Decatur Theater

1674 Broadway,
Brooklyn, NY 11207

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Liggett-Florin Booking Service

Architects: Louis Allmendinger

Firms: Shampan & Shampan

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Decatur Theater

The Decatur Theater replaced an earlier theater on this site, the People’s Pleasure Palace (1908-1914), and was built and opened in 1914. It was a small theater in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick and stood at 1674 Broadway between Macdonough Street and Decatur Street. It had no balcony, and had seats on only one level. In 1924, the lobby was extended to the plans of architectural firm Shampan & Shampan. By 1950 it was operated by Liggett-Florin Booking Service. The Decatur Theater was closed in 1951.

Since 1994 it housed Henry Distributors hardware store. The interior was gutted for this use. The building was demolished in April 2015 to make way for housing.

Contributed by Peter Koch

Recent comments (view all 30 comments)

Bway on August 17, 2005 at 9:09 pm

Joe, unfortunately yes, the Decatur (and the Rogers) have been torn down. A group of one story stores exists on the site of the Rodgers, and the site of the Decatur is currently still an empty lot.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 25, 2005 at 3:57 am

The American Motion Picture Directory 1914-1915 lists a Peoples Pleasure Palace at 1676 Broadway. Could this have been another name for the Decatur Park airdrome (later Decatur Theatre) located at 1674 Broadway, as mentioned by cjdv in his posting dated April 24, 2005. Or then again it could be totally seperate building?

sasheegm on August 25, 2005 at 9:09 am

Kenroe & Lostmemory: It’s amazing the way you fellows come up with these very interesting facts…….I wish more info was available on the old Rogers Movie house, furthur west on Broadway, as that seemed to look like the oldest, from what I recall, in the old neighborhood…….Joe From Florida…P,S, waiting for the wind and rain to pick up down here from “Katrina”

sasheegm on August 25, 2005 at 10:01 am

supposed to make landfall around Ft. Lauderdale late tonight——-We are 150 miles to the north——-we will get some gusts & alot of rain, but the strongest winds will be to our south———-Please—-we had enough last year———we were out of our home for almost 6 months waiting for repairs, as the house was devestated——But I am getting off the Putor now——Yanks have an afternoon game—-Joer From Florida

roybarry on June 23, 2007 at 10:23 am

There was a theater that you could see a double feature, usually Hopalong Cassidy, Tarzan flicks plus several serials and multiple cartoons for 15 or 20 cents. Mr. Shine was the managers name and he was always there! The theater itself was not kept up and cleanliness was not on their agenda, but they filled the house with the neighborhood kids. Still there are fond memories of this little theater.

PKoch on June 25, 2007 at 11:58 am

Good to see you on this page, leroyelliston. I was rather hoping you would get here. You may have already read, on this page or elsewhere, that the Decatur was known as “The Itch” among Bushwick residents, due to its unsanitary condition. My father’s sister may have gotten lice or nits in her hair there.

sasheegm on June 25, 2007 at 12:38 pm

Hi Guys: I think I, among others, affectionatly called the Decatur, Rogers, & the Monroe, the “Itch” theaters in Bushwick, Brooklyn———-but they sure kept us kids entertained——-My Mother used to tell me not to use the bathrooms in any of them…..and if you ever went into one of the rest rooms you would know why—-WHEW!————I don’t recall the Decatur having cats running around inside, but I do remember the Rogers had plenty of them patrolling the aisles———the best seats of all three was at the Monroe——at least they were padded——The Decatur had wood seats and after a Saturday Matinee, everyone would have sore butts———-Joe From Florida

roybarry on June 30, 2007 at 7:47 am

You all remmember the manager Mr. Shine? I can still see his face…always reminded me of a grouchy, but kind waiter in a deli in NYC. I believe his wife also worked at the theater.

Roy from Cooper Street…3 sewer champ!

johndereszewski on April 27, 2015 at 11:21 am

Today’s Brownstoner blog reports that this site is now being demolished and will be replaced by a much needed supported housing development.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on November 12, 2018 at 8:28 am

Brief history and tax photo published here

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