Fortway Theatre

6720 Fort Hamilton Parkway,
Brooklyn, NY 11219

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Showing 101 - 113 of 113 comments

Movieplace on August 12, 2004 at 7:59 am

I have the paperback version from the late 70’s / early 80’s. Warren is correct in that there is no listing in the index for the Fortway which as a kid I was surprised at. I have only been to this theater once, in the mid 80’s. I do not remember it all that well but I knew that this was the Fortway from the Ben M Hall book.
Are there differences in terms of the photos between editions?

Theatrefan on August 12, 2004 at 6:11 am

Thanks Movie Place NYC!
I do have a copy of this book as any theatrefan should, do you know which edition is it that has the photo? I have the original hardcover version. I believe there were three versions published.

Movieplace on August 12, 2004 at 5:03 am

The 2 female figures that you speak of can clearly be seen (one of them anyway) in a photo in the chapter about organs and their players in Ben M Hall’s “Best Remaing Seats”. The Organ is up on it’s lift with a player seated at the console. The lift has it up higher than the orchestra. A tympani and a rack of chimes are visible to the console’s left on the orchestra platform.

Theatrefan on August 8, 2004 at 1:07 pm

The ceiling may still be painted blue, but unfortunately because of the drop ceilings in auditoriums number 3 & 4 you can’t tell. I believe the Fortway was part of the Golden Theatre chain along with the Alpine in the 1980’s before Cineplex Odeon took it over.

This theatre still has many remnants of its former single auditorium days, especially the side walls in auditoriums 2&3, and in the main theatre # 1, the proscenium is still visible along with two female figures on both sides of it. The Forway is the last of a dying breed of once glorious theatres chopped up to show movies in the era of the multimegaplex.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 8, 2004 at 5:15 am

The Fortway started out as an “indie” but was acquired by William Fox during his buying rampage in the late 1920s. After Fox went bankrupt, the Fortway landed with the Interboro Circuit, which was owned by the Strausberg family that had been involved in the S&S Circuit (Small & Strausberg). Fox had also purchased the S&S Circuit, but after the Fox bankruptcy, the Strausbergs started a new company known as Interboro. Unfortunately, they had no ties to the major Hollywood companies, so the Interboro theatres were always subsequent runs until the late 1940s, when “clearances” were changed to comply with the Federal anti-trust decree against Loew’s, RKO, etcetera.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on August 8, 2004 at 4:58 am

I wonder if the ceilings in the upstairs theaters are still painted dark blue.

BoxOfficeBill on August 7, 2004 at 4:12 pm

As I recall, the Fortway had an Independent ownership. In the ‘40s and '50s, it was close to the bottom of the food chain because it got run offs from the Loew’s Alpine and RKO Dyker that had funneled through Loew’s Bay Ridge and RKO Shore Road before hitting Interboro’s Harbor, and then the Fortway (or simultaneously the Stanley westwards on 5th Avenue). To the east, the Marlboro in Boro Park and the College in Flatbush received hand-me-downs at roughly the same time. Before VCR and DVD, they were great places to catch films before they disappeared from the circuit. With the closing of most of the above-named, the Forway survives as a first-run house today. Though I could walk to it as a kid, I had never entered it. Gotta do that before it’s too late (for me, not for the Fortway: it’s like the bunny energizer that necveer gives out.)

Movieplace on July 20, 2004 at 8:28 am

Sorry, I forgot I posted a comment here. There is a chapter on theatre organs and their players. It is on a page with quite a few shots of players at the console. The caption reads something to the effect of so and so (I forget the name of the musician) “at the Fortway in Brooklyn. With a pilot’s License?”. The organ is on it’s lift and it appears to be higher up than the orchestra. I will look it up tonight and post it soon

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on June 28, 2004 at 6:46 am

On what page of Ben Hall’s book does this illustration appear? The index for my copy has no entries for the Fortway Theatre.

Movieplace on June 28, 2004 at 6:00 am

The Fortway did have originally have an organ. There is a great picture of it in Ben Hall’s “The Best Remaining Seats: The Golden Age of the Movie Palace”

Theatrefan on June 25, 2004 at 3:18 am

Here is some information on the seating capacity for each of the Fortway’s auditoriums. Theatre 1: 468 seats, Theatre 2: 390 seats, Theatre 3: 388 seats, Theatre 4: 210 seats, Theatre 5: 210 seats.

HomegaMan on June 22, 2004 at 5:20 am

The Fortway Theater was also a two feature house throughout the 70’s until 1988 when they also became a multiplex. I remember getting driven there every Sunday in the 70’s by my father so my Mom and my sisters would all go see the newest feature. “Jaws 2”, “Animal House”, “The Shining” and other classics played there to packed houses. After the multiplex came the theater started togo downhill and the seats and decor have almost all gone and fade away. I still go there cause they have some of the films the Alpine can’t get.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on February 24, 2004 at 9:18 am

The Fortway’s architect was Charles Sandblom. It had about 2,300 seats and was the second “atmospheric” theatre in Brooklyn, opening a few weeks after the Universal (later Loew’s 46th Street)in 1927. The Fortway was independently owned, but soon taken over by William Fox during his buying spree. After Fox’s bankruptcy, the Fortway landed with the Interboro Circuit, which operated it for several decades before closing down and selling its theatres to other companies.