Avalon Theatre

1720 Kings Highway,
Brooklyn, NY 11229

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rondanto on August 20, 2014 at 2:20 pm

Flatbush Ave in the 50’s & 60’s was like Broadway to me with all the theaters. Sometimes We’d walk to each one to see what future attractions were coming. My favorite was Loew’s Kings. Remember seeing “ King of Kings” there on Holy Thursday ,April 1962

robboehm on August 4, 2014 at 6:58 am

Century built the Prospect in Flushing and leased it to Loew’s. Loew’s built the Manor in Brooklyn and leased it to Century who renamed it Vogue. Century also built the Merrick in Jamaica and leased it to Skouras, and, goodness knows, what else between which parties. The Propect returned as Century after the breakup of Loew’s and the Merrick also. Then there is the matter of the Century castoffs that became Springer. Springer, supposedly, an in law of Al Schwartz the founder. If you look extensively on CT you will also see a number of other theatres built by Century, not only the Suffolk in Riverhead mentioned in my December 8, 2013. comment.

Then there is the Century Skouras relationship where advertisements list certain theatres under both names while, elsewhere on the same page, there are venues just listed as Century. Subsequently, the “joint” theatres are either or.

Bobcorn on August 3, 2014 at 1:45 pm

I would be grateful for clarification of the relationship between Century Theaters and Loew’s Inc. In the 40s the Avalon was the venue for MGM movies, and the Kingsway for 20th Century Fox. These weren’t exclusive but you would know where to find Judy Garland and where to find Tyrone Power. The distribution link was clear. Is there a source for photographs of the interior? Thanks, Bob Cornfield

robboehm on December 8, 2013 at 7:16 pm

The more I read the headings on these theaters the “curioser” the owner/management relationships seem. Loew’s builds theaters that go Century. Century builds and leases to Loew’s. And, oddly, before the Almi-Century and RKO Century Warner, Loew’s was trying to buy Century. Dentury built the Suffolk and it went to Prudential. Prudential built the Huntington Station and it went to Century. Calderone built and leased to Skouras and Century. Etc., etc.

robboehm on December 8, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Filmed on location in the Coliseum I believe Urban was the Pope at that time. Nay. Just a typo 1959.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on December 8, 2013 at 3:22 pm

1059? Was it a silent movie? Illuminated? Starring The Byzantines and the Saxons? And directed by the pope in Rome?

robboehm on December 7, 2013 at 4:11 pm

The Big Circus was released in 1059.

MikeeV on December 7, 2013 at 1:26 pm

I was 17 and a senior at JMHS. My first job was as an usher at the Avalon. What a great experience… having the opportunity to view parts of the theatre not seen by the average patron. I visited, on a weekly basis, the projection room (great view of what action was taking place, not on the screen, but in the balcony), back stage with the original lighting controls for the “house”, the fan room that was converted to air conditioning,and walking the “cat walk” in the hanging cealing which is the way we changed the bulbs in the overhead lighting. The theatre, end to end, was just plain beautiful.. What year did I work at the Avalon? The first picture playing there when I started was “The Big Circus” I think it important to mention that the theatre manager, Mr. Bob Albino, was a mentor and roll model for all the kids that were employed there. He established the work ethics that stayed with me throughout my working career… and they served me well. Thank you Mr. Albino

Bway on April 22, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Does anyone know if any of the theater’s ornamentation remains inside in the drug store.

BrooklynNative on May 22, 2012 at 8:26 am

Also, when it was the Avalon, there used to be a florist shop on the corner of the building.

BrooklynNative on May 22, 2012 at 8:26 am

My grandfather used to own the doughut shop across the street. We kept them neck deep in doughnuts in exchange for seeing whatever was running at the time. I think I saw Star Wars there. Also Towering Inferno. Many years later I wound up having one of my first jobs as a stock boy in the Pathmark Drug Store that took the place of the movie theater.

PHILTK on February 27, 2011 at 11:26 am

I was surprized to see that this theatre opened back in 1928. When i went there back in the 70s it looked a lot newer then most of the other brooklyn theatres that i used to go to.

GaryCohen on January 7, 2010 at 3:59 pm

I went to the Avalon several times during the 1970s. It was a fairly nice theater, but never drew the big crowds as the Kingsway did, 5 or 6 blocks away. I think I might have seen Clint Eastwood in “The Enforcer” there and I sort of remember being dragged to see Streisand in “A Star is Born” (Ugh) I do clearly remember seeing films there that were good, but not particularly successful: Charles Bronson in “Breakheart Pass,” Roger Moore in “Ffolkes” and Sean Connery in “The Great Train Robbery” in 1980 (which might have been the last film I saw there.)

bmovies on December 3, 2008 at 2:08 pm

Ahh, the Avalon. I recall seeing the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (my Grandfather took me) many years ago at a theater somewhere on Kings Highway, somewhere before Ocean Avenue, but I knew it wasnt the Kingsway. And I didnt remember the name of the theater. I recall that the location was replaced with a pharmacy, and it took me some research to finally find the name of this theater: The Avalon. I lived not too far away, on East 12 street. I was still young when the theater was closed, and even though I RARELY went to the Avalon (saw only a handful of movies there, and Willy Wonka is the only one I can remember seeing at the Avalon), I was saddened to see it go.

talkinpix on June 20, 2008 at 11:19 am

The Avalon did NOT run XXX in its final years. Not even for a short time. I remember driving down Kings Highway from Ocean Parkway many a time, and passing the Cinema (Kings Highway)on my left-hand side, which did have a XXX venue.

Thank-you Warren for the great interior shots! Does anyone else have any photos of the interior? It would be very much appreciated.

DeskGuy on June 18, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Hi Warren,

Thanks for responding.

I know it wasn’t the Cinema Kings Highway. I’m familiar with that theater (at least from the outside) because I had lived in the neighborhood, attended PS 238 down the block, ate at the adjacent Kings Highway Diner millions of times, etc. I’m pretty sure it was the Avalon that showed porn, perhaps for a short time. In fact, I’m embarrased to reveal that I think I can actually remember a name of one of the movies the theater was showing in the early 1980’s: Sex World. I think I remember being shocked when observing that title on the marquee as I was just a little kid at the time. I wish there was a way we can verify this.

DeskGuy on June 17, 2008 at 9:47 pm

I could have sworn that the Avalon showed porn in its final years. I was only a little kid, so I may be wrong or thinking of another theater. Can anyone confirm this?

Mortonman on June 6, 2008 at 4:57 pm

It did not have a “Wonder Morton.” Those were in the Loews Valencia, the Loews Kings, the Loews 175th St., the Paradise (Bronx), and the Loews Jersey City.

zivotuno on December 20, 2007 at 4:07 pm

rite aid not dueane reade…
same difference, like we dont have enough of both!

zivotuno on December 20, 2007 at 4:03 pm

thanks for all the comments
i hear all the wonderful stories about the old cinema… i dont think it is a cvs but rather a duane reade that occupies the avalon with some ridiculous college upstairs…
i just came from my first peak at the old jewel and left after 20 minutes..
the place is cross and the creeps were everywhere..
i went upstairs to see the “regular” films and found they had japense mind numbing story of a killer mutant fish!
anyway, it sucks i always have to head over to manhattan when i want watch a decent movie!

Moishe21 on November 23, 2007 at 12:42 pm

As a former member of IATSE Local 306 it is sad to admit that due to corruption of the local, and the un-willingness of the International to protect all the local operating locals……..management was able to wipe out the craft of operator……even the city of NY turned it’s head…..one had to have a license to project…..today save for ten plex and up…..18 year old snot noses run the shows….a sad end to a great craft…..I was lucky to have worked all the old barns…I loved it….since the first time my parents took me to the movies at age five…..

kencmcintyre on November 2, 2007 at 10:46 am

The 1972-73 Brooklyn yellow pages has a listing for the Century Theater executive office and then an indented list of Century theaters. They were the Avalon, Brook, College, Elm, Kings Plaza Twin, Kingsway, Marine, Mayfair, Midwood, Nostrand, Oceana, Rialto and Sheepshead. I have the addresses if necessary, but I’m reasonably certain that all these theaters have been well documented on CT.

jflundy on February 3, 2007 at 10:29 am

1930 circa photo showing vertical, interesting base: