Wagner Theater

110 Wyckoff Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11237

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 62 comments

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on November 14, 2012 at 6:55 pm

If anyone has any stories about going to/ working at this threatre in its adult days, I would love to hear them. I am chronicling the histories of adult theatres in the US. Please contact me at Thanks!

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on June 3, 2012 at 3:52 am

I think the 1930’s photos that Bway was referring to were taken in conjunction with the 1939-40 Worlds Fair. I am not aware of any set taken immediately after that.

Bway
Bway on May 29, 2012 at 4:18 pm

The tax photos are from the 1980’s, and there is a wealth of great photos there! Especially of Bushwick where things were at their worst. I wish they would publish the 1930’s tax photos too online.

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on May 4, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Great shot, TT – and I am sure that a load of additional old pictures will soon be posted here as a result of NYC’s recent release of its very substantial archives.

This picture was probably taken in the late 70’s – early 80’s, when the Wagner has just closed its doors and had not yet been replaced with the medical facility that now stands in its place.

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on August 29, 2010 at 4:57 am

I need to correct something I said in my Feb. 22 2009 comment, where I asserted that the entire blockfront, as depicted in Bway’s terrific picture, had been replaced by new buildings. Well, based on my visit there yesterday, the three buildings situated to the right of the old Wagner are, while somewhat altered, still very much in existence. Further down the block, however, is a large, multi-tiered parking facility that certainly disrupts the streetscape.

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on February 13, 2010 at 5:24 am

Below is an ad for “I Am Curious Yellow” which, among many other places, was shown at the Wagner. (Hope the link works.)

Interestingly, the Wagner is listed as a Queens theater. While a number of theaters situated in Queens, particularly the Ridgewood and the Madison, have often been lumped in with the Brooklyn theaters in movie advertisements, due to the old zip code that straddled the two boroughs, this is the first time where I have seen a Brooklyn theater assigned to Queens. (I guess neither borough would really want to claim it.)

Also, the mix of theaters showing this film is interesting. While it does contain the usual porn places – such as the Wagner and the Cinart – this movie was also shown at such mainstream venues as Forest Hills' Midway and Manhattan’s Academy of Music. I guess this was a different time.

View link

Bway
Bway on April 20, 2009 at 7:00 am

Looks like the Wagner’s adult format was well in swing by the 60’s already.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on February 23, 2009 at 8:41 am

Thanks, Bway. Great pic. “The Clean Heart”, starring Percy Marmont, was released in 1924, according to the IMDb.

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on February 22, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Great picture, Bway. It seems as if the entire blockfront has now been replaced with something new. By the way, the health building is a newly constructed structure that replaced the Wagner, which was demolished.

Bway
Bway on February 22, 2009 at 11:17 am

Here’s a great photo of the Wagner Theater when it was still the Reo Theater. It is now a health clinic.

View link

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on November 20, 2008 at 10:21 am

Thanks, John D. Yes, Teutonic names were discouraged in the USA during the World Wars. Hamburg Avenue became Wilson Avenue during WW I, but Hamburg Savings Bank retained its name, of which it was very proud.

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on November 19, 2008 at 4:42 pm

This is interesting. It opened as the Reo in 1921, when a German name was probably still a no no and then only assumed its Teutonic personna when doing so became less of a concern – but before the onset of the Third Reich.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on November 19, 2008 at 9:54 am

Thanks, Lost Memory. No, I don’t know when the Reo / Wagner Theatre opened.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on November 19, 2008 at 9:24 am

What does the Reo Theatre have to do with the Wagner Theatre ?

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on November 14, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Sorry, I meant depaul420 !

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on November 14, 2008 at 2:32 pm

Thanls, deapul420 !

depaul420
depaul420 on September 18, 2008 at 11:47 am

Reply to above….
They played an advertisement for the SS Hanseatic at the beggining of every program

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on August 21, 2008 at 7:01 am

As in the Hanseatic League of shipping in 14th century Europe ?

depaul420
depaul420 on August 20, 2008 at 9:40 pm

I remember the “Hanseatic” song from the German movie days

lol

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on February 12, 2008 at 3:26 am

Yes, this was a real dump. I only remember the Wagner as a porn place, though I guess it may have converted to a Spanish language theater before its final demise. Its replacement by the Wyckoff Heights Hospital clinic can only be seen as a plus. The same cannot be said for the hospital’s huge extension across the street, which replaced a blockfront of solid housing.

My one memory of the Wagner occurred one evening, at about midnight, when I was having a political discussion with a friend – who is now an elected official – in a parked car down the block from the Wagner. Suddenly the threter’s doors opened and about a dozen men furtively exited the premises. Boy did they get out of there in a hurry!

PKoch
PKoch on August 31, 2006 at 12:16 pm

George S, the Elco was a bar, not a person. Are you referring to one of the owners, Herman Walther or Freddy Zaigar ?

Georgeat1814
Georgeat1814 on August 31, 2006 at 11:56 am

Hello to all especially to PKoch who I just met on the Ridgewood Theater site. My parents took me to the Wagner often while growing up. Maybe they had to drag me sometimes, but once there is was OK.
I remember best the ‘Bavarian’ comedies.

As to the PKoch posting of August 17, 2006, I just saw Elco a few months ago at a family christening. Elco was a very close friend of my brother-in-law.

PKoch
PKoch on August 18, 2006 at 8:35 am

Thanks, Lost Memory.

PKoch
PKoch on August 17, 2006 at 9:32 am

Everyone follow the bouncing swastika ! Can you say “Leni Riefenstahl ?” I KNEW you could !

Segue to Mel Brooks' “The Producers” ….

PKoch
PKoch on August 17, 2006 at 9:29 am

Here’s the link to the latest Times Newsweekly “Our Neighborhood” article about Nazi sympathizers in Ridgewood in the past :

View link

It mentions arrests at a Bund rally at Ridgewood Grove Arena in the 1930’s.

Lost Memory, that’s a great description of the German movies that once played at the Wagner Theater. Before reading this, I had known of Hans Albers only as a bandleader, with a hit single, “La Paloma”, on the jukebox at the Elco Bar at Seneca and Weirfield in summer 1969.

That Elco jukebox also had recordings by Whoopi Wuhlfahrt and the Six Fat Dutchmen !

I think there have been jokes here about the [Richard] Wagner Theater, and the Arion Theater really being the Aryan Theater.

Postfreiht macht frei !