Kingsway Theatre

946 Kings Highway,
Brooklyn, NY 11223

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Showing 51 - 75 of 105 comments

bdwyphil on August 8, 2006 at 6:47 pm

An article in the Hollywood trade papers sparked my memory of the Kingsway. I worked as an usher between 1956-58. It was my first movie industry job. We had lockers and changing rooms in the old vaudville dressing rooms. We wore uniforms of maroon and blue with gold trim, bow ties, plastic collars and shirt fronts. On Friday and Saturday nights, I was assigned to the front of the theatre to “bark”. I would announce in my strongest voice to all of Kings Highway and Coney Island Avenue, the time of the next show and what seats remained available. In the winter, I would wear this incredible navy blue wool cape. It was the time of “Roadshow Engagements”. I would be working the balcony and loge during a matinee performance of “Guys and Dolls”, learning the lyrics and if the house was fairly empty, singing and dancing along. I haven’t been back to the neighborhood for over Fifteen years and felt a twinge of sadness and nostalgia to learn that the old house was gone and with it some of my personal history.

longislandmovies on July 16, 2006 at 8:08 pm

Garth was always good to me but i could see that crazy mind working all the time.

lennytone on July 16, 2006 at 8:01 pm

My favorite memory of the Kingsway (1960’s) was actually the Chinese restaurant next door and their great dish Shrimp Har Kew!

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on July 15, 2006 at 2:26 pm

That is so wrong.

Not normally one to lament the passing of a neighborhood theatre.

But this was a terrible rehab job. Drab. Uninspired. No respect for history.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on July 15, 2006 at 12:04 pm

Here is a recent(June 2006) photograph I took of the now much altered Kingsway Theatre:

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 15, 2006 at 10:34 am

I agree with longislandmovies. Cineplex Odeon helped theatres that were falling apart stay open for years by spending big money remodelling and keeping them up. The Kingsway had a rough going in it’s last few years because it was always being groomed for demolition and replacement by a purpose built multiplex, a event that never occured.

Although I have no particular love for Garth Drabinsky. He gave a new lease on life to the Metropolitan, Kenmore, Fortway, Alpine, Metro Twin, Regency, Olympia, Carnegie Hall, Waverly, Art Greenwich, Manhattan Twin, and Warner (Rialto) just when they were past their sell-by date and when no other chains were investing in non-multiplex buildings.

longislandmovies on July 15, 2006 at 7:49 am

I never thought CINEPLEX ODEON ever trashed movie houses ,they saved the movie theater industry from years of neglect !

keionm on July 15, 2006 at 6:52 am

You know it’s a shame that NY doesn’t treasure it’s historic theaters at all. I remember going to this theater in the early 80’s-90’s when it was still part of the RKO century chain. I can frankly say they keep it in good shape and intact. Cineplex Odeon has a reputation for trashing these glorious movie houses. I remember seeing Clue, Cocoon, Karate Kid II, Nightmare on Elmstreet III,IV, and V. She will be missed.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on July 2, 2006 at 7:24 pm

Gee that is unfortunate. I photographed the Kingsway around 1990, while passing through this section of the city. It lent excitement to the corner with it’s flashy facade and marquee. It sounds like it had been thoroughly chopped to pieces already. But I’m sorry they chose to modify the exterior. Other retail conversions have retained the marquee and facade, thereby retaining some of that excitement. Look at how drab that 2004 image is.

EcRocker on February 15, 2006 at 9:21 pm

I was in the Kingsway when it was a single screen and later when it was divided. Not for nothing but whenever i see or hear the name Cineplex Odeon I want to puke. This is a Canadian based company that ripped off the American public. I remember years back when i was in Montreal Canada I went to see a movie and it cost me $5 Canadian which at the time was about $3.75 US…That same movie at an Odeon showing in NYC was $8. why the $4.25 cent difference for the same movie? Seem like before the C/O Loews merger CO was always the first to start a price increase. They started the others followed.

overcertified on January 16, 2006 at 10:24 am

Actually, both original Crazy Eddie’s" stores were located a block away. The first real original store was on Kings Highway between Coney Island Avenue and East 12th street, a small hole in the ground. That was an outgrowth of the family business, which was “crawfords” on Kings Highway and east 14th street. Eddie, when he was a kid, grew up on East 10th street between Quentin Road and Avenue P, which was effectively around the corner from both the stores and the Kingsway.

Then, crazy eddie moved into the Coney Island Avenue location, which most people belived (incorrectly) to be the first store – which was directly across the treet from the theater. At one time, this was a TSS (Time Square Store), an old chain. The entire corner had burned down due to a alarm fire in fields brothers, that also took out the TSS. The entire block had to be redeveloped. I remember a drug store chain taking one of the stores on Kings highway and attempted to compete against Kings Pharmacy, which was across the street from the theater on the corner of Kings Highway and CIA. The genevose lost, closed down, and then Kings pharamacy moved into that store, and the old Kings became a bank.

YMike on January 9, 2006 at 4:58 am

The original “Crazy Eddie’s” store was located about a block from the Kingsway theatre.

ectojedi1 on January 9, 2006 at 3:44 am

I use to go to this theatre when I lived in Brooklyn as a kid. I don’t think it was the theatre I went to most often because there was a closer theatre in walking to distance to my home on West 5th street. Yet it made an big impression on me. The beautiful murals painted on the front and side walls made this theatre seem larger than life to me. The only movie I can distinctly remember seeing here is the original “Jurassic Park,” though I’m sure I saw many 80’s classics here that just aren’t registering. I remember the theatre was swamped because this was a must see movie event. I also remember a comic store being right near there which I definitely went into prior to this showing at least. Does anyone remember if there was also Crazy Eddie’s across the street or in the immediate area? If I’m not mistaken there was one right by there.

ERD on November 12, 2005 at 8:30 am

The Kingsway theatre brings back many memories, but fast moving changes in technology are making movie theatres something from another era. At least with awareness, there are some theatres that have been (and hopefully others that will be) saved. It is important for our young and future generation to have a chance to see these beautiful buildings.

Louella on November 12, 2005 at 7:57 am

I have many fond memories of the Kingsway from the 40’s. I grew up on east 7th Street around the corner from the Jewel which was our regular Saturday matinee theater. The Kingsway was the “expensive” theater charging us kids as much as 25¢. The Jewel and the Claridge were the bargains ranging anywhere from 11¢ to 15¢ for the kids matinee. The Kingsway often ran Saturday morning “Kiddy Shows” featuring 50 cartoons. In those olden days before TV, this was a real treat and there were huge lines to get in.

My grandma would occasionally take me to a movie there and we sat in
the Loge so that she could smoke. I remember it being very elegant.
There were little lamps on small tables between the seats. They
charged extra to sit there.

Karl B.

RobertR on August 2, 2005 at 6:19 am

I wonder why they let this theatre go to hell, it was a busy theatre in a busy area?

longislandmovies on August 2, 2005 at 6:17 am

correct it should be listed as CENTURY , centurys highest grosser in 50s 60s . Kingsplaza since then ,

GeorgeStrum on August 2, 2005 at 5:28 am

Maurice Sendak, the 78 year old author of classic children’s books relates in an article in today’s, 8/02/05 Daily News how poor he was living in a terrible neighborhood and the only fun he had was at the Kingsway Theatre where he would watch a double feature and a cartoon usually a Mickey Mouse. This inspired him to draw his own cartoons and later became the artist and illustrator of books like “Wher the Wild Things Are” and “In the Night Kitchen”. Pity, the commercial speace there today leaves little to the imagination.

overcertified on July 31, 2005 at 11:27 pm

When Cineplex Odem took over, they had at least three main theaters left in Brookly: Kingsway, Fortway, and Alpine. This was BEFORE the merger with Lowes. All three theaters had AC issues. The Fortway and Alpine were rennovated at least more than once, if not twice, while the Kingsway never received any renovation. The seats were old and crappy, and the place was going downhill. I spoke to a manager once, and he said that they had big plans for rennovation, but that the theater was a landmark and they were having issues with permits – which I do not believe. Cineplex Odem was also a shit chain, they had this con job with popcorn butter where they asked you if you wanted extra butter (an extra 25 cents) and they kept getting you. If you said that you didn’t want the extra butter, they would put it in anyway (or not) and charge yoyu anyway. BIG SCAM, anbd it was hard to catch it becase unlike the other chains, they charged tax on the purchase instead of showing prices with tax included. This paractice (extra butter) finally ended with the merger with Lowes.

frankie on July 19, 2005 at 9:56 am

This was a great place to see the big musicals. I saw “Sweet Charity” and “Paint Your Wagon” here. frankie from Brooklyn

RobertR on June 30, 2005 at 8:20 pm

The Kingsway was the Brooklyn outlet for the first Premiere Showcase in 1962.

View link

theatrefan on June 26, 2005 at 2:22 pm

The Kingsway was originally part of the Century Circuit, which included the following Brooklyn Theatres: Avalon, Patio, Midwood, Mayfair, Marine, Albermarle, Farragut, Nostrand, Rialto, Elm, College, Triangle, Vouge, Parkside & Quentin.

benardo on May 21, 2005 at 9:18 pm

Dear all;} Mike mentioned some posts up about a mural on old Brooklyn that hung at the Kingsway. Does anyone remember anything about that mural? We are searching for a mural that once was at Brooklyn’s Borough Hall and are curious if it could be the same.

Thanks to all!


MikeRadio on May 13, 2005 at 6:06 am

Ok Sorry I am wrong about thw twinning. I was about 7 back then, and just remembered the theatre was closed for renovations (said that on the marquee) and then it reopened, and all I remember is that SILENT MOVIE with Mel Brooks was the first feature to play upstairs in theatre 2.

I am too young to remember the triangle.. heard about it though.

I remember thinking how great it was when the theatre was twinned because I thought they would do the same to the Mayfair and Avalon. Avalon is a drugstore now. Mayfair was torn down to make a McDonalds.


Me and friends used to sneak into the Kingsway by saying we wanted to see the manager, so they’d show us to the manager’s door right next to the entrance, then we would dart up the stairs to a movie.

bad kids.

celluloid on April 14, 2005 at 8:50 pm

The Kingsway first made into a quad in ‘82 when the backstage area waa made into a theatre with “Annie” being the first movie shown in that auditorium then turned fiveplex in '84 just in time for the release of “Ghostbusters”.