Kings Theatre

1027 Flatbush Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11226

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Mike326 on October 25, 2004 at 8:07 pm

It makes me sad every time I drive or walk by the Kings. I can
still see the beautifully lit marquee with the moving white lights,and of course the mesmerizing LOEW’S sign which would spell
out each letter in dazzling neon.
Does anybody know anything as to what is happening?

uncleal923 on October 25, 2004 at 7:37 pm

As it turns out I am looking for that Friends of the Kings Organization from that posting by Gena2. Does anyone know how to get in touch with them.

uncleal923 on October 24, 2004 at 9:35 pm

I read the afformentioned article in the Brooklyn Skyline. This Long Islander who originally hailed from Brooklyn would like to know how to get in touch with the group that plans to restore/renovate the Loew’s Kings. Maybe concerts and legitimate theater can be presented there. I also remember when people pronounced it Low-wheeze. However, I am a returning college student and theater major so maybe I can help somehow. I am serious though I like to put some humor in what I write for the internet. I pronounced it Low-wheeze when I was.

JimRankin on October 20, 2004 at 1:26 pm

A previous comment mentioned the present day photos of the KINGS as taken and posted by this French member of the Theatre Historical Soc.’s tour last year: and part of the site is also in English, though the photos speak the international language.

AS to why there is no description. That is probably because CT staffer William Gabel, who originally entered the theatre into their data base, did not submit a description/history at that time. Perhaps it was not a house that he was personally familiar with; perhaps he had no adequate resources available from which to bring together a description of merit; or perhaps he did not have sufficiently recent information to round out an article that would reflect the venue today as opposed to only yesterday. In any case, writing a complete and accurate description is not as easy as it appears in that the writer must strike a balance between a tract and a monograph. While CT does allow “unlimited” text in that area, one must still have a balance of information available, a sufficient knowledge of the genre to put the location in perspective, and current information to make the article timely and valuable to those wanting to know status and the possibility of a tour. While I love the works of Rapp & Rapp and especially the KINGS (one of my ‘Favorites’), I do not live in NYC and have never been in the KINGS, and while photos of it do make me want to know more and to appreciate what was, they are not enough with which to write a decent article, since this grandiose palace deserves much, much more than a mere verbal sketch.
Will CT accept a submitted Description/History at this point? You will have to get their reaction as their time permits. (You cannot use the Add-A-Theatre form, due to the fact that the theatre already exists here.)

R143 on October 20, 2004 at 12:59 pm

I also saw that commercial. Recently many music videos are also using the interior of these old gems too.
ANd of course the exteriors are used in countless films and shows as a backdrop. There is much more substance in an old theater either in shambles or in good condtion depending on what look or feel to the scene they are looking for, than a multiplex.

As for the Kings, what is the current condition? Any update or photos available of it currently?

And to comment on someone’s comment above from March, why is there no description for this theater? How do we edit that part. This theater deserves a description in it’s opening paragraph.

BobFurmanek on October 20, 2004 at 12:54 pm

In many ways, the art of movie exhibition has come full circle. Architecturally, we’re back to the tiny shoebox style nickelodeons.

JimRankin on October 20, 2004 at 12:50 pm

It is ironic indeed, considering how they were dismissed years ago as old, musty, and outmoded, yet today the movie palaces that remain are often the most imaginative and artistic structures remaining in our cities. The irony is that we seek to preserve on film what we so seldom seek to preserve in life as living art works as well as memorials to our past. Of course, it is, as always, a matter of money and keeping something alive today that was intended to have thousands pay to enter it each day, is a Herculean task with few having the deep pockets needed to do the job. In the new book “Cinema Treasures” the authors make the observation that using such palaces as the LOS ANGELES has become a cottage industry for many such, and is often all that stands between them and the wrecking ball. A few multiplexes, such as the COLUSUS in Toronto are so large and elaborate as to almost be movie settings themselves, but such multiplexes are in the minority, and we are more and more left to notice the painful contrast between the opulent palaces of yesteryear and the spare and uninspired screening rooms of today.

br91975 on October 20, 2004 at 7:23 am

While watching last night’s Yankees-Red Sox ALCS Game Six, I saw the new spot for the Nissan Altima, which features a brief exterior glimpse of the shuttered Olympic Theatre in downtown LA, and had a thought: isn’t it ironic how, in current advertisements, films, and television programs, it’s the old single-screen houses and movie palaces – the most-endangered of movie theatres – which are used far more often as a shooting location than the modern-day multi- and mega-plexes?

Divinity on October 20, 2004 at 6:59 am

I for one would have no problem visiting Flatbush. I lived through the 80’s in this city and it never kept me from going to the theater on Times Square. Those were the days when shootings and muggings were frequent. One had to walk around clusters of prostitutes, pimps and other unsavory individuals back then. Yet people kept visiting and Times Square is alive and well today.

jflundy on October 20, 2004 at 12:08 am is the URL for the THSA archieve. It holds the Loews, Inc. collection of photographs. They can supply you at a price prints of any Loews house from various periods pre dating the 1960’s.

uncleal923 on October 19, 2004 at 9:30 pm

Does anyone know of any bitmapable (Is that a word?) images of the Loews Kings in its heyday?

Jiffy on October 15, 2004 at 3:11 pm

The footage on the DVD clocks in at 1 minute 33 seconds. I told you about that freeze frame!

Jiffy on October 14, 2004 at 3:46 pm

Interestingly, “The Bellboy” itself was black and white. Then he tours for a color film and the tour is in black and white.

Jiffy on October 14, 2004 at 3:45 pm

Bob, you did a great job because the footage does not look it’s age. Has it really been 44 years? I will guess approx 4 minutes were used but hard to tell because I kept freeze framing it. I could tell it was edited as it faded to black at the end. The theaters that can be seen are the Kings, Premier and 46th St. I wonder if the “Ladies' Man” footage is on that disc of that film?

BobFurmanek on October 13, 2004 at 1:10 pm

Jiffy, I transferred that footage to video when I worked for Jerry Lewis. It was taken from the 35mm color camera negative, and the quality was outstanding. The original reel was about ten minutes. How much did they use on the DVD?

Lewis toured the Loew’s New York circuit for THE BELLBOY, appearing at just about every large Loew’s theater in the New York area. There was great color footage of the Paradise, Pitkin, King’s, Oriental, and many others.

He did a similar tour of the New York area RKO theaters in 1961 for THE LADIES' MAN. However, that film footage was 16mm black and white.

Jiffy on October 13, 2004 at 11:48 am

This theater, as well as several other Loew’s theaters, can be seen in very nice color footage on the new DVD release of Jerry Lewis' “The Bellboy”. Lewis is seen touring Loew’s theaters in the area and making personal appearances trumpeting the release and he had someone document the event. No auditoriums are shown but there are very nice marquee shots. As a side note, the second feature at each location was “Tarzan the Magnificent.”

Orlando on September 24, 2004 at 3:26 pm

The vertical is no longer on the building, it was removed last year and some loose terra cotta has been re-inforced. The Kings has been closed for 27 years and it’s current condition is not as “HORRENDOUS” as warren states. True there is water damage in the auditorium in about 40% of this space. The stage skylight has let the outside elements destroy the stage area, but it doesn’t have a eight foot hole in it like the Westbury of Long Island which was open all along with a broken skylight. The lobby areas are missing fixtures and is not as weathered as the auditorium. Let’s remember that the building was closed and walked away from. If the city had boarded and secured the location, this would have never happened. Yes it would have some damage but not as much would have occured. The treasures of the Loew’s Kings were not stolen by homeless people but like many believe, but by the caretakers including the Flatbush Developement people who had the keys to the building.

RobertR on September 24, 2004 at 12:19 pm

Wow the vertical is still there and could so easily be repaired if the $$ ever became available.

br91975 on September 24, 2004 at 12:11 pm

I should have written ‘renovated’ and ‘restored’; apologies for my typos…

br91975 on September 24, 2004 at 12:08 pm

I suspect that, ultimately, if the threat of the demolition of the Loew’s Kings should arise (it isn’t landmarked, is it?), then we’ll probably see a group akin to those who’ve, as best they can, renovate and restore the Loew’s Jersey, take charge of getting the Kings up and running again. Until that day, it’ll probably continue lying in disrepair and breaking several hearts in the process.

RobertR on September 24, 2004 at 11:26 am

Was it all water damage or are vandals getting in? What a waste we let these treasures sit empty and then spend millions to make them look like they did before. I remember when that documentry was done the place was still intact.

RobertR on September 24, 2004 at 8:53 am

The King’s is never mentioned anymore and every day it seems less likey it will be saved, but you never know. Does anyone know the last time it was inspected and how bad the damage is?

BobFurmanek on September 24, 2004 at 8:12 am

75 years ago, the Wonder Theaters were built and became prime showcases for all the great MGM product over the next 3 decades. The only Wonder Theater showing film today is Loew’s Jersey but, sadly, they are not playing any MGM product in their 75th anniversary programming.

However, the beautifully restored Lafayette Theater in Suffern, New York salutes the Loew’s Wonder Theaters by presenting a newly restored 35mm print of one of MGM’s greatest musicals, “Meet Me in St. Louis.” It will be shown this Saturday, September 25 as part of their weekly Big Screen Classics series. They will also present a vintage MGM short, and will play live music on their magnificent Wurlitzer organ.

For more information, visit their website at

theatrefan on August 3, 2004 at 8:59 pm

Thanks ErwinM.

I guess part of the reason the 175th Street still had the original one is because Rev Ike bought the theatre from Loew’s in the late 60’s. They started ripping out all the organs in the early 70’s. I could have sworn I saw an organ in the Valencia too, maybe I am confusing it with another theatre turned church.

I saw the documentary on the Kings and at the very start there is a gentleman playing a theatre organ, I wonder if that was the oringinal Kings organ. It sounded great!

EMarkisch on August 3, 2004 at 6:07 pm

Theatrefan….The following excerpt from the American Theater Organ Society Web Journal dated April 9, 2003 will explain the location of the 5 Wonder Mortons…."

Only one of the five Wonder Mortons, originally installed in the greater New York area remains in its original location at Loew’s United Palace Theatre, 175th Street and Broadway in Manhattan. The one from Loew’s Jersey Theatre in Jersey City is now in the Santa Barbara Arlington Theatre. The Morton from Loew’s Paradise Theatre in the Bronx is being installed in Loew’s Jersey Theatre (where the original home of the Arlington organ). The Morton in Loew’s Kings Theatre in Brooklyn was broken up for parts but its restored console is now part of Paul Vandermolen’s residence organ near Chicago. Lastly, the organ from Loew’s Valencia in Jamaica, Queens is going to be installed in the Balboa Theatre in San Diego".