Benson Twins

2007-2009 86th Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11214

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Showing 1 - 25 of 86 comments

Willburg145 on March 6, 2013 at 6:52 pm

I am interested in the magazine that is all about the movie theater industry…I am interested in some Brooklyn, NY theaters like the Williamsburg and Commodore.

astoriaz on May 9, 2012 at 5:35 pm

I use to live in Bensonhurst from 1944 to 1951 and I remember going to the Benson to see Cinderella. They use to give out dishes to the women!! Such good memories!! I lived on 84th Street. There use to be trees on that street and now there is nothing.

Ed Miller
Ed Miller on June 27, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Bway, do you mean interior or exterior? The last time I was inside the Benson was in the early 80s, and there wasn’t much that was historically significant left in the interior.

YMike on June 20, 2011 at 10:51 am

Above the entrance to the drug store there is still some ornamentaion near the top of the building. Nothing remains inside.

Bway on June 9, 2011 at 11:49 am

Does anyone know if any of the theater ornamentation survives in this theater as the drug store, or is it all covered over/removed?

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 31, 2010 at 11:02 am

1975 Twin PG pictures on one side,X-rated on the other,No place for a child.

RXD on December 16, 2009 at 5:27 pm

As a teenager I only went to the Benson once. My cousin from Bay Ridge and
his friends thought we could get a few laughs out of ‘Night of the Living Dead’.
It scared the#*@$ out of us! We were unimpressed with the theater. I lived in
Dyker Heights so I was more used to the RKO Dyker. My cousin was more
used to the Loew’s Alpine. We were spoiled and lucky to go into downtown
often to the Brooklyn Paramount (with parents), the Fox and the RKO Albee.
Don’t get me started on Radio City, either. The Loew’s Oriental made the
Benson look like a bare-bones, slipshod mistake!

konga5 on September 19, 2008 at 3:42 pm

Would love to see an entire coffee table book of 86th street from the 50’s through the 80’s !

bensonhurst26 on August 11, 2008 at 2:02 pm

I’d really love to see a photo of the Benson from the 70s or 80s. I remember seeing Return of the Jedi, Grease, Superman, Goonies, Karate Kid and countless other flicks there. I’d love to see any old pics of 86st. Thanks for this site. It’s like the closest thing to a time machine and I am very grateful for all of you who left a comment with your wonderful memories. Best of luck n health to you all.

Bloop on October 5, 2007 at 9:16 am

C'mon folks! Lets dig up some vintage photos of the Benson !

dfc on October 4, 2007 at 12:55 pm

Sal P., you just reminded me. Back in the summer of 1977 I saw Jaws for the first time ever, during it’s re-release at the Benson. I still love that movie.

Bloop on October 4, 2007 at 12:18 pm

Sadly, the only known photo of the Benson Twin, is a screen-shot from the title sequence from…..“Saturday Night Fever” ! The marquee reads “Network” which was released November, 1976 or thereabouts.
The Twin 2, is illegable , but the word “love” may hint at an Adult “X” show?
View link

Petristeel on August 5, 2007 at 3:31 pm

The benson was an institution in bensonhurst. Despite the foul odors in the bathroom and the nasty lady with the flashlight,I had some great memories there. I saw Superman, The Deep, Return of the Jedi, Jaws, and countless other ones. It was hard to sneak into the other movie though, unlike the loews or Marboro which was really easy. It was so sad to see these theaters close down.

Inky81 on June 21, 2007 at 7:08 pm

I am mentioned in Larry Kings book as well as his discription of the Benson.Larry and I grew up together in Bensonhurst, his surname was not King, but thats show business !

Inky81 on June 21, 2007 at 6:56 pm

As a teenager in the late 40’s I went to the Benson every Saturday from 1PM until I wanted to leave. I saw two movies, a chapter and Movietone News over and over again.
There was a male usher who played basketball for Lafayette High School who repremanded me for having my arm around a girls shoulder during the movies. He said and I quote, “Get your arm off her Tyrone"
Tyrone Power was an actor in the film industry.
There was the Manhattan Savings Bank on the corner and Hy Tulip across the street. Those were the days I shall never forget!

Bloop on June 2, 2007 at 10:29 pm
Benson 2 PORN Theater Ad from 1975. Does anyone know exactly when they STOPPED showing porn?

Bloop on May 19, 2007 at 9:23 am

My grandparents lived around the corner. I recall my Grandmother asking my parents , “What’s the difference between "X” and “XXX” ? “ . LOL. I was never inside there but I love reading all this memories. I remember when in summer of 1976 "Squirm” was playing there. Wish someone had a nice clear photo of the front. I loved buying comic books and Mad magazines from that tiny newsstand to the left of the Benson all through the 1970’s. Oh boy has that neighborhood CHANGED!

kencmcintyre on February 13, 2007 at 12:40 pm

Larry King mentioned this theater in an interview published in the LA Times today. Apparently a police officer took him to the theater when he was eight after the officer told him King’s father had died of a heart attack at work.

SeaBeacher on October 21, 2006 at 5:25 am

Sure. First it was a bowling alley then it was changed to a gun club. all the years I lived in that neighborhood I never went in there though.

p38 on October 21, 2006 at 2:35 am

Being that Seabeacher mentioned the Fortway. Does anyone remember that downstairs, below the Fortway Theater there was a pistol shooting range. I belonged to a gun club that used the range every tuesday night.

SeaBeacher on October 18, 2006 at 10:19 am

Ed…There are a lot of things I associate with movie memories (besides hardware stores!)especially FOOD. The Zion Deli (kosher of course) was around the corner from the Dyker. White Castle was near the Harbor. The pizzeria next to the Fortway was fabulous. And so on…if no one minds this post I’ll try to limit my food ramblings in the future.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 17, 2006 at 4:55 pm

Ah SeaBeacher… wandering a bit off topic to take a stroll down memory lane has been a topic of much debate on these pages! I happen to think that such musings – provided they don’t go too far astray – often provide good color and a nice sociological context within which folks who didn’t live in the area or attend a local theater might better appreciate the experiences shared by folks who were patrons. There are plenty of folks who share that philosophy – but beware those who might wag their figurative fingers and admonish you to stick to the facts and dates of legitimate theater research! Then tell them to go play in traffic! Heh heh… just kidding, naturally. I don’t want anyone run down by a bus.

SeaBeacher on October 17, 2006 at 4:46 pm

Tolin’s Hardware store wasn’t that far away from the Benson Theatre does anyone remember going there at Christmas time and seeing the enormous Xmas displays on the 2nd floor? I started taking my kids there about 15 years ago and was sorry when that closed, too. Hope this isn’t straying too far off the topic but I think alot of people here grew up in these neighborhoods and the theatre wasn’t the only place they visited. Oh, for a time machine and a good digital camera!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 17, 2006 at 4:36 pm

I searched the NYC Building Department records online and found the original C/O as well as two latter ones. The original is much too faded for me to read, but I do see one issued in 1978 (month and date too faint to make out) for the twinning of this theater on the 1st floor with max occupancy of 588 in one auditorium and 400 in the other. These figures usually pertain to fire codes and include standing areas so should not necessarily be read as actual seat counts. A projection booth and theater accessory use is noted on the 2nd floor mezzanine level. This is a final C/O, so, assuming the theater operated as a twin under temporary Certificates, I’d say we can safely say it was indeed already split by the time the XXX double feature advertised in my clipping was on the grind there.

In 1989, a new C/O is issued for the alteration of the ground floor into a store, with the mezzanine level now occupied by a mechanical equipment room. Electrical work had been filed in 1988 during rehab of property to use as a drug store.

The current owner of the property is listed as “Benson Theater LLC.” Approximate build date for the structure is circa 1920, judging by the record of Building Notices.