Republic Theatre

426 Keap Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11211

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Showing 1 - 25 of 50 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

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

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

michelemarie on October 5, 2007 at 9:00 am

Dear Warren,

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

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.

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

Panzer65 on September 27, 2007 at 1:44 pm

Warren, I did notice that the space above the proscenium arch is blocked, thanks for pointing that out, however, I did notice that the stage curtain has either a seal or the Republic’s logo on top. Also the top portion of the two sides of the opera boxes , which appear to be either a facade or a curtain of some type also have the same seal or logo. The one on the right looks a lot like the presidential seal.
Since the theater’s name is Republic, is it possible they represent a theme resembling these seals or logos?.

Panzer65 on September 26, 2007 at 2:21 pm

Thank you for your reply and photo of Republic’s original interior.In comparison to Madison and Capitol,this theater does share the domed ceiling, and opera box configurations. But the one feature that really sets this theater apart, is the somewhat vaulted ceiling that starts at the proscenium and then sweeps up into the dome, giving the chandelier its character.
I appreciate the photo Warren, my curiosity about Republic has been satisfied, thanks to your vast theater knowledge.

michelemarie on September 25, 2007 at 4:40 pm

Dear Warren, When did Randiforce take over the Republic? In 1965, I was still living in Williamsburgh and still going to that moviehouse..but I cannot remember when it closed..any details in your investigation of the demise of this theater….anniegirl

Panzer65 on September 25, 2007 at 2:58 pm

A photo of the non theater Flatiron building,a landmark, which is a triangular shaped building, located in Manhattan at Broadway and 23 st.
View link

Panzer65 on September 25, 2007 at 2:44 pm

I viewed JF Lundy’s picture of the Republic posted on February 15, 2007, and was impressed with the design of the exterior,and its somewhat conservative style. According to the heading, Republic’s architect was Eugene DeRosa, the same designer of the fabled RKO Madison on Myrtle ave. The design does not resemble Madison’s in any way,so I’m wondering what the interior looked like, if it resembles any other venue (Madison’s and the Capitol’s were similar)or has its own style.Furthermore, Repulic’s lot is triangular,the building appears rectangular, allowing other buildings to adjoin its lot.Two memorable triangular shaped building’s stand in my mind after seeing this configuration,RKO Bushwick and non theater Flatiron building.

Panzer65 on September 24, 2007 at 3:05 pm

Does anyone know the exact year when the Republic closed? I pass by this site often and never knew till recently that there was a movie house there, along with several residential dwellings.