Kingsway Theatre

946 Kings Highway,
Brooklyn, NY 11223

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Showing 76 - 100 of 119 comments

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 2, 2005 at 3:01 am

This theatre deserves to have Century’s Kingsway in its other names. In fact, it was Century’s Kingsway for the better part of its life, and the circuit’s Brooklyn flagship and highest grosser. RKO only became involved when Century merged with RKO-Stanley Warner.

GeorgeStrum
GeorgeStrum on August 2, 2005 at 2:28 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
overcertified on July 31, 2005 at 8:27 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
frankie on July 19, 2005 at 6:56 am

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

RobertR
RobertR on June 30, 2005 at 5:20 pm

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

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Theatrefan
Theatrefan on June 26, 2005 at 11:22 am

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.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on June 1, 2005 at 5:37 pm

The following is a New York Times â€" March 17, 2002 story on this theater:

“Opening night at the Kingsway Theater, April 27, 1921, featured speeches by local civic leaders, vaudeville acts and some songs performed by Mabel McKinley, a niece of the former President William McKinley, according to The Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

The once-majestic theater – at he bustling southwest corner of Coney Island Avenue and Kings Highway in Brooklyn – is now being converted into two floors of retail space with 18,000 square feet on each floor.

The Kingsway, which cost $250,000 to build, quietly closed as a five theater multiplex in early 2001 after being swept up in a sale of unprofitable theaters by its last owner, the Loews Cineplex Entertainment Corporation.

“The Kingsway couldn’t stand the test of time,” said Mindy Tucker, a spokeswoman for Loews, which closed more than 100 theaters in the last few years. Loews filed for bankruptcy protection in February 2001.

Robert K. Futterman & Associates is the leasing agent. A Walgreen’s drugstore is to open in 10,235 square feet of ground floor space by August, and a national health club is negotiating for 10,000 square feet on the floor above.

“The very best corner location is our ideal,” said Carol Hivey, a spokeswoman for the Walgreen Company, the drugstores parent, which now opens a new store on the average of every 17 hours nationwide.

The numbers of potential customers, in cars, on foot and even pushing strollers, made the location attractive to retailers. “There is immense amount of car traffic on Coney Island Avenue, and Kings Highway is a carriage street with a lot of foot traffic,” said Jack Dushey, owner of Jenel Management which in a partnership bough the site for $5 million in January 2001.

“I was very shocked when they closed the theater down,” added Mr. Dushey, who grew up nearby and recalled seeing a safari movie in 3-D there in the 1950’s.

The Art Deco marquee came down last November and was scrapped because it could not be integrated into the new exterior.

“Most of the facade is going to be masonry piers and glass arches,” said John Schimenti, whose architecture firm in Lynbrook, N.Y., is handling the $2.5 million conversion.

The original theater, seating 2,219, was designed by R. Thomas Short for A.H. Schwartz and the estate of Henry Miller, and had an Austin Company pipe organ with three keyboards according to an index card tucked away in the archives of Theater Historical Society of America in Elmhurst, III". -Rosalie R. Raomsky

benardo
benardo on May 21, 2005 at 6:18 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!

Leonard

MikeRadio
MikeRadio on May 13, 2005 at 3:06 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.

I saw EARTHQUAKE IN SENSORROUND at the Mayfair.

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
celluloid on April 14, 2005 at 5:50 pm

Mike…
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”.

Theatrefan
Theatrefan on March 27, 2005 at 6:51 am

Touro College now occupies the entire second floor space, where the balcony and bathrooms used to be in the former RKO Century Kingsway Theatre. It looks like the entire building is now fully occupied, it’s a shame we don’t have a theatre to go to anymore.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on December 21, 2004 at 1:05 pm

The Kingsway was reportedly the top grossing theatre of the Century Circuit prior to the end of World War II. Because of that, it was permitted to play day-and-date with the RKO and Randforce theatres in Brooklyn that were first-run for their neighborhoods. That limited the Kingsway to Warner Bros., 20th-Fox, RKO and some Universal product, since Loew’s had an exclusive on MGM, Paramount, United Artists, Columbia and some Universal.

cheap
cheap on December 21, 2004 at 10:53 am

the kingsway was at its peak in the 1940s
crowds would line around the block to see ;make mine music'
‘the best years of our lives;’ ‘a stolen life’ ‘laura; ;state fair;
'song of the south’‘dragonwyck’ ‘up in arms; 'walk in the sun'
the kingsway of the 40s featured mostly warner brothers and twentieth century fox films

albertpeckman

MichaelAnthony
MichaelAnthony on November 30, 2004 at 3:48 pm

I remember when they first started to empty out the area where the entrance to back stage was. They emptied out tons of old costumes, probably from the old vaudville days. Sadly, all those garments when directly into a dumpster. Its a crime, when this sort of thing happens. Its like finding a time capsule, and just destroying it, and not realizing what it could reveal about our own self…

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on September 27, 2004 at 9:22 pm

i dont ever see this as an art house not the crowed.

jays
jays on September 25, 2004 at 10:24 am

this was a very nice theatre as a twin I saw “Star Wars” as a kid only 8 or 9 yrs. young this theatre was breathtaken. I could only Imagine it during the single screen days. I saw it in the downstairs auditorium. I’ve went to this theatre quite a few times it wasn’t that bad a pretty cool nieghborhood theatre in fact if it were still open I’d still go there even though I live in Jersey. They could’ve done a lot with this theatre if anything this couldv'e been an arthouse.

Orlando
Orlando on September 18, 2004 at 3:36 pm

This was not the first theatre to be twinned in Brooklyn. Prior to this was the Benson, Rugby, Beverly (by Golden) and the Alpine (by Loew’s). Century was a bit slow at twinning their propeties. The Rugby was done in 1974 and the Benson a year earlier. The Beverly was done in 1975-6 and didn’t last to long after the twinning.

naaaatt
naaaatt on September 17, 2004 at 8:03 pm

Mike Radio: Remember the small Triangle and the independent Jewel bet. E.7th & 8th on Kings Highway?

RobertR
RobertR on August 20, 2004 at 5:18 am

This place was never kept up properly, with the right management it could still be open. Not everyone in Brooklyn is a fan of the Sheepsead Bay.

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on August 19, 2004 at 10:42 pm

THE KINGSWAY IN TH E 90S WAS THE STEPCHILD OF RKO / CINEPLEX ODEON THERE BOX OFFICE # WERE NEVER WHAT THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN . A nice local theater.Theater 5 was a strange set up but was the nicest in the theater.

Theatrefan
Theatrefan on July 30, 2004 at 8:30 am

Here is a quick Kingsway update: There is now a Jennifer Convertibles/Leather Store in the former backstage-stagehouse area of the Kingsway, directly behind the Walgreen’s Drug Store. Someone is also working on building something in the former upstairs theatre part as well, sheetrock walls are being put in.

Theatrefan
Theatrefan on June 25, 2004 at 6:00 am

Here is some information on the seating capacity for each of the Kingsway’s auditoriums. Theatre 1: 433 seats, Theatre 2: 429 seats, Theatre 3: 315 seats, Theatre 4: 550 seats, Theatre 5: 450 seats.

HomegaMan
HomegaMan on June 22, 2004 at 9:19 am

I can’t believe this theater finally closed. When I lived on West 13th street we would go there all the time to see the movies. The last movie I saw there was “The Haunting"in 1999 (which was a major dissapointment). But I saw "Spice World” there and I saw “Titanic” there and I saw “Wild Things” there. I also saw “Hoffa” there with Lisa when I was going to Brooklyn College. Sad news indeed.

MikeRadio
MikeRadio on April 10, 2004 at 7:25 pm

Wow… Warren you are a wealth of knowledge….

Can I ask you.. what is the history of the Goldens chain? I worked at the Oceana for awhile… (I know we are on the Knigsway site)

Mike

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 10, 2004 at 2:04 pm

Those names started with “Premiere Showcase,” which United Artists coined for the New York area premiere of “Road to Hong Kong” in 1962. After that, other distributors tried copying the idea and name, but UA claimed exclusive rights to “Premiere Showcase” and its rivals finally had to switch to using other names. Whatever the name, the theatres in that group often changed with each new movie. A theatre could be “Red Carpet” one week, and “Blue Ribbon” two weeks later. “Premiere Showcase” was designed to break the longheld New York area dominance of the Loew’s and RKO circuits, so none of their theatres were included for the first few years. However, as more distributors started forming their own showcases, Loew’s and RKO eventually suffered product shortages and had to let their theatres become part of “Showcases.”