Echo Theater

368 Bushwick Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11206

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This theater was located on Bushwick Avenue near Moore Street. I believe that it closed sometime in the early-1940’s.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 28 comments)

KenRoe
KenRoe on November 6, 2009 at 3:51 pm

John; I have added the G & M Theatre /theaters/30517/

TPH
TPH on November 6, 2009 at 11:13 pm

John – The Echo was long gone before my time. A distant relative, now in his 80’s was born on Morell St. Will check with him as to the location of the theater.

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on November 7, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Ken, thanks so much for both your quick response and the acknowledgement.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on June 10, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Too bad there are no photos,but it did close a long time ago.

TPH
TPH on August 22, 2010 at 8:36 pm

87 yr.old relative recalls going to the Echo as a pre-schooler with his older brother who would read him the subtitltes of the silent screen features. Suspects that the theater closed in the ‘40s and when he was old enough to make his own theater choices he would opt for the sumptuousness of the Alba. He had no recollection of the G&M theater.

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on August 23, 2010 at 8:54 am

Hector, thanks to you and your 87 year old relative for providing a badly needed first hand account of this old theater. The vision of the older brother reading the captions our loud was especially interesting and got me to wonder if, in an age where literacy – especially in English – was hardly universal, this practice was more widespread. I can imagine patrons lodging complaints against those who drowned out the piano by reading the captions to their co-attendees.

By the way, does your relative remember anything about the surrounding community during the Echo’s lifespan? This was a time when Bushwick-Hylan Houses dod not yet exist, Morell St. was still an open thoroughfare and the Moore St. commercial district probably extended to Bushwick Ave. Any memories will be greatly appreciated. But what you have already provided is really terrific.

TPH
TPH on August 23, 2010 at 9:20 am

Bushwick Hylan Houses opened in 1961 but the “urban renewal project” which involved the condemnation proceedings began in the mid to late 50’s. Moore St. was its own commercial hub which centered around the municipal market on Humboldt St. bounded by Moore and Varet. The Echo could not keep up with the technological advances and population shifts of the area, and although Bushwick Ave. was a busy thoroughfare, it was not as centrally located as nearby Graham Ave., or served by bus/trolley or elevated subway lines.

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on August 24, 2010 at 6:28 am

I agree that their less than optimal location – especially compared to that enjoyed by the theaters situated on nearby Broadway and Graham Ave. – speeded the demise of both the Echo and the G&M Theaters.

That said, I remain very interested to know the nature of the community that the old theaters served. As we know, this area was pretty well obliterated when Bushwick Hylan Houses was constucted here over fifty years ago. I have been told, albeit without any firm documentation, that a small Italian (mostly Sicilian) commuity once resided here. These were probably the residents who, about 100 years ago, established Our Lady of Pompeii RC parish about a block east of the old Echo’s site. However, without any firm evidence to either confirm or dispute this, I really can’t be sure if this was the case. So, any facts that can be provided to fill in this gap will be greatly appreciated.

TPH
TPH on August 24, 2010 at 9:35 am

Hi John,
You raise an interesting point. Despite the presence of large ethnic communities in that vicinity foreign language product corresponding to the Italian or Yiddish enclaves that were in the area failed to be presented. It wasn’t until after WWII that theaters like the Sun & the Alba began importing Mexican movies primarily through Columbia Pictures, for the Latino population that moved into the neighborhood. As late as the ‘60s, the Graham may have been presenting some Italian films, but not the art house fare that was popular then.

Of course I’m familiar with Our Lady of Pompeii having attended many a family function there. As it may not relate specifically to the message parameters of CT, let me know if you’d want me to contact you off-line to go into further detail.

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on August 24, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Hector, if you – or anyone else – wishes to discuss the old neighborhood in more detailed length off line, please contact me at

However, I believe that most of the items that I raised should be discussed on these pages. In discussing the old movie houses, it is essential that we explore the relation that those theaters had to the communities that they served. This is particularly true of the old “nabe” theaters – like the Echo – that were hardly architetural wonders, but provided very meaningful services to their “nabes” for many years. Thus, in trying to determine “Who went there?”, we need to know the character of the community that hosted and supported them. The fact that this neighborhood has not existed for a half century makes this an especially valuable endeavor in urban history.

So, for these reasons, I think it is entirely appropriate for us to explore these questions on this page. Such a discussion could mimic the wonderful dialogue on the Colonial Theatre page, where the interplay of that Bushwick theater and the members of Our Lady of Lourdes parish frames a wonderful – and highly insightful – discussion. The fact that some of the more extreme defenders of “CT discussion purity” would oppose any such discussion should not prevent this very valuable dialogue from going forward.

Talk soon.

Hopefully, this will begin a very interesting diologue – or not.

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