Kings Theatre

1027 Flatbush Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11226

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WilliamMcQuade on April 1, 2011 at 7:44 pm

The Uptown is awesome

I was in it many years ago on a theater tour. That majestic lobby needs to be restored along with the rest of the theater. To think of the many palaces Chicago has lost is mind numbing.

ZiegfeldMan on April 1, 2011 at 6:03 pm

I’m optimistic. 42nd street between Broadway and Eighth Ave. was once the hell hole that you see in “Midnight Cowboy” and “Taxi Driver.” Today it is the magnet of Times Square with fabulous theatres, hotels, restaurants, shops, and throngs of people, and it all started when Disney decided to have a presence on Broadway at the “New Amsterdam.” Along came “The Lion King” and the rest is history.

I stood outside the chained up Kings last August and envisioned opening night 2014. I walked a thriving neighborhood bristling with people, culture, and enthusiasm. If you build it, they will come.

BobbyS on April 1, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Ace Company must have a optimistic view of the economy to intend on filling the seats of the King’s for 200 shows in a year. I wish them all the luck. They must be planning on making quite a return on all the money they will be spending in the next three years. I only hope in years down the road their company doesn’t go into receivership and once again NY gets the King’s for back taxes! If they are successful beyond their dreams, I have another palace right here in Chicago for them to get involved in, our own beautiful Rapp & Rapp Uptown Theatre. We need their help!!!!!!!!

WilliamMcQuade on April 1, 2011 at 4:32 pm

I was in the Kings right before it closed. The lobby is as big and imposing as a train staion. The auditorium was never twinned as there was basically no balcony, The company that took over after Loew’s had the misfortune of having that dog The Exorcist Part 2 as its first booking. I believe it closed shortly thereafter. The Wonder of the Wonder theaters is that they are all still standing Having seen pictures of the way it looks now it has experienced severe water damage. I look forward to seeing it resurrected. There was a basketball court underneath the orchestra seats. I wonder what has come of this.

ZiegfeldMan on April 1, 2011 at 2:59 pm

The pictures of the Kings interior, however disheartening, are certainly not as bad as the New Amsterdam looked before its glorious resurrection. In fact, I’m I’m surprised the interior looks as good as it does. When done, the Kings is going to be AMAZING. The Ziegfeld is NY’s last single screen movie palace, and I love the place, but the Kings will be something else, again.

Something worth waiting for,



WilliamMcQuade on April 1, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Not many icons left. The years from 55 thru 85 were brutal. Many of the best5 were lost . The worst tragedy was the loss of the San Francisco Fox.It was probably the most palatial palace ever built in the US.

Panzer65 on April 1, 2011 at 1:36 pm

I hope the restoration of this beautiful palace from the past will save more of this American Icons!!

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on April 1, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Here’s a blog post with some recent photographs of the interior of the Kings Theatre.

View link

markp on March 29, 2011 at 6:45 am

LuisV, I couldnt agree with you more. Too many theatres were lost during the years 1960-1975 to senseless stupidity. Im glad the Kings is finally getting done, lets hope for the best for the rest. If you are ever in Jersey, see if you can get over to Elizabeth and check out the Ritz Theatre on Jersey St. Its one I was involved with helping to restore the projection room a few years back, till a car accident pulled me away for a while. When I returned all the people I knew were gone, and I havent been back in since. I know the owner spent a few years renovating it, and now its for sale for almost $4 million. I just wish all the great old theatres could have been saved insted of demolished as so many were.

LuisV on March 29, 2011 at 6:05 am

Tlsloews, the renovation is well under way. It is a multiyear process, but rest assured, it is happening. it is very exciting. BobbyS, the RKO Keiths Flushing deal has been approved and the results for that theater are far worse, though I am somewhat conflicted. The Keiths had sustained major damage and there was no real plan in place to save it. Again, a real plan is one that pays for the complete restoration that is also able to support itself after the work is done. Alas, what was salvaged is that the lobby will apparently be saved and restored by the developer at a cost of $8MM and it will become the entrance to the condos to be built where the auditorium now stands. Though not happy with the outcome, I believe this is still better than the complete destruction of the theater. There are still other theaters that are in better condition and CAN be saved such as the Loew’s Canal in Manhattan, the RKO Keiths Richmond Hill, the Ridgewood, The Jackson, The Brooklyn Paramount, etc. New York has an embarassment of Theater Palace riches and though we should try to save them all, the reality is that they won’t be.

BobbyS on March 28, 2011 at 8:43 pm

I am under the impression Loews Corporation has nothing to do with movie theaters. They spun them off years ago along with the studios in Hollywood. Marcus Loew started it all. Will they call the King’s Loew’s Kings? I would think that would be a copyright issue. I read on the RKO Keiths in Flushing site that the Loew’s Kings re-hab has begun and all systems are a GO…….

TLSLOEWS on March 28, 2011 at 12:38 pm

BobbyS, Yes Loews is still around,just not in the theatre business,they still have their hotels one of them being the Loews Vanderbilt Plaza Hotel here in Nashville.Any new word on the rehab of the Loews Kings anyone?

BobbyS on February 3, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Thanks for the update on Loew’s Kings. Sounds so good. Do you think there is a chance Barbra Streisand would actually might do a concert there in 2014? Maybe the first show as a fund-raiser? Also is there a Loews company anymore? I know they were bought or merged with AMC theatres. I look so forward to attending a show at the Kings. I must go to something at the Loews Paradise. Do they still call it Loews Paradise or just Paradise?

Oceana on February 3, 2011 at 11:57 am

from today;s NY POST:


Plans to turn Brooklyn’s biggest movie theater — the once-majestic Loews Kings in Flatbush — into “the next Apollo” should become reality by 2014, officials say.
Borough President Marty Markowitz is expected to announce during his State of the Borough address tonight that architects and contractors have finally begun site-preparation work on the city’s $70 million plan to restore the 82-year-old historic jewel to its former glory. The theater, which seats 3,195, closed its doors in 1978.
Construction is set to begin next year.
Markowitz â€" who has led a community effort to restore the theater â€" says in prepared remarks that when complete, the site will be “a state-of-the-art, 21st century performance venue” and “the pride of Flatbush and all of Brooklyn.”

Part of the Loews Kings' legacy is its A-list of former employees — among them Barbra Streisand and Sylvester Stallone, who worked as ushers.
It’s also where Markowitz attended high-school graduation and took his first date.
After decades of failed attempts to rejuvenate the site, the city last year tapped Houston-based ACE Theatrical Group to restore the historic theater to its original French-Renaissance-style, so that ACE could present up to 250 concerts, theatrical performances and community events annually.

LuisV on February 3, 2011 at 11:41 am

To all of the naysayers, the Brooklyn Borough President will announce tonight during his State of the Borough address that site prep work has begun and full restoration will begin next year with a 2014 opening of this $70MM project! YAY!!!!!!

News clip from below:

In the long life of Brooklyn’s neglected Loew’s Kings Theater, which shuttered in 1978, a year is practically nothing. So fans can start getting excited right about now for the theater’s restoration and reopening as a performance venue. The site prep work for the Flatbush project has begun, Brooklyn Borough Prez Marty Markowitz is expected to tell the world in tonight’s State of the Borough address, and construction on the $70M project should start next year, right on (the delayed version of the) schedule. The venue could ultimately host 250 events per year.

BobbyS on January 29, 2011 at 9:00 pm

That is correct. That is where I heard it. The console is beautiful and sounds fabulous. I am sure he would sell to the people who are refurbishing the Kings and perhaps a deal could be struck. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see the original wonder organ back in its home?
Lets hope they can come to terms…

TonyM10036 on January 29, 2011 at 6:25 am

A note about the organ. The original organ, which was stored by the city when it was removed from the theater, was mostly lost and/or stolen. The only piece that remained was its console which is now owned by Paul and Linda Van Der Molen of Wheaton Illinois. It does control 26 ranks of pipes and is almost identical in specification to the original Kings instrument.

BobbyS on January 27, 2011 at 11:48 pm

The only problem I can see regarding the parking at Loew’s Kings is the lack of it. I do not know how safe the neighborhood is at night for the thousands of people it would take to fill the theater to walk to from their cars. I know here in Chicago, The Uptown has a public parking lot a block away. I really don’t know what the safety factor would be. There was talk of buying the businesses across from the Uptown to build a large parking lot for the theater project if it ever came to be. A great theater needs a great parking arrangement. Thanks again for the great links.

BobbyS on January 26, 2011 at 9:36 pm

I’ll be there also. Re-opening night at the King’s. Sounds like a dream! Thanks all for the information everybody. The original wonder organ sits in a home in a suburb of Chicago. I have heard it played many times and is the most ornate, beautiful cream colored music machine I have ever seen. I understand it is for sale and maybe, just maybe Ace would buy it and once again it would thrill the masses once more!!

ZiegfeldMan on January 26, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Dear Ken:

Thank you for your detailed and informative update. As someone who is completely enthralled by the redevelopment of the Kings, I’m anxiously waiting for the work to begin….and to be there opening night. Well, I probably won’t be invited, so let’s make it the next night. This is even more exciting than the New Amsterdam revival in 1997. I was there on the second or third night for “King David,” and returned for both “The Lion King” and “Mary Poppins.”

Oceana on January 26, 2011 at 9:56 am

For some reason that top link I just posted might not work. Here’s the body of the info:

Update on Loew’s Kings Theatre
Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

It’s been about a year since the city announced firm plans to restore the Loew’s Kings Theatre on Flatbush Avenue near Beverley Road. With three years left to make the proposed 2014 opening, let’s see how the project is progressing.

The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, in coordination with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) late last month. The draft EIS is an extensive survey of the project and its potential impact on the neighborhood. Major points include:

  • A portion of the block of East 22nd Street between Tilden Avenue and Duryea Place would be demapped and closed to traffic permanently to accommodate an expansion of the theater’s stagehouse, back-of-house support areas, and loading areas into the street to support live theater events.

  • As part of the expansion and modernization, the total square footage will increase from 66,230 square feet to approximately 101,970 square feet. The renovated theater would maintain a similar seating capacity as the existing theater by providing up to approximately 3,600 seats. It will be the largest indoor theater in Brooklyn.

  • The developer and operator, ACE Theatrical Group of Houston, TX, will host up to approximately 200 performances a year, including music, dance, cabaret, and comedy performances, catering heavily to local interests.

  • The building will be nominated to the State and National Registers of Historic Places and is seeking federal historic tax credits, thereby ensuring that the proposed repair and alterations are in compliance with various state and federal historic rehabilitation guidelines.

  • Traffic will be impacted before and after performances, but this isn’t the Atlantic Yardsâ€"the proposed project is expected to generate approximately 922 vehicle trips in the Saturday midday and evening arrival peak hours, and 1,092 vehicle trips in the Saturday midday departure peak hour. They are not adding a parking facility, but there are two within a block of the site that would be used for event parking. One is the Sears parking lot, and the other is the rooftop lot located above the Stop & Shop/Old Navy complex.

  • They anticipate as many as 292 subway passenger trips would be assigned to at least one subway line (Q/B at Beverly or Church or the 2/5 at Beverley), but they figure there is no potential for impact at this level of passengers on a Saturday, so no quantitative subway analysis was performed.

There is a public hearing tonight at 6:30pm at the Flatbush Public Library to address comments on the draft EIS. After receiving comments, they will finalize the EIS.

The NYCEDC tells us that they expect the design process to begin in February, and so far, everything is proceeding as planned for a 2014 opening.

BobbyS on December 26, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Someone took me into the Kings in 1990. We were on the look-out for rats living there. Didn’t find any. But a few pigeon sightings were welcome. If this Ace group was responsible for the Chicago Theater, it remains alot to be said. This was not a first-class re-hab. I think the walls were only washed down. No repainting that I could see, certaintly not like the Rialto Theater in Joliet, IL. or the Oriental in Chicago both of them gleams with rich colors! 70 million
dollars sounds right if it is to be done right. But to quote a line from GWTW, “Asking ain’t Gett'in”.

Bway on December 25, 2010 at 4:29 pm

That is a pretty impressive auditorium. Was that build originally as a theater, and if so what theater?

BobbyS on December 25, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Hi Scott….. Its Me!!!!! Merry Christmas to you. I visited the King’s twenty years ago and it was a very strange experience. Dark and scary, but still a wonder for me. I wonder if the restoration has began!!!!!!!