Harbor Theatre

9215 Fourth Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11209

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 30 comments

DJM78
DJM78 on June 19, 2012 at 6:11 pm

Nice photo!! Do you have any more classic shots of Bay Ridge/Dyker Heights theaters?

RobertR
RobertR on May 25, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Any thoughts on why Loew’s didn’t want this theatre?

DJM78
DJM78 on January 7, 2012 at 5:32 pm

On the corner of 92 St. & 4 Av there was a White Castle. This White Castle was just a few feet from the Harbor Theatre. I’m pretty sure it was the White Castle in Saturday Night Fever. First the Harbor Theatre closed then the White Castle. Two sad days in Bay Ridge history.

RXD
RXD on December 16, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t the Harbor have an interior mosaic
wall with an undersea theme? Of all things to remember – sheesh!
The mosaic was not in the auditorium… probably between the lobby
and area behind the last row of orchestra seats.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 26, 2008 at 7:42 pm

Listed in the 1940 Brooklyn yellow pages. Phone number was SHor Rd 8-4900.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on July 17, 2008 at 12:38 pm

On May 5, 1993, The Brooklyn Spectator published two pages of Bay Ridge movie palace memories written by Andrew Johnson and John Cocchi.

Here they are:
View link
View link
View link
View link

mikemorano
mikemorano on August 9, 2006 at 8:54 am

haha That’s funny. But the photos are cool aren’t they?

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 9, 2006 at 8:00 am

Thanks Mike, I do my best…(blushes)

mikemorano
mikemorano on August 9, 2006 at 7:54 am

Cool photos KenRoe. You should open a gallery. You are very talented.

BoxOfficeBill
BoxOfficeBill on August 5, 2005 at 5:39 am

Lostmemory—

Thanks for the stats. If you remember the location of the lot, you’ll recall how odd it is. At 86 Street, the hitherto parallel 4 and 5 Avenues begin to converge, and the block between 91 and 92 Streets is the last—now trapezoidal—full block before 5 Avenue vanishes into 4 Avenue.

On the building’s 5 Avenue side (the proscenium wall), a fairly large billboard announced the week’s attractions: it appeared as a miniature of the Rivoli’s wonderful rear-wall billboard in Manhattan. The difference was, that the Harbor’s programs changed twice each week, as it showed the hand-me-downs from the Loew’s circuit on Wed-Fri and from the RKO circuit on Sat-Mon (or perhaps vice versa—I’m straining to recall what I saw there in the late 40s and early 50s), with a double-bill revival on Tues. The poster-hangers practically had a full-time job keeping up with it. In addition, neighborhood stores displayed in their windows a cardboard poster listing the weekly attractions. You might think of it as pre-web advertising.

BoxOfficeBill
BoxOfficeBill on August 5, 2005 at 2:54 am

The Phantom—

Thanks for the fine picture of the Harbor. Its geometric vertical brick designs and asymetrical placement offer a wonderful example of art deco facade. The top storey windows belonged to the projection room, and I remember frequently seeing the projectionist puffing a cigarette at one of them as I walked to the library a couple of blocks away. The interior was perfectly symmetrical, with maroon walls bathed in yellow side-lights, and with a shallow balcony for patrons who smoked and an expansive orchestra for the rest of us. The length tapered to a rather narrow proscenium, just fine for the pre-wide-screen era, and quite attractive as a pale yellow traveler curtain neatly framed the screen’s black-bordered surface.

To accommodate new projection ratios in 1953, they removed the curtain and installed the widest possible screen that the space allowed, but it was still only just slightly larger than the original one and, when a top mask descended for CinemaScope, proved even smaller than the latter. The nearby Stanley did a much better job by removing sections of the old proscenium to accommodate a properly panoramic screen.

For all that, the Harbor displayed a freer license in selecting films than the neighboring RKO or Loew’s theaters did. As part of the Interboro chain, it received most of its fare third-hand after the Alpine or Dyker passed it on to the Bay Ridge or Shore Road and then to the Harbor, which in turn passed it to the Fortway and last of all to the Stanley. Occasionally, however, the Harbor would disrupt the chain and play a popular foreign film or a domestic film whose distribution was shunned by RKO or Loew’s. In 1953, such a film was “The Moon Is Blue,” which had been denied a Production Code Seal and was condemned by the Roman Catholic Legion of Decency (see posts above for 15 March 2005). In 1956, the Harbor played “Diabolique,” a French thriller that had broken records at the Fine Arts on E. 58 Street. In the early 1960s, the Harbor became an early venue for Premier Showcase bookings and it scooped prestige films such as “West Side Story” which normally would have gone first to the Alpine or Dyker. If only its screen had been large enough to display those films to full advantage!

thephantom
thephantom on August 4, 2005 at 5:24 pm

A current photo of the ( simple, pretty ) building that was the Harbor was posted on the Bay Ridge Blog yesterday (www.bayridgebrookyn.blogspot.com )

Theaterat
Theaterat on May 10, 2005 at 11:29 am

bBox Office Bill…. And they will be doing it forever.World without end Amen!

BoxOfficeBill
BoxOfficeBill on May 9, 2005 at 9:14 pm

The CLOD might have been pathologically obsessed with visual suggestiveness in the ‘50s. Today the obsession would be with the social-values concept of extra-marital relations (i love that idea of “extra”—a good thing if it trickles down your way). Same difference if you call it family values, I guess. People were doing it then and are doing it now (thank God, deo gratias, kyrie eleison).

Theaterat
Theaterat on May 9, 2005 at 6:56 pm

Box office Bill… If the CLOD objected to Cyd Charisse`sHigh profile tights in 1957, wonder what they would say today about the was pre teen and adolescent girls dress… especially the way they go out in public with those skimpy blouses and ultra short skirts, not to mention those skin tight black pants!

BoxOfficeBill
BoxOfficeBill on April 25, 2005 at 1:15 pm

I believe that the CLOD objected to “The Greatest Shoe on Earth” for James Stewart’s role as a doctor on the lamb for having killed someone (remember how the FBI agents eye him suspiciously during his clown act, and how he nobly reveals his medical skills after the train crash). The CLOD objected to films that “took a light view of human life,” meaning films that depicted or implied acts of murder.

The CLOD objected to “Singin' in the Rain” for “suggestive costuming,” specifically for Cyd Charisse’s high-profile tights in the “Broadway Melody” number.

The CLOD always objected to films that presented “suggestive situations” (“The Moon is Blue”) or that “took a light view of marriage” (any film depicting or implying divorce).

jbels
jbels on April 25, 2005 at 12:28 pm

I remember when the Harbor opened the X-rated Alice in Wonderland with Kristine DeBell and how I begged my babysitter to go in and open the side door so I could sneak in. Never came to pass. I also remember seeing All The President’s Men as a kid and management yelling at us that it was too grown up a film. Other good memories—Halloween (went again and again to see it) and Dawn of the Dead, when an older couple came in, saw about two seconds of it, groaned, and walked out!

Theaterat
Theaterat on April 3, 2005 at 9:09 am

Wonder what was so objectionable about The Greatest Show on Earth and Singin In The Rain?

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on April 2, 2005 at 2:35 pm

Re: Legion of “Decency.” In high school (LaSalle Academy in Providence) we had to take a solemn oath in 1956 not to see “Baby Doll” which was then playing at the Majestic. Lists of films not to see were also read off from the pulpit at Sunday mass in the early 1950s, and we had to take a pledge to avoid them, while standing with our right hand raised! I don’t remember all the titles, but one was the 1951 version of “M”.
Great masterpieces and other significant classics of the cinema on the Legion of Decency no-no condemned list included, among others:

“Breathless"
"Contempt"
"Jules and Jim"
"Knife in the Water"
"L'Avventura"
"La Notte"
"The Silence"
"Viridiana"
"The Balcony"
"Boccaccio ‘70"
"Bell'Antonio"
"Kiss Me, Stupid"
"Never on Sunday"
"Ways of Love” with Rossellini’s “The Miracle”

When “Never on Sunday” was to be shown on the University of R.I. campus, the Catholic chaplain protested vociferously and tried to get it banned.

Such stupidity!

BoxOfficeBill
BoxOfficeBill on April 2, 2005 at 1:40 pm

“The Clod”! Great! I never heard that term! From an early age I flouted The Clod, chiefly because all the best movies got at least an “Objectionable in Part” rating, virtually a guarantee of high filmic quality. Remember the ruckus over “The Greatest Show on Earth” and “Singin' in the Rain”? Both of them played at RCMH with that rating, and the nuns warned us against seeing them at grave peril to our immortal souls.

Theaterat
Theaterat on April 2, 2005 at 11:31 am

I remember the Catholic Legion Of Decency very well. Before I was 13 years old my mother, a devout Catholic would check every movie I wanted to see. We used to call it The Clod for short

BoxOfficeBill
BoxOfficeBill on March 15, 2005 at 8:41 am

When the Catholic Legion of Decency gave “The Moon Is Blue” a Condemned rating in Summer ’53, the Loew’s and RKO circuits declined to show the film. It was left to the Harbor to make a killing by running it for a week. Parochial schools in Brooklyn ran a contest for kids to draw posters denouncing the movie. I began by sketching an exquisitely detailed cut-off view of the interior and exterior sides of the Harbor, with a projection of the film’s title on the screen, subsequently engulfed by flames from hell. I soon nixed the idea, because the detail I wanted was beyond my ability but mostly because I couldn’t abide the idea of incinerating such a nice theater. I wound up sketching a hill with a bunch of people at the top pushing a book named “The Moon Is Blue” off its sharp cliff. But my heart wasn’t in it, and I came nowhere close to getting recognition for my work. Besides, the nuns knew all along that I was a movie-mad subversive who would watch anything (well, practically anything) projected on a screen, even and especially off-color comedies and musicals with suggestive costuming.