Banco Theatre

1298 Fulton Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11216

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The Fulton Auditorium opened in 1908. By 1913 it was screening movies.

From October 28, 1948, it was renamed Banco Theatre with the movies “Kiss of Death” and “The Cisco Kid”. It had a triangular shape marquee with a big neon lettering on the top edge of the marquee, spelling the name ‘Banco’. It’s location was at Fulton Street & Nostrand Avenue in the Bed-Stuy section of Brooklyn.

The Banco Theatre was closed in 1976.

Contributed by Shamba Elijah

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 26, 2011 at 7:32 am

Here’s a 1972 image from the great American Classic Images website, with a classic early ‘70’s grindhouse feature advertised on the marquee.

A pair of stores (one ladies shoes and apparel, the other mens suits and shoes) occupy the old theater building, which now has an address of 1298 & 1298A. The edifice above the entrance has been clad in blue signage that appears to be made of the soft but sturdy material used for commerical awnings. From the looks of it, the eagle that once crowned the cornice above the entrance may still be there under a dome shaped extension of the signage material.

Public records show that the entire lot (which encompasses several buildings) has been owned by the same company since 1968. That company had offices at 1290 Fulton Street out of a furniture store called Fulton Outfitters. The address 1292 is currently one of the storefronts to the right of the former theatre entrance (which today seems to have been expanded from the adjacent 1290 Fulton, where the owners had their offices back in 1968). All of these addresses are encompassed by the one tax lot, so it appears it was a case of one the tenants buying the parcel from their landlord, possibly with the idea of expansion. Looks like several (if not all) of the shops fall under the umbrella of “The Fulton Stores.” The theatere probably had a lease that ran out (or was bought out) in ‘76.

The oldest Certificate of Occupancy on record for the lot is dated April 10, 1935, for the address 1292 and lists a show room and cabaret on first floor and “dance space” on the second floor. The next C of O, dated November 15, 1948, was issued for the address 1296/1298 Fulton Street and includes a “Motion Picture Theatre, no stage, no dressing rooms” with max 570 “persons accommodated” on the first floor and Projection Booth on the mezzanine. A later C of O dated June 25, 1951, for address 1292/94 Fulton, provides for a restaurant and a laundromat on the first floor, with music and dance studio on second floor. I think this tells us that at the time of operation, the theatre was located at 1296/1298 Fulton Street. Perhaps the proprietors had office space at some point in the adjacent building at 1292 Fulton.

Google map the address and use the Street View feature to get a more-or-less current image of the building.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on May 1, 2011 at 12:15 pm

1908-1925 Fulton owned by Loew’s Theatres, Inc.

1955-1975 owned by Island Theater Circuit of New York, N.Y. Irving Pinsker, President, they had over 40 theaters in New Jersey, New York State and New York-Long Island.

More info and more photos always welcome.

Bway on June 14, 2011 at 5:36 am

This theater should not be listed as demolished, as the building still stands, converted to retail. The street view also accidentally shows the building next door to the right of it. The theater is not the large building that says “Fulton Stores”, instead, it’s the one that says Stacy Adams, as well as the store to it’s left, that says “Fulton Shopping Center”. You can see the curve of the original facsade above those signs. If you view the street view to the left of the building, details still exist, as seen in the photo Ed posted in April 2011, see this street view to the left.

techman707 on January 28, 2012 at 1:29 pm

I worked in this theatre a couple of times in the 60’s and can say, without reservation, I’m glad it’s closed. This theatre and about 5 or 6 others in Brooklyn were a disgrace to the word “theatre”.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 28, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Hey Bway… Looking at your alternate street view showing the wrap around detail still left from the upper facade of the building, looks like I was wrong in my April, 2011, post when I thought that perhaps the eagle sculpture still stands at the apex of the curved cornice. It appears from your street view that the platform on which the eagle once stood may still be intact behind the new signage, but the eagle itself is gone (and, likely, long gone).

KennyW on November 8, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Man-o-Man guys, I agree the Banco was a mess, the floor was always sticky & the place always seemed “DDD” (dark,dank & dirty),but the Banco & Regent was the only movie theaters in our neighborhood,AND! they would let a bunch of 12 & 13 yr old boys go in by themselves from ‘70-'73, to see the latest Karate & Blaxploitation movies. We could care less what the decor was when we got to see the latest Bruce Lee movie or nudity in the Blaxploitation movies,lol. We never brought anything to eat or drink from there for 3 reasons #1:everything looked old and nasty, #2:there was never anybody behind the consession stand, and #3:we never had any money left over to buy anything anyway. OMG! Thinking back now,#3 was probably the biggest contributing factor why we never got anything to eat or drink there, hmmm, thank God for small favors huh? lol. However, the Banco still provided great growing up memories for me.

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