Marboro Theatre

6817 Bay Parkway,
Brooklyn, NY 11204

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Showing 1 - 25 of 170 comments

bayparkwaygirl on January 1, 2013 at 3:09 am

Thank you, lostmemory, for that great pic from 1973. It brought back a lot of memories. I grew up 3 blocks from the Marboro and saw a lot of movies there – Jaws, Earthquake, The Sting and of course, the midnight Rocky Horror shows, to name a few. The theater was gigantic and beautiful. Unfortunately, like all the other movie theaters in Bensonhurst, it closed. There’s now a CVS and Rainbow Shops where it used to stand.

DJM78 on January 7, 2012 at 1:54 am

I remember going to see Castaway there. It was a very cold night in Bklyn. I’m talking way below freezing. The Marboro was not close to home and I didn’t have a car so it was a trek. The paper had the last showtime listed at 10:45. I arrived at the Marboro right about 10:45 to find out the paper was wrong. Last show was at 10:30 and the box office was closed. I pleaded with the manager but to no avail. My friend and I froze going home.

Bway on April 16, 2009 at 5:40 pm

What a shame the Marboro is now just a vacant lot awaiting it’s new purpose. Sad.

bmovies on April 10, 2009 at 3:11 am

An excerpt of an article from last year:

Coming soon to this old moviehouse
By Ben Muessig

The Brooklyn Paper

A movie theater that entertained Bensonhurst until blight reduced it to rubble is now showing a mystery.

Real-estate brokers are taking offers for a vacant lot on Bay Parkway that was once home to the Marboro Cinema, but no one knows what kind of building will replace the former multiplex.

Zoning laws will allow developers to build almost anything on the half-block lot: apartments, offices, shops, or even another movie theater, according to broker Jeffrey Shalom.

“Commercial, residential or mixed-use can be built there,” Shalom said. “There is an opportunity to build the largest new retail store in the neighborhood. This is what makes the property so unique. … There is no other development site in the community where such a building can be built.”

View link

bmovies on November 22, 2008 at 5:33 am

Wow. Just for fun I was googling my old neighborhoods in Brooklyn (No, I didnt live in Bensonhurst) and looking at what they look like now using the “street views” in the map section of google. Out of curiosity, I also looked up the neighborhoods of some old friends. Some of which lived in Bensonhurst. Eventually I fell upon this site.

One friend lived only a few blocks away from the old Marboro theater. The both of us were quite the movie fanatics (I’m still a fanatic about movies). I would take the bus into his neighborhood at least once a week (mid 1970s-mid 1980s) and we would go to one of the several movie theaters that still existed in Bensonhurst. Mostly we went to the Marboro theater.

I remember the little lunchonette next door. My friend insisted that I try their egg cream, saying it was the best (It was good, but it didnt really taste any different from all the other egg creams I’ve had all over Brooklyn). I remember that the Elliot Gould, Shelley Winters movie, Over The Brooklyn Bridge (working title: My Little Shiksa) was filmed in the lunchonette next door. The movie company also had to shut down the Marboro even though they werent filming there. I assume they needed the space in front of the theater for their moviemaking equipment and crew. (While I never saw Shelley Winters, I did manage to catch a glimpse of Elliot Gould). I also do recall on the Marboro marquee, advertising the midnight showings of Rocky Horror Picture Show. (I was too young to be out at midnight, so I wouldnt get to see that movie, at home on my VCR, untill they released it on videotape for the first time many years later)

Anyways, its kind of SAD to hear what happened to that theater. Reading all these posts on this board, from its closing, to its neglect and disrepair, to its ownership changing hands, to its final demolition. Plus seeing those photos before and after the demolition. A very sad ending to a very nice movie theater.

Having seen many movies in many different theaters in Brooklyn, I cant exactly remember the names of each and every movie I saw there. But I do recall seeing SOME blockbusters of the 1970s: Star Wars, Superman, Grease, etc. And some cult horror films from the 1980s like “Sleepaway Camp”.

I wrote in my blog about one of my eperiences that took place in the Marboro theater here:

View link

Elena1 on August 19, 2008 at 8:56 pm

I think i saw rocky there and if theres anyplace to see a rocky movie its bensonhurst. people were cheering and jumping up and down in the seats. wow.

JohnMessick on July 7, 2008 at 4:25 pm

Thank you Warren for such a beautiful piture of a beautiful theatre

br91975 on June 10, 2008 at 4:09 pm

It does, Bway. I’ve noticed photos and comments from this site (including some of mine), pulled (and, in terms of comments, entirely verbatim) and posted on other websites; some people can’t be bothered to give credit where it’s due.

Bway on June 10, 2008 at 3:39 pm

Doesn’t it appear the photo in the article is swiped from cinematreasures?

kencmcintyre on June 5, 2008 at 1:28 am

Here is a 3/7/08 article from a commercial real estate site concerning development of the former theater property:

EBIANCHERI on February 27, 2008 at 10:55 pm

Back in the early 1940s, I spent many an afternoon at the fabulous Marboro Theatre, often dodging the glances of the matron who was watching over us. A favorite pasttime was when we finished watching two features, the news, coming attractions, serial and a cartoon: an enterprising young man would line a bunch of us at all side doors. At a given signal, the kids would burst out leaving the doors wide open, with the afternoon sunlight streaming in from the right side, causing the audience to hoot and holler. The left side was risky because it led to an one-way alley, where if the ushers were waiting, they could have nabbed a few of the malcreants. Ah misspent youth — now demolished along with the old building.

moviebuff82 on September 5, 2007 at 9:31 pm

I guess this theater was one of the longest running theaters in the UATC/REG era. 75 years is a long time for a theater that might’ve gone through a lot of interior, exterior, and climate changes!!! Not to be confused with the theater of the same chain that is named after a cigarette and an NJ town.

theatrefan on September 5, 2007 at 7:56 pm

It’s so sad to see this as just a hole in the ground, where the Marboro once was. They can demolish the theatre itself, but they cannot demolish our memories that we have of this place and all of the great movies we saw here growing up.

Petristeel on August 5, 2007 at 11:38 pm

I saw Jaws 2, Dawn of the dead, countless other movies there. This theater was one of my favorites, because it was easy to sneak into other movies! I had great memories there and I will never forget them.

MarkW on May 20, 2007 at 6:21 am

The Marboro has been demolished.

whot915 on May 9, 2007 at 12:37 am

I took some photos of the Marboro Theater as of May 8, 2007.
It’s sad as they tear it down from within.
Just what Brooklyn needed … . more office space.
Click here to view the pictures.

bhughe02 on April 13, 2007 at 7:11 pm

I say good riddence to an eyesore in this stellar community. Once again, capitalism reigns supreme. All hail the might greenback!

JohnMessick on March 5, 2007 at 1:26 pm

any current pictures?

hondo59 on March 5, 2007 at 11:22 am

The theater is still up as of March 3, 2007.

Bway on October 24, 2006 at 12:13 am

Wow! talk about CURRENT information!

Bway on October 23, 2006 at 10:02 pm

Thanks for the update, I was dreading the day this message would come, but knew eventually it would appear here….

YMike on October 22, 2006 at 2:36 am

Demolition of this theatre has begun. The lobby as well as the stores next to the theatre (part of the building) have been gutted.

MarkW on June 9, 2006 at 6:37 am

Scaffolding is up. No demo permit issued as of yet.

Bway on June 5, 2006 at 3:16 pm

Any word on an update of the Marboro site? I guess demolition is soon to begin unless things change?

theatrefan on April 11, 2006 at 1:53 pm

Here is a recent article about the future of the Marboro from the Courier Life Newspaper:

Run-Down Marboro Movie House Waits For Next Act
Retail & Office Space to Take Over Marboro Movie House
By Charles Hack

The site of the grand old Marboro Movie Theatre that entertained Bensonhurst residents by the thousands for seven decades but became a home for squatters and pigeons is set to start a new life as offices and commercial space.

The renovation couldn’t happen soon enough, say residents who argue that the building at 6817 Bay Pkwy. has become a blight in the neighborhood since its closure in July 2002.

But movie enthusiasts wanted the building to be restored as a movie theater as the owners had once planned.

Philips International, which bought the building in December, plans to develop Ethan Plaza with ground-floor retail and offices or medical uses on the upper floors. They expect the building to be occupied in April 2008.

According to a listing by Massey Knakal Realty Services, the proposed development includes 61,7000 square feet of office space.

Offices are planned on three levels, with the penthouse at the top floor having a roof terrace.

United Artists Theatre Group sold the property to Marboro, LLC, a Philips International Holding company based at 295 Madison Ave. in Manhattan, on Dec. 19, 2005 for $10.3 million.

United Artists Theatres had sold it to United Artists Theatre Group for a nominal fee of $10 in June 2003, under whose ownership it had languished in a state of limbo and disrepair.

Rumors that it was to be renovated as a theater did not materialize. United Artists had received a permit from the Department of Buildings to repair and upgrade the existing theater. The permit was originally filed in 2003 and re-filed as recently as March 2005.

Howard Feuer, district manager of Community Board 11, said that the proposed commercial development is as of right, and welcomed that the site is to be redeveloped.

“We would have liked the movie theater to have come back. That was our hope,” said Feuer. “But that didn’t happen for a very long time. It is not good to have such a large block with nothing going on. This is the best alternative to a theater.”

He also said that the scale of the proposed building is in keeping with the surrounding community, and the developers would not be coming to the board requesting a variance.

“This is not a grand project that will really dwarf the community,” said Feuer. “They are not looking for any special privileges.”

But ever since it closed the theater has been a problem for the community. In August 2005 the Buildings Department received a complaint saying that the vacant movie house has been closed for several years and is now being inhabited by homeless people, pigeons, and “other kinds of nuisances.”

Complaints that the building was left open and unguarded go back to 2003.

“It goes through periodic states of disrepair,” Feuer said. “There is no alarm on the front door, leaving the possibility that someone can pry open the door and get in.”

Dennis Montesi, the president of the 83rd Street Block Association at Stillwell Avenue, said he recently saw several homeless people entering and leaving through the front door of the building, which has been busted open several times over the years.

“It’s an eyesore to the community,” Montesi said. “God forbid if someone sets it alight. The apartments alongside would burn. It would be a disaster here.”

“It should be cleaned out and sealed up,” Montesi said.

The theater, designed by prolific theater architect Charles Sandblom, has a long history. Records show that a certificate of occupancy was issued for a 2,246 seat theater, stores and offices in 1928. Another one was issued in 1979, but this time it was for a four screen theater with a total seating capacity for 1,453 customers.

Calls to Phillips International were not returned in time for publication.

Feuer said he feels nostalgia for his youth when he would watch double features at this and other former movie houses. This is something his 18-year-old daughter has not had a chance to enjoy, he said.

He sent several letters to the previous owners, requesting that they reopen it as a movie house.

“We had a lot of big theaters in Brooklyn and now we have none,” said Feuer. “It’s really unfortunate but life goes on. We will have good tenants bringing revenue to West 10th Street and Bay Parkway.”

Montesi said the permanent closure of the theater was one more in a string of losses to Bensonhurst, which has included bowling alleys, film theaters, supermarkets and other amenities. This leaves little for seniors and youth to do, he said.

“What else are they going take away?” Montesi said. “It’s out of control.”