RKO Albee Theatre

1 DeKalb Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11201

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Showing 1 - 25 of 111 comments

Cimarron
Cimarron on March 20, 2014 at 12:32 am

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

Androdworld
Androdworld on September 8, 2013 at 2:56 pm

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

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on December 4, 2012 at 9:43 pm

The RKO Albee was TOTALLY DEMOLISHED years ago in the last century. It ain’t CLOSED. It’s dead and buried!!!

Ros_Fun
Ros_Fun on December 4, 2012 at 5:41 pm

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

PercyCleebow CODENAME: STRIKER
PercyCleebow CODENAME: STRIKER on October 1, 2011 at 8:43 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…

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on July 1, 2011 at 1:52 pm

The rejuvenation of Albee Square is mentioned near the end of this recent article about the Fulton Street Mall: forgotten-ny

Bloop
Bloop on April 28, 2011 at 6:46 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.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on March 6, 2011 at 4:28 pm

On this day in 1959, Walt Disney’s Technicolor western epic, “Tonka,” which was considered too weak for a midtown Broadway booking, made its NYC debut at the RKO Albee. Sal Mineo, billed as “New York’s own,” played the title role in the “flaming story of courage and excitement,” which boasted a supporting cast of 1,000’s including Jerome Courtland, Philip Carey, and Rafael Campos. Filling out the program was the B&W suspenser, “Step Down To Terror,” with Colleen Miller and Charles Drake.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on February 9, 2011 at 10:42 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.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on February 9, 2011 at 10:20 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 9:06 pm

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

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on February 1, 2011 at 5:40 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.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on February 1, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Many of the large Keith-Albee houses had architectural similarities, but I think it would be wrong to assume that the Brooklyn Albee and the Cleveland Palace were close lookalikes. The Brooklyn Albee came later and was designed by Thomas Lamb, while the earlier Palace was Rapp & Rapp. I can’t connect to most of the links published by dave-bronx, so I can’t comment further at the moment.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on January 31, 2011 at 6:34 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/

Redster57
Redster57 on January 31, 2011 at 4:34 am

In 1959 I worked for Bell Telephone Co. on Willoughby St. My girlfriends and I would go to the Albee on our Splitshift. I was the most beautiful Movie Theater. I would imagine getting married there. LOL We would also go to eat at Bickfords. Not so far from the Movie Theater. Anyone remember California Pie Co. on Degraw & 3rd Ave.?By the way I think The Albee should’ve been a landmark. We knock down the most beautiful building here in America, in the name of PROGRESS. Just my opinion.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on January 18, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Tomorrow night (1/19) will mark the 86th annniversary of the grand opening of the E.F. Albee Theatre, advertised at the time as “The World’s Masterpiece Among Playhouses.” The inaugural Keith-Albee vaudeville program featured some of the top entertainers of the era, including female impersonator Karyl Norman, dancer Bill Robinson, and comedians Smith & Dale. The bills ran for one week, with a matinee and evening performance daily.

GaryCohen
GaryCohen on November 16, 2009 at 1:17 am

Oh what a beautiful theater this was. The large chandelier, the plush carpeting. Of the 4 golden-age theaters in downtown Brooklyn, The Albee, The Paramount, The Brooklyn Fox and the Loews Metropolitan, the Albee was my favorite. They must have had distribution deals with American International since I saw several Vincent Price Poe films there: “Masque of the Red Death,” “Haunted Palace” as well as Vincent in “The Last Man on Earth.” Also numerous Universal films: Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” Brando and Niven in “Bedtime Story,” Sandra Dee in “I’d Rather Be Rich,"Tony Curtis in "Wild and Wonderful,” etc. I also saw Heston in “55 Days at Peking” and Richard Boone in “Rio Conchos” at this great theater. The first time I ever took the number 2 train alone, from my home in East New York, was to see Troy Donohue and Connie Stevens in “Palm Springs Weekend” at the Albee in 1963. During much of the early to mid-‘60s, my friends and I would go to the Albee or the Loews Met, then hit the record and book departments of Korvettes and A&S nearby. There was also a Howard Johnsons across the street. I remember eating there with my father and staring out the window at the Albee. (I believe it was showing Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine in “Irma La Douce.”)
I remember being Downtown Brooklyn in the early to mid-1970s and seeing that the Albee had degenerated into showing Kung-fu and Blaxploitation films. Very sad.
Not long afterward, they tore the Albee down and put up a rather poor mall. Now I’ve heard they they tore that down as well.
However the Albee, like so many other theaters of my childhood, lives on in my memory.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on May 30, 2009 at 4:09 am

Accidents happen. Give a brother a break.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 24, 2009 at 4:25 pm

That’s interesting but that photo has already been linked to on this page. “Photo5” posted on Apr 14, 2009 at 5:58pm.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 24, 2009 at 4:18 pm

I just happened to be the unit publicist on “The People Next Door,” which was produced by Herbert Brodkin for Joe Levine’s Embassy Pictures in late 1969 and early 1970. Most interiors were shot at a studio on East 126th Street. Exteriors were filmed in Westchester County except for a few at a high school in the outskirts of Great Neck, Long Island:
View link

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 15, 2009 at 2:42 am

Would that be called progress or stupidity?

The year given for this photo is 1971.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on April 15, 2009 at 2:30 am

Passed by the site the other day — a big hole in the ground. What a waste to tear this down for a tin and glass mall that lasted less than 30 years. Good grief.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 15, 2009 at 1:58 am

The year given for these photos is 1970.

Photo1

Photo2

Photo3

Photo4

Photo5

lincoassoc
lincoassoc on March 25, 2009 at 8:25 pm

Another great memory from the Albee was watching the Ali-Frazier “Rumble in the Jungle” fight. The line was wrapped around the corner and almost down to Flatbush Ave Ext. I spent many nights at the theater cleaning up, popping popcorn, or just watching the same parts of the same movie night after night waiting for my wife to get off work. Me and my friends always felt exclusive because we would watch the movies by ourselves on the balcony when the movie wasn’t full and the balcony was closed. We had free reign of the soda from the upstairs concession stand. How I miss the old style movie houses…they really need to make a comeback along with drive in theaters.

lincoassoc
lincoassoc on March 25, 2009 at 8:19 pm

My ex-wife was a asst manager at the Albee in the 70’s and I have some great memories of this great theater from being there every night to pick her up. One of my favorite places in the theater was the projection booth as the long time projectionist whose name escapes me right now had the coolest collection of old movie posters. The Albee also was where I attended my first concert on my own…Kool and the Gang and others. I also attended my first x-rated movie “Sweet Sweetbacks BadAsssss Song…I was 17 at the time but the usher consulted with security guard and let me and my friends in but said he would keep an eye on us. Does anyone remember that there was a 50 room hotel behind the stage and each room was named after a state. The cops would always be hanging out in the rooms playing cards and drinking. The rooms had gold fixtures on the sinks and tubs and were very nice. More memories to come…