Kings Theatre

1027 Flatbush Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11226

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uncleal923 on November 24, 2004 at 8:14 pm

Here is how to get in touch directly with the person who starting the committee to reopen the Loew’s Kings. His name is Bruce Friedman, and his E-Mail is

PS This is not my E-Mail

JimRankin on November 24, 2004 at 6:27 am

A post script to my previous regarding approaching Streisand: By all means, FIRST set up a registered NOT-FOR-PROFIT 501-C3 corporation named something like “Pages of the Kings Theatre” (playing on the word ‘page’ which was a part of a king’s court). Once you have received this from the IRS, make up a simple yet artistic letterhead with names of the principals on it as well as the name of the bank at which you have established an account with a line something like “Funds maintained at XX bank.” With these measures you be better seen as legitimate and of an enduring nature, and that if she should ON HER OWN VOLITION enclose a check, she will know that it will go to a legitimate organization. Best Wishes!

jflundy on November 23, 2004 at 11:26 pm

Regarding Sears Roebuck ownership of the land on which the Kings Theater stands: I believe Sears may have acquired it in the early 1950’s when the area was booming and Sears needed more parking space for automobiles for their big Art Deco store on Beverly and Bedford a couple of blocks east. The store dates back to around 1934 when it replaced a Sears Roebuck catalog store in a small rustic building on the same site. Over the years they bought more property to create new parking lots around the new store. Store traffic peaked in the 1949-53 period and it is my recollection that then is when the area behind the Kings became a Sears lot with spaces right up to the brick walls. The land on which the Kings was built was once owned by the Brooklyn Rapid Transit and a few predecessor entities, probably up to 1928 when construction was planned for the theater.

uncleal923 on November 23, 2004 at 8:58 pm

I will pass this information to the person in charge of the committee. It’s not me by the way.

JimRankin on November 23, 2004 at 8:52 pm

Some have speculated that if they could contact Barbara Streisand, they might be able to get her cooperation to some extent in revitalizing the KINGS. I append below her Agent and Recording company (as a secondary route in case the agent route fizzles). I strongly urge anyone writing her through her agent to make it a very PROFESSIONAL appeal, and NOT FOR MONEY. What you want is her Endorsement of your efforts, and perhaps ask her to share a favorite memory of her tenure there. You want to get her involved in such a way that it does NOT presume upon her time or talent. Perhaps sending her an opening day photo along with a present day photo (8x10s) will help her recall. Do NOT say that you will invite her to sing there when it is restored; she has stated that she will not appear in public much anymore. Since she is a famous feminist, it might be best if a woman approaches her via a letter with the photos enclosed. If possible, send the letter/photos in a RIGID mailer perhaps of Tyvek so that it arrives in good condition; the postal service is all automation now and heavy loads will descend upon anything put into the mail, and moisture is always a threat, which Tyvek will also repel. Sending it by CERTIFIED MAIL, RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED will at least let them know that you take it seriously, and you will have proof that her agent received it (the postal service cannot vouch for where anything goes unless you PAY to have it tracked!). Any letter should strike a balance between an appeal, and a recognition of her presence in the entertainment community and how she could lend her name if not also sponsorship. You might ask for just a personal note from her as to her thinking on the matter of bringing the KINGS back to its glory days when she was there. A little flattery can help, but she must not get the impression that you are fawning or want to obligate her in any way. Do NOT use Fax, as the copy that results on their side may be a cheap chemical paper that will not carry any idea of class on your part; use a good grade of paper without being too fancy. Address the envelope to her in care of her agent, and perhaps mark the envelope above the address: “THIS IS NOT FAN MAIL” else it might be sent to a fan mail service which most stars employ. BEST WISHES!

Martin Erlichman Associates Inc.
5670 Wilshire Blvd. Ste. 2400
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Record Co.:
Columbia Records
550 Madison Ave.
New York, NY 10022-3211

uncleal923 on November 22, 2004 at 7:31 pm

I spoke with a professor, and will speak with some students about the Kings. I will see if I can put some contact information on the site when I speak with the head, or I will send him to this chat room.


uncleal923 on November 21, 2004 at 6:59 pm

News on the poll, WE ARE NOW NECK AND NECK with the LOEW’S JERSEY

uncleal923 on November 21, 2004 at 6:56 pm

Tomorrow I am going to speak to several professors about the Kings. I hope we can fix it. This former person from Flatbush prays it’s so.

Bway on November 21, 2004 at 8:09 am

Jim, KMart bought Sears, however, “Sears” is the name of the new consolidated company.
Warren, I would assume your last scenario is probably what happened, although that is pure specualtion on my part. It could be that they did indeed buy the property to either convert it to a store, or assuming it would be demolished, and they would build a store there.

PGlenat on November 21, 2004 at 7:21 am

The thought of fluorescent colors, flowers and who knows what other grafitti in a Rapp & Rapp designed house absolutely boggles the mind. Also, I can’t visualize Kmart being in the theater business. They have a hard enough time competing in the retail business as it is.

JimRankin on November 21, 2004 at 6:15 am

I heard that Sears has just been bought by Kmart, so I’m not sure that there is that much hope for a “Sears Performing Arts Center” since Sears apparently never intended to pay for any restoration, else they would have done so by now. No wonder things haven’t progressed at the KINGS: the land is owned by someone with no theatre experience, and the building is owned by the city of Brooklyn which also is not in the theatres business. Let us hope that an ‘angel’ can be attracted to the place soon. Let us also hope that such an ‘angel’ will employ professional decorators and painters such as those works displayed by and not amateurs who may have been responsible for the VALENCIA’s recent garish decor paint.

JamieSomers on November 20, 2004 at 3:31 pm

Oh, my gosh. Those pics are absolutely Fab!!!
I so, hope that they fix this place up. I’ll be like the first fashionably late person to make my entrance at the opening gala.
My girlfriends and I were volunteer painters with with this urban youth group that my Dad sponsored and we bought these color coordinated painting outfits that match each other (in different colors) to paint flowers and rainbows over grafitti in a Long Island elementary school playground. So since then we havent even used the outfits and I think that it is time for my friends and I to do some good deeds again. We would love to get our hands dirty.
Keep us posted and let us know when its time to roll!

uncleal923 on November 20, 2004 at 1:50 pm

Latest News from the poll, we are in second place.

uncleal923 on November 20, 2004 at 1:34 pm

Hopefully I will be able to get in touch with the person who wants this on Tuesday. We may have some Professors from Stony Brook University, where I am a returning student, interested.

GOOD NEWS, THE ROOF WAS REPAIRED! In other words, it’s no longer raining inside the theater. The building is owned by the city, who wants it restored if they can get the money. The land is owned by Sears, which has a store behind the theater. They want to change the name to the Sears Center for the Performing Arts.

Ziggy on November 19, 2004 at 1:38 pm

Bob F. I would love to email you. I do we exchange email addresses without giving them out to the entire CT site?

BobFurmanek on November 19, 2004 at 1:20 pm

Ziggy, I’ll be happy to offer any advice I can via e-mail. But, my days of volunteering and working in old theaters are far behind me!

Letters of support will accomplish a few things: good PR, and you can read them at council meetings and send them to local papers. That’s about it. We had several high profile ones for Loew’s Jersey (Jerry Lewis, Leonard Maltin, etc.) but they don’t save the theater. It certainly wouldn’t hurt Ms. Streisand to write one.

bruceanthony on November 19, 2004 at 1:06 pm

Maybe if someone from Brooklyn could get Barbra Streisand to at least send a letter of support for restoring the Kings in New York it might generate a lot of publicity for the theatre. Try and contact Neil Diamond who also went to school with Barbra. When I toured the historic theatres of New York a few years ago I was most impressed with Loew’s Kings even with the water damage. I regard the Kings as my favorite NYC theatre still standing. There is a rumor that Barbra and Neil may tour together in the near future so the time maybe ripe for Back To Brooklyn reunion.Im sure Miss Streisand is bothered by people all the time to support this or that but I get the feeling she has a special place in her heart for the theatre she watched many of M-G-M films in her youth. I think if she was approached in the right way and by the right person she would lend her support to the theatre she spent many enjoyable hours in the dark.brucec

Ziggy on November 19, 2004 at 12:57 pm

I hate to sound like Pollyanna you guys, and I know that all the objections brought up are reasonable ones. I’m not concerned about getting dirty, I even enjoy it if I have something to show for it. I’m familiar with the need for politicians to aggrandize themselves at the expense of the public which they “serve”, and also their complete willingness to stab anyone in the back. I know the Jersey had a huge advantage in two ways: 1)no hole in the roof 2)near a major transportation hub. But let’s not compare to the Jersey. Let’s take the Kings for what it is, a wreck, but still a salvageable one (though perhaps not much longer). The city may be willing to sell to a non-profit because, even if it’s not on the tax rolls, it would eventually become an asset to the neighborhood. A quick aside to Bob Furmanek and CConolly….would you two be interested in corresponding via email? You sound like an interesting couple of people to know.

chconnol on November 19, 2004 at 12:40 pm

Yes, public awareness is key. Hate to say it, but the way the neighborhood is now, it will be difficult to find that much support there. It would have to come (largely) from the other side of Prospsect Park, in Park Slope and those areas. I know a lot of people in that area who for years wouldn’t dare to cross over into the area where the Kings is (I never thought it was that bad…).

BobFurmanek on November 19, 2004 at 12:22 pm

One of the key factors in saving the Jersey was creating public awareness of what’s there. When we began doing film shows in the lobby, the exterior looked horrendous. The marquee was full of broken glass; the underside was covered with peeling paint, and the entrance was completely boarded up. People had to enter the outer lobby through a small entry door. But, once inside, the lobby astounded them. (At that time, the auditorium was divided into 3 and looked terrible!) We presented 16mm film shows in the lobby space and got people back to the theater and to Journal Square again. Many people commented on the fact that they had no idea what a magnificent showplace existed beyond that decrepit exterior. The momentum built, petitions were signed, council meetings were attended, and the theater was saved. But, I’ve got to be honest, it was a LOT of very, very hard work.

Something should be done to increase awareness of the Kings, but I don’t know if the lobby is even usable at this point.

It’s one thing to sit at a computer and type messages on how important the Kings is, etc. It’s another thing to get down there and become involved. Be prepared to give up all of your free time, and (if you’re lucky to gain access) to work in a dirty, cold, decaying building with no running water. And, it’s going to take years to make even a little bit of progress. Ask any of the long-term volunteers at the Jersey. Also, be prepared for seedy officials and politicians who will say and do things behind your back to make themselves look better. Again, it’s all happened at the Jersey.

While it may sound fun and exciting, the concept of saving and restoring a movie palace is no easy task! I wish anyone involved with Loew’s Kings all the very best of luck.

Ziggy on November 19, 2004 at 12:16 pm

Well, let me say I admire you Jim Rankin, and I consider you a friend I haven’t yet met, (by the way, thank you for the lengthy email. I will answer you, but I don’t have a computer of my own, so as soon as I can spend the time at the neighbor’s, I’ll send you a reply worthy of the message you sent me) but you also said it wasn’t possible for the Paradise to reopen, or at least that it would be extremely unlikely, to the point of not happening, yet, at last report, it is happening. So, we’re all aware of how difficult it will be, thanks. Now, let’s get some constructive suggestions going. I’m single, and my career is such that I can pretty much move where I want, so my offer to move to Brooklyn (if it comes to that ) is a serious one.

chconnol on November 19, 2004 at 12:02 pm

I’ve just posted something on the board for the Hudson Theater on W. 44th Street in NYC. I had heard about this theater and how it is incorporated into the Millenium Hotel but got a chance to look at it today. The hotel has probably the most ridiculous LACK of security I’ve ever seen. One can walk straight through the lobby and over to the Hudson Theater space.

What an ingenius use of the space, though. Not only is it beautifully restored but it’s in amazing shape. And what’s even better is that it’s being USED. They were setting up a conference in the space and no one seemed to care that I was just looking around.

This could be a model for what developers COULD do, if they’re willing, to a space like the Kings.

BobFurmanek on November 19, 2004 at 12:02 pm

Jim is right, and the politics of the situation at the Kings is a very serious issue. I had ten years of that over at the Jersey, and it’s not pretty folks!

As bad as the Jersey was (and don’t forget – it was triplexed,) at least it never had holes in the roof where it was exposed to the elements. The Kings is going to need a LOT of help.