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Here is perhaps one of the best interior photos of the former palatial lobby of the RKO Madison that I have seen to date. It just boggles the mind that they decided it would be a good idea to destroy this beauty in the 1980’s:
Click below for the full page on the Madison:
Here are the photos GTB sent me. They are GREAT!
Click here for Photo1
Click here for Photo2
Click here for Photo3
Click here for Photo4
I can host the photo online if you have a scanned photo of it. My mail is myrtlebway at hotmail dot com
Someone else I know claims to have also used the theater in the 40’s, so it’s not really clear when it closed.
Great photos, well great to see them, not the depressingness of what was allowed to happen to the place. Thanks so much!
I love trees, but I still find it absolutely amazing that they thought it was a good idea to plant a tree right up against a theater marquee! It’s so crazy!
I guess because Pleasure Island doesn’t really exist anymore. Used to be a fun place….
I still don’t understand the concept…if they make the “lobby of glass on one side so it can be seen from the street”, doesn’t that DESTROY the whole street side of the lobby? This whole concept sounds absurd. But then again, “preservation” has been absurd lately anyway.
That’s similar to what is happening to the Ridgewood Theater. It was an operating theater just 2 or 3 years ago, and now they claim it is “in shambles” or “beyond home or repair” it’s maddening.
I assume this small odd building on the left is the old theater?
By the way, the map link brings me right to that intersection.
Click here for google street view
Someone at BB found that photo, but I don’t know where they found it. It may be from the Brooklyn Library’s Brookly Eagle archive.
Here’s a photo taken from the other direction in the 1920’s:
Click here for photo
John, I have also took up the speculation that the movie house may have something to do with the Restaurant/Brewery. Perhaps a way to bring people to the Restaurant/Bar. It’s very possible it was a very small theater space, a part of the Brewery property. Back then of course movies were sort of a novelty, so it would not be surprising that they thought it would be good to entertain with some mugs of beer, etc, while watching a movie on a small screen. The unity of all the buildings under the same Brewery ownership would also explain the multiple addresses, as if it was one entity with several buildings, for ownership purposes, it may have had only the one main office address used. Most properties with multiple lots only use one mailing address.
This also may explain the “Linden Garden” name, another “coincidence” too large to ignore.
The small building in the middle, still standing, was the brewery entrance. Here’s a link about it below. Could that mean the building on the left, at Grove and Evergreen was once the New Linden Theater?
Okay, I just did some more research, and the corner of Linden and Evergreen housed a large wooden frame Victorian looking building which housed the Brewery Restaurant, so the theater was not at the Linden and Grove corner where the empty lot is today. The small brick building between the mystery building and the wood framed building is still there today, and is seen in the photo of Linden and Evergreen shown here in 1907. This building burned down in another fire in the 1950’s and has been a vacant lot since. But now….where is the New Linden Theater? Is it the “mystery” building at Grove and Evergreen, or was it on the other corner of Linden, where Hope gardens is now? In any event, the small brick building surving in the middle is 403 Evergreen. Hmmmm.
See here for photo:
We did some research on this building on Bushwick Buddies a while back, and this New Linden Theater discovery fits the puzzle VERY well, and is almost a missing link needed.
The farthest information we could find out about this building on Evergreen on the block between Linden and Grove is that the Frank Ibert Brewery occupied this block, and on June 24, 1925, the block was destroyed by a fire. That’s probably when this building lost the left hand side of it’s bricks near the roof. It’s unclear if just the brewery burned, or perhaps that could also explain why the New Linden Theater “faded away” as described in your intro. Things that make you say “hmmmmm”, the plot thickens….
It is quite possible, and this building has interested me on whether it was a theater for years, as it looks like so many of the other small old Bushwick Theaters like the Wyckoff Theater, Imperial, Eagle/Luxor, etc. The 405 number puts it right on that block, and of course, as we know there was a theater building, and an airdrome theater on this location, so it’s possible they were next to eachother, and the address number could have been the airdrome location. Currently, I think the property is being used as a church (I looked up the tax record, and it says “religious”).
The coincidence is almost too much right now, this “could” be the building, and would answer a lot of questions.
John, you may have stumbled into a mystery that I have had for many years….I once posted this photo when I first past this building some years ago…..and asked “What was this theater”. It seems to match the spot of the New Linden Theater…..
I had asked about it in some Bushwick theater here, but you may have just answered it! By the way, the building looks better now than when I took this photo some years ago:
Yes, the same was true for Ridgewood and Bushwick too. There were very few corner intersections that didn’t have at least one bar on the corner….
Amazingly I am going on almost 7 years now here….I don’t know where the time went! I also stumbled on it by accident, back in 2003 when I was trying to find out what the “theater on Broadway by Howard is”….and found the RKO Bushwick, and the rest is history….
I use this site even when I go on vacation and find an old theater somewhere….when I get home I try and look it up here!
Interesting. I wonder if this attractive building is it:
Yes, I looked at the google street view, and there are typical tenement style old buildings on two of the corners, and the other two corners have buildings that could have replaced something, it could be either of the other two corners, one of which has a mid-century brick building, and the other, a newer condo building, which replaced something. Here’s a google street view:
The building must have been torn down, as I looked in google street view, and the current building doesn’t look to date to 1914
Ahhh, I had to do it, I found Both Vol 1 and 2 together for only $25 for both, so did the plunge….sounds to interesting to pass up.
I just looked up that book on Amazon, and it appears there’s a volume 1 and a volume 2…did you get both?
Does it have interior photos also? I am thinking about buying it.