RKO Greenpoint Theatre

825 Manhattan Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11222

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B.F. Keith's Greenpoint Theatre exterior

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The Greenpoint Theatre first opened on October 10, 1908, and was part of the Percy Williams chain of vaudeville theatres. It was taken over by B.F. Keith in 1912, and in 1930, became part of the RKO chain.

The RKO Greenpoint Theatre was closed in 1965. This old Brooklyn theatre was demolished years ago…

Contributed by Ed Solero, Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 103 comments)

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on January 1, 2011 at 8:29 am

Bway, you took the google street view of the Manhattan Ave./Meserole Street intersection, which is in Williamsburg. The old opera house was situated just west of the Manhattan/Meserole Avenue intersection, in Greenpoint. If you take this view from Manhattan Ave. looking west on Meserole, the opera house would have been situated on the right side of the street

Bway
Bway on January 1, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Interesting. I wonder if this attractive building is it:

View link

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on January 1, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Bway, at one time, I thought that the building you referenced might have been the old opera house, but I don’t think this is the case for at least two reasons. First, it is situated at the southwest corner of these two streets while the Index places it at or near the northwest corner. (Not an absolute disqualifier but still pretty significant.) Second – and more importantly – in checking some of the Building Dept. info for this site, I just do not think that the current building is that old.

With that said, I very fondly remember this building as the home of the New Garden Chinese Restaurant. It was, at the time – late 50’s/early 60’s – just about the only restaurant in Greenpoint that was not a diner. While, in retrospect, the quality of the food was pretty poor – their best dish was breaded veal cutlet, which was very tasty – we didn’t know the difference and thought it was a real classy place. The grand staircase leading to this second floor establishment made it seem almost regal!) At one time – before my time but well within my parants memory – this large restaurant hosted dance parties. This proved to be a harbinger for the future, since the place now hosts a Polish nightclub.

I think the old opera house was actually situated between the Greenpoint Y and Manhattan Ave. As a review of the goggle map indicates, nothing of interest currently exists in this area.

jflundy
jflundy on March 1, 2011 at 11:34 am

View link

Link to photo for sale on ebay taken March 3, 1928

lfreimauer
lfreimauer on March 1, 2011 at 3:03 pm

It’s amazing when you realize how many RKO and Loew’s theaters there were in so many local neighborhoods and basically they are all gone.

Hard to belive how times have changed.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on April 25, 2011 at 12:26 pm

On this night only in 1952, the RKO Greenpoint presented vaudeville to hype attendance for the opening day of the Warner Bros. double bill of “Retreat, Hell!” and “The Big Trees.” The stage bonus consisted of “Hayden’s Irish Memories Revue,” with a cast of fifteen.

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on April 25, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Wow, TT, this may very well have been the last time that real vaudeville acts appeared at the Greenpoint. By the time I came of cinematic age in the mid-to-late 50’s, vaudeville at the RKO Greenpoint was clearly a thing of the past.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on April 25, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Judging by the stage bill, Greenpoint must have had a substantial Irish population. Maybe that’s why it was named Greenpoint, or “Greenpernt” as some Brooklyners pronounce it.

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on April 25, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Actually, TT, Greenpoint was named after the green shoreline that the initial Dutch explorers encountered near the south bank of the intersection of the East River and Newtown Creek. There was nothing “Irish” about it.

By the early 1950’s, Greenpoint had hosted a large Irish population for nearly a century. So, the vaudeville act you referenced must have had a wide following.

LugosiResearch
LugosiResearch on December 29, 2012 at 8:28 pm

On Thursday 15 February and Saturday 24 February 1951, Bela “Dracula” Lugosi presented his in person Horror and Magic Stage show at RKO Greenpoint. Currently I am conducting research on all things Lugosi; if anyone out there actually saw either or both of these shows and/or has memorabilia (poster, handbill, photos) related to these shows, please contact Bill at Thanks in advance for any assistance!

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