Grand Theatre

743 Grand Street,
Williamsburg,
Brooklyn, NY 11211

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Showing 1 - 25 of 36 comments

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

Great photos posted by Bway.

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.

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!

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.

GTB
GTB on March 13, 2011 at 4:58 pm

As soon as I get my scanner working again, I will post the remaining photos. I have 8 in total.

rmdittus
rmdittus on March 13, 2011 at 3:36 am

The photos are great. I had originally asked if anyone had any photos a few years back (under an old account that I couldn’t reactivate) and came over here for the first time in a long time and found these great pictures. You can see the Oloff’s Shoe store sign in the background in photo 1. I could never imagine how a movie theater would have looked on that block, but now I can see that it fit in very well and looked very nice.

Goodheart
Goodheart on February 24, 2011 at 8:38 pm

GBT and Bway, thanks much for the wonderful photos of the Grand, a theater that I remember well.

JoeB

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on February 18, 2011 at 3:03 am

BWAY,GTB,Classic ,Guys Classic pictures.Thanks for taking the Time to get these on CT.

GTB
GTB on February 16, 2011 at 5:21 pm

I have several. They will be on the way today.

Bway
Bway on February 16, 2011 at 2:57 am

I can host the photo online if you have a scanned photo of it. My mail is myrtlebway at hotmail dot com

GTB
GTB on February 12, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Since the photo upload is still not available, does anyone want copies of the pictures of the Grand Theater that I have? All I have is scanned prints. If they don’t get archived somewhere, they will eventually become lost.

TPH
TPH on November 5, 2009 at 9:44 pm

The Grand survived well into the 60’s. As noted in a comment on the Republic Theater’s site, the Grand became a Premiere Showcase outlet when that venture was rolled out. It suddenly was catapulted to “first-run” status.

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on November 5, 2009 at 7:35 pm

I agree with GTB that the old Grand could not be the Opera House. It is situated no where near South 1st.

In reviewing the CT files for this community, I came up with a possible alternative. It is the Metro Theatre, which was situated at 194 Grand St. This lot backs right into South 1st. In addition, the site description notes that the Metro replaced an old vaudeville house named the Unique Theatre in the mid 1920’s and that a theater had existed here since 1894. Now it is possible that the Unique was also known as the Opera House during a portion of its existence, including 1907. Food for thought.

GTB
GTB on November 4, 2009 at 3:21 pm

The Grand Theater in Brooklyn, NY was not near any “South 1st St.” It is possible that the street names were changed since the 1907 program, but I doubt it.

Yankeedoodleboy
Yankeedoodleboy on November 4, 2009 at 3:24 am

I have not been back to this site for a long time, but the Grand Theater I identified in my 1/13/08 posting as a former vaudeville house was, in fact, the Grand Theater on Grand Street. The 1907 program that I have includes a seating map that shows “exits no. 1,2,3 leading to Grand Street” and “exits no. 4 and 5 leading to South 1st Street.” The theater was managed by Davis & Marks. This was not the Grand Opera House on Elm.

C. R. Brewster

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on September 10, 2009 at 1:52 pm

Yes, I guess the “movie theater as baby sitter” function is the reason why so many of the movie houses hired matrons to supervise the kids during those endless Saturday matinees. (In case you are interested, both the Ridgewood and Madison theatre pages feature great stories about their legendary matrons.)

GTB
GTB on September 9, 2009 at 5:19 pm

The “superior venue” of the Grand may have been due to the fact that the admission was lower than the Graham as The Grand ran inexpensive to rent “B” movies. This brought in swarms of kids all weekend long. The money was made from the captive audience spending all they had at the concessions. The Graham tried to run more new releases. Higher movie rental fees meant higher ticket prices and therefore fewer customers spending money at the concessions. The “B” houses are run profitably if they are run like a circus or carnival. The acts bring the customers to the side show where you get their money. With the advent of television, this business model no longer works. The TV is a cheaper “baby sitter”.