Alpine Theatre

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. 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.”

The opening program at the Alpine Theatre 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 and Sunday.

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. It is independently operated.

Contributed by Warren G. Harris

Recent comments (view all 167 comments)

techman707
techman707 on January 9, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Popeye used to say “I ams what I am and that’s all thats I am….I’m Popeye the Sailor Man”-toot toot.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 10, 2012 at 8:53 am

I used to come here all the time when it was a Cineplex Odeon, but haven’t been back since it became an independant. I’m glad it’s still open.

techman707
techman707 on March 10, 2012 at 2:20 pm

saps- I did the design and installation of the Alpine when it was converted to 7 theatres in 1986 and was my last theatre installation. I also worked there as a projectionist until 1997. Within a couple of years (or less), ALL THEATRES will have to convert to digital projection. Because it’s so expensive, independent theatres, like the Alpine, might wind up having to close. The way things have been going with home theatres, DVD and Blu-ray release dates, etc., sadly, I don’t see a very bright future for theatres in general. I think the film companies might see that they shot themselves in the foot with all their current policies. While they helped the big theatre chains with digital conversions, the independents didn’t fare so well.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 10, 2012 at 2:56 pm

I stopped coming because I moved out of Brooklyn in 1996, but I wonder if I ever bumped into you in the lobby! (And since they played commercial fare available everywhere else, there was no point in coming back to Bay Ridge just to see a mainstream release.)

techman707
techman707 on March 10, 2012 at 8:43 pm

If you came to the Alpine often, there’s a good chance we bumped into each other.-LOL

If you look at the entire city, there aren’t many theatres left and the ones that are left are mostly LARGE multiplexs. There’s a group on Facebook “trying” to save the old RKO Keith’s in Flushing from being turned into an apartment building. While the entire building was given landmark status in the 80’s after it closed, it was recinded and only the lobby now retains landmark status. However, the first owner wrecked the landmarked lobby before they stopped him. Now, after sitting all these years, the inside of this REAL movie palace is in ruins. To “restore” it to its original condition would be a job that makes me shudder.

techman707
techman707 on August 5, 2012 at 6:18 am

Twinned in 1976: Boxoffice

Turned into 7 plex 1986: Me -L0L

robboehm
robboehm on April 11, 2015 at 2:02 pm

Another view of the marquee as a multiplex uploaded.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on August 12, 2016 at 1:56 pm

Hello-

is this theater the oldest continually in operation movie theater in New York City?

theatrefan
theatrefan on September 6, 2016 at 5:13 pm

Yes by all accounts it is. It went from Loews Theatres to Golden Theatres to Cineplex Odeon to Loews Cineplex to AMC Entertainment and since May 2006 it has been under independent ownership.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on September 8, 2016 at 1:01 pm

Hello-

i find it fascinating that this theater has been in continual operation since it opened making it the oldest movie theater in NYC. if it hadn’t closed the Fall of 2012 or 2013 the Coliseum in upper Manhattan would be the winner. it opened the in 1920.

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