Heights Theater

159 Washington Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11201

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robboehm on May 18, 2015 at 8:05 pm

Photo from Brooklyn Pics uploaded.

JohnnyC. on December 6, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Photo of the Heights Theater possibly from 1929 is located on this webpage.

Bway on April 30, 2009 at 11:02 am

I think the el to the left was torn down by the late 40’s, so this is older than that.

Bway on June 13, 2006 at 6:34 am

Ah, so this is where we were talking about the “second” Madison Theater.

Bway on April 14, 2005 at 7:24 pm

Pretty cool. Thanks….I still say we should have moved this conversation over to the RKO Bushwick page a bunch of posts ago, but anyway, I’m glad the confusion was solved….although it must have been a pretty small theater!

cjdv on April 14, 2005 at 7:37 am

The Bushwick was built first. The Madison opened in September 1914. After looking at the address and reading your responses, I realized the problem. This appears to be an early typo from whatever publication I got the original information from. It must have been 1410-1412. The newspaper ads only say Broadway and Madison. Don’t have a seating capacity. In my posting, I was just trying to present some information on this movie house. The theatre fits quite snugly in the triangle shown your above photo. If there was anyway I could get the newspaper photo to you, I would do so. You seemed to be annoyed or was the SRO a joke? Once again my apologies if I caused any offence.

cjdv on April 14, 2005 at 6:06 am

Lostmemory & Bway;
Sorry for the delay in responding but suddenly I found myself swamped with work and various projects. Will now explain the Madison.
Operated by B. F. Keiths,The Bushwick was a top vaudeville house in 1910s. There is a large ad in The Weekly Chat for September 26, 1914 listing “the only theatres in Brooklyn owned and operated by the B.F. Keith Co.”. At the very bottom corner is the Madison, Broadway & Madison, “magnificent theatre devoted to photoplays, the best in films and high grade features.” Basically Keith’s had just opened a small movie house in back of their Bushwick. Still not convinced? Still unsure?
Check The Weekly Chat for March 13th, 1915. Not only is there an article on the Madison but a photo as well. The most impressive thing about this two story theatre is the electric signage on front. The Bushwick can be seen looming in the background. The article gives the location of the Madison as “Broadway and Madison Street, adjoining the Bushwick.”
In addition;“ The beautiful little house is devoted to the highest class photoplays and the marvelous clearness and softness of the pictures shown proves the value and success of the gold fibre screen used in this house.”
B.F. Keith’s seems to have sold this theatre by the end of 1915. It still advertises but not as a B.F. Keith’s house. In the summer of 1916 it was given a complete renovation. The Madison is listed as closed in 1924

Bway on April 7, 2005 at 6:51 pm

Of course you know what the theater looked like in 2002 though compared to now! Ironically, on exactly April 1, 2003, I took this photo of the RKO Bushwick, construction had just begun, and the value already raised by that date:
Click here for photo
By July 2003, the building was almost unrecognizable when I took this photo:
Click here for photo

Perhaps this conversation should be moved over to the RKO Bushwick.

Bway on April 7, 2005 at 7:05 am

Lost, there is only a small area next to the RKO Bushwick (which is now a little courtyard for the school the Bushwick is now), so if there was something there, it’s long gone It’s a very small trangle shaped block that the RKO was/is on (where mapquest says 1410 is). I can’t picture what is on the next block to the east of there, between Madison and Putnam, but on the east side of Putnam (and Bway) are very old recently refurbished tenaments.

Bway on April 7, 2005 at 6:49 am

1410-22 would put this right next to the RKO Bushwick Theater (1396 Broadway) according to mapquest. I don’t ever remember reading about a theater there, and there even isn’t that much room next to the RKO Bushwick. Although mapquest is not always accurate on exact blocks.
I would love to know more.

Bway on April 7, 2005 at 6:42 am

Hmmmm, what is this Madison on Broadway in Brooklyn? Inquiring minds want to know!
(You see the name on my screen name here, and it’s not meant for “the great white way”, so….)

cjdv on April 7, 2005 at 5:23 am

lostmemory…Three items
1) It really isn’t that odd to find two or more theatres that close to each other. Check out Fulton and Rockwell Place where there were four. Or the Madison at 1410-22 Broadway, Brooklyn.
2) The Brooklyn Eagle predicted a vaudeville war—with audiences to benefit—when the New Brighton Theatre opened June 1909 in competition with the established Brighton Beach Music Hall (op. 1892-dem. 1924). In the mid-30s, the “New” was dropped from its name and as the Brighton Theatre can be found on Cinema Treasures.It is a bit mis-leading when refering to it as “the second Brighton theater.” Bascially there was the New Brighton Theatre at 3101 Ocean Pkwy and the Brighton Beach Music Hall at 3105 Ocean Pkwy.
3)I believe you asked about the Luna at 211-213 Columbia Street, Brooklyn. It opened in 1914 as the Auditore Maurice Theatre. At some point, in the 1910s, became the Luna and closed in 1952. Seating capacity 559.

cjdv on April 5, 2005 at 2:21 pm

An oops. After checking Google and my road atlas, I realize that the other Heights Theatre (mentioned above 1925) was in Manhattan not the Bronx. 150 Wadsworth, seating 600. It is listed in the 1914 Directory (didn’t check earlier yet) and also the 1947 FDYB.

cjdv on April 5, 2005 at 1:23 pm

Yes we are talking Washington Street and not Avenue. Both the Heights (159 Washington Street seating 885) and the Washington (153 Washington Street seating 400) are listed in the 1927 and 1929 FDYBs.

cjdv on April 5, 2005 at 1:09 pm

LostMemory: Are you talking about the 1925 list on the Silent Era webpage. I have been meaning to address several issues with that list and also the 1926 FDYB but have not done so (time). However I noticed a Heights Theatre listed but no address. There was a Heights Theatre in the Bronx that would have been opened in 1925.

Bway on April 5, 2005 at 7:45 am

Washington Street???

Okay, which is it. I was on Washington AVE between Myrtle and Park, and that is where I thought this theater was. Are you telling me it’s Washington Street over by the Manhattan Bridge?
I missed the meaning of your message above, yes, I took a photo of 150 Washington AVENUE, as the original address stated above. Is it Washington STREET?
This has gotten more confusing that I ithought. I thought it was just a simple zero instead of a nine mistake!

Bway on April 5, 2005 at 7:09 am

Lost, yeah, I have the photo linked above of 150, that’s how I knew the 150 had to be the wrong address.
Another observation. Were the Washinton at 153 and the Heights at 159 perhaps the same theater? Most theater buildings take up a few numbers, as they are bigger than the average building, even the smaller theaters.
Perhaps the Washington and the heights are the same building at different times. I don’t understand why the original descriptionn for this theater has been deleted, but it said in that description that the Heights closed in the 1950’s. CDJV mentions that the Washington closed in the 1920’s. Perhaps when the Washington closed in the 1920’s, it was remodeled and became the Teatro (Heights) Theater?

Bway on April 5, 2005 at 6:25 am

Ah thanks guys, it’s 159 not 150, I see the webmasters already changed it. When I took the above photo, I was standing right in front of whatever is on the site of the Heights Theater! (and perhaps the Washington too).
I didn’t see anything theater like on the other side when I took the photo above, so am going to assume both were demolished, but can’t be 100% sure, as I was paying attention on the wrong side of the street.

cjdv on April 4, 2005 at 8:06 pm

This theatre was at 159 Washington Street, opening in 1927 with a seating capacity of 885. In the 1940s it became the Teatro Heights showing Spanish films. It is listed as closed in the 1947 FDYB. At 153 Washington was the Washington Theatre (sc. 400). It opened circa 1919 and closed in 1929.

Bway on March 31, 2005 at 12:34 pm

Hmmm, something is wrong with the address on this theater, I wanted to photograph it yesterday, and this is the building I found at 150 Washington Ave in Brooklyn.
The building in the photo is definitely an older building than the 1950’s, and in no ways resembles a theater….something is wrong here!

Click here for photo of what I found at 150 Washington Ave

Any further information would be appreciated.