Culver Theatre

4339 18th Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11218

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HomecrestGuy
HomecrestGuy on December 10, 2018 at 3:46 am

I’ve added a photo, circa 1939-1941, from the NYC Tax Photo collection, which was digitized and made available online in Nov. 2018.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on September 12, 2016 at 10:18 am

The Culver Theatre was a major influence on the life of writer Steven Gaines, who vividly recalls his experiences and the movies he saw there in a new memoir, “One of These Things First.” More about the book here: http://www.delphiniumbooks.com/book/one-of-these-things-first/

bobdaman98
bobdaman98 on April 9, 2014 at 12:16 pm

I was born in 1957 and lived right across the street from the Culver. I also remember the Saturday movies and those guys with the flashlights. My biggest memory though is when they previewed “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane” It scared the hell out of me. It is a bank now and I remember getting a toaster from them for opening an account.

Steverino526
Steverino526 on December 13, 2010 at 8:07 pm

I was born in 1953 and grew up on Parkville Avenue only a few blocks away from the Culver Theater. Many a Saturday afternoon were spent watching top movies as they made their way to the last stop on the theater line. All the big movies in those days opened in Manhattan and then made their way to the local theaters afterwards. I remember waiting a long time waiting to see Ben Hur. Yes, those matrons were tough but the kids really made them earn their money. I remember so vividly the screams in the theater, garbage being tossed at the screen, and the frequent requests made to the matrons to bring their flashlights so some youngster could find his “lost” money. Lots of

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 18, 2008 at 11:48 am

Looks like Christmas 1963 was the release date for the Carol Burnett film. Quite a cast, Martin Balsam, Elizabeth Montgomery, Richard Conte, Dean Martin, Jill St. John

Elena1
Elena1 on August 18, 2008 at 11:37 am

I remember the Culver. I think I saw one movie that I can remember there—Who’s been sleeping in my bed with carol burnett. Not sure of the year but it had to be around 1963-64? Anyhow I recall walking home to Cortelyou Rd. & E 5th and feeling like I walked miles. Funny the way we remember things.

Jefffox
Jefffox on June 30, 2007 at 9:45 pm

I agree with James. I also went to the Culver every Saturday during that time. If I remember correctly, the kids were all seated in the section on the left, jam-packed. The rest of the theater was empty.

Whatever happened to the white-uniformed matrons? Did they put them to work at the bank that replaced the theater? They would have made great guards.

Jefffox
Jefffox on June 30, 2007 at 9:45 pm

I agree with James. I also went to the Culver every Saturday during that time. If I remember correctly, the kids were all seated in the section on the left, jam-packed. The rest of the theater was empty.

Whatever happened to the white-uniformed matrons? Did they put them to work at the bank that replaced the theater? They would have made great guards.

Jameselliot
Jameselliot on June 30, 2007 at 7:27 pm

I lived on Ditmas Avenue with my family from 1960-67. My brother and I went to the Culver’s horror triple features on many saturday afternoons. Boy, did that theater have some tough, white-uniformed matrons patrolling the aisles with their flashlights, on the look-out for JD’s and other assorted punks. Very cherished memories. James

Bway
Bway on May 14, 2007 at 8:21 am

HEre’s an aerial view of the location of the old Culver, a one story building with a parking lot now occupies the site….probably a bank as stated:

View link

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 27, 2007 at 8:55 am

Here is an anti-trust suit involving the Culver filed in 1945:
http://tinyurl.com/2belyv

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 26, 2006 at 11:29 am

Jeff: Culver City, California was a real estate development planned in 1913, opened in 1914, and named for the developer, Harry Culver, a native of Nebraska who arrived in California in 1910, so there’s no connection with the Culver section of Brooklyn, which undoubtedly used the name first.

Theaterat
Theaterat on June 30, 2006 at 8:13 am

The neighborhood where the Culver was located was loosely refered to “the Culver section”. pure coincidence if it was named after Culver City. CA.

dfc
dfc on June 14, 2006 at 6:28 pm

Most likely the Culver name came from the BMT elevated line which in turn was named after Andrew Culver. In 1875 he built a ground-level railroad on McDonald Avenue which preceded the current elevated line which opened in 1919.

Jefffox
Jefffox on February 27, 2006 at 6:14 pm

The Culver was on the SE, not NE corner of 18th Ave and MacDonald (formerly Gravesend Ave). The Chase bank was built when the Culver was demolished. I used to go every Saturday AM in the 1950s to see the kiddie shows, usually cartoons and the 3 stooges. The kids sat in a side section which was patrolled by a severe matron to keep us in line. I recall that there was a small balcony, but I may be wrong about this. If there was one, I was never allowed to sit there owing to my tender age.

It was probably named after the Culver elevated line, but I wonder if it may have been named after Culver City CA, near Hollywood. Does anyone know for sure?

ERD
ERD on October 31, 2005 at 11:42 am

Unfortunately, like most movie houses, the organ was neglected and not in workable condition for many years.

overcertified
overcertified on July 31, 2005 at 8:13 pm

That’s right. It was for a long time a Chase bank. It was a corner lot. Part of the naming is from the IND Train line, which is currently the F train, but back then it was the D train, and called the “culver line”. I remember my father taking me to Abbott & Costello & Three Stooges movies there, which would be before I was 5, and that is over 46 years ago.

dfc
dfc on June 27, 2005 at 2:18 pm

The Culver was torn down in 1966 to make way for a Chase Manhattan Bank. A bank is still there, but it may not be a Chase Branch anymore.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 30, 2005 at 8:57 am

The Culver Theatre is listed in Film Daily Yearbooks that I have from 1930 to 1957, so it certainly operated during these years. A seating capacity is given as 1,445 and the location in some of the editions is given as Gravesend & 18th Ave, but in later editions it is given as the exact address.

Theaterat
Theaterat on March 30, 2005 at 8:40 am

The Culver was on the north east corner of McDonald and 18th.av.The address would probably be 4339 18th.av. The addresses ending in odd numbers are on the east side of 18th.av. The addressea ending in even numbers are on the west side of 18th. av.There is no way the Culver would have been at 4334 18th av.And,yes. There is a bank where the Culver once stood.

Theaterat
Theaterat on March 27, 2005 at 3:02 pm

The Culver was just a neighborhood theater. Very similiar to the Benson(see entry] it seared about 1200.here was no balcony or seperate entrance from lobby to proscenium. The outside was painted tan and had an orange stripe. The marquee was semi circular and had the name in neon lights. It was a last run theater that generally showed double features. It was owned by the Randforce co. wich also owned the Benson, Beverley, Walker ang Marboro theaters. It stood under the elevated subway where the F train runs.I remember seeing Woodstock the movie here in the summer of 1970.I had a summer job at Ajax Transmissions at Webster Av. 3 blocks away. One Friday we had half a day. I cashed my check and walked over to see it.From what I remember, it was boarded up and closed by early 1971