Alpine Cinema

6817 5th Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11220

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Loew's Alpine Theatre exterior

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Alpine Theatre in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, was opened on June 6, 1921 by Loew’s Inc. The opening program was Paramount’s “City of Silent Men” plus shorts and a newsreel. Music was provided by a resident orchestra of twelve, including an organist. The admission price was 15 cents for weekday matinees and 25 cents at night and all day on Saturday & Sunday. Its building cost, according to Variety of June 10, 1921, was $420,000, including the real estate. Carlson & Wiseman were the architects.

At the time, the Alpine Theatre was the first Loew’s theatre anywhere with its entire seating capacity (2,200) on one floor, without a balcony or gallery. The tapered auditorium was 100 feet at its widest, with the last of the 55 rows of seats about 76 feet from the screen. The stage had no fly gallery or grid-iron, but had an apron just large enough to accommodate a vocalist or musical instrumentalist between film showings. Variety described the Alpine Theatre’s interior as “decorated in a tan and gold color scheme, the general atmosphere created being one of brightness. The side walls are paneled and painted in an imitation of tapestry. The floors are carpeted with red velvet. A good system of floor pitch gives a clear view of the screen from any part of the house.

At the time, the Alpine Theatre’s nearest opposition was Fox’s Bay Ridge Theatre. Loew’s eventually took over the Bay Ridge Theatre and made it second-run to the Alpine Theatre.

The Alpine Theatre was twinned in 1976 and converted into seven screens in 1986. By 2015 an eighth screen had been added. It is independently operated.

Contributed by Warren G. Harris

Recent comments (view all 178 comments)

theatrefan on January 24, 2017 at 9:35 am

I know when AMC walked away at the end of May 2006, the Alpine was closed for about a weeks time until the current operator assumed operation. Not sure of what happened between Golden & Cineplex Odeon. You are absolutely right the Fortway was a much nicer theatre, probably because it was not gutted like the Alpine was to make it into a seven-plex.

DJM78 on February 6, 2017 at 11:34 am

I’ve never seen an interior shot of the Alpine when it was one screen. This site has a lot of great pics of theaters before they were multiplexed. I’d love to see an interior shot of the Alpine prior to the gut job.

theatrefan on February 6, 2017 at 11:45 am

The Theatre Historical Society of America (THSA) has interior photo’s of the Fortway as a single, have you seen those? I have not seen Alpine interiors as a single on their site, but there are descriptions in the comments that give a pretty good description of it when it was a single.

DJM78 on February 12, 2017 at 3:02 pm

Are you sure that shot is of the Fortway on Fort Hamilton Pkwy in Bklyn? There are some interior shots of The Fortway on its page on this site. The photos look much different

theatrefan on February 13, 2017 at 10:02 am

The photo’s on that site are from 1973, the Exorcist was the film on the Fortway marquee photo, there is also a shot of the lobby in the pre-multiplex days & a shot of the drinking fountain that was once in the lobby. There are no auditorium shots unfortunately.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on February 13, 2017 at 2:03 pm

The Fortway had an atmospheric auditorium with an overhanging balcony, while the Alpine was a conventional auditorium with stadium seating at the rear. There’s no way that you could confuse photos of the two auditoriums.

theatrefan on February 14, 2017 at 10:07 am

Comfortably Cool, Are there any photo’s that exist out there that shows the original Alpine’s auditorium & lobby before it was twinned by Loew’s & then subsequently gutted by Golden?

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on February 14, 2017 at 2:11 pm

I’ve never seen any interior photos of the original Alpine, which doesn’t mean that they don’t exist in some archive like the Loew’s Theatres Collection owned by Theatre Historical Society of America (now based in Pittsburgh, PA).

theatrefan on February 14, 2017 at 3:52 pm

Comfortably Cool, yes I checked the finding aid for the Loew’s Collection and found nothing on the Alpine unfortunately, no Loew’s Bay Ridge as well & only one photo of the Loew’s Oriental, I wonder if that was the same one I saw in one of the Marquee’s I have on Loew’s Theatres Inc. I also wanted to thank you for posting all those great vintage ads and photo’s I appreciate it.

thehorror13 on July 28, 2017 at 10:41 pm

I saw Valerian in 3D here today. Theater is getting run down. Beginning to feel like the Pavilion. Bathrooms needed cleaning, theater seven’s screen had black marks on it. Was surprised to discover a new theater eight located all the way in the back. It was a new stadium style theater. Not sure when exactly it was added. Information should be changed on this page to note Alpine now has eight screens!! There is a banner up in the lobby showing a “promised” upcoming remodeling of the theater.

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