Grand Theatre

743 Grand Street,
Williamsburg,
Brooklyn, NY 11211

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Front of Grand Theater - 1940s or 1950s

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Grand Theatre was opened in late-1913. The interior was remodeled to the plans of architect Harrison G. Wiseman in 1938. It showed B-movies and serials in the 1940’s. It closed in the 1960’s, it has now been gutted internally and is now a a McDonald’s restaurant.

Contributed by BOB DITTMEIER

Recent comments (view all 41 comments)

GTB
GTB on March 13, 2011 at 5:03 pm

BTW, I checked on Bing Maps and the building outline has never changed since it was a theater. Only the facade.

Astyanax
Astyanax on March 13, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Among the values of B'way’s photos of 2/4/11 is placing the theatre within the context of its era. Different anfles of different individuals shows how the Grand was very much a part of the neighborhood scene. The downtown Fox or the ornate Republic may have been for weekend & special occasions, but the Grand was the mainstay for mid-week and Satuday matinees. Bring on the remaining shots!

rmdittus
rmdittus on March 13, 2011 at 10:50 pm

GTB – I passed it today and agree with that comment. The McDonald’s that is currently standing looks like it has the same height and profile as the theater. The rest of the block looks relatively unchanged so it is easy to see the relationship to the building to the neighboring buildings. I look forward to the other pics. Thanks.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on March 13, 2011 at 11:23 pm

Great photos posted by Bway.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 14, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Photos are great, interesting no new shows on Fridays.times Change.

Astyanax
Astyanax on March 14, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Back until the 50’s or 60’s most new releases arrived on Wednesday. The major chains scheduled their program changes weekly on Wednesdays as well. Radio City may have the exception, with new features opening on Thursday.

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on March 14, 2011 at 6:18 pm

I agree with Astyanax that many theaters changed their weekly runs on Wednesday. (On any Tuesday night, you could see the theater attendant changing the facade sign to announce the new production.) But this most usually occurred at the community’s main movie theaters – such as the Meserole and RKO Greenpoint in Greenpoint and the Loews Gates and RKO Bushwick in Bushwick. The smaller “nabe” theaters, like the Grand and the nearby Graham, maintained their own schedules, which could feature triple bills that only ran for a few days. This obviously encouraged their patrons to visit the theater – and benefit from the lower price – more frequently.

297waterbury
297waterbury on April 21, 2011 at 1:14 am

Amazing pictures. I remember Olof’s shoes. I moved to the neighborhood around 1968. I remember there was an insurance office at this site. I think it was a John Hancock office. It later became a doctor’s office. I remember how big it seemed when I went to see the doctor. I told my mother that this had once been a movie theater but she didn’t believe me.

GTB
GTB on October 30, 2011 at 7:50 pm

I just loaded the eight old Grand Theater photos that I have. I marked them as “Public Domain”. In this way these photos can be saved. I should have the negatives. If I don’t, that means that they are already lost. These are the only know copies of these photos.

Finally, I am not able to identify everyone in all the photos.

tacoma
tacoma on November 26, 2011 at 5:38 pm

GTB I lived in the neighborhood and went to the Grand many times, we called it the “Dumps”. Do you happen to have any other photo’s of the area? There was a bar on the corner of Grand and Humboldt called the Holiday Lounge. I spent many happy hours there and would love to see a photo.

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