Loew's Pitkin Theatre

1501 Pitkin Avenue,
Brownsville,
Brooklyn, NY 11212

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Showing 301 - 324 of 324 comments

muray
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
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
MarkW on May 31, 2004 at 11:49 pm

This listing should be changed to Loew’s Pitkin.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on May 21, 2004 at 3:09 pm

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

Orlando
Orlando on May 21, 2004 at 1:44 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
PeterKoch on May 21, 2004 at 11:00 am

Thanks, Warren.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 21, 2004 at 10:29 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
PeterKoch on May 21, 2004 at 10:07 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
PeterKoch on May 13, 2004 at 12:41 pm

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 12:38 pm

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
PeterKoch on May 13, 2004 at 11:32 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 10:58 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?

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on May 12, 2004 at 5:17 pm

Thank you William !

William
William on May 12, 2004 at 5:14 pm

Yes, 1619 Broadway is the Brill Building. Thats where my office is located in Manhattan.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on May 12, 2004 at 4:59 pm

Is / was 1619 Broadway in Manhattan, NYC, the Brill Building ?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 12, 2004 at 4:57 pm

After Loew’s, the Pitkin was operated by Pozin Enterprises, headed by Thomas Pozin with HQ at 1619 Broadway, in New York City.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on May 12, 2004 at 4:44 pm

The Hopkinson Theater once stood five short blocks to the east of the Pitkin at Hopkinson and Rockaway Avenues. I do not know its size.

I know of no theater that once stood at the once-busy intersection of Pitkin and Rockaway Avenues in Brownsville.

larryb
larryb on May 7, 2004 at 10:23 pm

To orlando: I don’t know how to respond to you directly, I hope you read this. Thanks so much for the prompt response re: opening day at the Pitkin. JUst got off the phone with my dad to tell him. He was going to call his friend who was also in that marching band 75 years ago!! I’ve been looking for that info for 4 years. Thanks again.

Orlando
Orlando on May 7, 2004 at 9:10 pm

The first movie at Loew’s Pitkin was “So This Is College” (MGM) with Elliott Nugent, Robert Montgomery and Sally Starr, all-talking and singing. There was a stage revue (if you want that info, let me know)as well, from the Capitol Theatre. Four De Luxe shows daily at 1:30-3:45-7:00-9:00. It was heralded as LOEW’S AMAZING NEW! PITKIN on Sat. Nov. 9, 1929 at 11 A.M.. Opening Day Prices were 11 a.m.-1 p.m. .35 cents, 1-5 p.m. .50 cents, 5 p.m. to closing .75 cents. Note (Loges slightly higher) Any wages, I say .90 or $1. ?

larryb
larryb on May 7, 2004 at 6:08 pm

Does anyone know what was the first movie shown at the Pitkin in 1929. My father played in a marching band at the opening and would like to know what the picture was. Thank you. Send to

Orlando
Orlando on March 4, 2004 at 2:42 pm

Even though not considered a “Wonder Theatre”, the Pitkin was advertised as such in many ads in the Brooklyn Eagle when it first opened. When I spoke to a original Loew executive, he told me the “Wonder Theatre” was an advertising tool of the then in-house publicity team that were employed at the Loew’s State building in New York. Seeing the building while it was open and many times since closed, I was able to get in two years ago, and it is now truly an atmospheric theatre now that the ceiling has collapsed into the orchestra. In addition, the auditorium looked like the “Titanic” that had risen with the water damage intense. It is beyond saving except for the original four exterior walls that still look majestic. It is safe to assume that this theatre was also “extremely vandalized” and not buy locals but people who knew the value of the treasures within. All that was left of the grand staircase was the steel frame, minus the marble steps, bannisters, light fixtures and the lions on the staircase levels leading to the balcony. It was a sad sight to see. The Parkway Theatre (aka Ronley) nearby is in much better shape.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 22, 2004 at 12:19 pm

Loew’s Pitkin was one of architect Thomas Lamb’s most beautiful “atmospheric” designs and first opened in November, 1929, with a combination policy of feature movie and vaudeville. As far as I know, the Pitkin was one of only three Brooklyn theatres in the “atmospheric” style, the others being the Loew’s 46th Street (originally known as the Universal Theatre) and the Fortway. Have I missed any?

William
William on November 15, 2003 at 2:11 pm

The Loew’s Pitkin Theatre is located at 1501 Pitkin Ave. and it seated 2827 people.

William
William on November 1, 2002 at 4:28 pm

The Pitkin Theatre was not one of the five Wonder theatres that Loew’s built. The real five wonder theatres were:
Loew’s 175th Street (Manhattan)
Loew’s Paradise (Bronx)
Loew’s Kings (Brooklyn)
Loew’s Valencia (Queens)
Loew’s Jersey (Jersey City)