Momart Theatre

590 Fulton Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11217

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Smaller theatre located downtown Brooklyn at Fulton Street and Rockwell Place. The Montmartre Theatre was opened on September 2, 1927 with the French movie version of “Les Miserables”. In 1927 a Kilgen 2 manual, 4 ranks organ was installed. All seating was on a single level.

In 1928 it was renamed Momart Theatre and in December 1929 became a newsreel & short subjects theatre. The Momart Theatre operated until 1954, by which time it was screening Italian films.

It was demolished and the site has been used as a car park for many decades.

Contributed by J.F. Lundy

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

EMarkisch
EMarkisch on September 6, 2004 at 11:59 pm

The following information for the Momart was found on the Orpheum (Brooklyn) page and really should be here…..

Up the block (from the Orpheum) was the Montemartre (aka Momart) a small theatre which opened in 1927 at 590 Fulton Street. The Momart was opened by Warner Brothers and featured foreign films for its' 26 years as neighbor to the RKO Orpheum. This area of theatres came about in the early 1900’s as the turn of century theatres of the 1860’s started to move away from Brooklyn Government Buildings now Cadman Plaza. The movie palaces where in the proximity of Flatbush & Fulton Streets. Brooklyn’s Times Square was just as impressive as New York’s. How 12 theatres in the area boasting over 40,000 seats survived the depression is just how important movies and theatres were a fabric of society during the 1930’s and ‘40’s.
posted by Orlando on Mar 1, 2004 at 2:57pm

In addition to above, The Momart went down with the Orpheum 1n 1953-54. The Strand was out by 1958. The Majestic just kept on going.
posted by Orlando on Mar 1, 2004 at 3:00pm

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on February 19, 2005 at 4:28 pm

In 1927, there was no way that the Montmartre could have shown first-run movies unless it was affiliated with one of the major Hollywood-owned circuits that controlled distribution. As an “indie,” the best it could hope for as a first-run would be minor releases from the “Poverty Row” studios or foreign imports.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 31, 2007 at 12:48 pm

Newspaper advertising from November, 1928, shows this as Weingarten’s Momart, “Brooklyn’s Little Art Theatre.” I suspect that Herman Weingarten ran it from the start, since he was a pioneer exhibitor in Brooklyn and Queens, and is probably best known at CT for the Parthenon Theatre in Ridgewood. One ad even includes a photo of Weingarten and says that he “has dedicated the Momart Theatre to the presentation of German films for the German people of Brooklyn.” The current attraction was a German filmization of “Crime and Punishment,” directed by Robert Wiene and featuring actors from the Moscow Art Players. This was followed by UFA’s “Bondage,” starring Heinrich George, and then by “Q Ships,” which featured “sensational submarine warfare.”

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on June 29, 2007 at 6:07 pm

The spelling of the original name in the introduction is incorrect. The theatre was called Montmarte, not “Montemarte.”…The Montmarte first opened on September 2nd, 1927, according to an article in the next day’s issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Here are some excerpts from that report: “Brooklyn, it seems, has at last been given a chance to show its cinematic appetite by supporting a house boasting of long-run pictures. It is the only one of its kind in this boro, we suspect. Opening the theater is ‘Les Miserables,’ Universal picture also current at the Central Theater in Manhattan. The Montmarte is destined to succeed because of its novelty. The theater is small, seating about 600 in the orchestra. There is no balcony, and the place is calmly furnished…From all appearances, the theater presents a very ‘arty’ front. In order to maintain this pose, it will have to live up to its policy of exhibiting very recent productions. We quote the following from its programme: ‘It has always been necessary for you, the public, to leave your boro in order to view a motion picture in its premier form. This theater will be operated along the line of the so-called Broadway pre-release policy theater, thereby giving you the opportunity of this convenience right in your midst, with the thought in view of ever catering to the discriminating audience.’ Then the programme goes on to hope that we may become ardent rooters of the Montmarte. Let us say that our cheers are mildly given. Furthermore, we sincerely hope that the chocolate vended in the slot machines at the rear of the auditorium will always be fresh and inviting…The Montmarte is on the site of old Val Schmidt’s Hofbrau Haus which was in existence many years ago. The hostelry closed its doors with the advent of the subway and was later torn down. The cinema progresses apace.” Curiously, the report does not name the Montmarte’s owner and/or management. If it was Keith-Albee, they were keeping it secret for the moment.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 2, 2007 at 3:27 pm

At the start of 1928, the name of Keith-Albee suddenly started appearing in newspaper advertising for the Montmarte Theatre. I don’t know if Keith-Albee had just acquired the theatre or had been running it from the beginning. But in the advertising on January 17th, the theatre had the new name of Momart, so Keith-Albee was at least responsible for that change. This happened during an engagement of Tiffany’s silent “Night Life,” which made that movie the last to play at the Montmarte and the first at the Momart. Keith-Albee soon increased the size of its Momart ads, describing the theatre as “The Cinema Salon in the Heart of Brooklyn.” The feature movies were first-run for Brooklyn and accompanied by short subjects. Keith-Albee apparently ran the Momart until Herman Weingarten took over later in 1928. I would guess that Keith-Albee decided that it had enough representation in downtown Brooklyn with its flagship theatre in Albee Square and the Orpheum.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 4, 2007 at 3:46 pm

Here are several ads showing the progress of the Montmartre, the first for its opening day in November, 1927:
www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/mont27.jpg
Early in 1928, the Montmartre turned up under Keith-Albee management. This ad shows it with some of its affiliates in the Keith’s, Keith-Albee and B.S. Moss family. Most of these theatres would eventually carry the banner of RKO. which had not yet been formed, but not the Montmartre or Flatbush:
www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/mont28.jpg
A new name and policy for the theatre:
www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/mont28a.jpg

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on February 8, 2008 at 4:52 pm

In December, 1930, the Momart shifted to showing short subjects and newsreels only, but I don’t know how long the new policy lasted. Here’s a view of the Momart’s entrance, copied from a trade journal photo: www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/momart30.jpg

jflundy
jflundy on February 23, 2009 at 5:31 pm

The 1928 Brooklyn Red Book lists a movie venue, the Putnam Theater, up Fulton from the Momart’s 590 Fulton. It is listed at Fulton and Grand Avenue. That would put it somewhere around 1003 to 1012 Fulton. Is this theater listed under another name on this site ?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 1, 2012 at 10:34 pm

The street view for this theater is off by about a block to the south. I also believe the status of the building should be amended to “demolished.” The northwest corner of Fulton Street and Rockwell Place is depicted in the street view as being vacant and surrounded by construction fencing. The location would be diagonally across from the old Strand Theatre, which is adjacent to the current BAM Harvey.

To correct the street view, turn to the right and head down Fulton to the next intersection (Rockwell Pl). The far corner on the left with the blue fencing should be the site of the late Momart Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 25, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Here is a very belated answer to the question jflundy asked more than three years ago: Putnam Theatre was one of many aka’s for a house that opened in 1885 as the Criterion Theatre, and closed with the same name in 1929. It has now been listed on this Cinema Treasures page.

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