Model Theater

131 Lee Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11211

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Model Theater

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A small neighborhood theater located on Lee Avenue in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. It was originally called the Lee Theater later renamed the Model Theater in the 1930’s

Contributed by CJDV & Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 24 comments)

noelea on May 15, 2006 at 5:27 am

Bob D. I used to love their chicpea soup and grandma pizza. Friday nights were great I met a lot of nice people there on Friday’s we live in Kew Gardens and used to go there some friday’s me, my husband and daughter’s Noele and Michele. there was a couple who we would talk to about the changes in the neighborhood. Maria the owner and her son would engage in the conversation and it would be a real family atmosphere. We went there a few months ago after attending a Funeral Mass for a beloved parish Priest who passed away at Transfiguration Church on Marcy and Hooper Street in Williamsburg. Thats where I went to School. and we had lunch at cono’s pizza place and sad to find out that Maria has sold the place to the guy who was the pizza man. The food was good but we missed seeing Maria and Family. Oh well another memory locked away Like the movie houses of my past. Anniegirl

KenRoe on July 11, 2006 at 12:49 pm

A recent(June 2006) photograph I took of the Lee/Model Theater:

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 11, 2006 at 1:15 pm

Its Kind of an odd looking little building. The function should be school or religious services or something other than unknown.

anniegurl on July 12, 2006 at 5:24 am

Dear Lost I used to go to this moviehouse with my mom. I have fond memories of this place. It was a small theater but as a child I thought it was big. They would give out dishes each week and collect funds for the Will Rogers foundation. I loved this place, but with the influx of religious Jewish people. The movie house closed. We then went to the Commodore or Republic Theaters in the neighborhood. Thanks for the pics of the building KenRoe. Anniegirl.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 12, 2006 at 7:48 am

Anniegirl…Let me test your memory. Looking at the photo that Ken Roe posted, what major changes do you see in the outside of the building xompared to what you remember of the Model theater? Was there more than one doorway when this was a theater? The windows also appear to have been replaced. Its okay if you don’t remember, I’m just curious what it looked like as a theater.

anniegurl on July 12, 2006 at 2:23 pm

Dear Lost Memory, When I went to the movie with my Mom I was only 6 years old at the time. I know the front door was a regular movie door and it had a marquee (small one) at that it only showed a limited movie at that time. As I recall you bought the ticket in the front that faced the street. It was a fond memory for me going to the Movie with my Mom and my Sister. It sure has changed, but the building remains the same.There was a large hardware and goods store to the left if you were facing the theater and a fancy dress store that was located in a sub basement to the right on Lee Ave. Anniegirl

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 12, 2006 at 3:41 pm

Anniegirl…Thanks for posting what you remember of the Model theater. Your memory is pretty good if you can remember that much about this theater and you being only six years old at the time you attended it. I noticed the small shoe repair store to the left of the theater in the recent photo. You don’t see many of those type of stores anymore in our disposable society.

anniegurl on July 13, 2006 at 7:26 am

Dear Lost, you are right, that shoe repair was not there when I was a kid growing up in Williamsburgh. I remeber the hardware and goods store where the shoe store is now. It was a big store that had everything from soup to nuts.Anniegirl

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on December 5, 2007 at 5:27 pm

A Wurlitzer theater organ opus 516 style 135A was installed in the Lee Theater on 4/24/1922.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 5, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Architects Gronenberg & Leuchtag filed an application for a zoning variance with the Board of Appeals on June 27, 1921, to allow construction of a two story theater, 39 x 132 feet, on the east side of Lee Street, 58 feet north of Hewes Street. That has to have been the Model Theatre.

Herman Gronenberg and Albert J.H. Leuchtag are best knows for designing large, luxurious apartment buildings on the west side of Manhattan, so I don’t know how they came to design a small neighborhood theater in Williamsburg. They did some alterations to Carnegie Hall, and are supposed to have designed some other theaters, but so far I’ve been unable to identify any of them.

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