Midway Theatre

1059 Manhattan Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11222

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Midway Theatre

This theatre was located in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn on Manhattan Avenue between Freeman Street and Eagle Street. The Manhattan Variety Theatre was opened in 1910 in a new building designed by architectural firm Shampan & Shampan. In 1913 it was renamed Manhattan Theatre. In 1918 the same architectural firm were commisioned to design a new Manhattan Theatre for the Miller-Weiss Amusement Company. By 1925 was operated by the Grob & Knobel circuit.

It was renamed Midway Theatre in 1938 and closed in 1953

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 1, 2006 at 12:34 am

The American Film Directory 1914-1915 has this listed as the Manhattan Theatre, a name it retained thru the 1930’s. By 1941 it had been re-named the Midway Theatre.

It is listed as the Midway Theatre in the Film Daily Yearbook;1957 edition but without a seating capacity being given, which usually indicates a theatre has closed (as mentioned by Lost Memory in his Oct 8 2005 posting above). Later the building was used as a factory. Looking at the site in June 2006, it is an empty plot of land awaiting developement

Bway on February 20, 2007 at 5:23 pm

Here’s a photo under the marquee of the Midway/Eagle Theater:

View link

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 on May 26, 2009 at 8:45 am

Yes, that image is such a classic image.

ZeeSki on August 24, 2009 at 11:08 pm

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

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 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 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 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 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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