Showing 1 - 25 of 109 comments
Saw ‘Close Encounters’ at the Ziegfeld in 1978. Still have the movie program somewhere. Fantastic theater compared to the dumps we had in Brooklyn.
Latest thing on the Lane is the “New Dorp Lane Merchants Group”. An LDC is being formed to address local issues like the muni-meters.
Most of this area was flooded out by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Hate to complain but $93 Million? A new high-tech Boeing 737 goes for $89 Million. Exorbitant amount and I still have my doubts about the financial viability of the restored Kings. Something’s not right here.
Photo probably taken in 1966, Stagecoach was released in 1966.
Minor point but the Parkville should be classified as “Demolished”, not “Closed”.
The current commerical structure was built in 1959 as noted on the C of O:
The old PBS documentary of the Loews Kings “Memoirs of a movie palace” is available for viewing only, not borrowing, at the:
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
40 Lincoln Center Plaza
New York, NY 10023-7498
More info: https://catalog.nypl.org/record=b17209776~S1
I like the ‘FIGHT PAY TV" (Cable Television) on the marquee. Looks like cable won that battle. Funny.
That whole Pathmark/KMart shopping center is a mess. Stores are vacant for years with no explanation. Friends who patronize this theater all say that the place is in poor shape. And yet the theater stays open.
A few years ago the rumor was that the Hylan would take the large space that Toys-R-Us had vacated. But Toys-R-Us reopened their store after years of vacancy. So no one really knows whats going on with that entire shopping center property.
I just updated the street view to show the correct corner (northwest). The theater was located where the red building is now.
The situation on the Lane has improved a little. Slightly fewer vacancies. But I think the Lane Theater will once again be vacant for a long time.
The right half of this building is now a Subway sandwich shop. The appilance store relocated to New Dorp Plaza South about a year ago.
Raysson, thank you for your very informative posts! Didn’t realize official and unofficial segregation in theaters lasted into the late 1960s.
When were segregated theaters outlawed in North Carolina?
I walked by the Lane Theater this morning and it looks like Uncle Vinny’s has closed. The Uncle Vinny’s name is off the marquee and all the coming performances posters have been taken down. Must have been a sudden decision because they were advertising April and May comedy acts last week. No ‘For Rent’ signs yet.
We’ll just have to see if this trend continues. Maybe there is a market for interesting well written films. But it won’t stop the closing of movie theaters, even if the boomers re-discover movie going.
Every state and city does the same thing. The state of New Jersey has successfully lured a lot of corporate back-office operations to New Jersey from Manhattan. Rents and taxes are lower in Jersey City.
This 990 McDonald theatre was directly under the el so the noise problem may have been a factor in it’s closing. The other Ditmas theater appears in the photograph to be closer to East 2 Street where the elevated train noise wouldn’t be a big problem.
After the El opened in 1920 trolley cars used the street trackage until 1956. And also the occasional freight train until 1978 when the tracks were permanently removed in places during the repaving of McDonald Avenue.
McDonald Avenue was never a desirable business location because of the El. A lot of stores would come and go, along with chronic vacancies.
Looks like there was another “Ditmas Theater” a few blocks away at 115 Ditmas Avenue, with overlapping operating dates, each closing in 1920:
Ditmas Theater – 115 Ditmas Avenue
The ceiling is very high and IIRC you could see evidence of where the projectionist’s booth was. Maybe one of the Brooklynites on the board can pay a visit to 990 McDonald Avenue and tell us if any evidence of it’s 80 years ago movie theater days is still visible.
Ken, thanks for finding the “mystery theater” of 990 McDonald Avenue. That’s my old neighborhood and I remember back in the 1980s the owner of the soda place telling me that it was a theater. But 1920, how did you research this?
The BMT Culver El on McDonald Avenue was opened in 1919. Prior to that the BRT railroad ran at ground level with a stations at 18th Avenue, and near Elmwood Avenue, which may explain why two (and later three with the Culver Theater) were located on this small stretch of McDonald Avenue in the days before the automobile was common.
The movie being shown at the time of the photograph is “The Sporting Duchess” (1915). It is a film presumed to be lost.
IMDB: The Sporting Duchess (1915)
With a $20k installation fee, this system will only pay for itself afer viewing approximately 2000 movies, based on a $10 ticket price. Makes no sense until the price comes down, as it ultimately will.
“…wire up the seats to shock the new people that have no idea what will hit them…”
Did they really do that during the original “Tingler” release showings? Forget about that today, the theaters' insurers wouldn’t allow it.
“Hmmm… I wonder if the fact that we are a restored 1933 art deco single screen theatre that still uses curtains, uniformed staff, no screen ads, and only charges $3.00 for tickets and no more then $3.00 for even our large concession items has anything to do with it? – posted by RickWolfe”
Rick, where is your theater? Charging $3, you can’t be in a major metro area. Glad to see your theater is doing well.