RKO Bushwick Theatre

1396 Broadway,
Brooklyn, NY 11221

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Showing 51 - 75 of 415 comments

johndereszewski on February 17, 2010 at 12:25 pm

I just noticed the message on the facade. This picture was snapped during the brief period when the old Bushwick hosted the Pilgrim Baptist Church. i.e., before it moved to the old Loews Gates. This was, in fact, a very brief sliver of time.

PeterKoch on February 17, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Great shot, John. Thanks. And it’s dated ! I love that ! And not even MY stupid computer mis-blocked it as porn !

johndereszewski on February 16, 2010 at 7:44 pm

In a set of photos regarding the old Republic Theater in Williamsburg, I found this great shot of the Bushwick, which I do not believe appears on this page,

Enjoy – and hope the link works.

View link

Bway on December 9, 2009 at 10:55 am

Those are great!

PeterKoch on December 9, 2009 at 7:54 am

Good pix ! Thanks, Jayar1 !

Jayar1 on December 8, 2009 at 2:46 pm

Some interesting pictures at this website…
View link

PeterKoch on September 9, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Thanks, Bway, it would be interesting to see some photos, just the same, to have a comparison such as you did for the RKO Madison Theatre.

Bway on September 9, 2009 at 1:05 pm

I think it has mostly been cut up into various floors, and classrooms. I don’t think any of the interior survives, but I am not sure.

PeterKoch on September 9, 2009 at 10:30 am

It would be interesting to see what the interior of the building looks like now, as the School For Social Justice.

PeterKoch on September 9, 2009 at 10:29 am

That is beautiful, Warren. Thanks. I think I have seen it, but it’s always good to see it again. It’s a good, positive companion piece to the 1980’s images of abandonment and decay.

deleted user
[Deleted] on September 9, 2009 at 10:24 am

This is a new link to an auditorium image posted above on 7/7/2005. The photo was taken around 1946-47, well before the wide-screen era:
View link

Bway on September 9, 2009 at 7:49 am

Thanks so much Warren! Those are very interesting. There is a photo linked up above, I think by JF Lundy a long time ago, of when the theater was new, and those boxes look just like them….of course, deteriorated. I would love to see any other photos there may be of the interior.

PeterKoch on September 9, 2009 at 7:31 am

Thanks, Warren. It’s great to be able to see the additional detail. It’s simultaneously sad, majestic, and decrepit.

My dad remembers the RKO Bushwick Theatre as having two balconies. Is this correct ?

deleted user
[Deleted] on September 9, 2009 at 6:33 am

My friend, Jack Robinson, has sent me another snapshot showing a larger portion of the right front wall of the auditorium. There were actually two tiers of box seats. The other photo shows only a portion of the lower left box: View link

PeterKoch on September 8, 2009 at 9:08 am

Thanks, Warren. Something has changed on my pc so that I can now view your Photobucket images.

It looks like a b & w still from inside the RKO Bushwick Theatre from the 1987 film “The Believers”.

deleted user
[Deleted] on September 5, 2009 at 8:24 am

A friend who visited the abandoned theatre in the 1980s sent me this B&W snapshot of the right front side of the auditorium, adjacent to the stage. At top right, one can see a box of seats with a decaying banner draped on it. At the edge of the proscenium, there’s a vacant spot at the bottom where an annunciator had been removed:
View link

Bway on April 16, 2009 at 8:29 am

Thanks Lost. I have to agree. The place really looked beautiful near it’s cinema end in the late 60’s, with it’s marquee all lit up. A sharp comparisan to 15-20 years later when it began it’s fall into shambles. In the mid 80’s, the place still didn’t look “that bad”, at least not as bad as I remember it 10 years later in the mid 90’s when it was in complete and utter shambles.
Today it looks good again, although sad it was gutted inside.

PeterKoch on April 15, 2009 at 7:19 am

joe zizzo, I meant CT, not BB (Bushwick Buddies) although you’d probably enjoy being there, too. Freudian slip :


Thanks for the 1986 photos, LM. Beautiful still, but what a waste of all those years that the RKO Bushwick sat derelict and unused. The closeups of the window details are majestic, though, like the Palace of Green Porcelain, a vast future museum in H.G. Wells' classic novel “The Time Machine”.

A shot of the southwest corner of the RKO Bushwick, at the northeast corner of Howard Avenue and Madison Street, would well convey its impressive bulk. There’s a shot of the Bushwick like that in Matthew Melnick, “Lost Brooklyn Trips” :


Melnick’s shots of derelict buildings in Brooklyn make it look (to me) like an abandoned city of the dead.

PeterKoch on April 14, 2009 at 9:38 am

Thanks for joining us here on BB, joe zizzo. Welcome ! And thanks for sharing your treasured memories with us. I hope to read more from you !

josephzizzo on April 14, 2009 at 4:02 am

I remember taking my first date to the RKO around 1952 35cents That was big time in those days because the other movie theaters like the rodgers on Broadway was 14 cents That was a time when you could walk with your date late at night and take her back to her home and get a kiss in the vestibule.And her family would ring the buzzer to let you know they new you where there with her.Wow good times.

PeterKoch on April 13, 2009 at 12:30 pm

So would have I, John D.

johndereszewski on April 13, 2009 at 11:16 am

Actually, the old girl looked pretty good, even near the end of its cinematic run! I would have envisioned a more seedy appearance by the mid 1960’s.

PeterKoch on April 13, 2009 at 10:34 am

Beauitful ! Thanks, Lost Memory !

Bway on April 2, 2009 at 3:32 pm

Thanks Joe G, that is very interesting.