UA Duffield Twin Theatre

249 Duffield Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11201

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Duffield Theatre exterior

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This theater was one of Fulton Mall’s four movie palaces which included the Loew’s Metropolitan up the street, the Albee around the corner, and the Paramount two streets east.

It was a single screen until 1984 when it it was divided into two cinemas seperating the balcony from the orchestra section as a twin. Both cinemas had great sound but it’s cinema life was cut short in 1991 during the screening of "New Jack City" when a patron was killed.

The theater was closed by the NYPD for investigation. It was later sold and then demolished.

Today, a building on the site is a clothing store named "Brooklyn U.S.A" which specializes in Brooklyn theme apparel.

Contributed by Jamal P. Savage

Recent comments (view all 34 comments)

EcRocker on March 2, 2009 at 7:47 am

Things were going bad in areas like that long before New Jack City came out. Long before that in Valley Stream LI there was the Sunrise Drive in. It was demolished and the Sunrise Multiplex was built. Sometimes when my GF and I used to go out we would oft times go see a movie there after dinner when this other theatre we used to go to didn’t have something we wanted to see. In the very begining the Sunrise was not so bad. But if you know where it is what comes next is not to much of a surpise. Since it is near the Queens county border the residents would walk drive to get to there. It was not the best of neighborhoods and most of them came there and were very disorderly. yelling screaming cutting lines. I stopped going there when the comentary in the theatre was louder then the movie it self. After some incidents took place including a couple of guns going off in there Airport type metal screening detectors were installed at the main entry ways. The Queens locals balked but who wants to see a movie where someone may have a gun or knife on them. Basical the same kind of crowd like the Duffer. I never thought I would see the day when going to a movie was like checking in at an airpot. It got so bad for a while the managment had to take on off duty Nassau County cops to augment the private security because it was legal for them to carry a weapon where the private guys were non carry. All they had were batons and cuffs.

Does anyone remember a theatre about 5 miles east of there on Sunrise? It was a single that was cut to a duplex. It was either a Loews or a Century

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 2, 2009 at 2:51 pm

The Century Green Acres Cinema (now a fiveplex run by National Amusements, same management as Sunrise Multiplex) is less than a mile east on Sunrise. Is that the one you mean?

EcRocker on March 2, 2009 at 10:30 pm

Hi Saps no this was a few miles east of the GA 5plex. It was also on the southe side of Sunrise Highway

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 3, 2009 at 1:30 am

The RKO Rockville Centre Twin is about five miles down the road — closed now.

The Century (now AMC) Fantasy is also about five miles down, just a few doors off Sunrise, but you can see the big verticle sign.

EcRocker on March 3, 2009 at 4:46 am

Thanks Sap The Rockivlle was the one. Did a google map street view and it shows a for sale sign on it.. At least when i went there you couild not only see but hear the movie without hearing commentaries all through it.

GaryCohen on January 14, 2010 at 12:01 am

I ageee with many of the others who have commented here. Even though the Duffield was only a few blocks away from the RKO Albee and Loews Metropolitan, it wasn’t in the same universe as those theaters. I saw numerous films at the Albee and Loews Met. from the early to mid-1960s and they were beautiful and memorable theaters. I saw only 1 film at the Duffield “Move Over Darling” with Doris Day and James Garner and, to be honest, neither the film or the theater were very memorable at all. Its a wonder this place lasted as long as it did although, if you think about it, as Downtown Brooklyn went down the drain it was somehow appropriate that the crumbiest theater there should be the one left to symbolize what this area deteriorated into.

Willburg145 on June 28, 2011 at 7:22 pm

I have always said that if I hit the lottery I would want to buy up the old Rainbow Theatre on Graham Avenue and screen old movies, cartoons on Saturdays and some stage shows. But I wonder if the cost of liability insurance would be too high. Of course if I hit the lottery I wouldn’t have to worry about the cost.

Astyanax on June 30, 2011 at 3:52 am

Only time I was in this theatre was to see the showcase engagement of Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid. A Randforce house, it was not particularly distinguished and didn’t compare to the chain’s other venues including the Savoy, the Commodore or the Alba, and was totally out of league with the downtown flagship heavyweights such as the Fox, the Paramount, the Albee and the Metropolitan.

NeonSky on October 22, 2011 at 11:33 pm

I saw Edward Scissorhands here one snowy night in 1991. The next night was when the shooting took place as the other screen was showing New Jack City. I thought this was a beautiful old theater. It had a kind of modest grandeur to it.

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