Tilyou Theatre

1607 Surf Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11224

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RKO Tilyou Theatre exterior

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This grand old theatre had its heyday in the golden era of Coney Island. It stood one block away from the Shore Theatre and Steeplechase Park, all on Surf Avenue. The Tilyou Theatre was opened by B.S. Moss on March 18, 1926.

In its twilight, it was running action double features at bargain prices, but it closed and was demolished in 1973. A parking lot now occupies the site.

Contributed by philipgoldberg

Recent comments (view all 24 comments)

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 3, 2007 at 6:46 am

Here are two interior views copied from the September, 1926 issue of Architecture & Building Magazine:
www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/tilyou01.jpg

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 19, 2008 at 10:39 am

A new direct link to images posted above:
View link

BobFurmanek
BobFurmanek on February 4, 2009 at 2:11 pm

On Friday January 26, 1962, the Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly-Joe DeRita) embarked on a three day promotional tour for their latest feature film, THE THREE STOOGES MEET HERCULES. They were accompanied by “The Herculean Giant” (almost 8 foot tall Dave Ballard) and popular DJ Clay Cole, who was one of the stars of the co-feature, TWIST AROUND THE CLOCK.

On Sunday January 28, they appeared at the RKO Tilyou at 2:35 PM.

EcRocker
EcRocker on February 4, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Clay Cole is retired and lives on an island off the Cape Fear River on the Atlantic Ocean on the North Carolina coast. I still till this day remember seeing King Kong Vs Godzilla there and only a few years later there was a vacant lot that as far as I know is still vacant.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 23, 2009 at 10:12 am

No longer operated by RKO: View link

Metropolite
Metropolite on December 13, 2013 at 7:20 am

Clay Cole died at 72 of a heart attack on December 10, 2010 at his home in North Carolina. His last public appearance was at the Friends of Old Time Radio Convention in October 2010.

EcRocker
EcRocker on December 22, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Why is the status still showing as closed when it was demoished in 1973?

robboehm
robboehm on December 22, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Because that’s the way CT handles it. If a theater is closed but still standing it shows CLOSED, highlighted in red. If it has also been demolished it shows CLOSED, highlighted in red plus the word DEMOLISHED. CT only has two main status categories Open and Closed. Then there are the modifiers e.g. demolished.

PragmaticGuy
PragmaticGuy on June 10, 2014 at 12:21 pm

I wonder if this theater was related to George Tilyou’s Steeplechase Park which must have been right near it.

robboehm
robboehm on June 10, 2014 at 8:44 pm

I would have thought it was named because of the proximity to the park rather than any actual relationship. Always remember looking towards it while waiting to get on some of the rides in the park.

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