadio on January 5, 2016 at 11:02 pm

When this theater was closing, an employee uncovered old footage and made a video comparing the theater from opening day to closing. He sold it for a few dollars… I bought the video and uploaded it and here it is…. https://youtu.be/wCnunHvW0Lg

theatrefan
theatrefan on October 12, 2015 at 8:30 am

Does the original exist under the church one? I hope so.

robboehm
robboehm on October 11, 2015 at 10:02 am

The church in the Valencia modified the original vertical

theatrefan
theatrefan on October 11, 2015 at 7:27 am

Until the church took it over, that was a very nice intricate one that had to really stand our against the elevated train that used to run there. Isn’t the one on the 175th St. the original one, albeit with the Loew’s letters removed? It’s really a shame that most of the verticals, were removed because it was said they would unfortunately compromise the structural integrity of the buildings facade over time, they were really something special & you could see them from blocks away as their calling card to beckon it’s patrons. The Ewalk & Boston Commons attempted to sort of replicate the old style Loew’s verticals as sort of a homage to the originals.

robboehm
robboehm on October 10, 2015 at 1:46 pm

They replaced the Triboro vertical in the early 50s. Never touched the Valencia.

theatrefan
theatrefan on October 10, 2015 at 11:31 am

robboehm, yes both the vertical and regular marquee were replaced by Loew’s in the late 30’s or early 40’s. The second vertical was made by Artkraft Strauss. I wish there were more pictures around of both types.

robboehm
robboehm on October 10, 2015 at 10:30 am

theatrefan – the vertical in the photo to which you refer only reads Loews. That means that the original, since the older ones always had the theater name also, was replaced at some point in time. Nice to know when and what the original looked like.

theatrefan
theatrefan on October 7, 2015 at 7:07 pm

There is a photo with the film “Divorce American Style” listed on the marquee with the vertical in place which would put that in 1967. Meanwhile in the photo on top “Ice Station Zebra” is playing with the vertical gone, which would put us in 1968. So my guess would be sometime between 67-68 was when they scrapped it. The Shore theatre in Coney lsland had the exact same type and style vertical sign until Sandy ripped it apart in Oct 2012.

robboehm
robboehm on October 7, 2015 at 1:39 pm

When did they scrap the vertical? You can see the side of it in the photo with the original marquee. Gone with the new.

theatrefan
theatrefan on October 7, 2015 at 8:50 am

If the Loew’s Oriental opened in October 1927 the photo, must have been taken shortly after opening. The Buster Keaton Silent Film “College” opened on September 27th. Also notice the retail stores to the left and right of the theatre have not been rented out yet.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on October 6, 2015 at 5:12 pm

1927 photo added courtesy of Stephen Sclafani‎.

theatrefan
theatrefan on June 2, 2015 at 3:55 pm

It’s now been 20 years since it closed, one of the most ornate theatres that Bensonhurst ever had. Well at least it still exists in our memories.

Ravenhall
Ravenhall on March 23, 2015 at 7:41 pm

I worked in that corner drug store, (Karelle), from 1951 to 1955. The druggists name was Joe Friedman.

Marydoll
Marydoll on January 1, 2013 at 10:29 pm

I am sorry to see it is no longer there. In September 1959 the Oriental was the place of my first date with my first love. I think of them both with fond memories. It was a beautiful theater and he was a beautiful boy.

DJM78
DJM78 on January 17, 2012 at 5:29 pm

I can remember passing the closed Oriental on the way to class. It was about this time that I realized that nothing last forever.

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on December 30, 2011 at 8:51 am

The Forgotten NY article cited by TT is certainly worth checking out …… While I never visited the Benson, I did see Star Wars at the Oriental, along with my parents, when it had just come out. We caught an evening performance after having visited my aunt and uncle, who lived nearby. The only thing I recall about the visit – other than the movie – was the fact that so few people were watching what was an extremely popular movie. So, I guess the Oriental’s eventual demise was not entirely surprising.

Ed Miller
Ed Miller on June 27, 2011 at 3:36 pm

What an astonishing heartbreak it is for me to see the Oriental occupied by Marshall’s. The last time I was in the theater was in 1980, to see “The Fan,” and other than being twinned, it was very much intact.