Eagle Theater

431 Central Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11221

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Bway on November 15, 2018 at 7:26 am

Here’s a wonderful photo of the Eagle, operating as a theater, although, closed for the summer, probably die to no air conditioning. It says “visit the Grove” on the marquee.


Jack Theakston
Jack Theakston on October 23, 2017 at 3:35 pm

According to the 12/14/1915 issue of “American Contractor,” cost was $10,000 and the owner was the Madial Amusement Company.

johndereszewski on November 4, 2015 at 12:55 pm

I finally passed by this site today and – yes- nothing of the former theater remains. Only a vacant lot – which will probably not remain vacant for long, though, who knows – remains.

bobsmith on September 11, 2015 at 9:13 pm

The red arrow marks the correct location of the Eagle. It was on the north side of Central Avenue between Madison and Putnam. I remember seeing a newsreel there with a lone crying baby sitting in the street (probably Japanese invasion of Manchuria about 1938). I believe at that time the Grove was the more popular movie house. I know it was for my family. Bob Smith {PS 106, JHS 85} (1296 Putnam Avenue ‘til April “51 then to Korean war. Pop left Brooklyn Navy Yard for Long Beach (CA) Navy Yard in Jan.52, so CA was my new home when I came back. I could never afford college in NY but CA college was almost free in the 1950’s.

johndereszewski on November 5, 2013 at 8:14 am

While I never recalled ceiling fans being used – though that would have made a good deal of sense – I definitely remember the two huge fans that were trotted out to cool us off at the Winthrop, in Greenpoint. They stood – and really stood – directly to the left and right of the screen. I think the same practice occurred at the old American – later the Chopin – Theatre.

I guess before we were spoiled by air conditioning, we put up with a lot of discomfort – especially at the prices charged by the old “nabes”.

robboehm on November 3, 2013 at 10:52 am

Obviously not air conditioned if it was closed for the summer.

johndereszewski on November 3, 2013 at 8:28 am

Thanks again Ken for the vintage photo. And, while it did take a while for the second shoe to drop, it looks like the RIP designation can now be applied to the Eagle.

Finally, Chuck’s note about the “closed for Summer” sign is intriguing. Can anyone cite a similar situation where a non-airconditioned theater simply closed for the Summer? The non-airconditioned movie houses that I remember – like the Winthrop – just installed large fans when the temperatures rose. This sometimes made it difficult to follow all the dialogue, but it did allow the show to go on.

Bway on September 5, 2013 at 12:52 pm

The Eagle Theater is now History.It should be changed to ‘Demolished", while the partially demolished theater stood for about a year, it is now completely gone. i just added a photo from when it stood partially demolished in the photo section of this theater.

Bway on May 31, 2011 at 10:53 am

Notice in the street view of the theater, the words in the cement/tiles on the sidewalk under where the marquee used to be still say “Eagle” right up until the point when the building was partially demolished. The side walls of the theater still remain to this day…someone should do a walk by and see if you can still see “Eagle” on the ground in front of the barricade they put around the building when they tore the front part of the building down….

Bway on February 15, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Someone else I know claims to have also used the theater in the 40’s, so it’s not really clear when it closed.

johndereszewski on February 12, 2011 at 6:02 am

The recently released Brooklyn Theatre Index confirms the fact that Thomas Lamb was the architect. This project, which was little more than a rather plain “nabe” theater, must have been one of Lamb’s very early creations. Also, given the similarity in design that, as noted in previous comments, the Eagle shares with other local theaters, one would wonder if Lamb was, in some way, involved with them as well. (I believe Lamb did live in the general area.) Anyhow, a little food for thought.

The Index does, however, part company from Peter’s introduction by providing a 1940 closing date for the place, while Peter places it in the early 1950’s. In addition, the only testimony of actual attendance noted in the comments provides a 1938 date. Thus, the actual closing date needs to be clarified.

Finally, the theater’s initial name – the Central Theatre – should be added as a previous name at the top of the page.

johndereszewski on December 19, 2010 at 7:31 am

A brief description of the old Eagle plus a few current pictures of the site appear in an article that I recently wrote for the terrific BushwickBk blog. The pictures can be viewed in a slideshow that also contains pictures of a number of other old Bushwick movie houses. Hope you enjoy it.

View link

johndereszewski on August 1, 2010 at 7:53 am

Had a free day, took a pass by and found the shell of the old Eagle much as it was before. Even the old and even more expired building permits were still in place. The metal beams have, however, become the nesting ground for a number of pigeons.

johndereszewski on March 21, 2010 at 8:09 am

I was able to make it over here yesterday, and the situation is as Bway described. One thing that I did observe was the fact that the building permits pasted on the fence expired last November. This is obviously not a good sign for the future prospects of what remains of the Eagle.

johndereszewski on March 20, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Went by this site today, and it is just as Bway described it. Also, none of the Buildings Dept. permite are current; they all elapsed last November. Thus, the chances of this theater to rise from ite ashes are pretty slim.

johndereszewski on March 10, 2010 at 3:44 am

Thanks for making the trip and taking the updated picture. I had intended to visit the site myself but just could not make it.

well, at least the shell has not visibly disintegrated during the interim.

Bway on March 9, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Ooops, here is the proper link, the one above is one from a year ago. This was taken today:

Click here for photo

Bway on March 9, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Almost a year later….and still no change…here’s a photo I took yesterday of the Eagle/Luxor Theater

Click Here for Photo

johndereszewski on June 13, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Did a pass-by today. Still no change. The problem is, the remainig shell will start to deteriorate – and has already begun to – if work does not commence soon.

Bway on April 19, 2009 at 10:31 am

As far as I know, the Luxor is still in a state of limbo.

johndereszewski on February 16, 2009 at 9:06 pm

I made a quick pass by earlier today. Nothing has changed, and the shell of the old theater remains as is. I guess we will have to wait for the warmer weather to see if anything develops here.

johndereszewski on November 6, 2008 at 7:49 pm

Warren, to access the Building Dept’s site, start by logging in to the NYC web site – www.nyc.gov Once you get in, scroll down the agency listing to Buildings Dept. and enter. On the home page is a place where you can enter the borough and address that you wish to access.

With regard to the Eagle, the certificate of occupancy information is not helpful. Instead, you should look to the bottom of the page and click on “Actions”. This is where the applications that I noted above – as well as the architect’s phone number – can be found.

Hope you – or any other interested person – will find this helpful in detrmining what exactly is happening here.

Bway on November 6, 2008 at 10:24 am

Personally, I feel if they were taking the whole building down, they would have been so careful about keeping the two extreme sides up without damaging them. Those parts with the windows on either side would have been ripped more jagged I would assume if they were taking the whole thing down.
That being said, I haven’t a clue what they could be doing with the building.

johndereszewski on November 6, 2008 at 2:27 am

I was able to visit this site after voting on Election Day and – guess what – no change.

I also reviewed the Building Dept. records for this address. While the they are not at all clear, several action submissions made in 2007 point to an alteration rather than a demolition. Since the architect’s telephone number was included on the form, I called it and left a few messages. While I don’t expect to hear from them, I will report any response that may occur.

I hope anyone with a keen eye for these things – or at least a keener eye than mine – will visit the Building Dept’s. web site and look up this address. I may very well be missing something here.

PeterKoch on October 16, 2008 at 9:29 am

Thanks, Bway. Good work, as usual. Would you please e-mail me the photos ? Photobucket is blocked at my PC. Thanks.