Flatbush Theatre

2207 Church Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11226

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Orlando on June 7, 2017 at 8:11 am

Last post over 6 years ago. This past Sunday at dusk, I walked past the former Flatbush Theatre Building and the upper windows for the offices are being replaced along with some alterations. I was pleasantly suprised to see the added projection booth with the port holes still in place in the upper rear wall. After 65 years of being closed, a part of the theatre was in still in place. I will try to get a peek. Got some photos… I don’t post. The nighttime construction lights that were on afforded me this view from the past.

2brooklyncats on February 8, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Hostile Country is 1950 … I believe this photo is ‘51

TLSLOEWS on August 4, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Another great find Tinseltoes.

jflundy on August 21, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Jerry DeRosa began his theater career in 1920 as assistant manager of the B.S. Moss Flatbush Theatre before moving on to manage Moss’s Cameo Theatre on Eastern Parkway and the Colonial in the Eastern District.
In 1928 he became manager of Loew’s Paradise in the Bronx where he died at his desk in October 1945.

jflundy on January 5, 2009 at 2:55 pm

Link to article on construction of Flatbush Theater in 1914:
View link

jflundy on April 5, 2008 at 4:38 pm

On 30 July 1920 Keith’s took over B. S. Moss theaters including Flatbush for Vaudeville and movies. See story at link:
View link

jflundy on April 5, 2008 at 1:37 pm

Keith’s leased and operated the Flatbush Theater until October 13, 1928, when L. F. Werba, who at that time was operating Werba’s Brooklyn Theater downtown on Flatbush Extension and two other houses as legit venues, assumed the lease and introduced that format in place of Keith’s Vaudeville and movies which moved over to the new Kenmore Theater down Church Avenue west, of Flatbush Avenue .

cybernetiks on April 5, 2008 at 12:11 pm

someone recently thought the Flatbush was just plays and vaudville..no growing up during ww2…………

on a satuday we would go at 10 or 11am for cartoon then 3 short like stooges……then the coming attractions………then 5h3 first movie………..the lights would go up on the stage and there would be several acts of vaudville……..then the lights dimmed and another movie………..by the end it would be six or more and mom never let us stay for one more showing……..

ALL 4 A PRICE OF THIRTEEN (13) cents!!!!!!!

jflundy on April 5, 2008 at 10:45 am

This article from July 1920 relates B.F. Keith’s time as operator or the Flatbush theater. See link below:
View link

cybernetiks on June 15, 2007 at 12:57 pm

yes, the develins and the kennedys lived there then……
erasmus was the school and loved garfield because u could see the old dudes going in and getting a ticket and getting water filled[free glass} and putting kettchup[into glass] and waiting for the next class we chattened ………………too long ago…..it was ritzE burbs when the kennedys crossed the divide of downtownB'K and moved to midwood st…………..we moved thru bk as the subwaywas built……….what happened to the granada theatre,,,,,anyone…..
that was on church av near nostrand av???? over

jflundy on June 12, 2007 at 1:08 pm

In 1965 the Brandt Circuit had 132 theaters showing movies, seven in the Times Square area of Manhattan. These seven were of personal interest to Mr. Brandt because of his interest in live theater. He said they had been legit houses at one time and he could convert them back to stage shows in 24 hours.

jflundy on June 12, 2007 at 1:05 pm

William Brandt opened his first theater in 1908. During WW2 he began a series of live theater presentations called the “Subway Circuit”.
These were featured during the summer months at the Windsor Theater in the Fordham section of the Bronx and the Flatbush Theater in Brooklyn. At times the Jamaica Theater in Queens and the Asbury Park Theater in Asbury Park, New Jersey were part of the circuit. At the end of the 1951 season, George Brandt, William’s son and producer of the shows, announced that due to escalating labor costs the shows would end as the box office receipts could no longer bear the costs.
In 1942 William Brandt told an interviewer that he put the shows on as a personal joy, to give ordinary people a chance to see live theater at a price they could afford, in in some cases only .25 cents.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 30, 2007 at 6:53 am

J.F. Lundy;I have taken the liberty to re-post the link you gave above:

Great shots, Thanks

jflundy on January 30, 2007 at 6:38 am

Here is a photo taken circa 1950 of the Flatbush Theater.


The 6000 class trolleys were shortly afterwards replaced by the streamlined 1000 Century class cars.

jflundy on January 3, 2007 at 12:52 pm

The Flatbush was operated by Werba’s until mid year 1930 when it was taken over by Brandt’s. It continued to present live shows exclusively full time for a period, then closed for a period several times. It featured live shows on weekends for a while, then began showing movies part time with live shows being featured now and then during the year up to about 1950 when it only opened sporadicly for live shows and no movies. After July 1951 it sat mostly closed except for brief events until sold to be converted into a department store in 1952. Brandt also took over the Jamaica Theater in Jamaica,Queens and Boulevard Theater in Jackson Heights on Northern Boulevard and 83rd Street in mid year 1930 from Werba.

Before Brant’s took over there was talk that Fox would take over as it had no house in Flatbush except the Parkside, a small third rate movie theater about four blocks away. Unfortunately, the Fox circuit collapsed after amassing a group of 26 theaters in Brooklyn.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 1, 2006 at 11:40 pm

Warren; Many thanks for posting that great vintage photograph on July 22 2005. It was not until I saw it that I now realise the current furniture store is in the former stage house and was not the main entrance to the theatre.

The furniture store operates out of the former stage house, so obviously there is no decorative detail inside that part of the building, although rather unusually for a theatre stage house, there is some nice decorative brickwork on this section of the building). The block to the left could be the remains of the auditorium or a replacement building, it is difficult to say. I would think it strange to demolish a theatre auditorium and leave the stage house standing? But then strange things do happen!

Here is a photograph I took of the Flatbush Theatre in June 2006:

cybernetiks on March 2, 2006 at 9:56 am

hueyD here….vagly remember meeting the 3 stoogers backstage by way of aunt myra who was in road play tobacco road that the stooges where in there////////

do know that on saturdays you could go to the flatbush at 10 am with your buddies…..see 10 cartoons a newsreel,movie, curtainsUp 5 acts of vauderville, another movie……3 shorts…..

13 cents…..and then you would call your house at 6-7 pm and ask to stay some more…..

ERD on October 31, 2005 at 11:31 am

The Flatbush theatre was very attractive and had a large stage. The acoustics were very good.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 29, 2004 at 9:39 am

Opened in September 1914, the Flatbush Theatre was a vaudeville theatre on the B.S.Moss circuit. It was known as Werba’s Theatre from 1925 – 1929.

It was equipped with a Wurlitzer 2 Manual/8 Rank theater organ.

In later years it was taken over and operated by the Brandt Theatres Circuit and they closed it in 1952.

I last saw it four years ago when it was being used as a furniture showroom and part office space. It still looked pretty much intact then.

RobertR on October 1, 2004 at 8:10 am

Was this a sub-run house?