Regent Theatre

1215 Fulton Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11216

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Showing 1 - 25 of 35 comments

RickB on March 28, 2017 at 3:50 am

Here is the story on the demolition. This piece says that the building was essentially gone by December 2016.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 27, 2017 at 4:14 pm

Too late, Fred…

fred1 on March 19, 2015 at 1:45 pm

There a campaign to save the Slave

bobnoc on January 17, 2015 at 2:33 pm

Seeing this site brings back many memories. How many Saturdays and Sundays did I spend at the Regent theater watching the old ‘B’ movies, westerns of many of the old forgotten cowboy stars, The Bowery Boys (or East Side Kids) Charlie Chan movies. Many of these movies did not play at the first run movie houses. They also played Cab Calloway and Louis Jordan movies, great entertainment. Many of the first run films would wind up here a year or so after they played the first run movie theaters. When Bill Elliot would comment that he was a peaceable man all the kids would scream. Yes, it was only yesterday, another world, another time. Who remembers ‘Dirty Butch’.

RickB on August 22, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Theater has been sold to a developer; conversion to condos rumored. New York Daily News article here.

NewBrooklynTheater on September 13, 2012 at 1:21 am

New Brooklyn Theater is incorporated to restore the theater and turn it into a 3-stage performing arts center. You can learn more about our efforts at We have launched a crowd-funding campaign at and need to continue the momentum as we now have 3 weeks left so please contribute and spread the word. Thank You, New Brooklyn Theater

LuisV on August 10, 2012 at 6:45 am

Hmmm…thanks Chuck. I’ve never had that happen before.

LuisV on August 9, 2012 at 11:40 am

The news today is that there is a grass roots effort to save and restore this theater. There is a cool photo on the link below:

News that Bed-Stuy’s historic Slave Theater was headed for the auction block prompted two theater professionals to form the non-profit New Brooklyn Theater and take to Kickstarter to try to raise $200,000 to buy the building. Brownstoner notes that the individuals have no apparent ties to Slave Theater, but they plan to restore the building and keep it as a performing arts venue for Brooklyn artists. They estimate the $200K to be enough for the downpayment, and they think the full renovation should cost between $3.5 and $5 million. “We are deliberately foregoing other more traditional development formulas that would require unnecessary and costly plans,” they write. “Instead we turn to you to help spark Brooklyn interest in the restoration of this landmark space.” So far, 62 backers have pledged more than $15,000.

LuisV on July 24, 2012 at 6:13 pm

This theater is about to be auctioned on August 9th at 2:30 PM:

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 3, 2012 at 8:33 pm

I posted 2 images I snapped from my copy of the NY Times from February 12, 2012. They are images that accompanied the article I referenced in my last post.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 19, 2012 at 7:31 pm

This NY Times article may only be viewable by Times subscribers, but I thought I’d post the link anyway. Seems the theatre is not only in very sad state of disrepair, but it is also at the center of a bitter real estate battle between several parties who lay claim to some entitlement. When I get some more time to do so, I’ll try to provide a better re-cap for those who cannot view the article themselves. The article appeared in print as a front page item in the Metropolitan section of last Sunday’s paper on February 12th, 2012.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on March 5, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Thanks, John. Making an effort to find the time to get back into the swing of things on this site.

johndereszewski on March 5, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Ed, thanks for your comment that confirmed my previous observation. Also, thanks for all of the other great contributions that you have made to CT.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on March 5, 2011 at 11:45 am

The titles on the marquee in that photo are Abbott and Costello in “Keep ‘Em Flying” and “South of Tahiti.” The A & C flick at the top of the bill opened in NYC on 11/27/1941, so the photo couldn’t date any earlier than that. The supporting feature had opened a month earlier. John Dereszewski is right on the mark with his last comment. If the Regent was a 2nd or 3rd run nabe, the photo probably dates from early 1942. Sure looks like a bright Spring Day, but impossible to tell, particularly with no pedestrians in the shot to help pinpoint the season.

johndereszewski on November 13, 2010 at 11:46 am

One other brief comment. If the date of the picture is correct, it appears that the portion of the Fulton St. el serving this area was razed a about a year earlier than the rest of the structure, which was demolished in 1941. The better explanation is that the picture was mis-dated and probably was snapped in either late 1941 or 1942.

johndereszewski on November 13, 2010 at 11:39 am

An old picture of the Regency and the surrounding streetscape, circa 1940. Enjoy.

View link

Bway on April 27, 2009 at 7:54 am

The Regent had a very attractive marquee.

LuisV on March 27, 2009 at 8:20 am

Does anyone know what theater is referred to as “The Black Lady”?
It too is for sale as per the above.

LuisV on March 27, 2009 at 8:18 am

As per today’s Real Deal, a New York Real Estate industry publication:

Slave Theater faces extinction

Slave Theater
By Candace Taylor

Bedford Stuyvesant’s beloved Slave Theater may be sold to a retailer or developer in a matter of weeks unless a preservationist emerges to buy the place.

The estate of former owner Judge John Phillips has listed the historic building, located at 1215-17 Fulton Street, with Massey Knakal for $2.95 million.

In the month since the two-story theater has been on the market, Massey Knakal listing broker Michael Amirkhanian said he has received several offers “north of $2 million” from local property owners, retailers and church organizations, but the estate would prefer to sell it to someone who would keep it as a theater.

“We’d love to be able to sell it to a theater preserver or operator,” Amirkhanian said.

But if no such purchaser comes forward, he said, the theater will go to the highest bidder in order to satisfy back taxes and other obligations of the estate.

That may happen within the next few weeks, Amirkhanian added.

“We want to make sure we’ve fully saturated the market, but we’re not looking to have this drag out,” he said.

Phillips bought the movie house, then called the Regal Theater, in the 1980s. After the racially charged killings of Michael Griffith in Howard Beach, Queens and Yusuf Hawkins in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, the theater became a center for activism, hosting press conferences and black pride rallies.

Since 1998, it has been shuttered. In 2001, Phillips was declared mentally incompetent, and a series of court-appointed guardians reportedly mishandled his estate, leaving Phillips with only a small fraction of his former holdings and a mountain of back taxes by the time of his death in 2008.

The 11,600-square-foot Slave Theater is 60 feet wide. It seats 450 people, has a concession area, and comes with 60 feet of frontage on Fulton Street as well as a rear parking lot. It is adjacent to a 32,000-square-foot vacant lot that Massey Knakal is also marketing.

The commercial real estate company is also selling another theater formerly, part of the Phillips estate. Located at 750 Nostrand Avenue, it’s known as the “Black Lady,” or Slave No. 2.

The 11,183-square-foot Black Lady is listed for $1.45 million.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 6, 2008 at 5:28 pm

For anyone interested, this is a follow-up story to the NY Times piece on the Regent/Slave Theatre’s owner posted by Gerald DeLuca above on November 18th.

jflundy on December 5, 2007 at 10:53 am

The great photo Warren posted linked above Oct 9 2005 should be re-dated from 1930’s to 1940’s. My reason for saying this is that there is no EL on Fulton Street and no trolley wire. El structure and wire were removed in 1941-42 period. Zoot style hat on man in photo may indicate 1943-45 period.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 20, 2007 at 8:44 pm

There is very little data available online about 750 Nostrand Ave – at least at the City’s Building Department site. No C of O’s are available, but the use is classified as “J9 Theatre.” One site lists an estimated build date of 1910. The owner is listed as “J J Real Estate Properties” – the same owner of the Regent/Slave.

Here’s a aerial view of the block that would seem to reveal that this was a conversion of existing space rather than a structure built from the ground up as a theatre. I wonder if it had even operated as a cinema before being purchased by John L. Phillips – the Slave Theatre’s founder and subject of the NY Times article.

In the view, 750 Nostrand would be the wide three-story building about mid-block with the white arches above the third story windows and the long awning running the length of the structure just over street level. Looks like there might be a vertical sign running up from the center of the canopy.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on November 19, 2007 at 8:16 am

Thanks Warren, It has a very similar auditorium interior to the Gate Picturehouse, Notting Hill Gate, London, UK

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on November 18, 2007 at 5:13 am

Here is a New York Times article on the current situation of the Regent/Slave No. 1 Theatre.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on June 5, 2007 at 5:09 am

The Regent Theatre opened in the fall of 1914.