Midway Theater

1059 Manhattan Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11222

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This theater was located in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn on Manhattan Avenue between Freeman and Eagle Streets.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 22, 2008 at 1:17 pm

On June 22nd, 1937, The New York Times reported that Corbros Realty Corp., owner of a one-story brick theatre at 1059-61 Manhattan Avenue, had commissioned John Eberson’s architectural firm to do $15,000 of alterations. The theatre was unnamed, but presumably this one.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 22, 2008 at 1:22 pm

Sorry! That should have said “$15,000 worth of alterations.” In 2008, that would be equivalent to about $227,899.

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on March 8, 2009 at 6:34 am

I just visited the site yesterday. While some construction has begun, it seems to have really bogged down. Seeing what I could through cracks in the wood fence, I saw some foundation work that had not been touched in quite a while. Even though the most recent building permit has not expired, I would not expect to see anything built here for a very long time. In the meantime, you can enjoy viewing a very old and hardly visible painted advertisement sign on the adjacent building’s wall.

If my father had not told me that a movie house stood on this site, I would never have known of the Midway. It was the first of Greenpoint’s theaters that survived beyond the silent era to close. Since I was born in 1950, a demise date of about that time seems about right.

The fact that a movie theater could have been situated at the extreme north end of this neighborhood – and in one of Greenpoint’s poorer districts – just underlines how localized the movies were in that now distant era. Even though that portion of Manhattan Ave. was busier when the Vernon Blvd. Bridge (now replaced by the Pulaski) linked it directly to Queens and what would become McGuinness Blvd. was a cobble stoned street, this was still far from the center of town.

Bway, thanks for that terrific picture.

Bway
Bway on May 26, 2009 at 8:45 am

Yes, that image is such a classic image.

ZeeSki
ZeeSki on August 24, 2009 at 11:08 pm

The Astor Tool&Die Company was located at this location after the Midway closed.

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on March 13, 2010 at 5:00 am

Passed by the site yesterday. It now appears that any effort to construct anything here has been abandoned. While there was still a current building permit on display during my pervious visit, which occurred almost exactly a year ago, the fence was entirely bare today. In addition, a quick look through the fence clearly indicated that absolutely no work had been done during the past year. My guess is that this will continue to be an abandoned vacant lot for a very long time to come.

Anne52
Anne52 on July 17, 2010 at 10:05 pm

I own a movie poster for the Midway Theater, it was on the back of a mirror that broke. The colors are red and black & the movies advertised are Flirtation Walk, The Dude Ranger, Cipher Bureau & Dawn Patrol.

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on February 3, 2011 at 7:31 pm

The 5th picture in the attached series, previously presented on another page by JF Lundy, provides a vintage picture of the Midway which was shot in 1928. There are many other great pictures of Manhattan Ave. in this attachment. Enjoy.

View link

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on January 16, 2012 at 12:31 pm

The Brooklyn Theatre Index contains some interesting tidbits about this long lost theater. For one thing, a theater named the Manhattan Variety opened at this address in 1910 and, in 1913, changed its name to the Manhattan Theatre. In 1918, however, it appears that the old building was replaced by a new one. In 1938, the Manhattan became the Midway and continued to function as such until its cinematic demise in 1953, a few years later than I would have thought. …… One former name that the Index does NOT reference is the Eagle. Since this theater was situated near Manhattan Avenue’s intersection with Eagle Street, it is possible that the Eagle was an informal name used by the locals even if it never became official, in the same way that many kids refer to local parks by the street that borders them rather than by their official name. At least this is a good guess.

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on August 26, 2014 at 5:20 am

According to the Brownstoner blog, the long delayed construction on this site resumed some time ago and is now rapidly approaching its conclusion. This will be a seven story residence hosting 23 apartments in this VERY hot part of Greenpoint. The blog also noted that the initial building permit dated al the way back to 2003.

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