Loew's Oriental Theatre

1832 86th Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11214

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Showing 1 - 25 of 243 comments

El_Muerto on February 25, 2016 at 6:24 am

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

MikeRadio on February 24, 2016 at 7:31 am

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

theatrefan on January 29, 2016 at 7:34 pm

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 January 6, 2016 at 7:02 am

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 October 12, 2015 at 4:30 pm

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

robboehm on October 11, 2015 at 6:02 pm

The church in the Valencia modified the original vertical

theatrefan on October 11, 2015 at 3:27 pm

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 10, 2015 at 9:46 pm

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

theatrefan on October 10, 2015 at 7:31 pm

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 6:30 pm

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 8, 2015 at 3:07 am

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.

robboehm on October 7, 2015 at 9:39 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 4:50 pm

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.

DavidZornig on October 7, 2015 at 1:12 am

1927 photo added courtesy of Stephen Sclafaniā€ˇ.

theatrefan on June 2, 2015 at 11:55 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.

Ravenhall on March 24, 2015 at 2:41 am

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

Marydoll on January 2, 2013 at 6:29 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.

DJM78 on January 18, 2012 at 1:29 am

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

johndereszewski on December 30, 2011 at 4:51 pm

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.

Ed Miller
Ed Miller on June 27, 2011 at 11:36 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.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on September 15, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Thank you for your good words Bill. I finally got around to putting a Wikipedia page up for Barto and Mann , which you can see by clicking here.

BILLYBOYOK on September 15, 2010 at 4:51 am

Brad, those photos taken in the 1930’s are great!!!
So glad to have seen them.

YMike on July 23, 2010 at 5:25 am

For a 1930 price I would.

TLSLOEWS on July 23, 2010 at 2:49 am

Nice photo Brad,and you are right YankeeMike want to buy a 1930 Chevy?

YMike on April 24, 2010 at 7:29 pm

Look closely to the right of the entrance. There was a Chevrolet dealership next door to the Loews in 1930.