Loew's Bijou Theatre
26 Smith Street,
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The Bijou Theatre first opened in November, 1893, as a playhouse under the direction of H.C. Kennedy. Due to its convenient location in downtown Brooklyn, the Bijou Theatre proved an instant success and soon became one of the most profitable theatres in the entire USA. When the ailing Kennedy retired in 1900, he sold the Bijou Theatre to Hyde & Behman, which operated it for a time and then leased to the Spooner Repertory Company. In 1908, Marcus Loew, encouraged by his success of his first Brooklyn theatre, the Royal Theatre, took over the Bijou Theatre and converted it to movies with vaudeville. Architect Thomas Lamb carried out some alterations in 1912.
The Royal Theatre and Bijou Theatre became second-run situations after Loew built the much larger and grander Metropolitan Theatre in the same area. Loew’s Bijou Theatre operated until 1929, when Loew’s replaced it by taking over the better equipped Keeney’s Theatre and re-naming it the Loew’s Melba Theatre.
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