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My parents had one of their first dates here & ate at IHOP after, then a few years later married in the temple opposite the theater. I believe The Firm with Tom Cruise was one of the last films here. I remember seeing Ferris Bueller, Indiana Jones, Desperately Seeking Susan and Ghostbusters. The walls were painted with old timely Chaplin esque patterns, I believe and hot dogs seemed to have been there awhile.
There is a doc on vimeo about this theater called “Been Too Long at the Fair.” It’s free to see the trailer and only a buck to rent. I’m watching it now. Short film, interesting.
I saw the for sale sign tonight.
Since I was the one who posted this theater originally to Cinema Treasures (I’m also gena2), it only seems appropriate that I be the one to post of its demise. I heard a very strong rumor that this theater will be gone soon, and in its place there will be a Best Buy (like we really need that). It saddens me greatly, as this theater (like the Kingsway, the Marboro, and the Georgetown Twin) was one of my childhood theaters. My late grandmother took me here to see Rocky 3, though I’m sure she was slighly disturbed that her six year old granddaughter wanted to see it. (I liked the theme song.) My last memory of going here, is seeing “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” about the life of Tina Turner. During all the scenes in which Tina was getting beat up by Ike, a man near me was yelling “Go get her Ike! Beat her up BUT GOOD!‘ It was at this point that I realized I could no longer patronize this theater. The moviegoers were just too insane. But I’ll miss it. Thinking of going one more time for old time’s sake.
Just to correct another commenter, this was not known as the Gayway. There was a Gayway Bar + Grill next door.
It pains me to write this, as I am the Gena H. who contributed the original description, but Pioneer Theater is closing following Halloween. There will be a party to remember this great theater in November. Check their web site for more details. Another Lower East Side casualty. New York is losing every last bit of fun it had.
I remember seeing the first off-broadway play that came to Variety in late 80s/90s. Also saw another play and saw Mike Nichols/Diane Sawyer sitting in front of me. This was a theater with charm and personality. Charm and personality are foreign concepts in today’s NYC.
I don’t think the area has to be “safe” before the Kings can be up and running. The area around BAM was very bad before it was fully restored (to have a movie theater in it, the BAM ROSE.) The restoration of BAM helped IMPROVE the area. So the theater’s restoration comes first, then the area itself may get better. I see Loews Kings as featuring r&b, rap and maybe even some alternative rock. Brooklyn is losing an alternative rock venue (McCarren park) so this would be a good replacement, though not outdoors as McCarren is.) There are a lot of hipsters on Cortelyou/Ditmas Park, who got priced out of the pricier parts of Brooklyn. It’s all a matter of marketing. I think the main thing keeping the Kings from coming back is the amount of money involved in the restoration and the fear that it’s too big a risk to undertake. Markowitz said nothing about the Kings at the free concert series he hosts in the summer. Then again, I only went to one show.
Please tell us when this book comes out. It sounds great.
closed this week