Olympic Theater Concert Hall

851 Prospect Avenue,
Bronx, NY 10459

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Showing 1 - 25 of 32 comments

bobmarshall
bobmarshall on August 18, 2013 at 10:27 am

Actually, the Prospect Theatre opened on November 12, 1910. I have the “Dedicatory Souvenir (booklet),” listing all the credits for the construction, etc. Reason being, my great-grandfather, Arthur Brounet, did the interior decorations. The introduction went on “…a playhouse that is second to none of the beautiful theatres in Greater New York…the orchestra contains some 570 seats not including boxes; the balcony contains 400, and the gallery, 360.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on August 9, 2010 at 11:45 am

Now the church web site appears to be completely gone.

http://www.alttabernacle.org only leads to a place-holder. All of their content is gone.

Judging by the decisions they made I guess I am not surprised.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on August 9, 2010 at 11:28 am

Pretty sad looking photo Andrew.

GeorgeStrum
GeorgeStrum on March 13, 2010 at 11:03 am

This theatre is in terrible condition. It should be saved.

TPH
TPH on January 12, 2010 at 9:51 am

Hard to believe that after all the effort that was made to restore this theatre that it remains shuttered. Granted that it sits in a hard-scrabble community, but where is the wide-visioned impressario who can make a venue like this or the Paradise successful. The Loews 175th St. in Washington Heights is now attracting top tier talent such as the Allman Brothers & Bob Dylan. Is no one willing to perform in the Bronx?

awertz
awertz on September 29, 2009 at 12:44 pm

here’s a picture i took of it last week:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/awertz/3963814745/

thanks for all the great history and old photos!

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on April 21, 2009 at 12:43 pm

Actually, when I click on a link from the April 08 comment I can get to all areas of the church web site. For some reason my December comment takes me to a bunch of dead links. But, they still don’t have any mention of the theatre project linked to the main ministry site. This would seem to suggest the project has stalled.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on April 21, 2009 at 12:31 pm

The church web site is no longer completely functional. It would appear that they gutted the theatre, than stopped upon realizing they did not have the funds to carry out their urban paradise concept. At least the group working on the Elmwood had the money to follow through on their grand designs.

This a text book case of grandiosity, short-sightedness and poor planning. They could’ve been holding services in the auditorium. Now, perhaps, they are running from unpaid contractors.

meredithlee
meredithlee on April 18, 2009 at 8:11 am

The exterior of the Prospect can be seen in the 1982 Italian slasher classic NEW YORK RIPPER. There’s a quick shot at night with the marquee lit up, and a shot in the day where a character comes down the elevated train stairs and walks by the theater and then around the corner. If I can pull a still from the DVD I’ll try to post it.

LuisV
LuisV on February 15, 2009 at 2:31 pm

So, has the church finished “Raping” the old Prospect Theatre?

Hopefully, they ran out of money before too much damage could be done.

ralicea1
ralicea1 on December 26, 2008 at 6:37 pm

Passed by there yesterday and it’s still abandoned. Looks nothing like the renderings featured on the tabernacle website. Pretty sad seeing it like that.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on December 19, 2008 at 4:39 pm

They have begun to ravage the building:

View link

Scroll through the photo sequence and you’ll see what I am talking about.

Forgive me for saying so, but I think anyone who believes “the Lord” would want them to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars destroying an attractive and recently-renovated historical building doesn’t understand the concept of religion. Think of all the outreach ministries they could have sponsored with that money.

LuisV
LuisV on June 3, 2008 at 9:50 am

Ugh!!!! This is disgusting! I agree with KenRoe that many chrches have made adaptive reuse of theaters in a way respectful of the original architecture and history of the building. Paramount among these are Reverend Ike’s Loews’s 175th Street theater, The Tabernacle of Prayer’s Loew’s Valencia in Jamaica, Queens and The Rock Fellowships Loew’s Elmwood in Elmhurst, Queens. There are several excellent examples in Brooklyn as well, but this is a travesty. I can only hope that YngBronxite was being sarcastic with his “very nice” comment.

I understand that not every theater can be saved and that not all purchasers of historic theaters will have the will (or the money) to restore them. This will be one of the theaters that should be marked pretty much as demolished as virtually nothing but the overall shape of the old structure will be preserved.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on April 17, 2008 at 6:16 am

Normally, ‘church use’ for a former theatre is considered a good and caring use, and great care is taken to retain the historic elements. There is only one word to describe the plans for the Olympic Theater….‘Gutted’.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on April 17, 2008 at 5:53 am

Well, considering that it sounds like they want to strip the place, I have to respectfully disagree on the “Very nice!” comment.

botcyot
botcyot on April 16, 2008 at 10:56 pm

Hey to those wanting to know more about the current status of the theater, just check out View link

This is the church that purchased the building and on the website are a few pictures of what their plans are. Very nice!
God Bless!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 19, 2007 at 10:30 am

I haven’t seen the film AUGUST RUSH, but I’m curious how the Fillmore East was depicted in the film. I understand that both interiors and exteriors of this theatre were used to stand in for the Fillmore in the flick. I see they dressed up the Olympic’s marquee to look like the Fillmore East, but the facade bears absolutely NO resemblance to the fabled concert hall’s edifice. Did they use CGI to complete the illusion, or did they leave the Olympic’s facade as-is to depict the theatre as a long vacant site?

455cpw
455cpw on November 16, 2007 at 9:37 am

Charlie I’m sending you an email from my personal hotmail account. Definitely would like to view them.
Thanks again.

charliek
charliek on November 16, 2007 at 8:55 am

Hi In Charge,

Yes, my site is down, and may never get back up. Earthlink unplugged me due to a billing dispute (about which I’m still really steamed). One of their “call center representatives” gave me some bad info earlier this year, resulting in overcharges I refused to pay. Fortunately, I saved the theater pics to my hard drive. Unfortunately, the links in my post no longer work, and I feel bad about that. I’d be happy to send any of my pics via e-mail to anyone who asks. E-mail me at:

455cpw
455cpw on November 16, 2007 at 8:42 am

Hey Charlie,
Love your commentary and insight, your one of those OGs (Original Gangstas, as we say- different meaning of Gangsta of course) that I love to run into in the park or walking the street in the summer time. Provide history and wisdom about our community (Bronx, NYC).
Question: is your site down or what – I can never see the page when I click the link.

LuisV
LuisV on June 29, 2007 at 5:23 am

Thanks Charlie for the info! While I am always disappointed to find out that a theater is taken out of “service” to the public I am always gratified when the alternate function is that of a church. Over the years, more theaters have been (pardon the pun) faithfully preserved by religious orders than any other alternate use. I hope they prove to be great stewards of this theater and, someday, I hope to pop in to the theater that my parents went to so many years ago (though I will most defintely NOT stay for the service.

It would also be nice to see some interior shots once if the church allows it. I haven’t seen any interiors posted previously.

charliek
charliek on June 28, 2007 at 8:39 pm

Here’s some hot news on the Prospect Theatre. I noticed last week that the sign that had been hanging over the marquee for the last year – saying the building was for lease or sale by owner – was taken down. Uh oh, I thought, the Prospect has changed hands again, and who knows what’s in store for it now. Please God, don’t let it be torn down or subdivided into retail outlets. And please allow those amazing rooftop water towers (surviving almost 100 years of Bronx trials and tribulations) to remain just where they are.

So today I was strolling down Prospect Avenue, as I do on a regular basis these days, and noticed that the front door to the theatre was open, with an elderly gentleman standing inside. So I engaged him in conversation and found out that indeed the theatre has been bought, and will soon become the new home of the Abundant Life Tabernacle (currently located on Third Avenue and 143rd Street). This is great news, in my opinion, because it means, not only will the building be preserved, but the auditorium space will retain its integrity as a gathering space for people. It also means that anyone who wants to visit the old Prospect and absorb its ancient theatrical vibes will be able to do so, on any Sunday morning (as long as they are willing to sit through a religious service). It may take a while before the Abundant Life group makes their move, but I will keep this site posted on progress. Selah.

LuisV
LuisV on April 11, 2007 at 6:39 am

I went to the Bronx Zoo on Saturday and I took the #2 train. While looking out the window I noticed the “Olympic Concert Hall” aka “Prospect Theater” looking very dilapidated and with a “for sale” sign on the marquee. It was disconcerting since the rest of the neighborhood looks like it’s in the middle of a building boom and, per above postings, had been recently renovated.

I was born in the Bronx and I asked my mom if she had gone to the Prospect way back when. She said it was one of her favorite theaters, but that she usually went to The Freeman on Southern Blvd. As a matter of fact, she went into labor (with me) while she was attending some Spanish language movie on November 23, 1959!

I love the fact that I decided to come into the world while I was actually IN a theater!

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on November 20, 2006 at 1:14 pm

It looks like hell on the outside.