Carroll Theater

381 Utica Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11213

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Showing 24 comments

Androdworld on September 4, 2013 at 7:14 am

When I saw these pictures (especially “Lostmemory” THANKS) I felt my heart heave. My dad took us here from our house two blocks away when I was 6! Sigh!

dome1345 on May 20, 2013 at 3:08 pm

and its a haitan church

dome1345 on May 20, 2013 at 3:06 pm

thanks it look relly nice and they keept the dome.

dome1345 on May 18, 2013 at 2:22 am

i go to this church now go to WWW.LEGLISEUTICA.ORG

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on January 29, 2012 at 3:42 am

Wow! An 1863 seat porno theater. Sorry I missed it. (How does it look inside now with a church in occupancy?)

techman707 on January 28, 2012 at 10:19 pm

The LAST thing this poor theatre ran was 16mm porno and was operated by a guy named Archie Diskin. The organ had been ripped out, but, the white console was still sitting up front below the stage.

The last time I was there was to run a TV fight in 1970 between Muhammad Ali and Jerry Quarry. It ended so fast they lit the seats on fire and tried to throw them at the screen.

Lenox on April 30, 2011 at 9:57 pm

My JHS school graduation was at the Carroll in 1958

jflundy on February 28, 2009 at 6:32 pm

New York Times of November 26, 1925
“1,800-SEAT THEATRE FOR UTICA AVENUE; A. Brody, Builder, Sells Crown St. Corner for $75,000.

A. Brody, builder, sold the northeast corner of Utica Avenue and Crown Street, being 140 feet on Utica Avenue by 100 feet on Crown Street, to the N. R. Theatres, Inc., which will improve with a theatre to contain 1,800 seats, with stores, facing on Utica Avenue"

conklinwj on February 3, 2007 at 2:19 pm

I remember the Carroll Theater and it definitely had a wrap-around marquee. It also had a small lobby with the ticket window in the right hand corner as you entered the lobby.

I recall going there several times in one week in the mid-50s to see Godzilla. I must have sat through the movie 3 or 4 times.

Great memories of the good old days.

828midwoodst on October 29, 2006 at 7:20 pm

anyone have an old photo of the Carroll Theatre or surrounding neighborhood?

for rugby and eastern parkway area photos

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 10, 2006 at 4:48 pm

The catalog for the Michael Miller Photo Collection of Theatre Historical Society of America lists a 1975 exterior of the Carroll Theatre. The theatre had closed by that time, but the marquee was almost certainly still there if the “mystery photo” was taken in the 1980s. You don’t have to be a member of THS to order a copy of the photo, which is available as a color slide. The catalog number is NYC-MM-BRK-30-1.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 10, 2006 at 11:21 am

As I said earlier, I suspected that the “mystery” theatre would turn out to be from the Randforce circuit. The Carroll was, in fact, one of its earliest theatres and dates back to the time of the Supreme Circuit. In the late 1920s, William Fox took over the Supreme Circuit, and after his bankruptcy the ex-owners of Supreme became heads of the newly formed Randforce circuit, which managed the ex-Fox theatres in Brooklyn (with the notable exception of the downtown Fox Theatre). Thanks, Ken, for taking those photos, and also for saving me a trip to the ex-Rugby to look at the building.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 8, 2006 at 2:20 am

I was thinking the same thing while looking at your photos, Ken. The marquee probably appeared abnormally higher than most on the Utica Ave frontage due to the way the street slopes up towards the corner. I can’t imagine the underside of the canopy lining up any lower than about where the sills of those new windows above the current entrance are located. I also assume that the original entryway was partially bricked over and replaced by the set of five gated doors we now see. I would think that, as a theater, there’d have been a much wider point of entry perhaps with a recessed vestibule. But, I’m just guessing. The introductory comments do mention that the marquee was “unusual”.

Anyway… Now that we’ve identified the theater, I moved the images around in my photobucket album (to a Carroll Theater folder – where I also poached your pair of shots, Ken, if you don’t mind) and so the links I posted above will no longer work. Here are updated links for the photos:

Best In Entertainment
Always Air Conditioned

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on July 7, 2006 at 7:23 am

WOW! I doubt we would ever have solved this mystery from ‘memories’ and would have been speculating and going around in circles for years. I am pleased I ‘made your week’ Ed!

Glad to have helped with my photo’s. I agree with Lost Memory regarding the black mark next to the third circle from the right and further proof is that I have gone back to the original of my second photo I posted and looking at it on a full screen, there is also another black mark located just to the right of the second circle from the right. This too can be seen in the ‘Always Air Conditioned’ photo. These marks are acually the remains of metal support brackets in the facade (possibly where the theatre ‘name. sign was fixed).

Again looking at the ‘Always Air Conditioned’ photo, you can now see where the curve in the marquee begins to gently wrap around the corner of the building. One unusual aspect of this marquee, in my estimation, is that it was placed rather high up on the facade over the entrance!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 7, 2006 at 12:14 am

KenRoe… you may have just made my week!!!

I have a pair of photos that I know are of a Brooklyn theater taken some time in the late 1980’s. The photos are tightly cropped marquee shots that reveal very little of the facade. The photographer is Matt Weber, who has a website chock full of B&W NYC street scene images – including a few shots in decaying Times Square and other bits of “crumbling New York”, as he calls it.

Be that as it may, a number of us here on CT have been trying to identify the theater depicted in the photos. I’d ask Matt for the location, but it seems he just lost himself in Brooklyn the day he snapped these photos and has no specific recollection about where exactly he was. The little that can be seen of the facade looks very much like the former Carroll Theater depicted in your photos… Here they are:

Always Air Conditioned
The Best in Entertainment

Lost….? Warren…? What do you guys think? I didn’t figure the marquee for a corner entrance, but now that I look at the images again, I do believe that there is the indication of the canopy angling around a corner in both shots! Initially, I just thought the marquee was badly battered (which it is, of course, but just not to the extent I first assumed). I think we have a winner, folks.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on July 6, 2006 at 8:23 pm

Two recent(May 2006) exterior photographs I took of the Carroll Theatre:

veteran on March 7, 2005 at 4:05 pm

the carroll was a cavernous place
also a wonderful shelter on rainy afternoons with its double features

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 25, 2004 at 6:56 pm

The Carroll first opened in 1927, and had Charles Sandblom as architect.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 9, 2004 at 4:54 pm

The Carroll was originally part of the Supreme Circuit, one of the many companies that William Fox acquired in the late 1920s. After Fox went banrupt, the Carroll and the other ex-Supreme Circuit theatres landed under Randforce managment. Samuel Rinzler, one of the founders of Supreme, became co-head of Randforce with Emanuel Frisch.

Orlando on May 7, 2004 at 5:20 pm

In the description comment above, the Lincoln was on Bedford Avenue near the Savoy not on Lincoln Place.

philipgoldberg on April 6, 2004 at 6:36 pm

It screened XXX in its waning days as a movie house, as well as showing closed-circuit boxing “events”.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 5, 2004 at 8:12 pm

The Carroll was located at 381 Utica Avenue and had 1,863 seats. Most of the Fox theatres in Brooklyn, with the notable exception of the downtown Fox, landed under the management of Randforce Theatres, which had its HQ in the offices above the Savoy Theatre.

jays on April 5, 2004 at 7:58 pm

The theatre building is not demolished I passed it one month ago it housed a baptist church and if i’m not mistaken it is still operated as such today.

Orlando on April 5, 2004 at 1:16 am

If this building was demolished, it must have been very recently since I saw it three years ago (2001). It closed in 1970, the same time as the same company’s Savoy on Bedford Avenue.