Loew's Pitkin Theatre

1501 Pitkin Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11212

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Showing 1 - 25 of 287 comments

LuisV
LuisV on August 25, 2017 at 8:22 am

I don’t believe any of the interior survived, only the exterior.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on August 24, 2017 at 7:09 am

When they turned it into a school did they incorporate a gymnasium in there someplace? If they did I’m sure they didn’t save any of the interior. I’m just interested in how they might have fit it into the new design.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on August 24, 2017 at 6:23 am

The Pitkin was considered a “Junior Wonder Theatre” because it was not part of the original project planned by Paramount-Publix when Loew’s took over. The Pitkin was in “atmospheric” style, while the Kings was “conventional” in its opulence.

luckyshow
luckyshow on August 23, 2017 at 6:03 pm

It doesn’t look any worse than the Loew’s King does in pictures I’ve seen. To gut the inside is hardly restoration, the inside was the most of these theaters.

I recall seeing movies here as a kid, Gi GI was one my grandmother brought me to. The ceiling sky fascinated me.

What made the “wonder theaters” like the King different than Pitkin?

tapeshare
tapeshare on July 2, 2017 at 2:26 pm

For all you fans who frequented Brownsville’s theaters I am pleased to announce the release of Brooklyn’s Historic Brownsville, a 228-page hardcover photographic history of Brownsville including images of the Pitkin, Sutter, Ambassador, Stone and others, as well as the schools, synagogues and institutions that were the heart of this neighborhood. For more details visit www.tapeshare.com/BrownsvilleBook.html

Lindengrandchild
Lindengrandchild on March 16, 2016 at 5:37 am

My grandparents, Harry and Sadie Linden, owned the candy store across the street under th elevated trains. I spent my early childhood there.

Bway
Bway on July 2, 2013 at 1:05 pm

The total was a shambles, I don’t know how much was left to restore after the water damage. There were literally hundreds of holes in the roof. I have to say, while it’s sad it can no longer be a theater anymore, they did an absolutely FANTASTIC job with the exterior conversion and restoration. The exterior shell is better than total demolition, so a piece of history is in fact preserved.

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on July 2, 2013 at 7:47 am

I didn’t think anything was being restored. Pretty sure they gutted the building completely.

Scott
Scott on July 2, 2013 at 7:16 am

Nothing I’ve read about the conversion explains which areas of the theatre were restored and which were destroyed. Can someone elaborate on this? I’m guessing the auditorium was leveled, or gutted. Were some of the lobby and foyer spaces saved and restored? I see that the main facade was preserved.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on September 25, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Bobby S: Enlarge each Google map accompanying each theater on the respective pages; if you use the Prospect Park Parade Ground as a point of reference, you will see that they were not all that close to each other; as you noted, Brooklyn is pretty big.

Actually, the big downtown palaces fared reasonably well in the Depression, due to the relatively inexpensive tickets and did well into the 1940’s, though architectural tastes changed, and combination programs of live acts and movie programming became less frequent, eliminating the need for elaborate, fully-equipped stages. Yes, some chain owners like William Fox went bankrupt and some theaters did close and fewer were built.

But there were three major factors that really doomed both the existing and any planned palaces, and all of them occurred after the Great Depression: the 1948 Paramount Consent Decree that forced the major studios to divest themselves of their theater chains, the coming of television, and the exodus of so many people to the suburbs. There was, especially in the 1960’s a relatively brief flowering of large, single screen theaters that might be regarded as sort of second generation palaces, but the arrival of multiplexes eventually doomed many of these or resulted in their being subdivided, in many cases atrociously.

BobbyS
BobbyS on September 25, 2012 at 9:35 pm

How far was the Loew’s Pitkin to Loew’s Kings? I didn’t realize Brooklyn was so large. 1929 was sure an important year for the Loew’s chain wasn’t it? If only they could see the depression around the corner, these pleasure palaces might never have been built.

Metropolite
Metropolite on September 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm

From NY.Curbed.com Thursday, September 6, 2012, by Jessica Dailey

When we visited the Loew’s Pitkin Theater in 2010, the movie palace, closed for 40 years, was falling apart and pretty creepy-looking. But no more! POKO Partners sent along a press release announcing the completion of their $43 million adaptive reuse of the structure, transforming the historic ruins into a mixed-used building featuring a charter school and retail space. Brownsville Ascend Charter School occupies 130,000-square-feet on seven of the building’s eight floors, with a discount store anchoring the street-level retail space along Pitkin Avenue.

The renovation, lead by architecture firm Kitchen & Associates, restored the historic building’s exterior neo-classical and Art Deco features while retrofitting the interior to accommodate the school. Along with classrooms for K-12 students, the school has a gymnasium, auditorium, science labs, and art rooms. The official ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held next Thursday, September 13.

ganfax
ganfax on July 24, 2012 at 6:04 am

I lived across the street from the Loew’s Pitkin. 1947 until 1963. Fond memories of saturday movies. 5 cartoons, a serial and a “double” feature. I even got to see Jerry lewis live on stage. the ceiling used to have stars and a moon that would slowly cross from one side to the other. Looking back, the theater was the most beautiful of theaters I have ever seen…to this day. It’s a shame to hear how run-down it has become.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on May 8, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Marcus Loew was born on this date in 1870.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on March 27, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Thanks again Brad.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on February 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm

This photograph of the Loew’s Pitkin Theatre was taken in 1930 by George Mann of the comedy dance team, Barto and Mann.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on February 3, 2011 at 4:48 pm

At least the Loews Pitkin building will become a school,they could tear the building down all together,I think it would be nice for me to go to a school that was once a movie palace.Large movie houses have always been “Creepy” in a good way.

Denpiano
Denpiano on January 20, 2011 at 10:06 am

that new york one report made me sick looking at my old friend in such poor condition&what do they mean “creepy old movie palace? what idiots! i’d like to see how their house would look if it fell into disrepair!! as you see i’m very sentimental about my PITKIN THEATRE!

Denpiano
Denpiano on January 20, 2011 at 10:00 am

my memories are of the sign outsideduring the summer saying how cool it was inside&boy was it cool!!,what a beautiful building to be cool and watch the latest Jerry Lewis movie, what a sin its present condition

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on January 8, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Thanks for your memories peegirl.

shi725
shi725 on January 6, 2011 at 11:40 pm

The pitkin theater oh what memories . lived in Brownsville 1946 -1991. I was reading what everyone was saying about brownsville, it brought me to tears, because all we had to worry about is being kids. Sylvia wrote about the schools she went to,my sisters went to 84, my brother 66, I also went p.s.175 and surely remember kishe king.I went to J.H.S 263 on Chester St,when graduating from the 9th grade graduation was held at loews pitkin. The ceremony was so beautiful from the ambience of the theater. There was no such thing as cap and gown, the girls wore white dresses and the boys dark suits, when the organ played pomp and circumstanceand we marched out everyone felt like kings and queens. Brownsville had so many movies on saturdays we had the biggest arguments there was four of us and everybody wanted to go to a different movie, I was the youngest so Ididn’t care which ever one they picked they had to take me anyway.
Glad I became a member of cinema treaure the nostagia is off the hook ( have teenage grand children)

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on October 1, 2010 at 7:03 pm

The NY Times posted a correction to the article I posted above on October 1; the reporter told me that the erroneous information was given to her by the architect of the redevelopment project.

tntim
tntim on September 28, 2010 at 3:16 pm

You are correct; the clouds were projections from a cloud machine known as a Brenograph Jr. Dry ice?? Just goes to show you that some reporters will write about something they know nothing about.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on September 28, 2010 at 2:06 pm

An article about the redevelopment project for the Pitkin: View link

The article also states that when the Pitkin was a functioning atmospheric theater, the floating clouds were created by the use of dry ice. I always heard that they were projections from a machine called a Brenograph. Does anybody know if dry ice was ever used? It seems to me that dry ice vapor tends to stay close to the floor.