Republic Theatre

426 Keap Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11211

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Showing 1 - 25 of 74 comments

Raymar on July 25, 2013 at 9:54 pm

Berternie – the Bakery that you made reference to on Rodney St. was called “ Royal Bakery”. It had that best bagels and rolls found anywhere. They would stay open till Midnight, and they had plenty of customers to stay open that late. It was off Grand St., one block from the Republic Theater. I hope I was able to complete your memory, on this question.

Willburg145 on May 21, 2013 at 8:27 am

My older brother worked for a time at the gas station.

johnsshelby on April 15, 2013 at 12:48 am

my grandparents had a fruit store on keap st. across the street at the time of construction. they sold lunch for the workers. there was a time or two when the contractor didn’t have money to pay for the cement. my grandfather would him the money. I went to the movie many times, I lived a few blocks away and my dad had a part time job with them for years. across the street we bought hot rolls and bagels 6 for 25 cents in the 1950’s

Tinseltoes on May 25, 2012 at 11:38 am

Here’s a silent era programme for the Republic Theatre, which was then part of the Small & Strausberg circuit: brooklynpubliclibrary

Fritz on October 3, 2011 at 9:14 am

We always called this movie the RKO Republic and it was on a triangle shaped piece of land. You are right for across the street (1st street) was the Republic bagel company. As I can remember the movie was bounded by Keap, Grand & Borinquen place (spelling). It was a very nice movie house showing first run movies. There was a grand staircase leading up to the two upper levels on the left side as you entered after the lobby. There were several boxes on both sides of the theater as well as the mezzanine and lodge (the smoking section)

berternie on May 31, 2011 at 11:49 pm

I think early 60’s my dad and I would buy bagels at night hot from the oven for 7 cents each on Rodney St. across from a then closed and very dark intimadating structure which I believe to be the Republic Theater. I was only about 8 or 9 years old but I could be mistaken. If anyone remembers and could locate the site on the Google map I would appreciate a response. I also remember after it was torn down it was replaced with a gas station on what seemed like a triangled shaped block.

johndereszewski on April 21, 2011 at 12:02 pm

The attached link indicates that a mixed residential and commercial development will be constructed on the site of the old Republic. Apparently, the “current” gas station use has been vacant for some time.

While, as the article clearly states, the proposal is not uncontroversial – since it will provide “affordable luxury” instead of “affordable, affordable” housing in a poor but rapidly gentrifying neighborhood – it certainly represents a significant upgrade from the site’s most recent gas station use.

Hope the link works.

View link

jflundy on January 20, 2011 at 2:02 pm

View link

Link to print of 1922 Lobby Display in Republic Theatre

Tinseltoes on November 21, 2010 at 9:18 am

On this night only in 1944, the RKO Republic presented five acts of vaudeville, with dancer Pat Rooney, Jr. as headliner. On screen were two “B” programmers in a three-day booking: Universal’s “Reckless Age,” with Gloria Jean and Franklin Pangborn, and Monogram’s “Bowery Champs,” with the East Side Kids.

Astyanax on July 9, 2010 at 7:28 pm

I’ve only watched Citizen Kane on the small screen. Having been to the Republic, I can imagine the even greater impact of seeing that film in such a grand setting.

johndereszewski on February 16, 2010 at 8:02 pm

What a great shot. I still can’t believe that such a major theater existed in what is now a gas station!

Since the Republic was showing Citizen Kane on this occasion, this shot must have been taken in the warm months of 1941.

Finally, when you link to the photo, by all means take a look at the lower numbered pictures. Most of them are pin-up shots featuring RKO’s young starlets. They are really hot. (The higher numbered photos mostly depict more formal pictures of RKO’s principal stars, including Leslie Howard, Kate Hepburn and Edna May Oliver. They are also very interesting, albeit less provacative.)

johndereszewski on November 7, 2009 at 12:20 pm

Thanks site manager for adding the zip code for this most significant theater.

johndereszewski on June 16, 2009 at 5:19 pm

What a fascinating theater! I had absolutely no idea that such a major movie palace once existed here. The fact that the site now hosts a gas station is just awful.

I would hope that CT will add the 11211 zip code – which is definately the correct one – to this page. Unless this is done, too many other viewers will miss this terrific page.

michelemarie on April 8, 2008 at 4:39 pm

Thanks Warren for the interior look of my old hangout…….anniegirl

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 7, 2008 at 1:48 pm

Here’s a new direct link to a 1922 view of the Republic’s auditorium:
View link

michelemarie on October 5, 2007 at 9:00 am

Dear Warren,

I guess the Randiforce Circut was as cheap as Delancy Street Vendors…..Anniegirl

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 3, 2007 at 10:07 am

This ad from November 25th, 1949, is the first that I’ve been able to find for the Republic after it switched from RKO to Randforce management earlier that month. And I think it only happened because the penny-pinching Randforce circuit got a free ride in an ad paid for by RKO Radio Pictures, which released both movies. More than 100 theatres under various managements are mentioned in this ad for a Thanksgiving holiday booking. I’ve enlarged the Brooklyn portion to show all the theatres participating in that borough. The Randforce Republic continued to play day-and-date with the same Brooklyn theatres as it did as the RKO Republic:

michelemarie on October 2, 2007 at 11:31 am

Dear Astyanax, How true about leaving the Republic as a “Neighborhood Moviehouse”. I went there as a kid on Saturday’s when the Commodore was not showing any great movies….The Republic was to me a local moviehouse, not like the Metropolitan on Fulton Street..To me the Met was a High Class moviehouse. And the Paramount was also, The Fox reminded me of a regular Moviehouse and the RKO Albee was a Side Street on Albee Square Moviehouse..Go Figure.Anniegirl

Astyanax on October 2, 2007 at 9:56 am

Thanks Warren for the 9/22 photo of the interior. Was there several times in the early 60’s but did not get to appreciate the sumptuous details of the architecture. As noted several times before, the Randforce group was notorious for penny-pinching, but I’m sure that the upkeep of a 40 year old structure was probably prohibitive. They didn’t even have the foresight to book the theatre as a premier showcase outlet, a distinction that went to the rinky-dink Grand Theater several blocks north. Such a stategy could have kept the Republic open for several more years.

michelemarie on September 29, 2007 at 12:41 pm

Thanks Warren…anniegirl

Panzer65 on September 29, 2007 at 9:12 am

Thank you for your reply concerning Republic’s interior.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 29, 2007 at 8:12 am

The Randforce Republic has its last listing in Film Daily Year Books in the 1965 edition, which covered the events of 1964 and was published in the spring of 1965. So I suspect that the Randforce Republic closed in 1964, with a slight possiblity of early 1965 while the 1965 FDYB was going through final editing before being sent to press. To find an exact closing date for the Republic won’t be easy, because Randforce was very chintzy about advertising, rarely ran ads for the entire circuit, and usually relied on directory listings (and not for every theatre). The closing date will probably only be found through sheer luck or provided by someone who actually worked at the Republic or attended on the final day.

michelemarie on September 28, 2007 at 2:04 pm

Dear Warren, read my script from 9-25..any thoughts on when the Republic closed its doors?????anniegirl

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 28, 2007 at 8:45 am

The theatre’s last day under RKO management was November 7th, 1949. Here’s an ad showing the final double bill of “Under Capricorn” and “The Big Cat”:

RKO had been operating the Republic under lease from the Randforce circuit since 1937. The theatre reverted to Randforce on November 8th, 1949, but continued to play day-and-date with the same RKO Brooklyn theatres. The first program under Randforce was “The Undercover Man” and “The Doolins of Oklahoma.”

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 28, 2007 at 6:15 am

The decoration at the top of the curtain is probably the theatre’s emblem, with either an R or two Rs back-to-back at the center. But it could also be the emblem of the S&S circuit, which was quite well-known to the public in those days. The photo isn’t clear enough for me to say exactly.