Loew's Oriental Theatre

1832 86th Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11214

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Showing 51 - 75 of 250 comments

bensonhurst26 on August 11, 2008 at 2:11 pm

I too grew up just a few blocks form the Oriental on Bay 16th Street. Whenever I saw that beautiful building it meant home for me. I lived in that area from 73-03. The Loew’s will always be a part of who I am. I’d love to see more pics of it from the 70s and or 80s or any old pics of 86th st. I really whole heartedly thank each and every one of you for your wonderful stories and memories. They made me feel so good to hear about times past. If anyone has any pics of the old neighborhood could you forward to ? I’d be so appreciative. I’ve been looking for a pic of “Leisure World” Toy store that was located on 18th ave just a few short blocks from the Lowe’s. Thanks so much again for the great reading. I wish you all much happiness and heath!

CelluloidHero2 on July 10, 2008 at 3:49 pm

Thanks Warren, for the photos of the Oriental. I grew up in Bensonshurst on 81st and 18th Ave so I was only a few blocks away. Many Saturday afternoons were spent there. Saw Jerry Lewis live there also i hte early 60’s

Costilow on July 10, 2008 at 1:24 pm

Warren: Thanks for the pictures. Someone, way back, said they had a DVD of the inside of the Oriental. He promised to send me a copy but I never heard back from him. I will blow up your still and show my kids. Again, thanks

Bway on July 10, 2008 at 11:00 am

Warren, thanks for all the photos you have added lately. Especially the color ones of may of the theaters in their last days as theaters.

As for the photos of the Oriental, its an absolute shame that all that beauty is now gone, and it’s used as a store.
Does anyone know what, if anything, remains visable in the Marshalls Store? I’d like to make a trip over to that store to see the inside, but if all that remains is similar to the butchering that was done to some theaters in store conversion, like the RKO Madison in Ridgewood, I don’t want to waste the trip.

Costilow on July 9, 2008 at 8:09 pm

Warren: I only made the comment because I’ve seen postings about you using other names and stirring up some heat on the site. Of course I’d like to see the images so that I can share them with the younger members of my family. My skin may be thicker than yours and so be it. I just like peace and if you feel the same then you’ll take whatever is said with a grain of salt.
Peace, LarryC.

William on July 9, 2008 at 10:29 am

Grow-up Warren.

PKoch on May 22, 2008 at 1:11 pm

Thanks for your post, LarryC. Good to have you on this theater’s page !

Costilow on May 22, 2008 at 12:55 pm

It’s been a while since I signed into this site. It appears that Warren is still making waves. He must have a boring life an uses Cinema Treasures for his excitement. I was born and bred in Bensonhurst. 79th Street and 18th Ave to be exact. Even though the Hollywood was my theater of choice because it was so close but I still favored the Oriental. It was like going to the city to the “big” theaters. I read that some cannot understand why developers do not re-create the past because of parking etc. When I was young we had an ingenious method of travel. We used our two good legs and hoofed it where ever we traveled. The parking was solved because we park our legs under the seats. Some times, when the person was too tall in front of us, we sat on our legs. For the more distant theaters we used the trolley, the bus or the el. No need for parking. Alert! Those means are still available it’s just laziness that prevents their use. Now for my sadness. I never had the means to take pictures of the interior of the Oriental. GerardC’s story brought tears to my eyes. I left Brooklyn in 1961 when I was 28. I often tell my kids, grand kids and great grand kids what the “old” Theaters looked like. If anyone has any pictures of the interior of the Oriental please contact me as I would love to share them with my family.

PKoch on May 19, 2008 at 7:44 am

Thanks for sharing your experience here, GerardC. Sorry to read about your car and your film. I had no idea Astoria was so bad in the early 1990’s.

GerardC on May 16, 2008 at 4:55 pm

Would like to share my one and only experience with this fine theatre. Back in the yearly/ mid 90’s I convinced my girlfriend at the time to take a ride with me down to Brooklyn to see a film here. I was never there before, but had passed it on the street and knew right away it was something special. So, armed with my trusty pocket 35mm and girl (who had no interest in theaters, but was cooperative) went to see a movie. When i entered i was instantly reminded of the RKO keiths. Even though it looked different inside you knew it was of the same era of opulance. (I remember being a “little” disapointed at the time because i was hoping this was an atmospheric theatre, like the Triboro or keiths.) Never the less I clicked away the whole 36 exposure roll of the auditorium, upstairs hallway and lobby. Very happy, I went home wanting to develope the film the next day, to show to my older brother who also loves old movie houses. Now, Iam sorry to say fans i will not be posting these pictures here because i never had them! The next day,(and you have to remember this was the early 90’s when coke/crack heads were still running around in my area-Astoria. The next day i go out to my car and the door is wide open, my radio is gone and so is the camera. No big loss-fairly cheap camera, cheap radio but the film inside!! I closed my door and looked down the side walk and there in the bright daylight was my fully exposed roll of film!! I told myself i would go back again but procrastinated and soon after learned the theatre closed.

PKoch on December 4, 2007 at 9:56 am

Indeed ! Yet, I prefer these old theatres becoming second-rate discount stores, to them being totally gone (like the Commodore near Bway and Marcy Avenue in Williamsburg, Bklyn). At least, if they’ve become stores, we can still walk around inside.

Theaterat on December 4, 2007 at 9:53 am

P Koch… you are exactly right.This is a “warehouse” type of store that sells cut rate furniture, clothes, jewelry, toys and electronics.Marshalls-where the former Oriental theater was ain`t much better. -hit stores indeed!

PKoch on December 4, 2007 at 7:13 am

Thanks for the bad news, Theaterat. I can relate to “schlock shop” (my mother used to call them “shit shops”, in contrast to quality stores) because of the RKO Madison Theater in Ridgewood, Queens, having become a Liberty Department Store.

Theaterat on December 3, 2007 at 10:27 pm

More bad Bensonhurst news. The Oriental Manor, the catering hall and Brooklyn legend directly across from the former theater has now been closed. Even though the decor is still there,a new cut rate “schlock shop” has opened there as of 2 weeks before this post.

PKoch on August 6, 2007 at 7:38 am

Yes, the inside was beautiful : the arches, tiled floors, balcony railings, domed ceilings, Moorish motifs : beautiful archutecture. I was only in there once, the last Sunday in February 1987, to see “Star Trek IV” (the one with the whales) but I got a good look at the interior. Even divided into three cinemas, the place was so huge, each of those three cinemas was a good size.

Because of the Moorish motif, a friend I was with for the Star Trek movie thought the building had originally been a Muslim mosque. She was unfamiliar with such grandiose and splendid NYC theater architecture.

VinnyBrooklyn on August 5, 2007 at 10:54 pm

I’m happy you guys enjoyed the picture. I actually attended Loews one of the last weeks they were open for “A Goofy Movie” when I was about 12 years old for a friends birthday party. One of the things I miss about that place was the decor. I remember the ceilings had beautiful vintage designs, they also had antique chandeliers ect…

Petristeel on August 5, 2007 at 3:54 pm

Thanks Vinny Bklyn for the image , I got chills when I saw it.

Petristeel on August 5, 2007 at 3:51 pm

I loved the loews, to me it was so cozy, you know the balconies, marble staircases, water fountains in the marble walls, it was an awesome theater. I saw Star Wars, Grease, The Warriors, and countless other movies there. To me the Loews is still there because its massive frame still exists. The only thing that stunk was the sticky floors, but now I wish I had those sticky floors back.

PKoch on August 3, 2007 at 8:33 am

No, it’s a gvmt. computer system. Super security, Big Bush is watching, might be Al Qaida, etc., yadda yadda.

Hey Vinny Bklyn, I got that image of Loew’s Oriental, printed it, showed it to my dad. He enjoyed it. Thanks again !

Bway on August 2, 2007 at 5:28 pm

Pkoch, your computer won’t let you access photobucket?

VinnyBrooklyn on August 1, 2007 at 1:06 am

Hey PKoch, If you would like me to email the pic to you, get in touch with me at my Email. Its

PKoch on July 31, 2007 at 8:41 am

Thanks for posting the link, VinnyBrooklyn. Unfortunately, it’s blocked at my PC. My headache, not yours.

Thanks, Bloop, for your reminiscence.

VinnyBrooklyn on July 30, 2007 at 5:39 pm

ooops!, heres the link to the pic again:

View link

Bloop on June 24, 2007 at 7:20 pm

My grandparents lived off of 86th street (around the corner from the Benson). My grandfather only took us to the Oriental once in 1972. We saw a peculiar kids adventure movie called “Flight of the Doves”. It was a British movie about orphans finding there real parents, and a menacing uncle with a hawk tattooed on his hand was after them. The theater seemed gigantic to me! I love reading all these posts/stories/folk lore. Really haunting and sad… P.S. the above poster who was there when the seats were being tossed in a dumpster—did you take one??????? I would have!