BRIC Arts Media House

647 Fulton Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11217

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Ron6519
Ron6519 on May 12, 2013 at 9:06 am

My great grandfather, Abraham Schlesinger, listed the Strand Theater as his workplace(said he was an, “actor in vaudeville”) on 9/12/1918. This was listed on his WWl draft registration. He had his mail sent to a,“B.Sharp” at the theater. Curious to know if this B Sharp worked there at the time.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 9, 2012 at 11:07 am

None other than Thomas Lamb, I might have added. I would argue that any of Lamb’s extant work should be deemed historically important.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 9, 2012 at 11:04 am

Nice slap by Leeser at his archtiectural forebears. I think the main facade is a rather handsome one and I’m hoping that they retain the columns and Latin inscriptions. I’m sure whatever architectural significance the original interior once might have held was likely shorn away years ago.

LuisV
LuisV on January 9, 2012 at 8:24 am

This blurb appears in today’s Wall Street Journal and reveals that there is nothing or architectural merit that remains in this old theater:

Failing to gain respect as a historic building, the Strand Theater on Fulton Street and Rockwell place is being re-imagined as a non-classical temple for the digital age. “If this was a historically important piece of architecture, we would have treated it that way. But it is not,” says architect Thomas Leeser.

LuisV
LuisV on October 13, 2011 at 11:29 am

Just got some new info. It appears that this theater is refitting rather than a restoration. There will be little to nothing inside evoking its past life as a movie palace though, there appears to have been precious little (if anything) to save. At least the exterior will heaken back to the day and there will be a theater inside though the seating will be just 250; a far cry from the original 2,950 in the intro. This space will not be any competition to the Kings Theatre.

The following article appeared in Curbed.com today:

This morning some ladies and gents held a groundbreaking at the old Strand Theater, the stalled and un-stalled BAM Cultural District project turning it into something we assume will be super-modern and media-heavy called BRIC House. As mentioned yesterday, LEESER Architecture is heading the design portion of the makeover, and they’ve released some shiny new renderings to show what it will look like once those columns are wrapped in text and artists are blowing glass left and right. LEESER won the $20 million bid from NYCEDC back in 2008; the center is now scheduled to open in 2014.

LuisV
LuisV on October 13, 2011 at 8:52 am

Three years after it was initially announced, it looks like the Strand will become New York’s newest restored Movie Palace though I am hesitant to use the word restored. Certainly, the outside should be restored to the old movie palace standards, but I have yet to see any mention made as to how the interior is going to be “restored”. I just don’t think there is much remaining of the interior to restore. The new theater will be just 250 seats and will also include TV studios. The full article appears below in today’s Real Deal but also appears in most of the local papers in a addition to the Wall Street Journal. It is great news nonetheless!

Strand Theatre in Brooklyn to get major makeover
October 13, 2011 11:30AM

Leslie Schultz, executive director of BRIC Arts, and the Strand Theatre Downtown Brooklyn’s Strand Theatre, a former vaudeville playhouse built in 1918 at 647 Fulton Street between Ashland and Rockwell places, is set to receive a $40 million makeover, the Wall Street Journal reported, an indication that long-delayed development plans for the Brooklyn Academy of Music Cultural District are getting underway.

The renovation has been in the works since 1996, a few years after two arts groups — UrbanGlass and BRIC Arts | Media | House — moved into the space. The project received a funding commitment from the city at one point, but that fell apart after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“The merit for the project has never been questioned,” said Leslie Schultz, executive director of BRIC, which runs the Celebrate Brooklyn! music festival, but securing funding has been difficult.

Ultimately, around $33 million was contributed to the project by the Bloomberg administration, the Journal said. The state gave nearly $2 million and private donors provided $5.5 million.

It is expected that the renovations will be complete by 2013. The complex will house three new galleries, a 250-seat theater, a television studio and shops.

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on November 13, 2010 at 3:14 pm

A vintage picture of the Strand appears below. In addition, you can easily access nearly 400 pictures of old Fulton St. in this terrific attachment.

When I attended Most Holy Trinity High School in the mid-1960’s, our bowling team played its games at Strands Lanes, which was situated above the movie house. This was the closest that I ever came to this theater – and I was a TERRIBLE bowler. More recently, I visited the old theater, which is now being used by the BCAT public assess cable network, as part of a recreation of a walking tour that I had recently conducted. It’s great to see that the old place is still being well used. Enjoy the pictures!

View link

srfrboy531
srfrboy531 on July 21, 2010 at 6:33 pm

Metropolis Bowling Centers, Inc., 647 Fulton st., Brooklyn, NY.

Organized in 1958, the company was engaged in the acquisition and operation of bowling centers.

I have a certificate for five shares of common stock of METROPOLIS BOWLING CENTERS, INC., dated April 30, 1963. Unfortunately I don’t think it’s worth anything anymore. Just a piece of history to remember Brooklyn.

Dennis Lorence
Dennis Lorence on July 20, 2010 at 1:31 pm

That’s right, the family is still based in CA.

I would definitely like any further information you may have, and any photos of the “18th. st.” then & now.

Is the building still standing?

As things progress I’m hoping to trace the histories of both theaters and how they relate to the development of American entertainment.

Thanks!
Dennis
(I’ll email you directly when I’m a bit more organized)

MDaurora
MDaurora on July 19, 2010 at 6:35 am

Dennis,

My name is Jeff D'Aurora from Erie PA. I knew your Great Grandfather. The theater in Erie that he owned was the 18th St. My father held the lease and your Great Grandfather owned the building. In November 1955, my father, Nick D'Aurora purchased the building from Mr. Lorence. If I remember correctly he moved to California. If I can be of any help in your research let me know.

Jeff D'Aurora/

Dennis Lorence
Dennis Lorence on July 18, 2010 at 11:08 pm

I’m in Brooklyn to research the history of this theater My great grandfather Owned it when it was a Vaudeville theater and for a while as a movie theater. I have his archives and a book of acts from the year 1924-1925 including prices descriptions and his personal notes on the acts, plus 3 scrapbooks of newspaper reviews, and photos, etc…

He also owned a theater in Eerie Penn. and I’m hoping to put together a documentary on the transition to film and (hopefuly) some general history on the subject.

Any suggestions on where to find public records, etc… would be greatly appreciated.

Best-
Dennis Lorence
(great grandson of Herman Lorence)

Bway
Bway on May 21, 2009 at 10:45 am

This theater is being used for live performance.

Bway
Bway on October 30, 2008 at 9:08 am

By Lost’s Oct 27th article (which is from July), does that mean that the status should be made to say “open”, since it’s being used as a theater again? Or is it only “open” when it is open as a movie theater?

GeorgeTobor
GeorgeTobor on October 28, 2008 at 6:59 pm

Indeed this was the Strand Bowling Alley in the 1950’s through 1960’s. My recollection of the bowling facility is little if anything remained of the former theatre. Perhaps some remnants remain behind walls but nothing was visible to the naked eye. One floor is currently used for retail purposes.
George

LuisV
LuisV on October 28, 2008 at 2:38 pm

I did read that passage and that is why I asked if any attempt would be made to harken back to the original details of the theater. I have no expectation that much of the original decoration remains, but certeinly there are photos and something creative can be acheived instead of just a black box.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 27, 2008 at 8:03 pm

I should have read the article Lost Memory linked to above… A passage reads as follows:

<<Originally constructed in 1918 as a vaudeville theater, the 4,000-seat Strand was later converted into a movie palace, then, in the 1950s, a bowling alley, which was followed by a conversion to three floors of manufacturing space. Construction on its latest incarnation is scheduled to begin in 2009 and be completed in 2010.>>

Three floors of manufacturing space. And I’m sure the bowling alley conversion wasn’t so kind to the original interior elements either.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 27, 2008 at 7:58 pm

Back on October 23, 2007, I posted some photos I had taken of the old Strand just a few days earlier. One shot of what I believe to be the former auditorium side wall, reveals a number of windows that would seem to indicate the interior may have been converted to office space of some sort.

Of course, I’m hoping that I’m wrong with that assumption.

LuisV
LuisV on September 30, 2008 at 2:47 pm

There’s no mention of a “restoration” of the theater; only expansion and makeover. Warren has posted above that it is highly unlikely that any of the original ornamentation exists which is a shame, but I am curious if the makeover would try to harken back to it’s illustrious past or if it would just be a modern box.

LuisV
LuisV on July 21, 2008 at 9:45 am

There is big news about the Strand! The Brooklyn Academy of Music is investing $17.3MM for a renovation of this theater:

The following is a posting from Curbed.com which is a real estate blog in New York City:

It’s been a month or so since there was any news out of the BAM Cultural District, but today there is an announcement that the old Strand Theater in Fort Greene is going to be getting a $17.3 million expansion and makeover. The space, which was a vaudeville theater in the old days, will house BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn and UrbanGlass. The BRIC group, which produces Celebrate Brooklyn among other things, will get 20,000 square feet. Brooklyn Community Access Television will get a media screening room and a new TV studio. UrbanGlass will get a big new space too. Design work will happen this year with construction in 2009 and completion in 2010. The space, which dates to 1918 and also was a bowling alley for a while, is next to BAM’s Harvey Theater on Fulton Street.

Goodheart
Goodheart on February 3, 2008 at 2:45 pm

This is a newspaper ad for “The Song of Bernadette” at the Strand Theater. Note the admission price.

View link

Joe B.

Goodheart
Goodheart on February 2, 2008 at 6:41 pm

Hi JoeR. Glad you are enjoying the old ads. I have another one coming for the Strand.

Joe B.

sasheegm
sasheegm on February 2, 2008 at 4:13 pm

Hey Joe: Ilook foward to seeing some of your clippings——-I enjoy seeing the old ads & photos……………and I’ll probably be posting some items at BB soon…….Take Care and thanks for sharing the old Strand with all of us here———JoeR—-aka Joe From Florida

Goodheart
Goodheart on February 2, 2008 at 4:00 pm

Thanks JoeR. Now that I can post, I will go through my old newspapers for ads from various theaters, from New York of course.
The rest of the ad was cut off at the bottom of “Ten Cents a Dance” which included the names Jane Frazee and Jimmy Lloyd.
I check in on BB every so often and read some of the interesting posts, and look at the pictures. It’s a great site.

Joe B.

sasheegm
sasheegm on February 2, 2008 at 3:25 pm

Hi Joe: It came through fine…….The Co-Feature, Ten Cents A Dance—1945 was also a film-noir starring Jane Frazee———The Strand always seemed to book two films in the same genre———Haven’t seen you at BB lately———-JoeR

Goodheart
Goodheart on February 2, 2008 at 3:01 pm

I’m attempting to post a newspaper ad of the Strand Theater featuring the movie “Dillinger” (1945) with Lawrence Tierney.
If it does not post, I will continue to go for it.

View link

Joe B.