Wyckoff Theater

247 Wyckoff Avenue,
Wyckoff Heights,
Brooklyn, NY 11237

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Wyckoff Theater, Brooklyn, NY

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The Wyckoff Theater stands at the eastern corner of Wyckoff Avenue and Bleecker Street, in the Wyckoff Heights section of Brooklyn. It was opened on May 8, 1915 with “God is Love”, and was designed by architect Walter B. Wills. In September 1918 alterations were carried out to the plans of architect Eric O. Holmgren. The Wyckoff Theater was closed in 1951. It was before my time, so my earliest memory of it is as a Jehovah’s Witnesses Hall, about 1960 or 1961, a use which continues in 2013.

My oldest aunt went there with her mother to see “Seven Brides For Seven Brothers” in 1954 or 1955 for an adult admission of ten cents. It was not air conditioned at first, but my oldest aunt recalls going there as a kid in the late-1920’s and 1930’s for a nickel, and having a “grand old time” there, seeing double features with cartoons, newsreels and short subjects.

Contributed by Peter Koch

Recent comments (view all 23 comments)

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 6, 2006 at 6:02 am

Here are two images copied from microfilm of 1915 issues of the Ridgewood Times. Note that the Wyckoff originally had a vertical sign on the corner with the word “PHOTOPLAYS” taking up most of both sides of it:

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 6, 2006 at 8:07 am

I’ve just removed the second image that I posted this morning, since it duplicates the photo in the Times News Weekly article. I replaced it with this ad which includes that photo, but has additional information about the Wyckoff:

Bway on October 6, 2006 at 3:02 pm

Wow, aside from the removal of the decrorative cornice, and the addition of an iron fence, the Wykcoff changed little over the years.
Of course, all the windows were bricked up, as it is now a Jehovah’s Witness hall, and Jehovah Witness churches for some reason are not allowed to have windows.
The Classic Theater on Tompkins was a nearly identical theater to the Wyckoff. It too is now some sort of church. See my March 31st, 2005 posting for photos of the Wyckoff and the Classic Theater. Make sure you click the 7:14 PM photo for the Classic (as I goofed up there), and the 6:55 PM post’s photo for the Wyckoff.

depaul420 on August 20, 2008 at 9:21 pm

There was another theater that ran German movies in the early to late 60’s on Wyckoff Ave near Dekalb Ave or Stanhope-Stockholm Streets.
Anyone have the name of it or is it listed here?

depaul420 on August 20, 2008 at 9:37 pm

never mind..I found it..

it was called the Wagner and is listed here…..

I can still see the “Hanseatic” adverts in my mind and remember some of the lyrics


Bway on April 19, 2009 at 10:07 am

Here’s a street view of the Wyckoff Theater:

View link

johndereszewski on August 29, 2010 at 4:46 am

I passed by the old Wyckoff yesterday, and it is still hosting the Witnesses. The building remains in very good shape. I really wonder, however, how 600 people could have fit into such a small building. I guess they knew how to pack them in in those days.

johndereszewski on December 28, 2013 at 7:38 pm

Recently, Tinseltoes posted an interesting ad for this theater which featured several Charlie Chaplin films, at least one of which also featured Mabel Normand. The ad also provided a sketch of the theater – the only record we have of it as a going cinematic concern. This must have appeared in the late 1910’s – early 1920’s period. Interestingly, the theater was described as the “New Wyckoff”. Given the renovations that Peter Koch noted occurred in 1918, I just wonder if the theater adopted that name – at least for a few years – in the wake of the renovation.

In any event, please check out the photo section to view this valuable addition to the record.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 29, 2013 at 3:49 pm

I don’t think that’s a sketch, johndereszewksi. It appears to be an actual photo incorporated into the ad.

johndereszewski on December 29, 2013 at 9:48 pm

You are correct Ed. I guess I spoke too soon. The fact that it is an actual photo makes the ad even more valuable.

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