Williamsburg Theatre

279 Broadway,
Brooklyn, NY 11211

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Interboro Circuit Inc., Small-Strausberg Circuit

Architects: Benjamin Schlanger

Firms: Shampan & Shampan

Previous Names: Williamsburg Playhouse

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Williamsburg Theatre

Opened in 1914 as the Williamsburg Playhouse, this theatre was designed by Shampan & Shampan. In 1936 the original archectural firm Shampan & Shampan were brought back to renovate and enlarge the theatre.

It closed in 1958 and underwent a renovation to the plans of architect Benjamin Schlanger. It reopened as the Williamsburg Theatre in 1959.

It closed for good in 1985 and housed a retail store until 2013 when it was demolished.

Contributed by Cesar Del Valle, William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 114 comments)

johndereszewski on June 12, 2010 at 5:40 am

Jayar, it was great to hear the good news about the new movie theater in Williamsburg. (The vacant lot that was once the Commodore is just so depressing.) So I guess that the community that was able to open a bowling alley will now bring back the movies!

The 1947 picture is really terrific and also, at first sight, appears to be even older than it is.

Bway on June 15, 2010 at 8:20 am

I still can’t believe the needlessly and deliberately destroyed the Commodore and tore it down. And for what?

robboehm on September 20, 2011 at 6:01 pm

I’ve seen shortened names on ads but never before on a marquee, St. being excepted.

Bway on September 20, 2011 at 6:27 pm

The Broadway Theater (Lowes Broadway) also had a shortened name on the marquee…. “Bway”….

verngrey on October 6, 2012 at 2:53 am

ahodara you mentioned Joes luncheonette, was that joes, on lee and hooper? I remember him and his wife, very kind people, my dad would take me there to have a large milkshake at the time for 50cents in the early 70s, got my baseball cards there too heh. God rest his soul. If it was email me at I added a new theater pic, the original artwork from 1914/facade is set for demolition, trying to get it saved for historical purposes. One can only hope.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 26, 2012 at 8:53 am

In 1936, original architects Shampan & Shampan returned to the Williamsburg Playhouse to design and oversee a $15,000 renovation, reported in the September 12 issue of The Film Daily. The building was extended to increase seating capacity, the auditorium was reseated, new carpets and drapes were installed, the toilets and lounge were updated, as were lighting and mechanical equipment, and the interior was given modern decorative finishes.

Willburg145 on May 21, 2013 at 8:25 am

I remember how small the ‘lobby’ was and the concession stand was directly behind the auditorium. This was definitely no palace but I saw ABBY, RUBY, SINBAD movies at this place.

Willburg145 on August 8, 2013 at 1:18 am

The status should show ‘demolished’.

robboehm on August 8, 2013 at 6:54 am

The individual theater entries show demolished when applicable. The demolished is not an option on the general listing pages.

dallasmovietheaters on May 11, 2019 at 3:41 am

A 1959 remodel by architect Ben Schlanger is reflected in photos.

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