Loew's Oriental Theatre

1832 86th Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11214

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Showing 51 - 75 of 243 comments

Costilow
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Petristeel on August 5, 2007 at 3:54 pm

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

Petristeel
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
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
Bway on August 2, 2007 at 5:28 pm

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

VinnyBrooklyn
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
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
VinnyBrooklyn on July 30, 2007 at 5:39 pm

ooops!, heres the link to the pic again:

View link

Bloop
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!

Bway
Bway on December 2, 2006 at 5:04 pm

While parking would be necessary for a store such as Marshalls, the difference between a theater and a store is that while with a store you have lots of people coming through the doors over the course of let’s say a day, you don’t have them all coming at the same time, and all parking at the same time as you would with a theater.

Theaterat
Theaterat on December 2, 2006 at 10:20 am

Yeah John, remember “The Godfather” at the Oriental very well. Went on a Sunday night in May of 1972 with my friend Mike McG-don`t want to reveal his last name, and his brother Sean.Since they are Irish, I had to tell them what all those Italian expressions ment! The theater was so packed that we had to sit in the first row, center stage.A great night at the movies.

CelluloidHero2
CelluloidHero2 on December 1, 2006 at 4:42 pm

The Oriental was a terrific theater. I grew up six blocks from it and saw many films there. Hercules with Steve Reeves,Visit To A Small Planet, Tarzan The Magnificant, Thief of Bagdad, Wakiest Ship In The Army, Cinderfella, The Cardinal, The Commancheros,Exodus, Guns of Navarone, Von Ryan’s Express,King of Kings, Hey Let’s Twist, Mad Dog Cole, Morgan The Pirate, GI Blues,Blue Hawaii, Of Human Bondage (Kim Novak verison), Amorous Adventures fo Moll Flanders, Five Easy Pieces, In Like Flint, The Train, Stagecoach (1966), Reds and many others. Last fil m I saw there was Leagl Eagelsin 1986.

I remember well when the The Godfather started playing there. The crowds were around the block! The entire neighborhood went. Even my parents who had not been to a movie theater in years.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on December 1, 2006 at 8:23 am

The theatre, if booked right and the place was cookin', on a Friday or Saturday night would draw far more customers at any given time than Marshalls can, particularly now that there few theatres left in Brooklyn – hence, the parking issue. There’s a Marshalls over here by me and you could throw a bomb in there and not bother anybody…. Besides, Sony was not interested in the theatres – they were just part of the the baggage they got when they took over Columbia Pictures. Once they discovered they owned them they decided to use them as a petri dish for their experiments with cinema audio equipment and development of SDDS.

Theaterat
Theaterat on December 1, 2006 at 7:43 am

Incredible-isn`t it. Parking was never an issue for the almost 70 years the Oriental was open for. They just gave up on it, gutted it and opened a Marshalls.I quess the future of Bensonhurst will be more stores and many, many more of those so-called “Cookie Cutter” houses that are spreading like wild mushrooms throughout the neighborhood on almost every vacant lot there is. Call it “borough improvement” if you like. I call it a blight-and an eyesore that is even worse than the closed Oriental theater and the surrounding stores that were near it.The nearest theaters that are still open are the UA Sheepshead and the Alpine. The less said about these, the better.

CelluloidHero2
CelluloidHero2 on December 1, 2006 at 6:02 am

Yes Mr Feuer, Marshall’s really enhanced the district. Real upscale.

frankie
frankie on November 9, 2006 at 11:13 am

Thank you, Patrick, for addressing the issue ! You see, boys, we’re not alone ! DOWN, Warren !!! SIT !!! QUIET !!!