Stadium Theatre

102 Chester Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11212

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I have vague memories of this theatre from my childhood. My mom used to take my sister and I Friday nights to the movies and we would frequent this theatre many times.

They played many Warner Brothers films. I remember seeing “She’s Working Her Way Through College” among other films here. I probably saw the 3-D film “House Of Wax” here. Soon after the family moved to Miami.

Contributed by kitty

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 23, 2004 at 7:08 am

Film Daily Yearbooks for 1930 and 1941 give a seating capacity of the Stadium Theatre as 1,761. In the 1950 and 1957 F.D.Y’s seating is given as 1,756.

I have a couple of photographs of the auditorium taken in 1923 that accompany an article written by Charles Sandblom in the June 1925 edition of The Architectural Forum magazine.

muray
muray on May 24, 2005 at 5:52 pm

The Stadium Theater was located in the Brownsville Section of Brooklyn on Chester Street off Pitkin Ave, It was a popular neighborhood theater and featured second run shows usually one week after playing the RKO Albee. It had “stadium” type seating instead of a balcony.

creativa
creativa on December 23, 2005 at 2:44 pm

kenroe – we saw many films at the Stadium located on Chester off Pitkin Avenue – I especially remember lots of Charie Chan movies there. I would love to see that auditorium photo — can you e-mail it to me at ???

sylvia schildt

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 30, 2008 at 11:46 am

In May, 1932, Randforce’s Stadium Theatre had a brief flurry of fame when it was chosen for the Brooklyn premiere engagement of “Uncle Moses,” starring the legendary Maurice Schwartz, according to a report in Box Office Magazine at the time. Presented in Yiddish with English sub-titles, the movie ran for a week at the Stadium, breaking all of its attendance records and encouraging Randforce to book the Yiddish Talking Pictures release at more of its Brooklyn theatres, including the Walker, Alba, Carroll, Commodore, Congress, Highway, and Marboro.

GaryCohen
GaryCohen on December 12, 2009 at 12:12 pm

My father grew up in Brownsville and used to take me to this theater. I can remember it being in the middle of an average street and my father sometimes parking across the street. Interestingly the only 2 films I can definitely remember seeing there were by the king of gimmicks: the great William Castle. The first being “Macabre” for which we were given a little piece of cardboard advising we were insured for $1000.00 by Lloyds of London in case we died of fright. The second film I remember was Castle’s most famous film “The Tingler.” I do remember that I did not get one of the seats wired by Castle to scare the audience during the sequence when the Tingler gets loose in the movie theater. These are my only memories of the Stadium theatre.

shi725
shi725 on February 3, 2011 at 12:45 am

Saw many movies here, was my 2nd favorite to the pitkin. the matron who worked there on saturdays would always cry when there was a sad picture playing, she would always come and stand next to were my cousin and I was sitting, cause knew we would be crying too, especially when they showed imitation of life, we had to go to the ladies room to finish crying she was right along with us crying too. good old days. I think after the movies closed it became the stadium bookstore, after that closed I can’t remember what opened there.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on February 3, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Thanks for the stories peetgirl.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on February 5, 2011 at 10:25 am

I noticed a lot of “matron’s” mentioned in a lot of theatre stories,seems most of them are from Theatres up North.I assume this position was much like a usher.

GaryCohen
GaryCohen on March 6, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Mike, the matrons were basically a bunch of angry old women who were hired basically to keep the kids in line, especially at weekend “kiddie matinees.” If there was a half-day school, a kid could not go to the movies alone without a matron on duty. (I think this was New York State law at the time.) The matrons dressed in white (like nurses) and carried flashlights. They were quite unpleasant and obviously despised the kids they were supposed to watch. If you tried to sneak into the adult section (because you wanted to watch the film in peace,) the matrons would shine the flashlight in your face and drag you back among the screaming maniacs in the children’s section. Needless to say, they don’t have the matrons in the movies anymore and they certainly wouldn’t last 5 minutes with today’s lovely children or teenagers.

petermargoli
petermargoli on April 27, 2011 at 7:43 pm

I played stickball in the alley alonside this theater. The emergency exits opened on to the alley and when we made too much noise the matron would open the door and threaten to call the cops. I lived on the block from 1945 til 1958.

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