RKO Albee Theatre

1 DeKalb Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11201

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RKO Albee

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The E.F. Albee Theatre, on Dekalb Avenue, which opened in January 1925, was named after Edward F. Albee (1857-1930) and had crystal chendeliers in the lobby and paintings from Albee’s private collection. It also contained a 40 x 70 foot Czech Maffersdorf carpet billed as the world’s largest rug.

The RKO Albee Theatre was closed in September 1978 and demolished in November 1978 to make way for the Albee Square Mall (which itself was demolished in the Summer of 2008).

Contributed by Frank Tilelli, William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 82 comments)

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on January 31, 2011 at 1:34 am

The RKO Albee was long gone by the time I came to NY so I never got to see it. I saw a photo of the lobby and auditorium in the book “American Picture Palaces” by David Naylor, and It looks amazingly similar to the RKO Palace in Cleveland OH. I suspected it was a mistake in the captioning of the photo, but was never quite sure. I would like to ask the Albee Theatre aficionados here to check out the links below that contain photos of the Cleveland Palace, which has been restored and is open and operating as one unit of a performing arts center. After viewing the photos could you please report here if the lobby and auditorium are similar to your recollections of the Albee interiors? Thanks in advance for your opinions.

RKO PALACE – Cleveland Ohio:
Exterior (front and side):

View link
View link

Lobbies:
View link
View link
View link

Auditorium:
View link
View link
View link
View link

To give proper credit, the photos were taken and links posted on the Palace page on this site by CT member ‘spectrum’ on Jul 9, 2009.

The CT page for the Palace Theatre Cleveland OH is at:
/theaters/1114/

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on February 1, 2011 at 12:40 pm

That’s why I questioned the photo of the Albee I saw in the book – one theatre was Lamb and the other was the Rapp Bros. I worked at the Palace and am quite familiar with it. So while perusing the book I saw a photo and automatically assumed was the Palace until I read the caption that indicated it was the Albee.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on February 9, 2011 at 4:06 pm

This photograph of the E.F. Albee Theatre was taken in 1927 by George Mann of the comedy dance team, Barto and Mann.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on February 9, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Brad, you have an amazing collection of fascinating theater marquees. Thank goodness Barto and Mann so thoroughly documented their appearances.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on February 9, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Thank you for your good words, saps. It was my father George Mann who documented many of Barto and Mann’s appearances by taking photographs of the marquees where they appeared. Although most of the marquee photographs are more like snapshots, he was an accomplished photographer. You can see examples of his photography by clicking here clicking here.

Bloop
Bloop on April 28, 2011 at 1:46 am

Warren G. Harris: I love that movie “The People Next Door” ! I’d love to hear more stories you may have. The INTERIOR of the suburban homes looked so realistic —that was a studio in NYC? I wish this movie would come out on DVD.

PercyCleebow CODENAME: STRIKER
PercyCleebow CODENAME: STRIKER on October 1, 2011 at 3:43 am

This theater and me have a long but short history, Me and my Mom spent lots of Money we didn’t have here. I was so young I remember being carried into this theater as a child, seriously I was born in 1969 and remember seeing Return of the Dragon (1974) and had to be held up to see over the chair in front of me. (The photo was provided by the Brooklyn Public Library)“SORRY DIDN’T MEAN TO REMOVE THE PREVIOUS PHOTO” when I saw the posting I new I had to contribute that shot…

Ros_Fun
Ros_Fun on December 4, 2012 at 12:41 pm

This has been closed for a long time, just like the Brooklyn Paramount, which was taken over by some College.

Androdworld
Androdworld on September 8, 2013 at 9:56 am

Brad Smith, you’re AWESOME! I wish I could visit (or had visited) one tenth of the theaters you have photos of. Thanks!

Cimarron
Cimarron on March 19, 2014 at 8:32 pm

Pic of 1920’s Projection Room added to Photo Section.

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