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Loew's 46th Street Theatre

4515 New Utrecht Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11219

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Loew's 46th

Built for the Universal Pictures chain, the Universal Theatre opened October 9, 1927 with the movie “Alias the Deacon” staring Jean Hersholt, and a stage show “Giggles of 1927” staring Eva Puck and Sam White. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer theatre organ. Designed by architect John Eberson in an Atmospheric/Italian Renaissance style, one side wall of the auditorium had the fa├žade of an Italian garden, while the other side wall had a balustrade, fountain and wall gates. The ceiling replicated a moonlit sky, with twinkling stars and clouds rolling by. Within a year of opening, in September 1928 it was taken over by Loew’s Inc. and was renamed Loew’s 46th Street Theatre. After Loew’s it was finally operated by Brandt Theatres from 1966 and they closed the theatre showing movies in late-1969. It re-opened as the 46th Street Rock Palace, presenting concerts. That closed in 1973.

It was converted into retail space as a furniture store. To enable this, a wall was added just below the balcony. Everything between the wall and the original entrance became a retail space. Everything beyond the wall, towards the original screen remained relatively intact and was used for storage.

The balcony seats were still in place. The auditorium survived with little damage. Stage and dressing rooms were also intact. It was announced in summer of 2015 that the furniture store had relocated to MacDonald Avenue and had vacated the building. Demolition began on Loew’s 46th Street Theatre in August 2016.

Contributed by Jason R

Recent comments (view all 273 comments)

Bway
Bway on August 30, 2016 at 12:52 pm

Orlando is correct. There are plenty (unfortunately more than we can count) theaters which are gutted inside (converted to some other use, etc), yet the exterior remains. They are not demolished either, even if gutted and not a theater anymore. That said, this really was a theater that was fully restorable. A shame.

theatrefan
theatrefan on October 4, 2016 at 2:04 pm

This theatre really had some great historical details left inside before it was completely gutted inside, it’s a shame that we live in such a disposable society that there is no value in preserving such an architectural treasures such as this and it just winds up inside a dumpster to be carted away. John Eberson would be turning in his grave for sure.

ERD
ERD on October 5, 2016 at 6:19 am

There are still “atmospheric” theatres by Eberson that look similar to Loew’s 46th Street theatre. He used a basic design then varied it.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on October 5, 2016 at 7:22 am

The Universal Theatre, as it was originally known, was the first atmospheric designed by John Eberson in the Greater New York area. Two of the later ones, Loew’s Paradise in the Bronx, and Loew’s Valencia in Queens, are now used as churches and seem to be “safe” from demolition.

Orlando
Orlando on October 14, 2016 at 11:30 am

Thanks to my heroic efforts, I was able to get the NYC Dept of Buildings to come down and declare the front facade of the Universal/Loew’s 46th a landmark, therefore part of this structure is going to remain intact and be incorporated into the new building on this site. At least the facade of this magnificent palace will survive for all future generations to see.

ERD
ERD on October 15, 2016 at 8:19 am

People in this neighborhood won’t care.

robboehm
robboehm on October 15, 2016 at 2:35 pm

Orlando, were that you had also lobbied for retention of the facade on the Lynbrook. The rendering of the new looks worse than the current Shore.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on February 17, 2018 at 10:38 am

Thanks to Will Ellis for uploading these graphic photos of the interior of Loew’s 46th Street before the wreckers moved in. Click here to view

JockoD
JockoD on February 19, 2018 at 9:28 pm

It’s a shame this once beautiful theater has been torn down. Even though I never saw a movie in this theater I did see a number of rock concerts and they were all good concerts. MY favorite was the band Rare Earth back in 1973. At first I couldn’t believe my favorite band was playing in Brooklyn several miles away from my home. Man, those were the days I tell you.

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