Millennium Theatre

1029 Brighton Beach Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11235

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Oceana Theatre exterior

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Oceana Theatre was opened in 1934, operated by an independent exhibitor. In the 1950’s, it was taken over by the Century Theaters chain.

The Oceana Theatre was later divided into a 4-screen multiplex. What was interesting though is that the owners were so concerned about people going from picture to picture, that they made a “rats maze” in where you had to go through different doors to access each individual auditorium.

The candy counter upstairs and down was divided in half and each theater even had its own rest rooms! However, this shrunk the lobby into a very small size.

Later, they took the backstage area, and added theaters 5 and 6 to the building. The backstage area used to have vaudeville-era clothes in boxes and other great old items plus the original stage was hidden behind the screens on the 1st floor.

Also, originally in multiplexes, all screens had to share a common projection booth due to union rules. At the Oceana Theatre the booth was in the back of the two downstairs theaters and the upstairs booth was accessed through a ladder which would go to the booth which was in the middle of the theater upstairs.

They eventually got rid of the booth structure and moved the projection booth to the rear of the upper theaters after union rules were relaxed.

Known later on as the Atlantic Oceana, the theater is currently operating as a venue for Russian live dinner theater, known as the Millennium Theatre.

Contributed by Mike Abrams, William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 24 comments)

ERD
ERD on October 31, 2005 at 7:38 pm

The Oceana was an attractive neighborhood theatre. It was was close to the once fashionable Manhattan Beach.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 16, 2006 at 6:18 pm

This is a 1934 sketch of the proposed Oceana:
http://tinyurl.com/z5xb5

bsolue
bsolue on January 30, 2008 at 2:35 pm

does anyone remember Zeimars Deli which was located in Brighton Beach? My uncle used to own it.

certrix
certrix on December 27, 2008 at 10:01 am

Living on Brighton 12th street in the 1960’s, the Oceana was my neighborhood theater. I remember attending a premire of The Monkey’s Uncle, starring Annette Funicello, in 1965. After the picture started I remember following Annette and watching her hail a cab on Brighton Beach Avenue. What a time, no security, no escort, no chaperone.

I took piano lessons from Mrs. Bocher in a studio over the Oceana’s marquee. There was an electronic repair shop in the storefront to the east of the entrance. I used to wait there before catching the bus to go to school. By the way, singer Neil Diamond’s parents had an infant’s aparell shop located a few doors east of the theater.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on January 25, 2010 at 3:13 pm

A recent view as the Millennium can be seen near the end of this new article about Brighton Beach: View link

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on April 11, 2010 at 5:37 pm

Shouldn’t the main listing name be changed to the current Millennium? Here are some views of the entrance: View link

LuisV
LuisV on March 12, 2012 at 1:22 pm

A big article in today’s NY Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/12/arts/millennium-theater-in-brighton-beach-as-link-to-old-country.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=millennium%20brooklyn&st=cse

Relatively little is said about the theater itself except for this nugget: “The theater, with its glittering chandeliers and red-carpet walls, has a threadbare glamour.” It also calls this 1,400 seat theater a Lincoln Center of sorts for the Russian Community. I wonder how much of the original details remain.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on March 12, 2012 at 5:16 pm

There’s also this photo gallery with several glimpses at the interior (mostly portions of the lobby).

LuisV
LuisV on March 12, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Thanks Ed, I don’t know ho wI didn’t see the link! That said, I’m not sure what to think about the photos. I thought the one shot of the red carpeted walls with the chandelier was interesting but the other shots made the interior look rather bland. This might be deceiving though. What do you think?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on March 12, 2012 at 9:35 pm

I think the streamlined architectural lines in the portions of the lobby ceiling depicted are consistent with a theatre built in the 1930’s. The color scheme seems a bit garish, and most likely not original. I’d also think some of the lighting is retro-fitted. The carpeting along the staircase wall appears to be repeated in the auditorium side walls – at least from what I can make out in the very first picture taken of seated patrons that appears in the gallery. Outside of the lobby ceiling, I’m not sure very much (if anything) survives from the original interior design.

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