Century Theatre

850 Monroe Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11221

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 25, 2012 at 6:49 am

Here is a very belated answer to petermetzke’s question: The New Theatre/Century Theatre in Manhattan was removed from Cinema Treasures because there’s no evidence that it ever showed any movies.

However, the New Theatre did have an Aeolian theater organ when it opened, and this was replaced by a Wurlitzer in 1912, after the house had been renamed the Century. The Wurlitzer was repossessed about a year after its installation and moved to the Criterion Theatre.

Information about the organs is on this web page.

Jayar1
Jayar1 on May 5, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Century Theater,850 Monroe Street, Brooklyn, NY

View link

petermetzke
petermetzke on May 22, 2009 at 8:31 pm

May I ask the Astute Members of this site to correct me in thinking that the Century Theatre featured in the URL below ( also located in New York ) is in fact not located there and is not worthy of being featured.
It was featured on this site up until the end of last year ( 2008 ) under the theatre number of 23204 until someone pulled the plug on the page. The URL is below:

http://www.ibdb.com/venueimages.php?id=1292

I refer to the Century Theatre – Central Park West at W. 62nd Street., New York, NY

Bway
Bway on April 20, 2009 at 4:26 am

I have talked with so many people that used to live in the neighborhood, and they always remember the RKO Bushwick of course, and the Monroe next door to the Century, but rarely do they remember the Century. It’s probably because it closed to movies so early on, but the HUGE building would have been really hard to miss. Does anyone remember if this building just stood empty for all those years, or was it used for some other purpose? Old photos taken from the Gates Ave elevated subway platform show the building still in place as of the mid-70’s.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 18, 2009 at 11:45 am

Yes, “Diamond Lil” did play its try-out engagement here, when the theatre was known as Teller’s Shubert. It broke all box-office records and then moved to the Royale Theatre in midtown Manhattan, where it opened April 9, 1928, and had a very successful run of 323 performances. The play was later the basis for West’s first starring vehicle in the movies, the 1933 “She Done Him Wrong.” She made her film debut the previous year with a featured role in “Night After Night.”

Bway
Bway on January 18, 2009 at 10:23 am

It would sound much more likely to have been this theater rather than the Monroe. It could also have been the RKO Bushwick perhaps. The Shubert/Century was highly ornate inside too from what it seems, as was the Bushwick. While I don’t know what the inside of the Monroe looked like, it was not on the scale of the RKO or the Century.

frankie
frankie on January 16, 2009 at 10:13 am

This MAY be the theater where Mae West did her pre-Broadway try-out of “Diamond Lil” in 1928. Her autobiography mentions a theater where 3 streets come together.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 1, 2008 at 4:55 am

Here are new links to images described above on 11/2/07:
View link
View link

Bway
Bway on November 12, 2007 at 8:24 am

I agree….it’s probably better than a vacant lot as it was in my 2004 photo of the location, however, these homes are about as aesthically pleasing as a cement block wall.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 10, 2007 at 11:41 am

As depressing a sight as the housing that replaced Loew’s Triboro in Astoria. But thanks for sharing!

Bway
Bway on November 10, 2007 at 8:31 am

Here’s a photo of the Century Theater site taken this past week. Compare to the photo I took in the exact same spot above in my October 2004 posting.

Click Here for photo

Bway
Bway on November 6, 2007 at 1:51 pm

This 1975 photo shows the Century Theater towering high above the el station at Gates Ave, and also dwarfed the RKO Bushwick Theater building (which is not an easy task)…..

http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?2637

Bway
Bway on November 6, 2007 at 1:45 pm

Warren, you mention above the theater was demolished in 1978.

Bway
Bway on November 6, 2007 at 1:38 pm

WOW!! That is just wonderful! I didn' trealize that the Century was such a substantial building! I too would love to know when it closed to movies, and when it was torn down. That interior shot is really something too! It had two balconies! it almost rivaled the RKO Bushwick which was almost right across the Street.
Now, wasn’t the Century also right next to the smaller Monroe Theater? Have you ever been able to locate a photo of the Monroe?
Thanks so much for posting these. I plan on being in Bushwick tomorrow, and will try to get over to the site to take a photo of the Century site. As I said above, they have built homes there during the last year.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 2, 2007 at 7:32 am

This “legit” theatre gave few hints of R. Thomas Short’s future as a cinema architect. It must have been quite a difficult demolition project when it came down. Does anyone know when that happened?
www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/shortshubert01.jpg
www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/shortshubert02.jpg

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 10, 2007 at 9:11 am

R. Thomas Short was architect of this theatre, according to an article in The New York Times of April 3, 1915.

Bway
Bway on October 3, 2007 at 2:19 pm

They have recently built brand new homes on the site of the Century Theater.

Bway
Bway on June 8, 2006 at 2:35 am

Moondog, that may have been a different Century Theater.

Moondog
Moondog on January 11, 2005 at 7:05 am

Unless I’m mistaken, I remember a Century Theatre somewhere on Broadway, I think down toward Flushing Ave in the late fifties.

Bway
Bway on October 26, 2004 at 8:35 am

I wish this “Catalog” would at least give people the option of looking at small thumbnails, sort of like queenspix.com does. How can anyone even try and purchase any of these views if they don’t have any idea what the photo looks like, if it’s a good angle or not, or even worth buying? While Queenspix doesn’t let you see too much (they are quite small), at least they let you get an idea of the photo. Or even what Brooklynpix.com does, by writing words across the photo – anything would be better than nothing.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 26, 2004 at 8:22 am

Three images of the Century/Shubert are listed in the Michael Miller Slide Catalog of Brooklyn theatres. One was taken in 1976 of the “boarded up exterior.” The others are of the 1978 demolition of the theatre. I wonder if the latter show any exposed interiors?

Bway
Bway on October 9, 2004 at 3:12 pm

Yes, I also had assumed it was gone. I had parked on Monroe St a few times in this location (before the other day), to get photos of the RKO Bushwick, and to go to the McDonalds across Monroe, and it would have been a little hard to miss a building that once was a 1700+ seat theater! It had to be a rather large building when it existed.
As for why it was razed, it could be for the reason you mentioned above. That area really was put into hell in the 70’s, and is only now recovering from it. I am going to assume the building became so derrelict, that it had to be removed. We all know what the RKO Bushwick nearby looked like for the previous 30 years, (although now thankfully at least partially preserved), although was probably also a haven for illegal activity for many years before being converted to the school it is now (and really improving the entire neighborhood around it). The RKO Bushwick’s recent good fortune seems to be rubbing off on the surrounding neighborhood, which is getting exponentially nicer and better each time I visit.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 8, 2004 at 4:46 am

Thanks, Bway. I had a feeling that the Century was demolished. If it was still standing, it would have turned up in the background in some of the recent photos of the Bushwick site. It’s rather sad that someone went to the expense of demolishing it for no apparent reason. Unless it was possibly so derelict that it proved a threat to public safety, or was being used as a haven by drug addicts.

Bway
Bway on October 7, 2004 at 5:13 am

The Century theater building has been demolished at some point. (It can be changed to “closed/demolished” above).

Currently a little store is on the site of 850 Monroe. The theater was right next to the Monroe Theater, which was at 4 Howard Street. The Monroe is also gone, and is the vacant land to the lefy, next to the Century. Curiously, the Bushwick was to the left of the Monroe, right across the street! Three theaters all adjacent to each other!

Click here for a photo of the site.
Notice the vacant lot to the left (the Monroe), and the RKO Bushwick building in the distance to the left of that.

Click here for close-up of the little store