Highway Theater

283 Kings Highway,
Brooklyn, NY 11223

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Ed Miller
Ed Miller on May 26, 2010 at 8:48 pm

I have fond memories of the Highway, a tiny and ramshackle house, even as long ago as the 70s. My friends and I always joked that you could here someone flush the toilet when you were sitting in the auditorium. One movie that I know for a fact that I saw at the Highway was “Paper Moon”.

GaryCohen
GaryCohen on January 16, 2010 at 5:24 pm

My wife grew up about four or five blocks from this theater and we went there occasionally when we were going out. It was an average theater with nothing distinctive to remember it by. Some of the films I can remember seeing there included “Hard Times,” “Murder by Death” and “The Dogs of War.” It was such a mediocre theater that I was absolutely not surprised when it finally threw in the towel and closed.

MikeRadio
MikeRadio on August 1, 2009 at 2:14 am

I remember my mother pulling up on the opposite side of the theatre with me and a friend in the car, and we went across the street to see ROCKY. The theatre was packed, and we had to sit on the right hand side “children’s” section, which had a cover over one of the seats that said CHILDRENS on the back or something to that effect.

The matrons walked about with the flashlights.. but everyone was still screaming.

I saw other movies there as well, but this one I remember well.

I love in the Washington DC area now, and there is something I remembered about the Highway after visiting a local theatre here.

The bathrooms, instead of being in the lobby were INSIDE the theatre auditorium! There were doors right in the auditorium to the right that would take you in to the restrooms. The Avalon theatre here in DC has that same setup.. probably same architect!

Gravesender
Gravesender on July 14, 2009 at 4:53 pm

I have such great childhood memories of the Highway Theater. I grew up in Gravesend during the late-70s/early-80s and spent every dollar I could muster attending movies there. Between 1978-83, I literally saw dozens of movies there, including a slew of Chuck Norris films (Good Guys Wear Black, A Force Of One, The Octagon, etc.), and a bevy of grade B-Z horror flicks as well (Zombie, The Evil Dead, Friday The 13th part III in 3D, etc.).

It’s actually sad to see the last physical remnants of the Highway disappear from sight forever. While the neighborhood will certainly benefit from having a Walgreens, I seriously doubt if 30 years from now anyone will fondly reminisce about the bottle of Robitussin they once purchased there. The Highway was a special place, and I’ll always have fond memories of it.

NanRomeu
NanRomeu on February 18, 2009 at 12:06 pm

The sign just went up — it is to be a Walgreens.

YMike
YMike on December 7, 2008 at 6:49 am

Everything completely gutted out except for the side walls.

JDittaJr
JDittaJr on October 20, 2008 at 6:39 pm

Forgot to say: buzz is theatre will be replaced by CVS.

JDittaJr
JDittaJr on October 20, 2008 at 6:38 pm

Currently under demolition. The front facade and marquee are gone. Side walls still standing as of today.

YMike
YMike on July 2, 2008 at 11:02 am

The “Sommer Highway Theatre” sign is still intact. It can be seen above where the marquee used to be.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on June 16, 2008 at 10:18 am

I don’t think the building is going to be demolished. A number of permits were issued for work on this building in June of 2008. One permit issued on 6/11/08 reads as follows:

“Job Description-CHANGE OF USE AT 1ST FLOOR TO RETAIL STORES AS SHOWN ON PLANS FILED HEREWITH. GENERAL CONSTRUCTION IN CONJUNCTION WITH DEMOLITION AND CONSTRUCTION OF NEW PARTITIONS. OBTAIN NEW CO”.

It looks like the building is going to be converted to retail use. Thats better than the building being demolished.

NanRomeu
NanRomeu on June 16, 2008 at 9:38 am

The Bingo Hall moved out in the winter of 2007 and the building is empty now. Sadly, the marquee was removed on June 12, 2008 — I know it was there since the 1940s from photos I have seen from the area.

It looks pretty forlorn and may be up for demolition?

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on December 31, 2007 at 7:41 am

Function should be Bingo Hall. This is a 2007 photo. The name on the building appears to be Sommer Highway Theatre, although I could be reading it wrong.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 17, 2007 at 7:58 pm

A Wurlitzer theater organ opus 974 style “B” special was installed in the Sohmer’s Highway Theater on 12/26/1924.

MarkSimon
MarkSimon on May 20, 2007 at 10:16 pm

Yes I remember a Matron/usher named Mrs. Davis. I attended many,many a “kiddie” matinee on Saturdays from 1953 to 1957. Mrs.Davis oversaw us “kiddies” for some of those years. If I recall she was 5'2"ish, a bit stout,possibly had white hair,and naturally,always wore a white uniform.Of that I’m sure. Her post was at the back of the theatre. She would patrol the aisles if necessary.She kept us ruley in the water fountain line,and would lift you up if you needed help reaching the stream of water. I always thirsty, so took large drinks. I recall Mrs.Davis once chiding me “not to drink up the whole fountain.” I didn’t like that.I seem to recollect that on occasion she worked the concession stand as well.

KenRoe
KenRoe on April 18, 2006 at 11:26 pm

Listed in the 1926 edition of Film Daily Yearbook as Sohmer’s Highway Theatre which must have been its opening name. In 1927 it is listed as the Highway Theatre. Original seating capacity is given as 1,100.

rondanto
rondanto on February 2, 2006 at 2:58 pm

The theatre is located on King Highway and West 7th St

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 13, 2005 at 9:48 am

As lostmemory posted, the Certificate of Occupancy was issued in 1925 for a movie theater. There was a new C of O issued in 1993 for a Bingo Hall on the 1st floor with capacity of 525 persons, plus offices and stores. It also lists “Classrooms” use in the “Mezzanine” story of the building. Looks like this C of O was issued pursuant to alteration permits filed to convert the use from church to meeting hall (Bingo Hall) without any construction work required. The name of the church is (was) listed as “Upper Room Christian Assembly.” I guess they had classrooms upstairs?

The theater is located at the corner of Kings Hwy and East 7th street.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 3, 2005 at 5:31 am

A C/O was issued for a new building at this address on February 5, 1925. Purpose of building: 925 seat motion picture theater.

francesfur
francesfur on July 7, 2005 at 4:41 am

any one remember a matron by the name of mrs.davis?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 5, 2004 at 9:50 am

The listing for this theatre is spelled incorrectly. The name was Highway, not Hiway. The 1949 Film Daily Year Book claims a seating capacity of 939.

William
William on November 15, 2003 at 9:42 am

The Highway was located at 283 Kings Highway it seated 939 seats as of 1955.

bruces
bruces on January 13, 2003 at 1:16 pm

This theatre was never run by Golden Theatres. It was run by an independent in the 70’s and 80’s named Max Schiering, but was owned by United Artists. When Schierings lease was up UA would not renew it, and closed the theatre so it would not compete with the UA Marboro on nearby Bay Parkway

philipgoldberg
philipgoldberg on November 5, 2002 at 11:17 am

The theater has undergone another function and name change. It is now a bingo hall with the odd name of the Taj Mahal Bingo Hall. The marquee is still intact and used. Now it advertises bingo event dates and times, not movies.