New United Theatre

207 Myrtle Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11201

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United Theatre, Brooklyn,NY in 1928 - Ticket Booth

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Research suggests that there were two United theatres at this site, the first probably demolished to make way for the second. The 500-seat United Theatre may have started as a nickelodeon. Circa 1925-26, it was replaced by a much larger United Theatre with a reported 1,800 seats. In 1932, it was re-named the New United Theatre, with seating capacity reduced to 1,600.

The theatre closed around 1945, and was described as such in Film Daily Year Books until 1949, when it disappeared from the list of Brooklyn movie theatres. The New United Theatre apparently never re-opened, even under another name. Perhaps its nearest rival, the 586-seat Subway Theatre at 158 Myrtle Avenue, was all that the neighborhood could support. The New United Theatre has been demolished.

Contributed by Warren G. Harris

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

Bway on September 13, 2004 at 1:29 pm

207 Myrtle had to just south of the Navy Street station on the old Myrtle Ave el. This photo from the 60’s is taken from the platform of the old Navy Street station, looking south. An 1800 seat theater had to be a decent sized building. I don’t see anything that resembles a theater, but I can’t really tell. I guess only a roadtrip can tell us if the building still stands.

Bway on September 13, 2004 at 1:30 pm

Ooops, here’s the link I was going to put in the above post:

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 13, 2004 at 1:35 pm

There is something with a slanted roof in the right side of the photo that could be a theatre building, but I might just be hallucinating.

Bway on September 13, 2004 at 1:41 pm

I was sort of thinking that too, and the odd numbers on Myrtle would be on the right. Unfortunately, the purpose of the photo (the train) is in the way.

Bway on October 7, 2004 at 9:37 am

The United theater is demolished.
I drove by yesterday, and currently there is a very large building on it’s site. The building appoears to have been built in the 70’s or so.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 8, 2004 at 11:52 am

This was not listed in the 1945 Film Trade Directory for the Greater New York Area, not even as a closed theatre, so it might have been converted to other use by that time. But I doubt that it had yet been demolished, because that was impossible during wartime due to the manpower shortage for non-essential work.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 5, 2004 at 8:18 am

I found some interesting items about the United in old issues of the New York State Exhibitor. In September, 1928, the owners got into a dispute with the projectionists' union, which put up a picket line in front of the theatre. The United played to virtually empty houses until November, when it successfully obtained an injunction against the pickets. However, several days later, someone broke into the theatre in the middle of the night and tried to burn it down with kerosene. But a passing cab driver happened to see flames and reported it to the fire department, which managed to put it out before any major damage was done. In October, 1929, the theatre became known as the New United when it was taken over by Hyman Rachmil, who had been partners with Sam Rinzler in a circuit that they sold to William Fox. Rachmil was starting over with a new partner, J. Katz, and they had already acquired two other Brooklyn theatres, the Windsor and Stillwell. Unfortunately, October, 1929, also happened to be the month of the “Wall Street Crash,” so the future would not be easy for the new partnership.

Bway on June 6, 2006 at 8:11 am

Here is an aerial view of where the United Theater once was. Block after block was demolished on this part of Myrtle:

Click here for link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 5, 2008 at 7:28 am

In February, 1938, new management took inspiration from President Roosevelt by “Offering A New Deal To Colored Patrons.” For the first four days, stage shows featuring amateur talent with Doug Moye’s Swing Band were added to draw crowds, but following that, only late-run double features were shown. In this ad, the New United uses an address of Myrtle Avenue & Hudson Avenue: View link

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