Loew's Oriental Theatre

1832 86th Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11214

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Loew's Oriental Theatre exterior

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened on October 13, 1927 with Ronald Colman in “Beau Geste” and vaudeville on the stage. The Loew’s Oriental Theatre was known for its lavish Oriental style decor. It was equipped with a Robert Morton 3 manual, 13 rank organ.

It was twinned in February 1977 with 1,076 seats on the orchestra level and 1,140 seats on the former balcony level. In February 1984 the balcony was divided into two auditoriums, making the theatre a triple-screen operation. It was closed on May 21, 1995.

The Loew’s Oriental Theatre has been converted into retail space, a common occurence with many of the remaining theaters in New York City.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 233 comments)

Ed Miller
Ed Miller on June 27, 2011 at 5:36 pm

What an astonishing heartbreak it is for me to see the Oriental occupied by Marshall’s. The last time I was in the theater was in 1980, to see “The Fan,” and other than being twinned, it was very much intact.

johndereszewski on December 30, 2011 at 10:51 am

The Forgotten NY article cited by TT is certainly worth checking out …… While I never visited the Benson, I did see Star Wars at the Oriental, along with my parents, when it had just come out. We caught an evening performance after having visited my aunt and uncle, who lived nearby. The only thing I recall about the visit – other than the movie – was the fact that so few people were watching what was an extremely popular movie. So, I guess the Oriental’s eventual demise was not entirely surprising.

DJM78 on January 17, 2012 at 7:29 pm

I can remember passing the closed Oriental on the way to class. It was about this time that I realized that nothing last forever.

Marydoll on January 2, 2013 at 12:29 am

I am sorry to see it is no longer there. In September 1959 the Oriental was the place of my first date with my first love. I think of them both with fond memories. It was a beautiful theater and he was a beautiful boy.

Ravenhall on March 23, 2015 at 9:41 pm

I worked in that corner drug store, (Karelle), from 1951 to 1955. The druggists name was Joe Friedman.

theatrefan on June 2, 2015 at 5:55 pm

It’s now been 20 years since it closed, one of the most ornate theatres that Bensonhurst ever had. Well at least it still exists in our memories.

DavidZornig on October 6, 2015 at 7:12 pm

1927 photo added courtesy of Stephen Sclafaniā€ˇ.

theatrefan on October 7, 2015 at 10:50 am

If the Loew’s Oriental opened in October 1927 the photo, must have been taken shortly after opening. The Buster Keaton Silent Film “College” opened on September 27th. Also notice the retail stores to the left and right of the theatre have not been rented out yet.

robboehm on October 7, 2015 at 3:39 pm

When did they scrap the vertical? You can see the side of it in the photo with the original marquee. Gone with the new.

theatrefan on October 7, 2015 at 9:07 pm

There is a photo with the film “Divorce American Style” listed on the marquee with the vertical in place which would put that in 1967. Meanwhile in the photo on top “Ice Station Zebra” is playing with the vertical gone, which would put us in 1968. So my guess would be sometime between 67-68 was when they scrapped it. The Shore theatre in Coney lsland had the exact same type and style vertical sign until Sandy ripped it apart in Oct 2012.

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