Center Theater

5602 Sixth Avenue, Sunset Park,
Brooklyn, NY 11220

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Center Theatre

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Located on the southwest corner at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and 56th Street in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. It was built in 1914, opening as the Palace Theater on November 7, 1914 with seating for 571. It was re-named Center Theater in 1937.

It operated as a second-run house, showing double features. The Center Theater closed in 1952. The building with its now brown painted columns of its facade still stands, and operates as a catering hall on a mostly residential stretch of Sixth Avenue.

Contributed by philipgoldberg

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 5, 2004 at 9:41 am

The Center was located at 5602 6th Avenue, and had 522 seats.

philipgoldberg on April 6, 2004 at 10:42 am

I notice that the Widdy Catering Hall as it is now called ocassionally runs Mid-Eastern Music concerts there. Also when the Spiritual Leader of Hammas was recently killed, news stations covered a memorial that took placed there. The interior walls of the theater have been painting a sickly shade of red.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on June 17, 2006 at 4:33 pm

The earliest c/o that I have found for a motion picture theater at this address is dated December of 1927. It was an existing building so the theater could have already been operating prior to 1927. Seat count was 571. Another c/o was issued on November 25, 1931 for a 571 seat motion picture theater. Owner at that time was Palace Theatre Inc. Architect for alterations was J. Napoli. On October 29, 1936 another c/o was issued to a 571 seat motion picture theater to enlarge projection booth. By June of 1953 this building is listed as a banquet hall.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on June 29, 2007 at 6:51 pm

This NY Times article gives an address of 5605 Sixth Avenue which is probably a typo.

Crushed To Death In Movie Theatre

NY Times September 29, 1914

The Palace Theatre, a motion picture house just completed at 5605 Sixth Avenue, between Fifty sixth and Fifty seventh Streets, South Brooklyn, was advertised to open next Saturday, and yesterday afternoon workmen were busy in the place getting it ready. Five men, three iron workers, a plasterer, and a watchman, were in the picture operators booth suspended ten feet above the entrance to the theatre, and Charles Bagantee of 503 Fifty seventh Street, Brooklyn, an employee of the American Chair Company, was arranging chairs almost directly under the booth.

Suddenly there was a ripping, tearing sound, and the next instant the booth with the five men in it came crashing to the floor. It had been attached to the front wall of the theatre and two heavy chains had been stretched from its outer corners to two beams in the ceiling. But the front wall and beams were not strong enough to hold it. Half of the wall and the two beams came down with the booth. Plaster and planks torn from walls and ceiling came with it.

An alarm was sent to the Fourth Avenue Police Station, the Fire Department, and the Norwegian Hospital, and soon police reserves, firemen from Truck 114, and two ambulance surgeons were digging in the debris for the five men still in the booth and for Bagantee, who had been caught by the falling cage. Bagantee’s body was found under the booth, and he had been crushed to death. The five other men were released from the booth and were found to be not seriously injured.

The damage to the theatre was estimated at $1,500. David Mayer of 564 Forty fourth Street, Brooklyn, was said to be the owner of the building, which was only one story in height.

DJM78 on January 18, 2012 at 5:10 pm

The Fourth Avenue Police Station was located on the southwest corner of 4th Av and 43rd St. Unlike many classic Bklyn theaters the old precinct still stands today complete with horse stable. Although the building has remained vacant and crumbling for many years.

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