Carlton Theatre

292 Flatbush Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11217

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 1, 2013 at 6:32 pm

On October 17, 2005, lostmemory commented:

“NYC issued a C/O to a New building at 292 Flatbush Avenue on March 22, 1927. The first architects name is H. G. Wiseman. The second architects name is Hugo ‘something’. I can’t read the last name.”
This was probably either Hugo Taussig, or Hugo Magnuson of the firm Magnuson & Kleinert. Wiseman worked with both at various times following the 1920 death of his partner Arthur Carlson.

Ruth Anne Phillips' book Pre-Columbian Revival attributes the design of the 1923 Cameo Theatre to Wiseman and Hugo Taussig. Cezar del Valle’s Brooklyn Theatre Index attributes the Sanders Theatre to Wiseman with Magnuson & Kleinert.

As the C/O for the Carlton names only two architects, it was probably Taussig who worked with Wiseman on this house. In any case, the firm of Carlson & Wiseman was long gone by the time the Carlton Theatre was designed.

Jboyce2788 on January 23, 2013 at 7:01 am

I was born in 1953 and saw a number of movies at the Carlton. My mother worked at “Neumans” Ice cream parlor next door to the Carlton and my Father worked at the “Rustic Inn” which was just around the corner on Prospect Place. What I remember most about this theatre was going to the Rest Rooms down stairs from the main entry – everything was marble

DJM78 on January 9, 2012 at 10:15 am

The links on this page show some great vintage photos of the Carlton. It seems Brooklyn had so many classic movie theaters that are now gone.

johndereszewski on February 13, 2010 at 12:08 pm

One other thing regarding this site. When you click on the map, it shows the Carlton as being at the intersection of Flatbush and 3rd Ave. – in other words, right accross from BAM. This is totally wrong, since the old Carlton was situated close to 7th Ave. This needs to be corrected.

johndereszewski on February 13, 2010 at 9:10 am

I actually once visited this place during its church years. I friend was trying to convert me – alas to no avail. While I was not into old movie theaters at the time, the place seemed quite impressive – and the Brooklyn Tabernacle people presented a pretty good show. They have a GREAT chorus. So the old theater was crtainly used to great avail.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 11, 2009 at 8:44 am

Vintage photos of the Carlton Theatre can be viewed here: View link

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on August 8, 2007 at 1:51 pm

“Park Slope’s Finest First Run Theatre” post-closing but before the church. View link

From a distance View link

Another angle View link

Early shot (re-post from 10/17/05) View link

frankie on May 18, 2006 at 9:09 am

My Brooklyn will never make a comeback again, now that they are constructing apartment skyscrapers on residential side streets in the South Slope. My block has an 8 story phallic symbol which will forever block out the sun from my front door. The site of the former 16th Street Theater below 5th Avenue has one now that went up FAST. Brooklyn is now Manhattan. At one time there were at least 6 movie theaters within walking distance of my home. Now there’s ONE. On a recent Monday night I went there to see “Akeela and the Bee” in the largest division at the Pavilion —– I was the ONLY ONE THERE ! The movie was wonderful, but —– maybe it’s not just the developers.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 18, 2006 at 8:45 am

This is what the Carlton Theater looked like while it was being demolished. Whats located here now? Park Place Condos that start at $715,500 for a 1,000 sq ft, one bed apartment. Brooklyn must be making a comeback with those prices.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 17, 2005 at 2:48 pm

I’m sure of two things about this theater. The facade in the 1914 photo and the one in the 1926 photo are both the same. I believe that whatever theater that was behind the 1914 facade was demolished and a new auditorium was built there. And the second architects name on the C/O does not appear to be “Carlson”. Maybe we should just put Wiseman as the architect until we figure out who the second architect was.

KenRoe on October 17, 2005 at 12:39 pm

I have now discovered that the original Carlton Theatre opened in early January 1911. It had a seating capacity of 450. The airdome opened in 1913. Both closed on 10th May 1925 to be demolished and the new Carlton Theatre was built on the site, opening on 8th February 1926. It looks like the facade was retained, possibly because it contained a couple of retail units that would continue to provide revenue in rent.

Of course this may date the 1914 photograph (that lostmemory posted earlier today) to late 1910, just prior to opening?

KenRoe on October 17, 2005 at 12:03 pm

lostmemory; Harrison G. Wiseman is one architect, that we can establish as fact. I note that the two films listed as playing on the 1926 photograph are dated 1925 on the Internet Movie Database, so if they were released early in 1926, they could be opening programmes or soon after the 8th Feb 1926 opening.

The marquee in the ‘earlier’ photograph is certainly different. I believe that the marquee was added too underneath to allow for the attractions letters in 1926. The poster cases on each side of the entrance are empty. Could this be a pre-opening 1914 photo taken a few weeks prior to opening? Regarding the missing stairs to the roof garden theatre and no sign of the auditorium block beyond the facade on the photo, I believe the original 1914 Carlton theatre was a much smaller building, lower in height than the later auditorium that was built on the site.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 17, 2005 at 8:57 am

NYC issued a C/O to a New building at 292 Flatbush Avenue on March 22, 1927. The first architects name is H. G. Wiseman. The second architects name is Hugo “something”. I can’t read the last name. Seating is listed as 1391 seats on the first floor and 1124 on the roof. This theater most likely had a temporary C/O to open in 1926 and that is not on file. Ken, I can email this document to you if you want to try and read the second architects name.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 17, 2005 at 8:29 am

It is very possible that the 1914 photo is dated wrong. Although the marquee is different and the roof stairs are missing in the older photo. I’m going to check NYC records and see if there is anything listed for this address.

KenRoe on October 17, 2005 at 8:20 am

lostmemory;I agree with you, looking at the two photographs side by side the two facades are the same. This either means the 1914 photo is wrongly dated (which is what I would go for) or the earlier building’s facade was retained when the theatre was re-built in 1926.

A quote from the Theatre Historical Society magazine Marquee Vol 1 No.3:‘Theatres of Brooklyn’s Park Slope’ by Cezar Del Valle

‘Pioneer film director D.W. Griffith made a guest appearance at the opening night of the Carlton on February 8, 1926. The theatre had been built on the site of an earlier movie house and airdome at 292 Flatbush Avenue. Patrons of the new Carlton entered a foyer 100 by 37 feet, with rose and black carpet, a statue in the centre and French mirrors along the walls of travertine marble. A fireplace help keep out the winter chill. The 1,383-seat oval auditorium boasted a 16-foot-high chandelier surrounded by 16 others, each 5.5 feet high. On warm summer nights audiences could enjoy a film in the Italianate roof garden with a capacity of 1,124.’

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 17, 2005 at 7:14 am

Well, I printed out the 1914 photo and the 1926 photo. Looking at them side by side, it appears to me that both photos are the same building. Both photos have a vertical “Carlton” sign. The marquee in the 1926 photo is larger. Look at the windows in the two photos. They look identical. Look where the vertical sign is located. The detail on the building is the same in both photos. There is one other difference that I noticed. The 1926 photo has a staircase on the roof and the 1914 photo does not have the staircase. Could that staircase be for the roof garden? Was the entire building built in 1926 or was the roof garden added in 1926? If the entire building was new in 1926, it appears that they built it to look just like the original.

KenRoe on October 17, 2005 at 6:55 am

The 1914 photograph is of a different building to the 1926 one. Obviously an earlier theatre that was replaced in 1926. lostmemory;Thanks for finding the photo of the 1914 building.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 17, 2005 at 6:37 am

Something else that I found. Go to this website and click on Carlton Theater. On that page it reads “Designed by Carlson and Wiseman, the theatre had been built on the site of an earlier movie house and airdome”. There is a 1926 photo of the Carlton Theater there. The 1926 photo looks like the same building as the 1914 photo minus the marquee and vertical sign. Are the two buildings the same or were there really two Carlton Theaters?

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 17, 2005 at 6:14 am

Thank you Ken. I was going by the 1926 date given in the description above and I thought that the photo must be dated wrong. So this theater has been around alot longer than many people think.

KenRoe on October 17, 2005 at 6:08 am

The American Motion Picture Directory 1914 – 1915 lists the Carlton Theatre, 292 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 17, 2005 at 6:02 am

I found a photo that claims to be the Carlton Theater at 288-294 Flatbush Avenue. The photo is dated at 1914. Is that possible? Could there have been another theater at this address prior to this one or could the photo be dated wrong? Here is the photo.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 27, 2005 at 4:37 pm

A Wurlitzer organ Opus 1224 Style H SP was installed in the Carlton Theater on 12/15/1925.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 1, 2005 at 8:16 am

The Fox name became attached to MANY theatres during William Fox’s acquisition mania in the late 1920s, but remained only temporarily in most cases. The Carlton was built and first operated by the Brandt brothers, who sold it to Fox. The Brandts later re-gained ownership when Fox went bankrupt. IMHO, Brandt’s Carlton is more deserving of mention in the “also known as” than Fox Carlton.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 30, 2005 at 3:52 pm

The Carlton is advertised as the Fox Carlton in Jan. 1931. The movie advertised is “Fast and Loose” with Carole Lombard.