Wagner Theater

110 Wyckoff Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11237

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Showing 26 - 50 of 69 comments

johndereszewski on February 12, 2008 at 3:26 am

Yes, this was a real dump. I only remember the Wagner as a porn place, though I guess it may have converted to a Spanish language theater before its final demise. Its replacement by the Wyckoff Heights Hospital clinic can only be seen as a plus. The same cannot be said for the hospital’s huge extension across the street, which replaced a blockfront of solid housing.

My one memory of the Wagner occurred one evening, at about midnight, when I was having a political discussion with a friend – who is now an elected official – in a parked car down the block from the Wagner. Suddenly the threter’s doors opened and about a dozen men furtively exited the premises. Boy did they get out of there in a hurry!

PKoch on August 31, 2006 at 12:16 pm

George S, the Elco was a bar, not a person. Are you referring to one of the owners, Herman Walther or Freddy Zaigar ?

Georgeat1814 on August 31, 2006 at 11:56 am

Hello to all especially to PKoch who I just met on the Ridgewood Theater site. My parents took me to the Wagner often while growing up. Maybe they had to drag me sometimes, but once there is was OK.
I remember best the ‘Bavarian’ comedies.

As to the PKoch posting of August 17, 2006, I just saw Elco a few months ago at a family christening. Elco was a very close friend of my brother-in-law.

PKoch on August 18, 2006 at 8:35 am

Thanks, Lost Memory.

PKoch on August 17, 2006 at 9:32 am

Everyone follow the bouncing swastika ! Can you say “Leni Riefenstahl ?” I KNEW you could !

Segue to Mel Brooks' “The Producers” ….

PKoch on August 17, 2006 at 9:29 am

Here’s the link to the latest Times Newsweekly “Our Neighborhood” article about Nazi sympathizers in Ridgewood in the past :

View link

It mentions arrests at a Bund rally at Ridgewood Grove Arena in the 1930’s.

Lost Memory, that’s a great description of the German movies that once played at the Wagner Theater. Before reading this, I had known of Hans Albers only as a bandleader, with a hit single, “La Paloma”, on the jukebox at the Elco Bar at Seneca and Weirfield in summer 1969.

That Elco jukebox also had recordings by Whoopi Wuhlfahrt and the Six Fat Dutchmen !

I think there have been jokes here about the [Richard] Wagner Theater, and the Arion Theater really being the Aryan Theater.

Postfreiht macht frei !

PKoch on August 16, 2006 at 12:24 pm

I personally can verify it operating as a porn cinema in 1968, showing titles like “The Devil’s Bed” and “Let’s Play Doctor”. I lived with my mother’s family, four blocks northeast of the Wagner Theater at that time.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 16, 2006 at 12:21 pm

Listed in the 1926 and 1927 editions of Film Daily Yearbook as the Reo Theatre with a seating capacity of 600. In the 1930 edition of F.D.Y. it is listed as the 600 seat Reo and is (Closed).

There is no theatre listed as operating at this address in the 1941 F.D.Y. (I don’t have edition between 1931-1940 to verify if it was open during those years). However in the 1943 edition of F.D.Y. it is listed as the Wagner Theatre with a seating capacity of 510. Still listed as operating as the wagner Theatre in 1950 with 550 seats. By 1957 it has gone from listings in Film Daily Yearbook, but must have re-opened as a porn cinema which went into the late 1960’s.

PKoch on June 6, 2006 at 8:30 am

That’s spelled “diagonally”, Chris. Thanks for posting the image link.

Bway on June 6, 2006 at 8:16 am

The Wagner Theater was diagnolly across from Wyckoff Hospital. Here’s an aerial view. The brand new building diagnally across from the hospital was the site of the Wagner:

View link

Oakley on November 28, 2005 at 1:13 pm

I lived on Wyckoff Avenue from the 50’s to late 60’s where the hospital is now. I remember the Wagner theater showing the German films and then switching to porn. I remember a movie they were showing once called “Boxed Lunch.” I don’t believe I was ever inside the theater…

billmetz on October 16, 2005 at 8:27 am

in 1945 i saw destination tokyo with cary grant at the wagner …. it was a look alike to the wyckoff as far as inside appearances go as well as a look alike to the willougby and empire …all about 450 seats and smelling of pine disinfectant….admission then about 15 cents…..

Bway on July 20, 2005 at 12:32 pm

I don’t actually know if it was demolished or not. I took a photo o the location last year, and it appears to be a new building. However, there is a chance they just put a new brick venier on the old theater. My gut is that it’s demolished and replaced, however, I really can’t say either way:

Click here for photo I took last year

Bway on July 19, 2005 at 1:43 pm

Ugh. Erwin, you are absolutely correct. I posted this in the wrong section! This was in fact meant for the Irving Mozart. I will copy and post my post and post it in the Irving Theater section. I have no idea how i wound up posting this here.
In fact, you are correct, what was once the Wagner theater has been demolished, and is in fact the Woman’s Health Center.

EMarkisch on July 18, 2005 at 12:09 pm

Bway….Are you sure you were going past the Wagner on July 13th?
As far as I know, the Wagner is not a 99 cent store, but the Women’s Health Center. Perhaps, you went by the former Irving/Mozart, which is now a 99 cent store.

PKoch on July 14, 2005 at 7:24 am

The two porno films I remember playing at the Wagner in summer 1968 were “Devil’s Bed” and “Let’s Play Doctor”. Film critic Neil Gabler and I are among the few people who actually know about another film advertised on the page with “I Am Curious” : “Futz”.

I saw “Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun” at the American Musuem Of Natural History in spring 1993 and got to meet its star, Roy Thinnes, there.

Bway on July 13, 2005 at 5:16 pm

I past by the Wagner this evening, and peaked in the 99 cents store as I drove by (I was stuck at the light at the corner anyway). It has glass doors now, and inside it has a drop ceiling. A quick glance doesn’t reveal any original interior, and there is a fake drop ceiling in the store.
As for the Brooklyn thing, this theater is the one in the immediate area out of all the ones that they adevertised in Brooklyn, but are really in Queens (Parthenon, Madison, Ridgewood, Oasis (how dumb), etc, and then the one that is CLEARLY in Brooklyn, the Wagner, they say is in Queens!
Heh, I like lostmemory’s comment….put porn in the theater, and then, and only then say it’s in Queens…..

RobertR on July 13, 2005 at 4:26 pm

It’s funny in 1969 when the Wagner played “I am Curious Yellow” they listed it as Queens. Meanwhile this theatre is right on the border of Brooklyn and the Oasis which was nowhere near Brooklyn was listed as Brooklyn.
View link

JoeS on April 23, 2005 at 3:51 pm

In the late forties the Wagner theater showed rerun Hollywod flicks.
I remember seeing Captain’s Courageous there.They also ran cartoons
such as Mighty Mouse and Popeye.
The interior was non descript.

Bway on December 8, 2004 at 6:56 pm

While it is correct in the address section, the opening comment in this theater section should be altered because there is no such street as “Wagner St”. It should say “Wyckoff Ave”.

Bway on October 14, 2004 at 2:59 pm

I believe Deep Throat is the movie that I think tipped the tides into the “modern” porn industry. It’s also sort of “tame” considering what is out there nowadays.

PeterKoch on October 14, 2004 at 1:58 pm

My parents saw “I Am Curious-Yellow” in spring 1970, I think at the Arion in Middle Village.

RobertR on October 14, 2004 at 1:36 pm

As far as I know the Wagner was the only Ridgewood theatre to show porn. Although, in the early days alot of X features played regular theatres, so you never know.

RobertR on October 14, 2004 at 1:09 pm

Nope just “Let’s Spend the Night Together”, which I first saw at Centurys Floral.

More X titles

Beaverly Hills Cop
Star Whores

PeterKoch on October 14, 2004 at 1:01 pm

RobertR, did you ever play the Robert Frank movie about the Rolling Stones' 1972 US Tour, “Cckscker Blues”, at any NYC cinema ?