Pennway Theater

Pennsylvania Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY

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The Pennway opened on Pennsylvania Avenue just north of Flatlands Avenue. It was a small single-level theater that was part of an outdoor shopping center. When it opened in the 1960s, it ran first run fare, but the neighborhood wasn’t great and soon it was being run by the same owner of the XXX Cinema Kings Highway and was also showing XXX.

When Starrett City, a huge apartment complex, was built and opened in the 1970s, the Pennway reverted to Hollywood fare, hoping to attract the apartment complex’s population. But this never happened, and the theater tried porn again. The advent of XXX video killed the theater, and it closed, only to be retrofitted into retail use.

Contributed by philipgoldberg

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

RobertR on October 14, 2004 at 3:00 am

I knew a projectionist who had this theatre for a few weeks while one of the main guys was on vacation. It had a huge Cinemascope screen. I remember the theatre being very wide. I dont recall alot more about it, except that it looked like one of the 60’s theatres Century built although I think it was always an independant.

RobertR on July 8, 2005 at 1:50 am

1971 the Penway was showing X on showcase
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GaryCohen on February 2, 2010 at 12:08 am

I went there several times when this theater opened in the mid-1960s. I remember seeing Peter Sellers in “After the Fox,” “Yul Brynner in "Return of the 7” and Rod Steiger in “No Way to Treat A Lady.” I never particularly liked this theater and it was a mistake to build it in an area that was already starting to go downhill. I went there once when it started showing softcore porn. Those films were more memorable than the legitimate films I saw there.

kencmcintyre on February 2, 2010 at 2:33 am

Is it Penway or Pennway? Probably two n’s given the street, but on the ad it says Penway.

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on November 14, 2012 at 10:20 pm

If anyone has any stories about going to/ working at this threatre in its adult days, I would love to hear them. I am chronicling the histories of adult theatres in the US. Please contact me at Thanks!

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