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The last time I rode by the Pitkin (sometime during the past couple of months), I did not notice anything much changed so far. The only think I remember seeing on the exterior was some sign about its future use. I will try to ride by there on my bike in the next week or so. (I live nearby in Crown Hts.)
I’m not sure it was a Yiddish theater, but, when I was riding my bike down Pitkin Avenue a few years ago, I noticed an old building perhaps 15 blocks east of the Loew’s Pitkin that had “Brein’s Theater” carved into the stonework over its front door. Has anyone heard of this place before? Its name certainly sounds like it could have been a Yiddish theater once upon a time. (As I remember, it is some sort of church now.
Reading these most recent posts, I feel a little bit young. At the age of 57, this is definitely not the way I feel all of the time. As I said earlier, I live in Crown Heights, so I am still close enough to have passed by the Pitkin many times in recent years. I went to movies mostly at the Pitkin and the Sutter.
At the Pitkin, I distinctly remember seeing Teahouse of the August Moon and Around the World in Eighty Days. Iâ€™m sure I saw many others, but perhaps they remain in my mind because they were both fairly â€œadultâ€ films and I was still quite young at the time they played there. Like you, Sylvia and Beverly, I also remember those clouds and stars in the Pitkinâ€™s ceiling.
Outside the theatre, I definitely remember the store selling coconut milk. I remember begging my mother many times to let me buy some. When she eventually gave in, I remember thinking how terrible it tasted and wondering why I had wanted it in the first place. It must have had something to do with those carved coconut heads.
I also remember the Brooklyn Womenâ€™s Hospital. I lived directly across the street from it at 1402 Eastern Parkway. The hospital began an expansion on the Eastern Parkway side sometime around 1957 -58. (Iâ€™m fairly sure of the date since this is when we moved out of the area.) Apparently because of changes in the neighborhood, this expansion halted in midstream. For many years, the iron expansion skeleton stood there looking quite forlorn. I gather that the hospital closed years ago, but I donâ€™t know when. Just in the past year, however, the skeleton was removed and the hospital was rehabbed into apartments with its entrance on the Lincoln Place side. Itâ€™s too bad they did not make a nice entrance on the Eastern Parkway side.
Maybe I should look up the current ownership of this building in the Brooklyn Hall of Records? Perhaps the current owner would allow me to enter the unused area with a camera? Since I currently live in Crown Hts, I’m not all that far away and I’ve passed by the theater many times on my bike. It always reminds me of the days when I lived not 2 blocks away (from 1949 to 1957).
I remember very clearly going the Pitkin a number of times when I was a boy. Since we lived at the intersection of Pitkin Avenue and Eastern Parkway, it was just a couple of minutes by foot to the theater. I remember the treat of seeing Teahouse of the August Moon at the Pitkin —– a real treat since it was a weekday school night. I only got to go to the movie, I think, because I was with my mother an grandmother shopping on Pitkin Avenue and I guess they wanted to see this particular movie. I also remember seeing Around the World in 80 Days there. In my mind, it was the most beautiful theater I’d ever seen.
I heard from someone who lives nearby (I’m in Crown Hts now) that the Pitkin may be reopened as a theater. Anyone else hear of this?