Nassau Theatre

88 Nassau Avenue,
Greenpoint,
Brooklyn, NY 11222

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Nassau Theatre

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This Brooklyn theater was located in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood, on Nassau Avenue between Manhattan Avenue and Leonard Street. It was originally called the Nassau Avenue Theatre.

Any additional information would be greatly appreciated…

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

cjdv
cjdv on July 13, 2004 at 11:26 am

There is mention of a theatre on this site in 1910 belonging to one John Droge. The earliest reference I have found to a Nassau theatre is 1914. It is listed in the American Motion Picture Directory 1914-1915 (“Nassau Theatre,Nassau Avenue nr. Manhattan”). This early directory does not give seating capacity. However the 1926 Film Daily Yearbook list capacity at 600 with an address of 92 Nassau. The 1947 Film Daily Yearbook shows 599 seats and the address of 88 Nassau (I have seen the address given as 88-92 Nassau).My files show it closing in 1953. It became a catering hall at one point.

harry
harry on January 25, 2005 at 6:26 pm

88-92 Nassau Avenue is now the Princess Manor catering hall. http://www.princessmanor.com/

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on July 10, 2006 at 9:16 am

Still in use as a catering hall when I photographed in recently in June 2006:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kencta/186776382/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kencta/186776906/

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on January 14, 2008 at 3:10 pm

The Nassau closed just as I was beginning to become aware of movie theaters. I remember passing by it with my mother as we walked to visit my grandmother on Calyer St. many times. One day it was showing pictures; the next day it was shut. My guess is that 1955 – rather than 1953 – provides a better estimate of its demise, but memories are very tricky things.

While I never went to the Nassau as a movie house, I have attended scores of wedding receptions, annual dinners, political fundraisers, etc. at the catering hall. Initially, it was called Rovnaks, after the owners. This was Greenpoint’s first “modern” catering hall, since it provided a “classier” venue than the church and legion halls previously used for such events. The Rovnak’s eventually changed the name to Princess Manor. It was subsequently sold to its present owners who have almost exclusively marketed it to the ethnic Polish community. Thus, most non-ethnic Poles will now feel more at home being served by the Princess Manor’s prime competitor – the Polonaise Terrace!

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on February 2, 2008 at 4:41 am

While I first went to the Rovnak catering hall in November 1964 for my aunt’s weddong reception, which does postdate the C of O date, I don’t believe that the place had just opened. So Lost Memory’s conjecture that the old movie house may have been used as a catering hall before 1964 is probably correct. Since I do not recall any other interim use, a 1964 opening date would mean that the place stood vacant for 8 years. (The Nassau closed at least three years before the Winthrop, which met its demise in 1959.) When one considers that the Nassau was situated near the intersection of Greenpoint’s two major commercial streets, eight years of non use does not seem very believable. It certainly does not square with my memory. Anyone have any other thoughts or memories about this?

When the Nassau was open, it was flanked by two fruit and vegetable stores that always struck me as being decrepit and dirty. I could never understand why my mother ever patornized them. By the early 1960’s, these had been replaced by the Pizza Prince and the drug store that now extends all the way to Leonard St. (A tiny newstand/candy store occupied a corner storefront.)I believe the conversion of the movie house predated these developments and probably provided an incentive for them to have occurred.

michelemarie
michelemarie on April 13, 2008 at 11:32 am

Dear John Rovnak’s is what I vaguely remember…Go on the other Nassau Site I left you a note about the Catering Hall….I remember the Candy store on the Corner next to the Pizza Prince….But now you say there is a Drug Store that extends all the way to Leonard Street…I have a site for you to go on it is called BrooklynPix.com you can see alot of pictures of Brooklyn….anniegirl

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on January 30, 2010 at 11:59 am

This book about Brooklyn streetcars has a rare photo of the Nassau Theatre during the silent era, with a Jack Hoxie western listed on the marquee. Unfortunately, the photo is not included in the selection displayed at Amazon: View link

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 30, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Try Google Books&client=opera&pg=PA97#v=onepage&q=nassau&f=false). P.97.

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on January 31, 2010 at 7:07 am

Joe, thanks for the wonderful picture, which was snapped right after my father turned four. This must have been exactly how he first remembered the old movie house.

The underlying caption notes that Nassau was the Dutch name for Long Island, a fact that I was not aware of. This probably explains why it was also used when Nassau County was established in 1898; when an unseccessful attempt to rename Newtown Creek as the Nassau River was also made at about the time; and when a movie theater situated on Grand St. in Williamsburg was also given the Nassau name. (A separate CT page is devoted to this theater.)

The trolley appearing in the picture notes a Manhattan Ave. end to the run. My guess is that this particular trolley was ending its daily run and would leave its route at Manhattan in order to return to the car barn, which was situated near Manhattan Ave’s. northern end at Newtown Creek. Otherwise, the trolley would have continued its run down Lorimer St. and, ultimately, Franklin Ave. (This was the route generations of Greenpointers took to visit Ebbetts Field.) Until the bus depot closed sometime in the 1970’s or early 1980’s, this is how the B-48 busses ended their daily runs.

Finally, the second picture depicts a iiquor store being situated across the street from the old Nassau. Over ninety years later, a liquor store still exists here, I am sure after many, many changes in ownership.

Thanks again for the memories!

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