Lindy Theatre

118 Graham Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11206

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 3, 2013 at 9:26 pm

The December 6, 1913, issue of The Moving Picture World said that a group of Williamsburg exhibitors had met at the Progress Theater, 116 Graham Avenue, on November 20 to establish a branch of the New York City Exhibitors' Association.

I don’t know if the addresses have been shifted since 1913, or if the entrance to the theater actually was once in the other store building that fronts the auditorium. It must have been the same house, in any case.

Cezar DelValle’s Brooklyn Theatre Index says that this house was in operation as the Progress Theatre in 1912-1913, became the Variety Theatre from 1914-1917, and returned to being the Progress Theatre from 1918 until 1933, when it became the Lindy Theatre, closing in 1954.

Willburg145 on May 20, 2013 at 2:45 am

There is a building at 69 Graham Avenue,formerly Schecter’s Furniture store and it looks like it was a movie theatre. I will try and take a picture and post it.

Fritz on October 3, 2011 at 4:51 pm

I remember the Lindy well. Locally we called it “The dumps” Not very comfortable seats, only two aisles going down to the screen. Showed really old movies. (late 40s – early 50s)

johndereszewski on August 29, 2011 at 10:52 am

Well, Willburg145, you have a much better imagination than I do … By the way, some interesting comments regarding the Lindy were recently posted on the Graham Theatre page. They are worth a look.

Willburg145 on August 27, 2011 at 6:52 pm

I have checked out the Rent a Center. It certainly gives the impression of being a theater.

johndereszewski on June 17, 2009 at 1:12 am

Bway, I could not agree with you more on this. Along these lines, you might also wish to check out another movie house situated at the opposite end of Graham Ave. It was known as the Public Palace and, if anything, seems to be an even less probable former movie house site. Yet, this apparently was the case, at least through the silent era. Hope you – and anyone else – will enjoy a view of this site.


Bway on May 4, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Judging about Ken’s photo, I would never have guessed this was a theater at one time.

KenRoe on July 10, 2006 at 11:05 pm

A June 2006 photograph I took of the recently re-clad facade of the Variety/Progress/Lindy Theatre:

Bway on June 13, 2006 at 3:07 pm

Here’s an aerial view to back up what Ken mentioned above. The lobby area was the very low buiding seen in this photo, right next to the large apartment building, on the block in which the backs of the stores are facing us. The auditorium, jets out next to it, to the left of that low building, and strectches to McKibbon St as Ken mentioned.

View link

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on June 7, 2006 at 2:01 pm

Nice work. I’m thinking about having you knighted, Sir Ken. :)

KenRoe on June 7, 2006 at 1:47 pm

The building at 118 Graham Avenue (current retail use as RAC-Rent-A-Center) is the former Variety/Progress/Lindy Theater. The former auditorium space at the rear of the store widens out and when viewed from the McKibbon Street side, the exterior brickwork of the auditorium can be seen.

There is currently no visible trace of any cinematic decoration to be seen either within or on the exterior.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 26, 2005 at 5:00 pm

For some reason the property reports for this block are not accurate to say the least and that is the reason for the confusion. I had to research this the hard way by block and lot number for each property. I checked the deeds for each property and found the following. Lot # 1 is the Deli which lists an address of 116 Graham Avenue. Bway is correct, the numbers do get higher. The next building is lot # 2 with an address listed as 118 Graham Avenue. The building next to that is lot # 3 with an address of 120 Graham Avenue and the little building with the blue awning is lot #4 with an address of 122 Graham Avenue.

That places the Lindy theater as the second building next to the Deli. I’m not sure if the Lindy occupied two lots and used the address of 118-120 Graham Avenue. You would have to look at those two buildings next to the Deli and determine if they were built around the same time or is one much older than the other. So, the 118 Graham Avenue address appears correct after all.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 26, 2005 at 3:24 pm

Here are some of the properties listed for that area. For some odd reason, the Deli is listed as 114-118 Graham Ave. Its a triple width lot with a single width building on it. That makes no sense to me. Anyone have any idea which address the Lindy had?

110 Graham Avenue Primarily 1 Family With 1 Store Or Office (S1) 19.00ft x 40.00ft 19.00ft x 50.00ft
112 Graham Avenue Walk Up Apt, Over Six Families With Stores (C7) 31.00ft x 50.00ft 31.00ft x 55.00ft
118 Graham Avenue Store With Apartments Above (K4) 25.00ft x 55.00ft 75.00ft x 100.00ft
122 Graham Avenue Store Building, One Story (K1) 25.00ft x 100.00ft 25.00ft x 100.00ft
124 Graham Avenue Walk Up Apt, Over Six Families With Stores (C7) 25.00ft x 80.00ft 25.00ft x 100.00ft

Bway on April 26, 2005 at 3:02 pm

Yeah, something is not right here. This was the block with “118” when I took the photo. The corner building is ann old woodframe building, and the building code did not allow that from around the turn of the century onward, so this is an old building.
Actually, the numbers get higher as they go north (meaning the building with the blue awning would be higher than the deli, etc).
When I was I there and took the photo, I was confused. I don’t know exactly which building was 118, however, it was one of the ones in the photo.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 26, 2005 at 2:39 pm

Which building was the Lindy theater in Bways photo? According to City records, 118 Graham Avenue is a corner property. It is a three story building with a store on the bottom and four apartments above. That description fits the Deli in the photo. No build date is listed so it makes it more difficult to figure out which building the Lindy occupied. The Deli building appears to be a very old building and I doubt very much that building was the Lindy theater. As someone mentioned, the Deli was there in the 40’s and the Lindy lasted into the 50’s so that would eliminate the Deli building. It is obvious to me that the address for this theater is wrong. When I checked into the other buildings on the block, it appears from the City records that the addresses get lower as you move towards the building with the blue awning. The building with the blue awning seems kind of small to house a theater with almost 600 seats unless the building was replaced at some point.

cjdv on April 24, 2005 at 6:30 pm

In 1912, Trow’s list a theatre on this site belonging to Samuel Goodman (in keeping with an all to common practice of the period the theatre is listed only by the owner’s name). However in the 1914 Motion Picture Directory it appears as the Variety. In the late 1910s it becomes the Progress Theatre (seating 600). Under that name it is listed in the FDYBs. However to confuse matters the FDYB in some editions list 110 Graham and in other editions the correct 118. It became the Lindy in the early 1930s. It is still listed in the 1957 FDYB at 118 Graham.

JoeS on April 22, 2005 at 2:58 am

I can’t be positive but my memory says it was next to the Deli.
I may be wrong on that though.It’s so long ago.I always connected the
Deli with the Lindy.I know it was closer to McKibbon St.

Bway on April 22, 2005 at 2:52 am

So anyway, since this is the corner of Graham and McKibbon, looking towards the Rainbow on the next block or so, was the Lindy right next to the deli building (now the Rent-a-Center), or midblock where the blue awninged store is.
If it is the blue awninged store, this can be changed to “closed/demolished”, if it’s the “rent-a-Center” next to the deli, then it’s probably the original building with an altered fascade.

Bway on April 22, 2005 at 2:49 am

I didn’t upload the original 4mp photo, but the sign says “McKibbon St” in the original larger version of my photo. This is on the opposite side of the Rainbow Theater (see my photo taken the same day of the Rainbow in it’s section).

Astyanax on April 22, 2005 at 1:06 am

Actually I suspect that the blue awning is where the Lindy was located as it was definitely in mid-block. As for the Rainbow, it is across the street past the red-gabled former(?) convent buildings, 2 blocks past McKibbin St., between Montrose & Meserole.

JoeS on April 21, 2005 at 10:54 pm


If the street sign says McKibbon St. then it’s the Rent a Car.
The Mini Market was a Jewish Deli in the forties.
Since I can’t see the street sign I’m not sure what I'm
looking at.The Lindy was about a block before the Rainbow
Theater.It was on the opposite side of the street.

Bway on April 21, 2005 at 6:19 pm

Here is the site of the Lindy theater, it could only be the building with the Rent-A-Center (heavily altered), or the one with the blue awning, after the theater was demolished. Joe, do you know where it was on this block? None of these buildings had numbers on them, but how the numbers ran, it had to be one of these buildings, and it couldn’t be the one on the corner, or the one to the left of the rent-a-center.

Click here for link to current photo

JoeS on April 21, 2005 at 3:30 am

I believe I used to pay .04 cents for admission.My knish was
a nickel.

Astyanax on April 21, 2005 at 3:18 am

I remember when Earth vs. the Flying Saucers was playing there in the mid-50’s. Aroung this time there was a hue & cry when the price of the Saturday kiddie matinee went up from 25 to 26 cents. There may not have been a concession stand here, but someone with a tray of candy would go up and down the aisles selling the treats.

JoeS on April 21, 2005 at 1:58 am

This theater was off of Mckibbon St.Next door was a Deli that sold
the most delicous knishes.I would buy a knish and enter the movie theater.I saw Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves there.Loads of those
Hollywood musicals,Three Stooges,Laurel and Hardy and in most cases
Hollywood Westerns.
Nice little movie house in the forties that I practically lived in.
Not as upscale as the Rainbow,Grand,Commodore or Marcy.
The price was always right.A few cents admission.