Brook Theatre

3839-49 Flatlands Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11234

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Showing 1 - 25 of 42 comments

rivest266
rivest266 on September 27, 2013 at 2:50 pm

There is now the grand opening ad for this cinema in the photo section for this cinema. It came from the Brooklyn Eagle.

unacat
unacat on July 7, 2012 at 2:40 pm

I also went to St. Thomas Aquinas school, but in the early sixties. I recall the school taking us to the Brook to see Disney’s ‘Fantasia’ and we didn’t like it at all, but we were made to stay in the theatre until the time that school would be out. In 1962 my friend Tommy Foley and I were going to see a kid friendly film at the Marine theatre and walked over to the Brook to see what was playing and saw the posters for ‘Dr. No’, which we saw instead. My mother was stunned to find that her eight year old son had seen the new James Bond movie, which I am sure was not approved by the Legion of Decency in the Catholic ‘Tablet’ newspaper. I lived on Schenectady Avenue and Avenue M, it was wonderful.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on July 5, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Auditorium featured on the cover of The Modern Theatre section: boxoffice

MikeP429
MikeP429 on March 1, 2012 at 10:57 am

Loved loved loved this theater…very sad to see what happened to it but it was inevitable. Huge place…and I remember the smoking section(!) Went to St Thomas Aquinas in the 70s and 80s. They used to show movies on Wednesday afternoons because we had half-days. Saw The Empire Strikes Back there…4 times!!

BruceSeebach
BruceSeebach on April 30, 2011 at 11:21 pm

I always believed the Brook and Marine would last forever-Saw many a flick at the Brook-The one that sticks in my mind is “Rodan”-One of those crazy imports from Japan-I was there with the very lovely
Carol. (Don’t remember the movie too much)LOL.

TheGameShowGuy
TheGameShowGuy on September 15, 2010 at 11:03 am

I remember the unusual marquee extending past the building onto the side wall when I first moved to the Flatlands area in 1981

jflundy
jflundy on July 26, 2010 at 5:09 am

The Brook had an unusual feature not shown in most photos of the marquee. The right side attraction board extended down past the front of the building and into the alley.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 16, 2010 at 9:59 pm

A photo of the lobby of the Brook Theatre was on the cover of Boxoffice of August 5, 1950.

Eli500
Eli500 on March 25, 2010 at 1:23 pm

The buiding which was once the Brook Theatre is now available. Maybe someone once th rent or purchase the whole building & reopen the theatre. Below is a link of a picture of how the building currently looks. This picture was taken on 03/25/2010
http://www.atomictimetronics.com/brooktheatre.html

GaryCohen
GaryCohen on December 24, 2009 at 3:33 pm

I went on an interview for an assistant manager position at the Brook. I had just graduated college and could not find a job. It was a depressing experience. There were several of us sitting in the back of the theater waiting to be interviewed (“American Graffiti” was showing at the time,) and the man who interviewed me told me that if I wanted the job I would have to shave my mustache off and go out and buy several new suits. Boy am I glad that I didn’t listen and made no attempt to go any further regarding that dead-end job.
Actually other than that, the Brook was a pretty nice theater. It was never all that crowded unless there was something big playing. I remember it drew huge crowds for “Rocky,” “Network” and “The Return of the Pink Panther.” I saw many films there including “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” “Clash of the Titans,” “The Deer Hunter,” “Straw Dogs,” “Zardoz,” etc. I used to pass this theater frequently. I can still remember passing by during Christmas season 1978 (I think,) and seeing the marquee stating “Gala Christmas Show” Charles Bronson in “Telefon."
As stated, this was a very nice theater with a balcony. However, due to the sparseness of the crowds, I was not surprised when it closed.

PhilHan
PhilHan on December 16, 2009 at 7:32 pm

I was at St. Thomas Aquinas grade school, across the street when it opened. We were given the afternoon off to watch the opening. The star of the opening was a young comic named Zero Mostel who showed up in a tiny, open roofed, sports car. I think he was a clown at the time. When we went into it one of the neat new technologies was the presence of UV Blower hand Dryers in the bathrooms. It was the latest technology at the time and it was reported that this was one of the first installations of its kind.

mpeyser
mpeyser on September 17, 2009 at 2:24 pm

38 years ago today I saw the Anderson Tapes with Sean Connery at the Brook with my then girlfriend (now wife).

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 19, 2008 at 9:46 am

The Century circuit always used the “re” spelling for its theatres—Brook Theatre (not Brook Theater). Here are new links to images described above on 10/21/05 at 4:13am:
View link
View link
View link

brooklynjudy
brooklynjudy on January 26, 2008 at 9:16 pm

This site brings back some wonderful memories for myself as well; i grew up in Brooklyn in late 50’s early 60’s….fondest memories was going to the movies on the weekend when you could see a kids feature movie for 35 cents; then it was 50 cents unless it was a Disney which was 60cents! you could spend the whole day at the movie, watching the movie over and over again; in the early evening the feature movie would change – one day, my sister and I went to see a kids feature and stayed so late the feature changed to the Hitchcock movie “Marnie”; we stayed until Tippi Hedren dropped her towel – the camera panned over to her husband, Sean Connery – that was more than enough for two little catholic school girls to handle, and we scrambled out of the movie and ran all the way home… it wasn’t until i was young adult that i saw that movie again, past that infamous scene (great movie by the way). There was a pizza parlor around the corner from the Brook – you could get a slice and a coke for a quarter (yikes, i sound old!) There was a candy store across the street named I think Dave and Lou’s – two guys who wore long white aprons and always had a cigar stogie in his mouth…one of them was missing a finger, maybe the same guy who smoked the stogie….at any rate, another regular was, Joe the cop, he was either directing traffic or keeping an eye on us kids! On Flatbush Ave just north of Flatlands on the corner was a bank, i think it was Chase Manhattan (they had a beautiful wooden gate inside the bank behind which were the desks…i remember all the tellers were men) Next to the bank was a bakery, i think it was called Rutta’s and they had the most delicious Charlotte Russe…further along Flatbush walking towards Kings Highway was a 5 and ten cent store; a Keyfood, a few more stores and a pharmacy on the corner of Flatbush and Kings Highway – which was across the street from the Marine movie theater. The Marine and The Brook were two mainstays growing up in that neighborhood; I walked to the bus stop on Kings Hwy and Flatbush in late 60’s on my way to high school – saw all the great movies of the day, yes, the Spaghetti westerns, disneys – Pollyanna was one of them; as i mentioned before, they often would have a kids feature movie and then a different movie in the eveing…maybe that was just on Saturday, but that is what i remember……I tried to access the photo images but the message said they were no longer there. I see now that that message goes back to
2004 or so. Great site i will be back!

vedder611
vedder611 on October 12, 2006 at 4:16 am

yea thge last movie i remember seeing here was Empire Strikes Back…funny how someone else remembered that as the Brook’s last hurrah as well….and WOW batman and the munsters were at the brook??….wish i’d have seen that….love this site and the nostalgic feeling we all share about the neighborhood theatres we grew up going to….what’s left?…the kent lol?….and a few up in bay ridge i guess

Netaddict
Netaddict on February 9, 2006 at 7:50 pm

Wow! What memories this site brings back. I was a regular at both the Brook and Marine theaters from 1953 to 1958. I believe admission was a quarter back then. The balcony was a great place to make out with the girls. Many of my friends worked at both theaters. We all hung out at the dinette (don’t remember the name) next to the Marine when I was 15 & 16. They had juke boxes on the tables. I loved the knishes at the Coronet deli. Another favorite hangout was the candy store on the corner of Flatlands and Flatbush Ave. and I dated a girl who lived in the apartment building next door to the Brook. I graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas, (Brother Armel) class of January 1955. Hard to believe theyâ€\ve shut it down. I still have the class graduation photo album and the names of all my classmates. If you would like a copy or any other information e-mail me at

DavidM
DavidM on February 9, 2006 at 10:17 am

The Brook and the Marine, two of my faovrite local movie theaters. I remember seeing Adam West and Burt Ward on stage at the Marine during the run of BATMAN and being invited for a private screening of CABARET at the Brook. Oh, if I could only find some Turkish Taffy minis…

criticman
criticman on December 1, 2005 at 7:32 pm

Gustavelifting- Yes. The New China Inn was right next door to McManus Funeral Parlor. My grandafther actually had his wake in that establishment, as well.

RichHamel
RichHamel on November 29, 2005 at 2:55 pm

Gustavelifting—It was the JOHN J MCMANUS & SONS Funeral Parlor. After several generations on Flatbush Ave, they moved a couple of years ago into what remains of the old Traymore Theater on Ave N.

uncleal923
uncleal923 on November 21, 2005 at 5:00 pm

Richard;
Was that Chinese Restaurant the one next to the McMahon Funeral Parlor?

criticman
criticman on November 12, 2005 at 7:58 pm

As a kid, I spent many a happy Saturday afternoon at both the Brook AND Marine theaters. We’d often have Chinese food at my all time favorite Chinese restaurant, New China Inn on the corner of Flatlands and Flatbush. This place was owned, for decades, by the Choy family, whom I knew very well. It’s the place where Barbra Streisand manned for cash register for a while right before she got her Broadway break. She also used to babysit for the family’s kids. They used to tell me about it and then I heard Streisand mention it on “Inside the Actor’s Studio”, as well. I moved out of Brooklyn in 1996 after a nasty divorce, to Trenton NJ. I brought a girlfriend into Brooklyn in 2001 (a short time before 9/11) to go to my favorite eatery and found it had turned into a florist. I was so heartbroken, I’ve never returned.
I’m very surprised to hear that the archdiocese closed Saint Thomas Aquinas School. That place seemed indestructible.
As for the large apartment building squeezed in next to the old Brook theater, it was a notorious hotbed of crime, drugs and prostitution for years and years. I can’t imagine it having fallen down, though. That must have really been something to see.
I also used to frequent the Marine theater, right around the corner; another great neighborhood theater. In the sixties, we’d catch a movie in the afternoon and have dinner at either the Coronet deli (great Jewish specialties, old style) or Honam’s, another fine Chinese restaurant with superb egg rolls.
At 7, my mom let me go to either theater alone or with equally young friends. None of us ever had any problems.

RichHamel
RichHamel on October 21, 2005 at 7:25 am

Warren-
It was built on a vacant lot. And yes, the location is Flatlands, not Flatbush.

JoeR
JoeR on October 21, 2005 at 5:32 am

Was TV really having such an impact by 1950? The financing , design,construction etc. probably puts the start of the process back into 1946/47. Who knew what was to come? Besides, the Brook had sold out nights into the late ‘60’s.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 21, 2005 at 4:23 am

Was the Brook really in Flatbush? I believe that the district is known as Flatlands, not Flatbush, but I’m only guessing…Also, was the Brook built on vacant land, or did something have to be demolished to make way for it?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 21, 2005 at 4:13 am

John J. McNamara was architect of the Brook Theatre, which first opened on January 25, 1950. By that time, Brooklyn was over-run with cinemas and many were closing in the wake of the “TV revolution,” so it’s puzzling as too why the Century circuit felt the need to build a new one. Here are several images. The auditorium had green walls with blond wood trim, red-grey carpeting, downlights, and cold cathode cove lighting. The stage curtains were rust-colored:
www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/brook1.jpg
www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/brook3.jpg
www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/brook2.jpg