Imperial Theatre

157 Irving Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11237

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Imperial Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened in 1914, the Imperial Theatre was located on Irving Avenue between Dekalb Avenue and Stockholm Street in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn.

It was closed in 1940, and in 1945 was in use as a knitting factory. In later years it has become a storage facility for a mail order shipping company.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 65 comments)

johndereszewski on April 24, 2017 at 8:12 am

One other thing – I just viewed the Google satellite picture of this site and it clearly confirms that the building is being renovated – not demolished.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 24, 2017 at 11:48 am

It did seem odd to me that if the building was going to be demolished it looked better in the Facebook photo than it did in the photos on our photo page. All those layers of paint have been stripped off of the brick. But I still can’t find a photo of a theater at DeKalb and Knickerbocker. There’s only one modern building at that intersection, and it looks several years old.

johndereszewski on April 24, 2017 at 12:11 pm

While I am somewhat flying blind on this, since my computer cannot access the Facebook photo, I would guess that the Willoughby Theater, situated at 260 Knickerbocker – or a few blocks west of DeKalb- would best fit the bill. The site is currently owned by a church, and they have sold it to a developer who will construct a much larger building here but leave the first floor for religious functions. I believe that the Brownstoner blog has discussed this item in prior posts.

Hopefully, this will help sort this out.

robboehm on April 24, 2017 at 7:28 pm

I had previously suggested the Willoughby, Starr and Park.

Bway on May 1, 2017 at 12:08 pm

So sorry for the confusion, but I meant Irving and DeKalb, not Knickerbocker. I can’t find the post anymore, but here’s a google streetview of the old theater building:

johndereszewski on May 1, 2017 at 12:13 pm

But what exactly is happening at the old Imperial site. Given the amount of real loving care provided to restore it, it makes absolutely no sense to now demolish the place. A real on-site visit is certainly needed now.

Bway on May 1, 2017 at 12:17 pm

Not sure, the post said demolition, but perhaps the person who posted it was mistaken.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 1, 2017 at 12:55 pm

Possibly they were referring to interior demolition? The theatrical interior was probably gone long ago, but if the building is being renovated for retail space there was probably still a lot of later material to be hauled out.

johndereszewski on May 1, 2017 at 1:36 pm

That probably is the best explanation – but somebody still needs to check this out directly.

johndereszewski on May 4, 2017 at 4:51 am

Well, I was able to visit this site yesterday after work and have only good things to report. While there is scaffolding around the building, its purpose is to support the excellent façade restoration that is taking place – NOT to aide and abet a demolition! This work is proceeding nicely and also involves the installation of windows on what once were metal covered open holes. A good looking entrance is also being constructed on the Irving Ave. side of the building. All in all, the building should be ready for occupancy pretty soon. While it is still unclear what uses will be established here, they will have a very nice home to occupy.

The quality of the façade work needs to be recognized since it really captures the subtle changes in the brick colors along the wall as it restores the ornamentations that were created for the old theater.

I can’t wait to see it open.

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