Casino Theatre

1151-1155 DeKalb Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11221

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Showing 1 - 25 of 75 comments

Bway on May 17, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Oh good, like I said, I had a strange thing happen a few weeks ago, where photos didn’t show up, and a system restore solved the problem. I never figured out what it was.

johndereszewski on May 17, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Jayar’s pictures now come in fine and are great. This was probably just a temporary thing.

Bway on May 17, 2010 at 9:28 am

John, I think it has to be a problem with your computer, as I see the photos fine. You also commented about my photo in the Parthenon Theater “not coming through”, so I think you may have a problem with your computer. You may want to do a system restore, I had a similar problem like that some weeks ago, and that fixed the problem. It’s definitely on your end.

johndereszewski on May 16, 2010 at 8:11 pm

Jayar, while I thank you for posting these pictures, they apparently have been blocked and cannot be accessed. Hopefully, you will be able to resolve this problem.

Looking forward to seeing really good stuff!

Jayar1 on May 5, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Early photograph of the DeKalb Theater…
View link

Tinseltoes on April 11, 2010 at 9:54 am

Here’s an aerial view of the building after school conversion: View link

Jayar1 on April 26, 2009 at 1:16 pm

Bargaintown USA was located at the intersection of Broadway and Reid Ave. see photograph at

doowopluvr101 on April 4, 2009 at 7:26 pm

Like Fenando I took the “nickleless tour” when i was about 10 years old in 1968. The largest theater I ever seen. Too dark to appreciate the decor. besides what 10 year old knows from gothic nor french revival. Spooky is what I remember most. So much space. The stage appeared to be so far away from the top of the balcony.

this place must have been some kind of business in the 60’s.
I won’t swear to it but I’m so certain that around the time the mets were winning the world series that place caught fire. I recall as if it were yesterday how I and a couple of pals joined in with some of the older guys from the neighborhood and went shopping through the charred remains. toys, dolls for my sisters is what I recall.

No I’m not suggesting that this was Bargaintown. I don’t remember a bargaintown. And Buy Rite was on a whole different block.

I do have a tenant thats in her 80’s, has been living in the same place since 1932 On Dekalb ave and she averts that yes they had vaudville shows, italian shows and it was in fact bargaintown.

Bway on April 2, 2009 at 3:45 pm

Amazing how beautiful the interior of this theater was. Does anyone know if anything at all survived the conversion to a school?

Jayar1 on February 10, 2009 at 5:48 pm

Check out this site for photographs of this area

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on June 26, 2008 at 1:37 pm

Here are two ultra-rare images of the DeKalb’s auditorium in its original, pristine condition:
View link
View link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 10, 2007 at 12:08 pm

R. Thomas Short was architect of the DeKalb Theatre, according to an article in The New York Times of April 3, 1915.

PKoch on September 5, 2007 at 11:42 am

Thanks, Lost Memory, for getting this page back on topic in general, and back to the right type of organ, in particular !

PKoch on July 16, 2007 at 9:57 am

As for the cleanup between matinee and evening performances at the Dekalb / Casino, I’m also reminded what Robert DeNiro as Travis Bickle said near the beginning of “Taxi Driver” :

“Some nights I have to clean the come off the back seat before leaving the cab at the garage.”

I mentioned that to a former friend, now deceased, who used to drive a cab for a living, and he said that was VERY accurate.

PKoch on July 16, 2007 at 9:53 am

Bway, I was thinking the exact same thing myself. I think the image showed that “Women in Bondage” was on a double bill at the RKO Bushwick, along with “The Lodger”, starring George Sanders and Merle Oberon, in 1942, and that the marquee also read “Burlesque every Tuesday and Wednesday evening”. The link to that image must be someplace on the page for the RKO Bushwick (theater # 1322).

I remember laughing when I saw the image, because the marquee read as though the “women in bondage” appeared as the burlesque at the Bushwick on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings !

Bway on July 16, 2007 at 9:40 am

I could have sworn I have seen it in ads for at least the Bushwick Theater, but I could be mistaken. I seem to recall something on the marquee of the Bushwick Theater from the 30’s saying “Women in Bondage” or something, but that could have meant something else in the 30’s.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 16, 2007 at 6:02 am

To the best of my knowledge, RKO theatres never presented burlesque shows, nor did Loew’s. They catered to a family audience, and would not risk offending anyone. If you can offer evidence to the contrary, I would be happy to see it.

Bway on July 15, 2007 at 4:56 pm

I believe even some of the more facny theaters like the RKO Bushwick and Madison did occasionally do burlesque shows.

PKoch on July 12, 2007 at 10:17 am

Thanks for the details, Warren. The term “sulphur redhead” comes to mind, also the poem “Red Silk Stockings” by Langston Hughes.

As for the cleanup between matinee and evening performances : I’m reminded of a porno theater or peep show. I never knew the Casino had such a sexually charged past, although, now that you mention it, I suppose many theaters did. I suppose that’s mostly what the Puritans had against theaters. Also, Warren, that’s the most sexually explicit comment I’ve ever seen you post on this site.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 12, 2007 at 8:17 am

As the Depression lingered on in 1937, the Casino Theatre fought back with “Musical Revues” direct from the 42nd Street Apollo in Manhattan. Needless to say, they were really “burlesque” shows, but use of that word had been banned by the NYPD. “Swing, Baby, Swing” must have been plenty hot, since it featured Georgia Sothern, aka “The Flaming Redhead,” who was the most daring of all stripteasers of that era. The Casino presented four shows daily. No doubt the two-hour closure between matinee and evening performances was needed to mop the floors and wipe the seats of any messes left by over-excited patrons:

PKoch on November 2, 2006 at 4:26 am

Thanks, Warren. I suppose the Halsey Theater was the one on Halsey Street, near Saratoga Avenue, between Broadway and Fulton Street, for which a page exists on this site, and at which the young Jackie Gleason got his start in show biz about seventy years ago.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 2, 2006 at 4:22 am

In 1930, these two old-timers in Brooklyn’s so-called Eastern District were “Entirely Remodeled, Redecorated and Refurbished Throughout” by new owners. Note that one of the films advertised featured Brooklyn’s own Ruby Stevens, by then better known as Barbara “Standywick” :

Bway on June 5, 2006 at 5:16 am

There was also a Starr Theater on Knickerbocker near Starr.