Loew's Pitkin Theatre

1501 Pitkin Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11212

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Showing 76 - 100 of 337 comments

Ziggy on December 12, 2008 at 9:16 pm

My apologies if this has already been posted, but this website has a photo of the ruinous interior of the Pitkin.

View link

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 23, 2008 at 2:52 am

This theater opened in 1929 so it can’t be this one. There were other theaters on Pitkin Ave. There is a good possibility that it was a motion picture theater. If it is listed here under another name, I have no idea what it could be.

kencmcintyre on November 23, 2008 at 2:46 am

It could have been a live theater or a motion picture theater. I posted here because this theater is also on Pitkin Avenue.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 23, 2008 at 2:37 am

Why post it here? Does it state motion picture theater?

kencmcintyre on November 23, 2008 at 2:34 am

There was a story in the NYT on Christmas Day, 1921, about a robbery at the Elite Theater, 707 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn. I didn’t see any aka for this. It may be an easy question, but as I’m not from New York I’m curious as to the answer.

FOUR HOLD-UP MEN ROB THEATRE IN BROOKLYN; Owner of the Elite and Woman Cashier Forced to Hand Over $100 and $175 Watch.

Four men held up the owner and cashier of the Elite Theatre, at 707 Pitkin, Brooklyn, last Thursday night, it became known yesterday, and escaped…

LuisV on November 17, 2008 at 9:29 pm

Thanks JHB. That’s a great shot of the Loew’s Pitkin under Brownsville II.

JHB on November 17, 2008 at 8:48 pm

You may be able to find a few pictures of Brownsville at this website.



PeterKoch on November 17, 2008 at 3:55 pm

Better the exterior only than nothing at all. Such was the case with the RKO Bushwick.

LuisV on November 17, 2008 at 3:53 pm

I also believe that the exterior will be retained. At this point it is the most we could expect.

PeterKoch on November 17, 2008 at 3:15 pm

I would think the first definition, Ed Solero.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 17, 2008 at 2:39 am

Hmmm. What does “rehabilitation” mean? Does it imply some preservation of the building’s design elements – even if just exterior appointments? Or is the term broad enough to include complete demolition followed by new construction?

PeterKoch on November 12, 2008 at 8:58 pm

Thanks, Lost Memory. Warren, we shall see.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 12, 2008 at 8:43 pm

Those are expections/anticipations only. Given the current economy, they might never get off the ground.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 12, 2008 at 7:17 pm

Peter….The building is going to be converted into apartments. Here is the part that applies to this building:

1501 Pitkin Avenue Apartments Project consists of the acquisition and rehabilitation of a 6-story former theater into approximately 66 residential units. The Project is located at 1501 Pitkin Avenue Brooklyn, New York. All sixty-six of the residential units are expected to be occupied by households earning no more than 55% of Area Median Income for the New York City FMR, adjusted for family size. It is anticipated that the Project will be owned by an entity or entities controlled by POKO Partners, LLC. The total development cost of the Project is estimated at approximately $24,882,422. The Agency expects to issue tax-exempt and/or taxable Bonds in an amount estimated not to exceed $13,750,000 to finance a portion of the acquisition, rehabilitation and other costs associated with the Project.

PeterKoch on November 12, 2008 at 7:12 pm

Thanks, mp775.

What does this have to do with Loew’s Pitkin Theatre ?

mp775 on November 11, 2008 at 10:27 pm

There was a public hearing on October 28. See page 4 of View link.

PeterKoch on September 29, 2008 at 8:34 pm

Turnbull, thanks for the clarification.

I think that’s Elliot Willensky, rather than Roger, as author of “When Brooklyn was the World”.

Sylvia Schildt, I wish you well on your project, but, unfortunately, I have nothing to contribute to it. Sorry.

morralkan on September 29, 2008 at 7:51 pm

The last time I rode by the Pitkin (sometime during the past couple of months), I did not notice anything much changed so far. The only think I remember seeing on the exterior was some sign about its future use. I will try to ride by there on my bike in the next week or so. (I live nearby in Crown Hts.)

LuisV on September 29, 2008 at 7:43 pm

Turnbull…..yes, it was on this site that it was stated that the ceiling had collapsed and that there was little of the interior to save. The only remaining hope was that the exterior would be preserved as part of it’s reuse into residential housing. Nothing has been posted on this site about that project since so I was wondering if it was ever done. Has the exterior been preserved?

turnbull on September 29, 2008 at 7:37 pm

Sylvia, I don’t have any old B'ville photos. I do have some Pitkin Avenue (and other Brownsville) photos taken in ‘97, '98 and 2000, and I can identify what the stores and sites were in the Fifties. I’m sure you’ve seen the Pitkin Avenue photos in Roger Willensky’s “When Brooklyn was the World,” and Wendell Pritchett’s “Brownsville, Brooklyn."
Peter.K: I know Turnbull Avenue, but my name comes from the line, "Turnbull is a good man,” in “The Godfather, Part II."
LuisV: I read elsewhere (maybe on this site) that, while the exterior is still standing, the ceiling has collapsed onto the stage, and the entire theater has been heavily damaged by water.

BTW: I saw a TV segment a few years ago about the Hip-Hop producer Russell Simmons. He had a home theater in his NJ mansion that he modeled on the Pitkin.

LuisV on September 29, 2008 at 6:39 pm

Has the residential project mentioned above proceeded? Has this theater been gutted? Was the exterior preserved?

creativa on September 29, 2008 at 6:31 pm

Pitkin afficionados and old Brownsvillians, think back. Do you have Pitkin photos, date photos, Brownsville street scenes. My plans for the documentary rests on being able to locate some of these.

Sylvia (Author of Brownsville: The Jewish Years)

Bob Furmanek, I never got your note or Jerry Lewis backstage photos.

PeterKoch on September 29, 2008 at 3:38 pm

Thanks, turnbull, for all the info on the Pitkin and environs, more than half a century ago, and welcome to Cinema Treasures ! I hope you enjoy the site as much as I have, and do.

I would think your handle comes from Turnbull Avenue near the 14th Street Canarsie Line between East 105th Street and Rockaway Parkway stations.

turnbull on September 29, 2008 at 2:06 am

We lived in Brownsville from ‘51 through '57. Since the Pitkin was the high end in our part of Brownsville ($1 for kids), it was only for “special occasions.” One was for the premier of the first 3D movie, “B'wana Devil” ('52), which was preceded by a trailer in which an opthalmologist assured the audience they would’t go blind watching it. A sign of the Pitkin’s “class”: their 3D glasses had plastic frames, vs. cardboard frames for those distributed in other houses. The ushers collected them after each show, so we kids always tried to sneak out with them. For “Quo Vadis” ('51) the Pitkin’s management stenciled the title and its dates on every sidewalk crossing in the theater’s area. If the movie was boring, we’d explore the vast, uncharted balconies, which were almost always empty on Saturday mornings. The proscenium arch had a tromp l'oeil mural called “Dawn.” After the show, we’d get a papaya drink at Jungle Jim’s Cocoanut Whip stand on Herzl Street off Pitkin.

The two movie houses closer to us were the Ambassador and the Peoples Cinema, diagonally across from each other on Saratoga and Livonia Avenues. The former was the “nabe,” two program changes per week, 26 cents for kids, with 3 features, 25 cartoons, serials, Three Stooges, etc., on Saturdays. Its covered emergency staircase was home to the neighborhood winos, and stank of urine so badly that you had to cross the street to go by it. It was demolished and is a day care center today. The Peoples was a low-end B-movie place, 14 cents. Memorable feature: a 5-cent soda machine with four flavors—if you pushed all four buttons simultaneously, it gave you “tutti frutti.” It was converted ca. ‘54 to the neighborhood’s first superette, whose opening was enlivened by an actor playing “Rocky Jones Space Ranger” of the eponymous TV show. Now it’s the Brownsville Bargain Center.