Loew's Burland Theatre

985 Prospect Avenue,
Bronx, NY 10459

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Loew's Burland Theatre

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The Loew’s Burland Theatre was once one of 14 theatres that the original Loew’s circuit operated concurrently in the Bronx. Situated in the West Morrisania area, it first opened in 1896 as an open-air theatre that operated only in the summer months. In 1915, the site was excavated for a conventional movie/vaudeville theatre that opened in 1916.

The Loew’s Burland Theatre closed in 1971 and presently houses a supermarket.

Contributed by Warren G. Harris

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 28, 2005 at 1:24 pm

A Moller organ Opus 3548 Size 2/9 was installed in Loew’s Burland Theater in 1923 at a cost of $4500.00. This replaced another Moller organ Opus 2893.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 1, 2005 at 3:55 am

Both my Dad and my Grandfather (on my Mom’s side) lived in The Bronx… my Dad on 167th between Tiffany and Fox from his birth in ‘37 until he joined the Navy in '56 and my Grandfather on Bronx River Ave for a few years in the early '40’s before the Army drafted him for service. They both mentioned this theater – my Grandfather especially – and would entertain me with their stories of “dish nights” and war-bond drives, etc. My Dad apparently went to the Loew’s Spooner and Boulevard Theaters with some frequency, while I recall my Grandfather talking about this theater as well as another called the Loew’s Elsmere. Of course, both waxed nostalgic about trips to the magnificent Loew’s Paradise to catch the bigger flicks earlier in their runs.

My entire family is predominantly from Washington Heights, Harlem and The Bronx so my Grandfather would reel off dozens of wonderful showplaces and neighborhood theaters he attended from the ‘30’s through the '40’s and early '50’s (before he settled with his family in the bucolic suburban setting of Elmhurst, Queens in '54). It’s hard these days for someone to imagine how prolific these neighborhood 2nd and 3rd run theaters were throughout the city. It seemed that everyone was some reasonable distance to a larger showcase theater like the Loew’s Paradise or the Loew’s 175th Street while also being in walking distance to at least one (sometimes 2 or 3) of the smaller 2nd run cinemas that proliferated during the 1st half of the 20th Century. Today, there are probably a similar number of screens (perhaps more) but they’re all concentrated in perhaps one or two huge multiplexes within driving distance. And all semblance of showmanship has completely dissipated.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on December 1, 2005 at 4:47 am

According to today’s timetables in the NY Daily News, there are now only FOUR places in the ENTIRE borough of the Bronx where one can attend a movie: the AMC Bay Plaza Cinemas, the American Theatre multiplex, the Concourse Plaza Multiplex Cinemas, and the Whitestone Multiplex Cinemas. I suppose there also could be some porno and/or ethnic venues that don’t get covered by the mainstream press.

KenRoe on August 27, 2006 at 8:12 am

Two photographs of Loew’s Burland Theatre I took in June 2005. I am not sure, but I believe the supermarket use has now closed and the foyer has been turned into a 24 hour laundry & cleaners, but this was also closed when I visited in the middle of the afternoon. Maybe it had yet to open?

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 29, 2007 at 3:39 pm

This is a photo of the Loew’s Burland.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 2, 2008 at 1:22 pm

The Loew’s Burland can be seen in this photo.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 3, 2008 at 8:27 am

The Burland was one of four theatres that Loew’s pitched to the Afro-American community via weekly advertising in The Amsterdam News. In this January, 1947 ad, Van Johnson shares star billing with black piano prodigy “Sugarchile” Robinson, who made only a brief “guest” appearance in “No Leave, No Love”: View link

TLSLOEWS on December 8, 2009 at 1:54 pm

Nice old pictures.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 30, 2011 at 1:54 am

The November 15, 1913, issue of The Moving Picture World said that the Burland Theatre had opened on November 1. In addition to the 2000-seat indoor theater, the project included an adjacent 3000-seat airdome for use during hot weather. The projection booth was situated so that the projectors could be turned around to face the screen of either theater. The house featured films made by Famous Players, All Star, and Kinemacolor.

The Burland had a seven-piece orchestra, but the MPW item made no mention of vaudeville. In fact, it noted that the screen in the indoor auditorium was against the back wall, with a throw of 155 feet. Prices were ten and fifteen cents for evening performances, five cents for weekday matinees, and ten cents for Sunday matinees.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 30, 2011 at 5:36 am

The Burland Theatre apparently did not open as a Loew’s house. An article in The New York Times of November 16, 1914, said that David V. Picker had taken a lease on the Burland even before it was built, and had taken over direct operation of the house in June, 1914. The article said that he had lately sold a half interest in the Burland and his other house, the Eighth Avenue Theatre, to H. Whitman Bennett, and that the partners intended to open additional theaters on Broadway, in Brooklyn, and in nearby cities.

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