Loew's Pitkin Theatre

1501 Pitkin Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11212

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Showing 251 - 275 of 291 comments

PeterKoch on February 22, 2005 at 1:14 pm

I can imagine that today it would be hell, yes !

A Hispanic friend of mine recounted to me in the early ‘80’s how scared he was in the '70’s getting off the IRT elevated at Pennsylvania and Livonia late at night to visit his older brother in East New York.

chconnol on February 22, 2005 at 12:39 pm

My wife’s Uncle recounted once how it was no big deal to ride the subway home to Brownsville at 3:00 in the morning in the 40s and 50s. Can you imagine that today? Hell, no.

PeterKoch on February 22, 2005 at 11:32 am

StanS, your comment reminds me of something Mel Brooks was shown saying a few months ago on a Channel 13 program on Broadway musicals, namely, that what those musicals were selling was optimism, because there WAS no optimism in the Bronx, Brownsville, or Williamsburg, but your mention of “Imagine, moving from the drab lower east side to Legion Street, Brownsville—right in the shadow of this massive Loew’s! Grand Street never boasted this kind of theater.” reads like just the opposite, almost as if you had moved from “the drab lower east side” into Joy Itself ! Thanks for posting your comment !

My dad remembers a similar “celestial” ceiling at Loew’s Valencia in Jamaica, Queens. He also remembers a thriving, aggressive garment trade right out in the street on puscharts at Rockaway and Pitkin Avenues in Brownsville at about 1930. He and his mom would take the
Wilson Avenue trolley there from Bushwick, and he remembers clothiers grabbing at his mother’s sleeve before she’d even gotten off the trolley :

“New suit for the boy ?” This was a yearly ritual of a new suit for my dad for Easter.

“Take your hands off me, or I’ll go to your brother’s place down the street !”

dave-bronx™ on February 21, 2005 at 5:30 am

The exterior of the Pitkin looks very similar to the 175th Street in Manhattan….

pands on February 21, 2005 at 2:00 am

Ah, the Loew’s Pitkin. Brownsville, 1957. It may not have been one of the elite in the Loew’s chain, but who knew? who cared? Imagine, moving from the drab lower east side to Legion Street, Brownsville—right in the shadow of this massive Loew’s! Grand Street never boasted this kind of theater.

I remember the “celestial” ceiling with its subtly lighted constellations, a captivating feature my childhood friend once proudly announced her dad helped create. Alas, like much of the Brownsville we once knew, the wonder of the Loew’s Pitkin has long since faded into the limbo of Brooklyn history.

Bev on January 22, 2005 at 9:56 am

I remember Henrietta Cameron, the organist at Loew’s Pitkin, eating at my Dad’s place- Hoffman’s Restaurant. He also built and owned Hoffman’s Cafeteria (same block) but she preferred the “service” restaurant. Anybody remember the spectacular rolling-clouds ceiling at the theatre?

morralkan on December 28, 2004 at 2:33 pm

I remember very clearly going the Pitkin a number of times when I was a boy. Since we lived at the intersection of Pitkin Avenue and Eastern Parkway, it was just a couple of minutes by foot to the theater. I remember the treat of seeing Teahouse of the August Moon at the Pitkin —– a real treat since it was a weekday school night. I only got to go to the movie, I think, because I was with my mother an grandmother shopping on Pitkin Avenue and I guess they wanted to see this particular movie. I also remember seeing Around the World in 80 Days there. In my mind, it was the most beautiful theater I’d ever seen.
I heard from someone who lives nearby (I’m in Crown Hts now) that the Pitkin may be reopened as a theater. Anyone else hear of this?
Mark M.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 24, 2004 at 11:24 am

I am presuming the ‘fake wall’ mentioned in the opening text to this theatre is a cinder brick wall which now divides the foyer area from the main auditorium.

pianoman on December 24, 2004 at 10:47 am

Dear friends at Cinema Treasures.com,

What is a ‘fake wall’?

Peter H.
aka wheelieman

kelley on November 20, 2004 at 7:03 pm

My family lived on Straus Street when I was a boy in the 50s and my aunt and uncle had a men’s clothing store on Pitkin Avenue at that time too. I don’t recall the name of the store. Some of the first films I remember seeing at the fabulous Pitkin Theatre were SHOWBOAT, SINGIN' IN THE RAIN and THE GREAT CARUSO.

Marty on November 14, 2004 at 1:19 pm

My father had a hat store as a bookend to the Pitkin named Jay Lord. When I was a boy in the 50’s, he would bring me to the theater to be monitored by the ushers until it was time for the store to close. I cannot begin to think of the volume of movies I saw, but I was always in awe of the ornate design of the Pitkin. I am so glad I found this site as I remember the Pitkin with such fondness. Any other information would be wonderful.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on November 3, 2004 at 5:02 pm

No location, just fiction. Perhaps the Hippodrome was intended, but that is North of the Empire State Building. Peter.K

PeterKoch on November 3, 2004 at 4:32 pm

Thanks, KenRoe. Any idea where in Manhattan that theater was supposed to have been, as, after Kong escapes, he demolishes an elevated train line and is then reported as heading west towards the Empire State Building ?

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on November 3, 2004 at 4:24 pm

Sorry to inform you that I have heard that a majority of the roof and ceiling have come down at the Pitkin. Looks like it will be gone eventually, well perhaps when land values in the area start to rise.

The ‘New York’ theatre featured in the 1933 version of “King Kong” was filmed in the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles. CA The same venue was featured in the 1954 version of “A Star is Born”. Of course over recent years, until 2001, the Shrine Auditorium has been host to the Oscar Awards and others. But back to the Loew’s Pitkin>>>>>

PeterKoch on November 3, 2004 at 3:02 pm

King Kong was advertised as “the eighth wonder of the world” by Carl Denham, who captured and exhibited him.

In what Manhattan theater do you think this happened ?

RobertR on November 3, 2004 at 11:26 am

I wonder if anything is left inside at all?

romerol on October 30, 2004 at 6:14 pm

That’s sure one wealth of information from Orlando concerning
the theatres in the Bed/Stuy- Brownsville section.
During my high shool years I used to ride the B7 bus
to East Flatbush.
Along Saratoga was the remains of the Miller Theatre
and after passing Atlantic Ave. I would see a grand building
that was formerly the Loews Pitkin, but it was already closed
by the 70’s. One of the last remaining stores of a bygone era
was the hat/haberdashery store on the Pitkin and Saratoga Ave.
The Pitkin was so big, that the church that was there at that
time called it a Cathedral !!

RobertR on September 27, 2004 at 11:05 am

Still looks nice on the exterior but I can imagine by now the whole inside is gone.

PeterKoch on September 27, 2004 at 10:43 am

Thank you, Bryan Krefft, for posting the link to this image, and thereby following in Bway’s footsteps, in providing images of these once-great, and once-busy, theaters, as they are now.

Allison on August 21, 2004 at 12:47 am

I am trying to do some genealogy research and was just told that my greatgrandfather’s nephew owned the Pitkin Theatre at one time, maybe in the 1920-30’s. Anyone have any idea of the owner or how to find out?

PeterKoch on June 8, 2004 at 10:18 am

Thank you, muray, for your comments. It must have been great being an
usher at the Pitkin. I have seen the picture of its interior through the link posted by “bryanb” above. Beautiful !

My dad, born in 1919, grew up on and around the fashionable street of Bushwick Avenue, of the neighborhood of the same name. He and his mom shopped for Easter suits for him near Pitkin and Rockaway Avenues when he was a boy. He later dated a gal who lived on Pitkin Avenue.

I have seen “Follow The Bouncing Ball” cartoons as a kid (I was born mid-November 1955) and in the last ten years on the AMC cable tv channel. Film Forum, a lower Manhattan cinema that has revivals, often has live piano accompaniment at screening of silent films.

muray on June 7, 2004 at 7:36 pm

The organist at the Pitkin for many years was the talented Henrietta Kamaren (not sure of the spelling). “Follow The Bouncing Ball”

muray on June 5, 2004 at 11:22 pm

I was an usher at the Loew’s Pitkin in 1940 when they showed “Gone With The Wind” twice daily to packed houses. It was located on Pitkin Ave., the most fashionable street in Brooklyn in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Those were the greatest years for me.

MarkW on May 31, 2004 at 11:49 pm

This listing should be changed to Loew’s Pitkin.