Loew's 46th Street Theatre

4515 New Utrecht Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11219

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Loew's 46th

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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 267 comments)

Orlando
Orlando on October 27, 2015 at 12:35 pm

The former theatre is NOT being demolished nor has the building been sold. I was lucky today to meet the owner and he said a lot of the historical elements will be saved and incorporated into the structure once it is converted to stores on the main floor and apartments. The grand staircase was sold as were the plaster fountain at stage right. I was also allowed to take photos of the main entance (with exposed poster cases for the first time!) and of other details in the auditorium. (92 pictures in all) for prosperity and for the owner. When he left, he told me that I would be the last person allowed into the building. It still felt grand with all original floor tilework intact and without all the furniture. Some orchestra seats were covered over. The building turned 88 years old October 9th of this year and I turn 59 at 10:42 PM tonight. What a wonderful gift to see this building once more and the exterior on New Utrecht Avenue will remain intact.

P.S. Someone bought all the marquee letters two weeks ago and someone has bought all the remaining plaster work to save. As the owner said, “It’s only plaster.”

WilliamMcQuade
WilliamMcQuade on January 13, 2016 at 11:31 am

Luckily I was in it a number of times over the years when the furniture store was there. A shame another theater has to go but what else would one expect from our throwaway society. Looking forward to see how the Brooklyn Paramount renovation turns out.

atmos
atmos on August 10, 2016 at 7:20 am

Theatre has been demolished.

merrib
merrib on August 10, 2016 at 7:29 am

Really, atmos? After all the assurances by owner to passers-by that this would not happen? Sad.

ERD
ERD on August 10, 2016 at 9:23 am

The owner was just trying to avoid an argument. Few people of the old neighborhood are left who would care. Profit is the main goal and having a theatre now would lose money.

Orlando
Orlando on August 25, 2016 at 8:32 am

To above, the four walls and roof are still there. True it will be demolished in a short time, but it is NOT demolished yet. It is demolished when the interior steelwork walls and all are gone and is a vacant lot. When a friend mine told me it was demolished, I told him it was a figment of someone’s imagination having seen it this past Monday 8-22-2016. Let’s not rush and put demolished in the heading, some may still want to see the facade. Adios, for now.

ERD
ERD on August 26, 2016 at 8:24 am

The building is guttered. To be realistic, demolished or not,the structure is no longer a theatre. If you are familiar with the neighborhood as it is now, you would know they are not interested in having any theatres.

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.

hdtv267
hdtv267 on August 30, 2016 at 3:20 pm

there’s no interest in the neighborhood for a theatre.

The demolition is going to bring jobs to the neighborhood. New construction bring jobs and tax dollars. When whatever gets built is completed brings jobs and revenue to store owners.

I fail to see how these is a shame.

Something that is no longer needed or welcome is being removed.

I wish it was that simple in other places.

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