16th Street Theater

166 16th Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11215

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The Universal Theater opened in 1914 and served the community for many decades. A Wirlitzer theatre organ, opus 1678, style 235 was installed in the Universal Theater on 7/23/1927.

It was a small theatre with a church-like facade and started out showing silents with vaudeville acts. By late 1927 it had been renamed the 16th Street Theater. It eventually became a late-run house before closing.

It housed a plumbing business for many years and was demolished in 2004.

Rumor has it that open lot on the western side of the site of the 16th Street was once an outdoor theater.

Contributed by Philip Goldberg

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

cjdv on April 24, 2005 at 12:27 pm

I never thought of it as an issue. Also it is not a question of “the link that I am supposed to use”. It was a suggestion to credit the website. In any case, the Starr, location and date, appear at the bottom of the page. The “Theatre Enthusiast” page usually features a photo of a closed theatre which more-or-less fits the subject of the article. No where is it suggested that the page is about the Starr and the theatre is used merely as an illustration (and if I know the webmaster, it will be most likely be changed in a month or so). Actually most of the photos, but not all on Bijou, are part of the collection of the webmaster gathered from a variety of sources over the years. I think on his other websites, he makes note of that. Not sure about Bijou.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 24, 2005 at 2:15 pm

CJDV….It wasn’t an issue until you chose to post similar messages under multiple theaters. I understood the first message. I really am a fast learner. Had you only posted the message under the Starr theater, I would have given you my explanation for linking the way that I do and that would have been the end of it.

You could have posted “Nice photo, but there are additional photos at that website if you use this link instead of the direct photo link given above”. Then just post the link and that would be it. Like I said before, I will continue to link directly to a photo if possible. There are people on here that only want to see that particular photo and not take a tour of another website. Bijou-Dream.com is a great website. If you want people to explore that site then add it to Cinema Treasures under “Links”, photographs.

MrPear on December 3, 2005 at 5:47 pm

My Great Grandfather owned that place. It’s nice to add something to our families very sparse data log.

Jan Pear


Puca1 on May 23, 2006 at 8:26 am

Was this theatre located on Avenue U and 16 th street? Can someone post more info and a picture?
Thanks a lot.

MrPear on May 23, 2006 at 2:23 pm


The ZDNET site is gone. Indeed ZDnet in all it’s manifestations always gives then takes back. They should be ashamed of all they have renegged on. Til the site that was there is back I have the data

Mr Pear

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 23, 2006 at 2:50 pm

Jan Pear….Would you know if there was a Harry Pear involved with this theater in the 1930’s?

MrPear on May 23, 2006 at 7:08 pm

I know so little about the family. I do not know of a Harry Pear anywhere in the family and there is no one I can ask. Sorry.


Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 24, 2006 at 3:40 am

Okay Jan, I’ll tell you why I asked that question. NYC issued a c/o (certificate of occupancy) for a 500 seat motion picture theater to this address in August of 1927. The owner is listed as Max Pear. Another c/o was issued in August of 1932 for alterations to the building. Seating was reduced to 443. The owner is given as Estates Operating Company Inc. The architects name was Harry Pear. Is it a coincidence that his last name was Pear, or was Harry a relative? You might have to add a branch to your family tree.

Puggy on April 16, 2007 at 5:27 am

I’m trying to find any information about, Theatre’s formally owned by my Great-Grandfather in the N.Y./Philadelphia area, in the early 1900’s. (20’s ? 30' ? 40'2 ?) My father told me of his memories of going there as a kid (30’s ? 40’s). But hearing his memories when I was a kid…Had no meaning to me at the time.
Wish I’d of listened to him, while he was still living!
My loss ~ Many Regrets!
At any rate, My Great-Grandfather’s name was;
“Albert John Schweigart”.
Any information would be greatly appreciated! Jacqueline Schweigart

jflundy on November 4, 2009 at 6:07 pm

Here is a photo link to Brooklyn Pix. Can anyone document that this theater was ever operated by Loew’s as suggested by this web site ?
View link

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