Sutter Theatre

1 Sutter Avenue,
Brownsville,
Brooklyn, NY 11212

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Sutter Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened as the Statford Theatre in 1927, it stands under the elevated IRT New Lots Avenue line (3) and was operated by Brandt Theaters. Original plans were proposed in 1926 by architect Harrison G. Wiseman, but these were not carried out. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer theatre organ.

Later operated by Fox Theatres, it was renamed Sutter Theatre. It reopened for a brief time from 1974 as Tony’s Movie House, showing action and kung-fu fare.

It closed in 1977 and is now a church.

Contributed by philipgoldberg

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

muray
muray on September 4, 2005 at 7:34 pm

To give you an idea what it was like being an usher at the Sutter Theatre in 1941, we were paid .25 cents an hour,the owners, Brandt Corp. had private detectives writing detailed reports on our effectiveness. I worked all night long repairing the seats, we cleaned the rest rooms and were not permitted to take a peek at the screen. We did however have a nice red uniform that attracted the girls. Our dressing room was located beneath the stage. The good part was that we were switched to the Flatbush Theatre on occasion (also owned by Brandt) and got to see the top line vaudeville stars and big bands.

jflundy
jflundy on October 9, 2005 at 1:12 pm

I just listed another theater, Brandt’s Stratford on Sutter Avenue between E.98th Street and E. 99th Street in Brownsville. After listing, I ran Google Earth search and realized E.99th would be Ralph Avenue. That would make the 1927 Stratford the same theater as the later Sutter. Photo I saw had original entrance on Sutter Avenue, one store off corner of Ralph. Google Sat. image shows theater building still there.

Perhaps the listing of Stratford should be combined with Sutter?

hschulsinger
hschulsinger on December 26, 2005 at 2:35 am

I patronized the Sutter theater during the late 40s, early 50s. The Saturday matinee was 12¢ and they showed 2 feature films and several cartoons and serials. I was a student at Winthrop JHS (PS 232) at the time, and the Sutter theater was, as I recall, a short walk from the school, and an even shorter walk to the Sutter Ave – Rutland Rd station of the IRT New Lots line. Everything seemed like a ‘short’ walk then because we were young and none of us had a car, so it was shanks mare everywhere. Although I’ve been back to New York several times since my departure in 1960, I have never been back to that neighborhood. However, I have heard that the character of the area has changed completely and not for the better.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 18, 2007 at 12:36 pm

Although the theatre is unnamed in this April 23, 1926 report in The New York Times, I believe it to be the Stratford/Sutter: “The Emblem Holding Company has awarded a contract to M. Shapiro & Sons, builders, to erect a 2,000-seat theatre, with seventeen stores and fourteen apartments, from the plans of Harrison G. Wiseman, architect, on the block front locatied on Sutter Avenue, Ralph Avenue and East Ninety-eighth Street at the Sutter Avenue express station of the IRT. Excavation for the foundation will start at once. William and Harry Brandt have taken a long-term lease on the theatre and will operate it upon completion. The Brandts now operate the Carlton, Duffield, Parkside and Bunny Theatres in Brooklyn.” If this did turn out to be the Stratford/Sutter, then it seems that Harrison Wiseman, and not Charles Sandblom, was the architect. What was the basis for the Sandblom credit in the introduction above?

jflundy
jflundy on December 5, 2007 at 5:50 pm

According to an article in the New York Times of March 1, 1974, Tony’s Theater as well as the Kameo and Carroll Theaters were being operated at this time by Arthur Dickers and Charles Phillips. They were being extorted to allow free admission to youth gang members at Tony’s and the Carroll at 381 Utica Avenue. Such was part of the cost of doing business.

ekaye733
ekaye733 on January 25, 2008 at 9:32 pm

Does anyone have an idea about how to find what was playing at the Sutter on June 29, 1948. I’ve tried the NY Times, Daily News and Brooklyn Eagle for that date but none lists the Sutter.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 25, 2008 at 10:00 pm

If you couldn’t find it in the Brooklyn Eagle, you might be out of luck. Have you tried the Brooklyn edition of Cue Magazine? Also, a New York daily newspaper called PM?

Bway
Bway on April 17, 2009 at 1:12 am

Here’s a photo of the Sutter in 1972. not a pretty sight…

View link

Interestingly, it looks much better today as a church:

View link

GaryCohen
GaryCohen on December 31, 2009 at 12:52 am

My father took me to most of the theaters in Brownsville that he went to while growing up. I think we went to this theater once or twice and while I have no clear memories of the inside of the theater itself, I remember we saw “The Longest Day,” when it finally made it to the nabes after its long reserve-seat run on Broadway. Since, (with the exception of the Bond films,) this is my all-time favorite film, for that reason alone the Sutter is remembered by me.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on October 30, 2013 at 10:46 pm

1700 seats! We need someone to get inside with a camera and let’s see how it looks today.

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