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 243 comments)

robboehm on October 10, 2015 at 10:30 am

theatrefan – the vertical in the photo to which you refer only reads Loews. That means that the original, since the older ones always had the theater name also, was replaced at some point in time. Nice to know when and what the original looked like.

theatrefan on October 10, 2015 at 11:31 am

robboehm, yes both the vertical and regular marquee were replaced by Loew’s in the late 30’s or early 40’s. The second vertical was made by Artkraft Strauss. I wish there were more pictures around of both types.

robboehm on October 10, 2015 at 1:46 pm

They replaced the Triboro vertical in the early 50s. Never touched the Valencia.

theatrefan on October 11, 2015 at 7:27 am

Until the church took it over, that was a very nice intricate one that had to really stand our against the elevated train that used to run there. Isn’t the one on the 175th St. the original one, albeit with the Loew’s letters removed? It’s really a shame that most of the verticals, were removed because it was said they would unfortunately compromise the structural integrity of the buildings facade over time, they were really something special & you could see them from blocks away as their calling card to beckon it’s patrons. The Ewalk & Boston Commons attempted to sort of replicate the old style Loew’s verticals as sort of a homage to the originals.

robboehm on October 11, 2015 at 10:02 am

The church in the Valencia modified the original vertical

theatrefan on October 12, 2015 at 8:30 am

Does the original exist under the church one? I hope so.

MikeRadio on January 5, 2016 at 11:02 pm

When this theater was closing, an employee uncovered old footage and made a video comparing the theater from opening day to closing. He sold it for a few dollars… I bought the video and uploaded it and here it is…. https://youtu.be/wCnunHvW0Lg

theatrefan on January 29, 2016 at 11:34 am

Thank you for posting that video, Mike. The concession stand signage is exactly like the one at the Loew’s Paradise Quad. I can’t believe that even in the mid 90’s they were still using Cups for Popcorn, not bags like every other chain by that time.

MikeRadio on February 23, 2016 at 11:31 pm

I hate bags for popcorn. Firstly they are smaller than the really large tubs we used to get. Secondly, they fall in the seats easy. 3rdly they make alot of noise crinkling when you hold them. I really miss the Oriental. Back when I was a kid in Brooklyn though we always mis pronounced Loews as Low-EEs

El_Muerto on February 24, 2016 at 10:24 pm

Fascinating clip-as are most from the Nelson Sullivan vid archives-of a train ride to Coney Island with Nelson Sullivan, a young NYC columnist/writer Michael Musto and friends in ‘87. Besides marveling at their train’s state of disrepair, look out for their train passing the Oriental marquee at about 4:25 in this clip. Film titles showing then are easy to read. Hope you enjoy this forgotten slice of long ago NYC. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JN4ATDfCYmo

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