Kingsway Theatre

946 Kings Highway,
Brooklyn, NY 11223

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The Kingsway

Opened on April 27, 1921 with 2,500 seats. The one time RKO Kingsway Theatre last operated as a five screen movie house. Since closing in early-2001, it has been transformed into retail space.

Contributed by Phil Goldberg, William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 105 comments)

DJM78 on January 9, 2012 at 1:12 am

I worked for Cineplex Odeon for a few years. Correct me if I’m wrong but I remember the Kingsway had an auditorium that had it’s own separate entrance around the corner from the main lobby. Always thought that was odd. I’m sure the separate entrance was do to an engineering obstacle when the Kingsway was multiplexed.

GoBoy on February 16, 2012 at 11:41 pm

DJM78: You are right.There was a seperate theater in the back,with the entrance on Coney Island Ave.The Kingsway was built with a large back stage area for live shows.After it was divided up into 4 theaters,they came up with the unique idea ,to gut out the stage area,and turn it into a theater.I saw a few movies there. It wasn’t bad.

MikeP429 on March 1, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Just stumbled across this site…awesome!! Saw many movies here during the 80s…Ghostbusters, Elm Street, Superman II and III. The best memory I have is standing outside the theater for 3 hours the day Return of the Jedi premiered…thankfully a nice, sunny, warm day in May of 1983. We stood outside debating if Han would be rescued from Jabba the Hutt, who this “other” Jedi was and whether or not Darth Vader really was Luke’s father. Although Jedi is now thought of the weakest of the original trilogy, I remember my friends and I walking out of there feeling great…we got all our questions answered!!

Ed Miller
Ed Miller on March 4, 2012 at 5:49 pm

What a pity that there’s only this photo here of what once was the Kingsway. I have to cruise the net to see if I can find some vintage pics.

robboehm on March 4, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Ed, click on the word photos at the top. There is a picture of the Kingsway as a chopped up function theatre.

Movieplace on March 5, 2012 at 12:04 pm

To DJM78: That fifth theater with the separate entrance was the last theater to be carved out of the Kingsway which had been twinned then quaded. That fifth theater had to have been the stage once upon a time, given the way it was situated to the rest of the theater. If my memory serves and it has been over 20 years, the theater ran parallel to Coney Island Avenue but the fifth theater ran perpendicular to Coney Island Avenue. The old Strand on 47th street & Broadway had a similar conversion as the stage was used as a theater with a separate entrance on 47th Street.

DJM78 on June 19, 2012 at 9:28 pm

GoBoy, Movieplace-Thanks for the info on the separate entrance. It’s a shame that almost all of these classic theaters are gone from Bklyn.

xfiles on February 5, 2015 at 11:16 am

When i worked here it was a triplex 2 theaters downstairs 1 upstairs that was 78-81 3 theaters total The backstage was from when it was a vaudeville show there was dressing rooms upstairs and autographs on the walls going all the way back to the 50s and i think if i remember correct some a s far back as the 30s it was really cool .Behind theater 1 screen were stairs that went up to the dressing rooms for the vaudeville performers. A real shame they tore it down and built a walgreens.

theatrefan on February 12, 2015 at 8:47 am

The management of this theatre tried to do what they could with the upkeep of this house with the resources they had available to them. They would beg Cineplex Odeon for new seats, sound curtains, masking motors, carpets, etc. Unfortunately they would not get much help, due to the financial difficulties they were having at the time. When Loews took over, the writing was already on the wall for this faded beauty of Kings Highway. So sad that there are no Movie Theatres in this area except for the Kent Triplex & The Sheepshead Bay.

theatrefan on September 23, 2015 at 11:06 am

This was the only Cineplex Odeon Theatre in Brooklyn that still featured the RKO Century name one it’s marquee. It was never changed to Cineplex Odeon like the Fortway, Alpine & Kenmore were.

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