Folly Theatre

15 Debevoise Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11206

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Showing 26 - 47 of 47 comments

JoeS on November 22, 2006 at 5:13 pm

I work with lots of pictures as a hobby and have done this extensively with various paint programs.Paint Shop Pro is an
excellent program to work with and there is much to learn through
online documentation.

JoeS on November 22, 2006 at 3:51 pm

Use the image copier in the acrobat reader and then paste the image
into Windows Paint program.Save it as a jpg.

In order to copy the image you’ll see a crosshair come up
when you click on copy image.
Just drag from the top left to the bottom right.It will then
be copied to the clipboard.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 22, 2006 at 9:57 am

Ken, I scan the ads before adding them to my Photobucket album. Some of the ads are photocopies of the originals, made from library microfilm. When I have ads from ProQuest in pdf format, I look at them on my computer’s monitor and use a digital camera to copy them right off the screen (first making sure that the camera’s “flash” is turned off so that I don’t get a reflection). The quality is usually very good. Sometimes I do some re-touching with Picasa, which is a free program obtainable on the internet.

kencmcintyre on November 22, 2006 at 9:15 am

Warren, I would be curious to know if you are scanning these ads to get them onto photobucket. I have access to a newspaper archive website, but the pages are only in pdf format, which means I can’t upload them onto photobucket. I tried posting the pages directly on CT, but the links fail after an hour or so.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 22, 2006 at 8:49 am

In 1928 as part of a Fox foursome presenting vaudeville with a feature movie:

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 10, 2006 at 8:56 am

In May, 1923, Fox’s Folly was part of a 30-theatre city-wide engagement of “Down to the Sea in Ships” after the epic ended an exclusive three-month run on Broadway:

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 16, 2006 at 7:52 am

A 1935 trade directory lists the Folly as owned and operated by Folly Amusement Holding Corporation. In the 1937 volume, it is listed as owned and operated by Lyric Frolics, Inc., a subsidiary of the Springer Circuit (a company that specialized in theatres that were in their death throes). In the 1941 volume, the Folly is merely listed as “closed,” with no other information.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 15, 2006 at 7:30 am

I don’t have room in my scrapbook to re-display the Folly photo, but if you contact me privately at .com, I will send you a copy. It’s possible that the Folly was closed for alterations at the time of the ad. That was the case for the Ridgewood Theatre, which also wasn’t listed.

Astyanax on August 15, 2006 at 6:18 am

Warren recently posted on the Alba webpage a listing of Fox Brooklyn houses from Sept. 14, 1930. The Folly was not listed. Since it was listed in the 1931 FYDB, had it already been spun-off from Fox?

Astyanax on June 19, 2006 at 7:56 am

Any idea when the Folly actually closed? This question has come up in regard to another site, the Aster. I recall in the mid 50’s there being a Friendly Frost appliance store on the corner of Graham Ave & Debevoise St., a fairly modern looking (stark/plain) structure that would not have gone back to the turn of the century.

Warren, any chance you could re-post the above picture, as the link has expired. Thanks!

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 7, 2005 at 3:26 pm

Here’s an early photo of the Folly, taken before William Fox took over the theatre:

JoeS on May 5, 2005 at 10:30 pm

According to the Brooklyn Eagle the Folly was a Richard Hyde’s new
and magnificant Theater and it would open on October 14,1901.
The Manager of the Folly would be a Mr. Clarke who had worked for
Mr. Hyde a number of years.Many prominent folks would attend and
be well cared for by the management.A good orchestra had been engaged
and they would make the Folly the most popular Theater in Brooklyn.
The opening weeks bill would be Tom Lewis and Tim Ryan in a sketch
“Mixed Tenant’s” revised by Mr. W.J.Hyde;the Three Mortons,Sam,Clara
and Kate,favorite dancers George Felix and Lydia Barry in the sketch
“The Vaudeville”.

Afcham on August 30, 2004 at 4:46 am

Jackie Gleason was from the Bedford section (I photographed his old house on Chauncey street). The name Bedford Stuyvesant stuck in the 1920’s or 30’s. He would come back to visit from time time, many people remember him coming back to play Pool (There was pool hall on Broadway, a couple blocks from the RKO Bushwick). He would also visit his old buddy who worked at 81st precinct (across the street from the old Empire).

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 6, 2004 at 11:01 am

The FDYBs apparently erred in reporting the address as Debevoise Avenue. It was almost certainly Debevoise Street, which intersects with Graham Avenue just above Broadway. An ad for The Folly in the October 27, 1901 issue of The Brooklyn Daily Eagle gives an address of “Graham Ave. near Broadway.” Debevoise Avenue is a considerable distance from that site. I suspect that The Folly’s original entrance was on Graham Avenue, and that it was later moved around the corner to Debevoise Street. Or, like many large theatres in those days, The Folly might have had two entrances originally and one was eventually closed when no longer needed.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 5, 2004 at 12:01 pm

The 1926 Film Daily Year Book claims that the Folly was situated at 12 Graham Avenue, and had 1,975 seats. By the 1931 edition, the listing had changed to 21 Graham Avenue and 1,800 seats. In the 1936 edition, it suddenly changed again to 15 Debevoise Avenue and 1,700 seats. Is it possible that by 1936, the original Folly had closed and the name was given to another theatre in the area?

Orlando on May 4, 2004 at 5:21 pm

That’s what I like about Cinema Treasures, some people take everything that is written so personally as if one can’t make a statement without always being corrected or attacked.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 4, 2004 at 5:05 pm

I didn’t claim that the Folly was Fox’s first theatre. I said that it was “one of the first.” Although I often complain about misuse of the word “the,” it seems that in this case the theatre was actually known as The Folly, not Folly. I’m presently looking at a photograph that shows two vertical signs and an attraction board with the name “The Folly.” Perhaps “The” was dropped after Fox took over. I can’t imagine Fox’s The Folly or The Fox Folly.

Orlando on May 4, 2004 at 4:48 pm

Actually, it was his second, the Comedy Theatre was his first at 194 Grand Street. It was a former 1850’s “speakeasy” that had fallen into ruins by 1903. The Folly, his second undertaking, was leased to William Fox at first and then sold to him, I believe. The Comedy which became the Metro in 1937 lasted until 1953. The Comedy opened in 1918 or thereabouts, closed in 1929. It remained closed until 1937.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 4, 2004 at 3:31 pm

The Folly was one of William Fox’s first theatres, though it was already long-established when he took it over circa 1904-05.

William on May 4, 2004 at 2:56 pm

The Folly Theatre seated 1750 people.