Marboro Theatre

6817 Bay Parkway,
Brooklyn, NY 11204

Unfavorite 18 people favorited this theater

Showing 26 - 50 of 178 comments

Bway on June 5, 2006 at 7:16 am

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 5:53 am

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.”

Bway on February 23, 2006 at 8:39 am

That’s how the RKO Madison Theater in Ridgewood met it’s final end….a “mysterious” fire.

MarkW on February 23, 2006 at 7:35 am

Update: Marquee and lobby lit up for last week or 2. Door broken open again… I wonder if it will be burned down before it is torn down?

Theaterat on February 7, 2006 at 9:01 am

another one bites the dust. And another one is gone, another one is gone, another one bites the dust.

Bway on February 7, 2006 at 7:47 am

RH, after I posted that I was thinking the same thing. $10 million is probably accurate. A run down brownstone in Bed=Stuy will cost you at least $500,000 today, so a large theater property in a better part of Brooklyn would only fetch $500,000 more? Not happening. It probably is $10 million, the more I think about it.

RichHamel on February 7, 2006 at 7:43 am

Anyone who questions 10 Million for the Marboro site should take a look at some current Brooklyn real estate listings. Slightly better than average houses are selling for around 1 million. As Brooklyn continues its renaissance, the remaining theaters in tenuous shape will vanish. I hope something is done with the Loew’s Kings before a developer discovers it.

YMike on February 7, 2006 at 7:42 am

You also can’t operate a bowling alley in Brooklyn today for the same reason.

Theatrefan on February 7, 2006 at 6:28 am

Given the fact that the Kingsway sold for Five Million in 2000 & the Fortway sold for just over 4 million last year, Ten million does seem kind of high, however Massey Knakal is asking Fifteen million for the Alpine site. Real Estate prices just keep going higher & higher.

It just seems really impossible to operate a movie theatre in Brooklyn for the fact that the land on which it sits on has become such a valuable commodity in today’s Real Estate market.

YMike on February 7, 2006 at 6:10 am

Given the fact that there really is no place to put a parking lot or garage at this location I always felt it was a longshot to see a new Marboro theatre at this site. This is also the main reason that a planned renovation of the Loews Oriental never happened. I think $10 million for this site is a little to high also.

Bway on February 7, 2006 at 5:33 am

I iagree with Warren on this, $10 million is a lot, even in NYC’s real estate market. The amount has to be “1 million”, but who knows, anything is possible.
But I think a more important is the rest of the post, and not worrying about the price. The important part of the post is really this part:

included in the bill of sale is a provision that prohibits the property from being operated as a Motion Picture Theatre for a twenty year period.

That is the really unfortunate part of the post, and perhaps the one worth discussing.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on February 7, 2006 at 4:47 am

I still question it. It could be a typographical error, with a 0 accidentally added to $1 million. The land site is not large enough to justify spending $10 million to build upon it.

Theatrefan on February 7, 2006 at 4:26 am

The New York City Department of Finanace Office of the City Register Automated City Register Information System or ARCRIS. If you look under property records, then by parcel indentifier the borough is Brooklyn and the block is 6575, the lot is 1. you will then see a document for assigment of the deed for that amount. Regal was simply waiting for the highest bidder to come along for the property & they got over 10 million for it.

Using the ACRIS system you can look up what any former theatre sold for, its all a matter of public record.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on February 6, 2006 at 3:48 am

What is your source for the claim that the Marboro sold for $10 million? New York City Property Search gives a market value of $865,000 for 2005/06 and a “tentative” $977,000 for 2006/07. That’s a difference of more than $9 million!

Theatrefan on February 5, 2006 at 1:37 pm

The UA Marboro Quad had been sold by United Artists Theatre Group LLC to PL Marboro LLC For the sum of Ten Million Three Hundred Thousand Dollars (10,300,000.00) included in the bill of sale is a provision that prohibits the property from being operated as a Motion Picture Theatre for a twenty year period.

So much for a replacement movie theatre for the Marboro, Thanks Regal Entertainment Group for getting rid of the last surviving Movie Theatre in Bensonhurst Brooklyn & giving us another office complex.

YMike on January 29, 2006 at 6:21 pm

A chain link fence has been erected across the entrance to the theatre.

Bway on January 12, 2006 at 8:29 am

Oh isn’t that special. Another glass monstrosity replacing something architectual.

mp775 on January 12, 2006 at 7:52 am

Here is a rendering of the proposed office building: View link

YMike on January 1, 2006 at 4:38 pm

It looks like it won’t be long untill there will only be a few theatres left in Brooklyn. Downtown and Sheepshead Bay.

Theatrefan on January 1, 2006 at 12:41 pm

There now is a sign on the Marboro Marquee that reads:

Coming Soon * Built To Suit
Office Space For Rent
Massey Knakal Realty Services
Exclusive Agent
Jeffrey A. Shalom
Director of Sales

This is the same Real Estate Firm that sold the Fortway Theatre last year & is in the process of selling the Alpine Theatre now. Oh Well, I guess the dream of a new movie theatre replacing the Marboro is finally over. Good Bye Marboro Theatre, Hello Office Space.

RTorre81 on December 2, 2005 at 11:25 am

I worked at the Marboro for 3 years from 1996 – 1999 as an usher,
maintenance, and projectionist…. It was some of the best years of my life and it really breaks my heart to see the theater in the condition it is now. I know the theater inside and out, including having seen the original ceiling of the movie theater from which the drop ceilings were added to. I would love to see the theater bought, renovated and turned into a landmark. I’m positive that it would still do decent business because in the late 90’s it was always fairly busy, and the bigger problem for business was not getting quality films the week they came out. If anyone has any up today info on what’s going on with the theater now, please email me.

chconnol on November 17, 2005 at 2:38 am

The pictures on this site for the Marboro only show the front entrance. It doesn’t do the size of this place justice. I was in Brooklyn last Sunday (11/13) and drove right past this place. The marquee is surprisingly large but the auditorium must’ve been fairly large.

Louella on October 17, 2005 at 1:11 pm

I graduated from Seth Low JHS in 1948. The graduation was held at the Marboro Theater. That’s the last time that I was in there!

Theatrefan on July 10, 2005 at 5:11 am

YankeeMike: Actually it’s two blocks, 86th St. to Benson Ave. then Benson to Bath Avenue.

YMike on July 10, 2005 at 4:52 am

Lets not forget the Deluxe. Only 1 block from the Benson on Bath Ave. I saw movies there untill they switched to porn in the late 70’s.