Alpine Theatre

6817 5th Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11220

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theatrefan
theatrefan on December 12, 2005 at 6:25 pm

Here is an article regarding the Sale from the Bay Ridge Courier:

12/01/2005
That’s a Wrap: Alpine Cinema to be Sold
By Thomas Tracy

Realtors Massey Knakal is currently asking $10 million for the Alpine Theater, which is expected to close its doors by spring, 2006.
The Alpine Movie Theater in Bay Ridge is drawing its final curtain. As this paper went to press, the property, located at 6817 5th Avenue, was up for sale. At the same time, the theater’s lease agreement with Loew’s Cineplex was expected to end in early 2006, with no renewals anticipated. By spring, the Alpine will be no more, following the fate of the Fortway Theater on Fort Hamilton Parkway, which was sold earlier this year and may soon open as a neighborhood school.
Massey Knakal, the realtor which sold the Fortway and is currently shopping the Alpine around, hopes to get $10 million for the 48’ X 200’ irregular lot that opens on 5th Avenue but takes up most of Bay Ridge Avenue between 5th and 6th avenues. “This investment or large retail/office conversion is a one in a lifetime opportunity,” according to the sales pitch, which adds that the premises “will be delivered vacant.”

Officials at Massey Knakal said that it was “unclear if the building will remain a theater.”

Calls to Loew’s Cineplex as to why they were not renewing their lease with the Alpine were not returned by press time.

Originally a Loew’s theater, the Alpine first opened on June 6, 1921.

All told, the property and building costs just reached $420,000, according to records.

At the time, the Carlson & Wiseman-designed edifice was the first Loew’s theater anywhere with its entire seating capacity (2,200) on one floor, without a balcony or gallery.

Historians said the stage had no fly gallery or gridiron, but had an apron just large enough to accommodate a vocalist or musical instrumentalist between film showings.

Variety described the Alpine’s interior as “decorated in a tan and gold color scheme, the general atmosphere created being one of brightness. The side walls are paneled and painted in an imitation of tapestry.”

The floors of the theater were “carpeted with red velvet” according to the description.

The first movie shown at the theater was Paramount’s “City of Silent Men” with music provided by a resident orchestra of twelve.

At the time, admission was a quarter.

Today, the Alpine is considered one of the borough’s cheapest movie theaters at $8.75 a ticket.

Over the decades, the large theater was cut down and sectionalized, now showing eight movies on any given day.

This week’s selection includes “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” and “Chicken Little.”

BklynRob
BklynRob on December 10, 2005 at 6:12 pm

Frankie reading your post reminded me that I also brought my mom to the Alpine to see that “E.T.” revival.I also remember the sound was bad for that show, too low. Anyway I agree, movie going will one day be a thing of the past. What a shame.

frankie
frankie on December 5, 2005 at 4:22 pm

I knew this would come, but I didn’t want to think about it. Although people still go to the movies, it seems there is no way to protect theaters from voracious, space-seeking developers. We indeed live in another world from the one in which I lived when I used to come home from Xaverian High School and wait for the bus in front of the Alpine. Although I mostly go to the Pavilion, since I live near there, I have been to the Alpine countless times. I went there in the ‘80s especially to see Dottie Lamour’s very last movie, “Creepshow II”. I took my Mom there to see a revival of “E.T.” I’ll certainly try to get there one more time before the end. If this keeps up, going to the movies will go the way of vaudeville. To quote my late Mom: “I’m glad I’m on my way out.” frankie from Brooklyn

BklynRob
BklynRob on December 3, 2005 at 5:57 pm

What a sad day for Bay Ridge! I remember as a kid, going to the Lowe’s Alpine when it was a single theater, seeing “Help!” starring The Beatles, with all my friends. Bay Ridge lost a lot of great movie theaters,including the Fortway,Dyker & Harbor. What a tragedy!I will remember the Alpine when it was at its best, a huge single screen movie palace,where a kid in Bay Ridge could spend a weekend afternoon catching some great movies.

theatrefan
theatrefan on December 2, 2005 at 9:18 pm

Here is the article mentioned in YankeeMike’s Post:

New York Daily News:
Credits to roll?
BY JOTHAM SEDERSTROM
DAILY NEWS WRITER
Friday, December 2nd, 2005

It could be the last picture show for Bay Ridge.
Alpine Cinema, the neighborhood’s last remaining movie theater, went up for sale at $10 million this week, setting off a chorus of boos from local elected officials and merchants.

“We need to have a local movie theater in the neighborhood,” said Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge). “When you start taking away theaters that people can walk to, it destroys the ambience and small-town character.”

Merchants on bustling Fifth Ave. said they feared a drop in business, especially because the likely closing would come on the heels of bridal gown-seller Kleinfeld’s move to Manhattan.

“Obviously, I’m very saddened – it’s the last movie theater in Bay Ridge,” said Fifth Avenue Board of Trade President Basil Capetanakis. “But for us, when people go to the movies they also go to the restaurants and the shops.”

The announcement comes six months after the 76-year-old Fortway Theater screened its last movie. Both theaters were owned by Jeffrey Deneroff.

Speculation on what will replace the 49,000-square-foot Alpine varied from highly prized space for schools to a grocery store – both badly needed in the area, said officials.

It was unclear whether the current leaseholder would be allowed to renew when the lease expires next year, said Kari Neering, a spokeswoman for real estate firm Massey Knakal.

“I doubt it will remain a theater,” said Neering. “But at this point there are endless possibilities.”

Deneroff included a provision upon sale demanding that any new owner of the Fortway would be prohibited from opening another theater, a source said.

Deneroff, who declined to comment on the terms of the Fortway sale, said a buyer of the Alpine might continue showing movies.

“It’s possible,” said Deneroff. “I really couldn’t say.”

The seven-screen, 2,200-seat Alpine opened June 6, 1921, the same year Douglas Fairbanks starred in “The Three Musketeers.”

The theater was then valued at $420,000.

YMike
YMike on December 2, 2005 at 10:05 am

An article in today’s daily news states that this theatre is up for sale and could close early next year.

theatrefan
theatrefan on November 28, 2005 at 11:46 am

According to the website of Massey Knakal (the Alpine’s Real Estate Firm), the property is being offered for 10 million dollars and will be delivered vacant to the new landlord. This is the same firm that brokered the sale of the Fortway for 4.5 million earlier this year.

The Alpine is the last of Loew’s original theatres in Brooklyn still showing movies, this point was brought up at the Loew’s Centennial exhibit at the Museum of the Moving image last year. I can still remember it as one huge theatre before it was twinned, the marquee had the name Loew’s Alpine on it, in the traditional Loew’s sunburst style shared with the Delancey & Sheridan theatres.

Its closing will represent a tremendous loss for the community of Bay Ridge, already stung by the closure of the Fortway earlier this year. Bay Ridge’s closest theatres will now be the Kent Theatre, Park Slope Pavilion and the Sheepshead Bay.

RobertR
RobertR on November 21, 2005 at 12:52 pm

I knew the Alpines days were numbered, sad the whole theatre business seems to be taking a nosedive.

WOLVERINE25TH
WOLVERINE25TH on November 18, 2005 at 2:14 am

I work in the same office as a real estate and they got a fax about the Alpine going up for sale. Looks like it may be closing soon.

jbels
jbels on November 9, 2005 at 2:21 pm

I remember the nice lady that used to manage the Alpine (Ms. Pulize, not sure of spelling) and she would come out of the office door on the left hand side of the theatre when you needed something (“Ms. Pulize, Please!”). I also remember when the twinned the theatre and you would wait for the next movie to start and people would spill out and ruin the end of the movie, like Rocky. Also sat through The Sunshine Boys twice there. And they showed Dondi for free as a kids' day special.

BoxOfficeBill
BoxOfficeBill on August 6, 2005 at 12:28 pm

Awww— that’s sad to see the current Alpine reduced to a storefront entrance. The structures to the right and left are clearly new ones. The structure to the left has replaced a large furniture store that perfectly complemented the Alpine’s old facade and added bulk to the entrance. It looks so shrunken now. Compare a picture that I posted above last 26 April.

br91975
br91975 on August 6, 2005 at 11:16 am

…and a tip of the hat to you, Phantom, for posting all those great photos of Bay Ridge theatres (accompanied by brief histories) on your blog, present – and, all too sadly – mostly past.

thephantom
thephantom on August 6, 2005 at 12:58 am

A photo of the Alpine Theater has been posted on the Bay Ridge Blog
( www.bayridgebrooklyn.blogspot.com )

Tip of the hat to all the contributors of Cinema Treasures, a great site.

BoxOfficeBill
BoxOfficeBill on August 3, 2005 at 9:48 pm

Theaterfan—

I don’t recall the Alpine Ice Cream Parlor on BR Ave. But in the 1940s-50s, the neighborhood’s best emporium for the sweet-tooth was Pohl’s Homemade Candy on 5 Avenue between 70 and 71 Streets (east side—i.e. Alpine side—of the street). The aroma of chocolate and caramel was intoxicating on the street and a knock-out inside. I believe that the store closed around 1960. [it’s not to be confused with Pohl’s Homemade Ice Cream and Candy on 5 Avenue between 82 and 83 Street (west side), which closed a few years later. The latter’s ice cream was inferior to Hinsch’s near 86 Street, and its candy was several notches below the above-mentioned Pohl’s.]

For those who threw all caution to the winds and would sacrifice artisanal chocolate for sheer bulk, a doughnut shop across the street from the Alpine offered its wares for the movie-going crowd. There the proprietor would hand-fry your choice of a doughnut-with-cream-filling as you stood at the counter. The paper-bag that you brought into the Alpine would be dripping with hot oil as you entered the theater.

I forewent all that so I could save money to see more movies later in the week at the Stanley or Bay Ridge. But I remember that most people wouldn’t think of buying a ticket without the promise of sweets to go with it. Those double features, after all, were pretty long and viewers got hungry.

theatrefan
theatrefan on June 27, 2005 at 12:06 am

Golden was a two-partner business that started the dollar theatre policy in Brooklyn with the Oceana, Graham, Granada, Rugby and the Highway. They also owned the Alpine, Olympia and the Fortway, additionally they also operated the Quad in Greenwich Village for a while. Eventually one of the partners died of cancer and the small theatres in the chain were either closed or sold off.

theatrefan
theatrefan on June 26, 2005 at 11:41 pm

Theaterat: The Fortway’s last day was actually on Sunday June 19th, when I went there on June 21 all of the theatre signage was removed. All we have now is the Alpine and with the merger who knows how long that will be around for?

RobertR
RobertR on June 26, 2005 at 11:39 pm

The Loew’s Circuit transferred control of the Alpine to Golden Theatre Management circa 1985, Does anyone know when Cineplex Odeon took over to run the Alpine?
posted by Theatrefan on Jun 26, 2005 at 6:51am

A year ago when I talked about Golden managing theatres including the Olympia, people said they were only a booking agent. I knew they ran theatres too.

Theaterat
Theaterat on June 26, 2005 at 11:29 pm

Box Office Bill… In case you have not heard, the Fortway theater had its final curtain call and closed probably for good on 6-24-05.There is now one less theater in Bay Ridge, the Alpine being the last survivor. Check the obits under the “ Fortway "posting.

Theaterat
Theaterat on June 26, 2005 at 11:29 pm

Box Office Bill… In case you have not heard, the Fortway theater had its final curtain call and closed probably for good on 6-24-05.There is now one less theater in Bay Ridge, the Alpine being the last survivor. Check the obits under the “ Fortway "posting.

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on June 26, 2005 at 12:28 pm

Cineplex ran it for about 2 years as an ice cream parlor

theatrefan
theatrefan on June 26, 2005 at 12:04 pm

Thanks br91975, the last Golden Theatres that I remember were the Benson & Oceana. I know the Benson closed in 1988, but can’t seem to put a year on when exactly the Oceana closed.

br91975
br91975 on June 26, 2005 at 11:59 am

Golden let go of control of the then-Olympia Quad at Broadway and 107th on the UWS in the spring of ‘87 and I think the Quad Cinema not long thereafter (maybe within a years’ time at most?), so I’d guess Cineplex Odeon took over the Alpine sometime around then.

theatrefan
theatrefan on June 26, 2005 at 11:51 am

The Loew’s Circuit transferred control of the Alpine to Golden Theatre Management circa 1985, Does anyone know when Cineplex Odeon took over to run the Alpine?

theatrefan
theatrefan on June 25, 2005 at 11:33 pm

Was it run by Cineplex Odeon at that time? It looks like it’s been closed for a while.