Kingsway Theatre

946 Kings Highway,
Brooklyn, NY 11223

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The Kingsway

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened on April 27, 1921, 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 113 comments)

DJM78
DJM78 on January 8, 2012 at 10:12 pm

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
GoBoy on February 16, 2012 at 8:41 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
MikeP429 on March 1, 2012 at 10:53 am

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 2:49 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
robboehm on March 4, 2012 at 7:22 pm

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

Movieplace
Movieplace on March 5, 2012 at 9:04 am

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.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on May 16, 2012 at 6:59 am

Maurice Sendak, the revered children’s book author and illustrator who died last week, is remembered in the current New Yorker Magazine with an article that includes this direct quote about his youth: “I lived in Brooklyn. What else do you do in Brooklyn? You go to the movies, get away from the house, go to the Kingsway Theatre, which is just a block away from where you live. And you and your sister go to see every Merle Oberon, every Bette Davis— every movie. You just sit there and see them over and over and over again. And, when the Mickey Mouse cartoon shows in between, you go crazy. Mickey Mouse brought something out in me that even analysis couldn’t put back together again.”

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on May 21, 2012 at 8:21 am

Here’s a 1980s tax photo of the exterior: lunaimaging

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on May 25, 2012 at 11:47 am

Here’s a vintage photo taken while the Kingsway Theatre was in the final phases of construction: brooklynpubliclibrary

DJM78
DJM78 on June 19, 2012 at 6:28 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.

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