Biltmore Theatre

464 New Lots Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11207

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Showing 1 - 25 of 43 comments

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on March 26, 2014 at 2:42 am

And most of the comments on the Manhattan Biltmore page debate that very issue!

robboehm
robboehm on March 26, 2014 at 12:59 am

I believe the Manhattan Biltmore was only showing movies for a short time so there is no history.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on March 25, 2014 at 10:44 pm

Luckily I just found the FB page they were originally on, via the rarely used Activity Log on FB. I’d forgotten I commented about Hair’s producer Michael Butler’s Chicago connection. I have downloaded them and re-posted them to the correct theater. Oddly they are the only 2 photos on that page. And only 10 comments.

robboehm
robboehm on March 25, 2014 at 9:11 pm

Try contacting CT. Maybe they can still access them.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on March 25, 2014 at 3:01 pm

CT has already deleted those photos. Unfortunately they did not post them to the correct page before doing so. And I am unable to find them in my files, because they had Facebook generated numbers that had 100 digits. If I happen across them again, I will post them where they belong.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on March 23, 2014 at 7:19 pm

DavidZornig, if you’d like to add those images (which I see you’ve already removed from this page) to the correct theater, Here’s the page for the Biltmore in Manhattan.

robboehm
robboehm on March 21, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Just went back to CT and keyed in “Biltmore”. The legit theatre in Manhattan is now called the Samuel J. Friedman and is on West 47th Street. Please upload your pictures to that site. I don’t know if it’s possible for you to delete a photo (the way you can with a comment).

robboehm
robboehm on March 21, 2014 at 2:38 pm

David, the pictures you have posted are of the “legitimate” Biltmore in Manhattan, not the one in Brooklyn. Compare with the existing photos. Obviously not in the same neighborhood. The Biltmore in Manhattan was vacant for many years. Then someone set a fire. It was then acquired by the Manhattan Theatre Club. It’s in the upper west 40’s between Eighth Avenue and Broadway on the north side of the street. The name Biltmore on the theatre’s facade faces Broadway.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on March 21, 2014 at 3:46 am

I just added 2 circa 68/69 photos of the Biltmore during it’s stage run of “Hair”.

wwerner
wwerner on August 2, 2013 at 3:53 pm

I lived in the Linden projects from 1957-1964. I spent almost every saturday at this theater, along with my younger sisters whom i had to take with me. i remember next door was a candy store and i had to buy our candy there bec it was cheaper. but when i would save my money i would treat myself to a frozen milky way candy bar that they sold in the theater. screaming kids on a saturday with all day cartoons and B rated movies…

RichieFoot66
RichieFoot66 on January 1, 2013 at 7:21 pm

RichieFoot spent much of the 60s at murrays poolroom except when banned by Murray along with some of the guys.

paleryder
paleryder on November 11, 2012 at 10:27 am

I have extremely vague memories of this theater but I DID go there as a small child. In the 60;s you could go there as a kid without needing a bodyguard. After 1970 the area became dangerous, the theater closed as it says in 1971. Does anyone have vide or photos of the interior and surrounding streets circa 1970? VERY hard to find. (for good reason)

brooklyn32
brooklyn32 on October 29, 2012 at 12:28 pm

I lived at 422 new lots. I remember it was 25 cents to get in and my mom always went to get the plates. We sometimes chipped in to buy one ticket for a person to get in and he would open the door on Bradford Street and all of us would run in and hide under the seats while the ushers try to catch us. Carl the cop always chased us off the corner and we usually went upstairs to murray’s pool room. Murray was known as “bilty” and his last name was Finklestein.There was a sweet shop a few doors down where we would buy pistachio and indian nuts. We used to watch the tv in the window across the street at bressner’s. Always something to do and we had fun doing it. A great neighborhood to grow up in and a lot was learned from all the education we received by growing up on the street. take care, buddy

neil202
neil202 on October 22, 2010 at 9:46 pm

I was an usher at the Biltmore in the summer of 1960. I was in high school (Franklin K. Lane) and it was my first job. I believe the manager’s name was Sam Samuels. I lived in the Cypress Hills Houses and I either took the New Lots Avenue bus or my dad gave me a lift. The big movie then was “Psycho” and I saw it dozens of times. I’d walk through the theater and watch the reactions when Norman Bates' “mother” turned around and faced the audience. What a scream! Sometimes we’d hand out flyers at the IRT station on Livonia Ave. Those were good old days. Too bad they are gone forever. Oh yeah…I think I was paid 75 cents an hour. That was real money back then. Neil

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 21, 2010 at 12:06 am

Gary,they are about all gone.thank goodness CINEMA TREASURES is here.

htopoff
htopoff on October 20, 2010 at 11:10 pm
  1. You may remember that when you left the theater, there was a pile of flyers for upcoming movies (as they changed often). The pile sat on a pedestal at the entrance, where the ticket taker stood. The printed flyers were numbered sequentially. On Saturdays, the management (Mr. Siegel) put out a large piece of cardboard, with numbers. If you remembered to bring your flyer (which you took whenever you last went to the theater) and your number matched one of the numbers on the board, you won free admission. It didn’t take long before I realized that the same winning-number board was placed out every week. So, I wrote down all the winning numbers. Then, let the games begin!

I leave the theater and take a flyer. Let’s say it’s number 112. I look at my sheet, and see that the next winning number is 158. So, I just stick around the lobby and count as people take flyers. When flyer number 157 is taken, I walk by and take 158. We were not greedy. We did not take wining flyers and sell them. No scalping. If there were three of us, we just hung around until we all had free entrance to the next Saturday matinee. This went on for several YEARS!

Other Biltmore stories:

  1. Our first two-wheel bicycle (a Raleigh) was won by my sister at one of the Biltmore coloring contests.

  2. Mr. Siegel had a birthday club. You had to register your birthday. Before every Saturday matinee began, he came onto the stage for a little pep rally. First, he would yell the names of the local schools, so those kids who attended could scream at the top of their lungs. PS 213, being the closest, always won the shouting contest. Then he would announce whose birthday was that week, and the birthday boys and girls got to come up on the stage to receive their prize (nothing great, but much more substantial than a cracker-jacks toy). When, in early May, he announced my name, he said (and I quote): “Let’s here it for the wild boy of Wyona Street.” Yes, it was not just Bertha who knew me by name. I had quite a reputation.

  3. By the time the numbers game stopped, I was in TJHS, and got a “job” selling the newspapers on Saturday night:
    News, Mirror, Brooklyn Eagle, Journal American, and two Jewish papers: Forwards and Tag. Because the weather could be a problem, we received permission to set up shop under the Biltmore marquee, from 6:00 pm until the movie “broke,” about midnight. In return for letting us use the marquee, every theater employee received free newspapers. I personally distributed them to the staff after the movie, before taking off to Rogers for a late night burger and shake. Next thing I knew, I go to know the entire staff by first name and I was allowed into the theater for free on ANY day of the week, at any time. The only downside was that if I entered the theater for free on Friday, I didn’t have a ticket stub, and so did not get a free dish! No problem, as my mother went every Friday night and dragged my sister and father, so we had lots of Biltmore dishes.

Now, you may wonder why so much of life revolved around the Biltmore. Easy. My house was right next door to the Biltmore, so it was my second home.

I have lots more Biltmore stories, but I had better save some for next time.

Howard – The Wild Boy Of Wyona Street

htopoff
htopoff on October 20, 2010 at 6:14 am

I lived on Wyona Street, right next door to the Biltmore. On Saturday nights, I sold newspapers under the marquis. Next door was a candy store and Murray’s Pool Room. On Saturday, for 25 cents, you got a double feature, 25 cartoons, serial (Flash Gordon, Three Stooges, Buck Rogers, etc.), MovieTone news and coming attractions. When Mr. Siegel was the manager, there was a birthday club with live performances (Three Stooges, Claribel, etc.) After the movie “broke” on Friday and Saturday nights (about midnight), everyone poured out and headed for Rogers for burgers, milk shakes, or a frappe.

Howard Topoff

GaryCohen
GaryCohen on September 18, 2010 at 11:52 pm

Mike, I think I practically grew up in this theatre. I can still remember the inside clearly even though the last time I was there was probably over 45 years ago.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 14, 2010 at 12:26 am

Looked liked a nice theatre in its day.

GaryCohen
GaryCohen on December 31, 2009 at 4:55 am

Since I’ve discovered this website I’ve thought about so many of the theaters I’ve attended that are long gone and the films I saw there. Since this was my favorite local theater through most of my childhood I’ve come up with so many other films I saw there in addition to those listed in my above comment. I hope some of the titles bring back pleasant memories to you: John Wayne in “Rio Bravo,” Kirk Douglas in “Spartacus,” Cary Grant in “Operation Petticoat,” Gregory Peck and Tony Curtis in the wonderful “Captain Newman, MD,” Ernest Borgnine in the “McHale’s Navy” film, Rock Hudson in “Man’s Favorite Sport,” Joan Crawford in “Strait-Jacket,” the Man from U.N.C.L.E. films which I spent an entire Saturday afternoon watching over and over, James Coburn in “Our Man Flint,” etc. etc. Just some of the many films I saw at this wonderful old theater, now just a distant memory.

GaryCohen
GaryCohen on November 15, 2009 at 7:38 pm

I grew up in East New York, Brooklyn and outside of home,school and Hebrew School, I think I spent more time in this theater than anywhere else. I spent virtually every Saturday there or the other local ENY movie theater, the Kinema. I still remember this theater clearly despite not being in it for about 44 years. It is the only theater that I can remember that had its own custard making machine and sold delcious vanilla custard. I remember the layout of the theater clearly, even the location of the men’s room and water fountain.
I saw so many great films there with my family or friends: The Ten Commandments, Spartacus, Its a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, the first Bond film: Dr. No, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Hitchcock’s Psycho and The Birds, etc. etc. I remember my parents taking me to see Journey to the Center of the Earth there the Friday night of Christmas week and loving it so much that I went back to see it again the next afternoon with my friends. I remember the Saturday matinees, especially one where this theater showed 4 straight hours of cartoons. What wonderful memories. I lived about ten, twelve blocks away and when I got older sometimes I would walk there myself or take the bus down New Lots Ave.
I also remember that there was a Finkelstein’s pool hall next door. I had a Mrs. Finkelstein as my 5th grade school teacher at PS 202. Many of us always wondered whether she was married to or related to the person who owned the poolhall.
Great times at a great theater and wonderful times to be growing up in Brooklyn and the U.S. in general.

rfgoldwing
rfgoldwing on July 3, 2009 at 9:45 pm

I lived on miller ave between livonia and riverdale ave .The biltmore was a couple of blocks over. My family moved to east new york, brooklyn in the mid 1960’s . I remember going to the biltmore to see james bond movies.If you remember there was a brasneer appliances store across the street and the chinese resturant on the other side. After the movies we would go there to eat .I now own my parents house ,the biltmore is now gone replaced with a junior supermaket.I have watch the neighborhood change over the years.The biltmore was to only movies theater in east new york on new lots ave. We have a new theater on linden blvd a miltiplexs theater where the old TSS store used to be. I will alway remember the biltmore theater and the good times seeing movies there .

Raybo
Raybo on October 18, 2007 at 6:13 am

Howard – I believe you graduated from Jefferson in 1959. Did you know a guy named Lenny?

htopoff
htopoff on June 18, 2007 at 1:43 am

I would lve to hear from anyone who hung out at the Biltmore theater, ate pizza at Ninos, and burgrs at Rogers.

Howard Topoff

htopoff
htopoff on April 9, 2007 at 12:13 am

From Howard Topoff. If you hung out at the Biltmoere Cornwer, please contact me and say hi at