RKO Albee Theatre

1 DeKalb Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11201

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Showing 1 - 25 of 82 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!

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…

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.

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.

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
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Lobbies:
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Auditorium:
View link
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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.

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.

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.

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…

alberwi
alberwi on February 14, 2009 at 8:28 am

Many of you will probably know of this already (I hope I’m not repeating a reference to it from somewhere in this wonderful though voluminous thread), but there is an excellent book titled “When Brooklyn Was The World 1920-1957” by Elliot Willensky, published in 1986. It has amusing and informative text and a wealth of fantastic photos (including some of theatres). I actually was looking up the Albee here at Cinema Treasures as it was mentioned fleetingly in the book…didn’t realize I’d come upon such a treasure trove of info about Brooklyn in its heyday! I highly recommend the book to all who are interested in the history of Brooklyn and/or U.S. urban history generally.

Goodheart
Goodheart on April 19, 2008 at 5:49 pm

It certainly was majestic. I remember it well.

Joe B.

jflundy
jflundy on April 5, 2008 at 10:11 pm

This link provided background on Keith’s history:
View link

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 18, 2008 at 4:15 am

Hey Joe B… what happened to the photo? Did you post the wrong link or is this the record for quickest deletion of an image from a Photobucket account?

Goodheart
Goodheart on January 14, 2008 at 9:44 pm

Here is a newspaper ad for Disney’s “The Three Caballeros” (1944).

View link

Joe B.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 21, 2007 at 8:04 am

Here’s a link to the Albee Square article on the Forgotten NY website that Warren mentioned above. If you scroll about 2/3 of the way down, there is a large vintage B&W image of the cobblestone Flatbush Avenue Extension which depicts a marquee at far right that reads “Photoplays”… What theater is this? I believe it to be a glimpse of the old Subway Theater.

sasheegm
sasheegm on May 4, 2007 at 1:08 pm

Nice Clipping Warren and interesting article——-As a youngster I went to all “5” in Downtown Brooklyn——-I always included the Strand along with the Albee, Paramount, Fox,& Metropiltan when looking to see what was playing in the area———Now I own video of “Night World”—1932(Great little film)& of Bebe Daniels in “Rio Rita”———-Thanks for the article——Joe From Florida

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on December 29, 2006 at 5:25 pm

Warren, that interior shot of the Albee auditorium looks very similar to the auditorium of the RKO Palace in Cleveland. Check out the Palace and see what you think.
View link