Loew's Pitkin Theatre

1501 Pitkin Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11212

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Showing 301 - 325 of 337 comments

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 3, 2004 at 3:57 pm

It might have been “supposed” to be the Hippodrome, which was a logical theatre for such a “freak” attraction, and also located on Sixth Avenue, which had an “el” at that time. The Empire State Building is situated only nine or ten blocks south, and between Sixth and Fifth Avenues.

PeterKoch on November 3, 2004 at 3:32 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 3:24 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 2:02 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 ?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 3, 2004 at 10:36 am

The introduction needs to be corrected. The Pitkin was not one of the Loew’s “Wonder Theatres.” The only Brooklyn theatre in that category was Loew’s Kings in Flatbush.

RobertR on November 3, 2004 at 10:26 am

I wonder if anything is left inside at all?

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 3, 2004 at 10:09 am

This is supposed to be an interior photo of the Pitkin theater:
View link

romerol on October 30, 2004 at 5:14 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 10:05 am

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

PeterKoch on September 27, 2004 at 9:43 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.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 21, 2004 at 10:15 am

The Pitkin Theatre was built and operated (for most of its life) by the Loew’s circuit. Founder Marcus Loew had died by the time of the Pitkin’s building, but his family had a substantial stock interest in the company, and there were some relations who worked for it. Another major stockholder was CEO Nicholas Schenck, who also had relatives working for the company.

Allison on August 20, 2004 at 11:47 pm

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 9:18 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 6:36 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 10:22 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 10:49 pm

This listing should be changed to Loew’s Pitkin.

PeterKoch on May 21, 2004 at 2:09 pm

Thank you, Orlando ! It’s amazing that these long-gone theaters are generating so many comments, from so many dedicated “urban archaeologists” !

Orlando on May 21, 2004 at 12:44 pm

This is the information on the Brownsville and East New York theatres that I toured this past Wednesday with a resident of the area. The Hopkinson Theatre was razed and is now a lot. It did play movies in the 1940’s & 1950’s (check the New York Times for the weekly ads during this period. The Stadium met the same fate and is now a park according to the street address. (I think the entance to theatre is there and only the auditorium is the small park). The remaining part of the building has no address, but follows the numbers on the other side of the street. The Loew’s Palace, the Supreme, the Ambassador, the People’s Cinema (nee Bluebird), the Livonia, The Lyric (Hendrix), Elite (Euclid), Kinema, Biltmore, Premier, Embassy, Warwick, Adelphi (Gem), Gotham, have ALL been demolished. Those that remain as churches include The Parkway, New Prospect (Ralph Ave.), the Montauk Arcade (Montauk) and Brair’s Theatre (Powell) both on Pitkin Ave, the Penn, Sutter, Miller
(Jehovah’s Witness on site) all on Sutter Avenue.
For the retail spaces, the Stone (supermarket), Reo (New Singer) a .99 store, the Sheffield (storage area) as well as the early Select (Chester) at 1671 Pitkin Ave. I had no address for the Brownsville Theatre but there are a few buildings that look that they were theatres. On Fulton Street, the Norwood, a 1920’s and early 1930’s “Negro” Christmas house, still rertains its' unique theatre entrance. If I have omitted any theatre it is because I couldn’t locate the buildings or had wrong addresses. Not bad for a 5 hour sweep. Let me hear from you if you have lived or went to any of the buildings listed above.

PeterKoch on May 21, 2004 at 10:00 am

Thanks, Warren.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 21, 2004 at 9:29 am

They were both “atmospherics,” but had different architects. John Eberson, the acknowledged “father” of that style, designed the Valencia, while Thomas W. Lamb did the Pitkin. The Pitkin is possibly Lamb’s closest “imitation” of Eberson’s work, perhaps because Loew’s insisted on it. Eberson had designed both the Valencia and the Bronx Paradise for the circuit.

PeterKoch on May 21, 2004 at 9:07 am

Thank you, bryanb. My father, who remembers this theater, will enjoy this also. The interior appears similar to Loew’s Valencia in Jamaica Queens in an image I saw a few eeeks ago.

PeterKoch on May 13, 2004 at 11:41 am

Thanks, Warren. I wonder if the Holy House of Prayer For All People is related to the Tabernacle of Prayer for All People that the Valencia has become.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 13, 2004 at 11:38 am

The area had another large Yiddish theatre called the Parkway, which first opened in 1927 as the Rolland Theatre, with 1,630 seats. The Parkway closed in 1955 and is now used as a church called the Holy House of Prayer For All People. The address is 1768 St. John’s Place, near Eastern Parkway.

PeterKoch on May 13, 2004 at 10:32 am

Warren, I don’t know if the building still exists. Thanks for this background info on the Yiddish Theater. The only two names I knew prior to your comment were Leo Fuchs and Molly Picon. My father, born 1919, remembers the Brooklyn Eagle. He remembers the intersection of Pitkin and Rockaway Avenues as a busy clothing retail area. His mother took him there in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s to shop for Easter suits, and he remembers clothiers grabbing his mother’s sleeve to get her attention as they stepped off the Rockaway Avenue trolley. They bought from stores, not pushcarts.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 13, 2004 at 9:58 am

In an ad of October 5, 1945 in the Brooklyn Eagle, the Hopkinson Theatre’s location is stated as Hopkinson & Pitkin Avenues. At that time, the Hopkinson was presenting Yiddish stage plays, with “Hard To Be Honest,” starring Lillian Lux and Paul Burstein, as the current attraction. I believe that the Hopkinson was a Yiddish theatre for all of its life, though movies may have sometimes been shown. I’ve yet to find it listed in any Film Daily Year Books, so I don’t know the seating capacity. Does the building still exist?