Model Theater

131 Lee Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

Showing 19 comments

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 5, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Architects Gronenberg & Leuchtag filed an application for a zoning variance with the Board of Appeals on June 27, 1921, to allow construction of a two story theater, 39 x 132 feet, on the east side of Lee Street, 58 feet north of Hewes Street. That has to have been the Model Theatre.

Herman Gronenberg and Albert J.H. Leuchtag are best knows for designing large, luxurious apartment buildings on the west side of Manhattan, so I don’t know how they came to design a small neighborhood theater in Williamsburg. They did some alterations to Carnegie Hall, and are supposed to have designed some other theaters, but so far I’ve been unable to identify any of them.

anniegurl on July 13, 2006 at 7:26 am

Dear Lost, you are right, that shoe repair was not there when I was a kid growing up in Williamsburgh. I remeber the hardware and goods store where the shoe store is now. It was a big store that had everything from soup to nuts.Anniegirl

anniegurl on July 12, 2006 at 2:23 pm

Dear Lost Memory, When I went to the movie with my Mom I was only 6 years old at the time. I know the front door was a regular movie door and it had a marquee (small one) at that it only showed a limited movie at that time. As I recall you bought the ticket in the front that faced the street. It was a fond memory for me going to the Movie with my Mom and my Sister. It sure has changed, but the building remains the same.There was a large hardware and goods store to the left if you were facing the theater and a fancy dress store that was located in a sub basement to the right on Lee Ave. Anniegirl

anniegurl on July 12, 2006 at 5:24 am

Dear Lost I used to go to this moviehouse with my mom. I have fond memories of this place. It was a small theater but as a child I thought it was big. They would give out dishes each week and collect funds for the Will Rogers foundation. I loved this place, but with the influx of religious Jewish people. The movie house closed. We then went to the Commodore or Republic Theaters in the neighborhood. Thanks for the pics of the building KenRoe. Anniegirl.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on July 11, 2006 at 12:49 pm

A recent(June 2006) photograph I took of the Lee/Model Theater:

noelea on May 15, 2006 at 5:27 am

Bob D. I used to love their chicpea soup and grandma pizza. Friday nights were great I met a lot of nice people there on Friday’s we live in Kew Gardens and used to go there some friday’s me, my husband and daughter’s Noele and Michele. there was a couple who we would talk to about the changes in the neighborhood. Maria the owner and her son would engage in the conversation and it would be a real family atmosphere. We went there a few months ago after attending a Funeral Mass for a beloved parish Priest who passed away at Transfiguration Church on Marcy and Hooper Street in Williamsburg. Thats where I went to School. and we had lunch at cono’s pizza place and sad to find out that Maria has sold the place to the guy who was the pizza man. The food was good but we missed seeing Maria and Family. Oh well another memory locked away Like the movie houses of my past. Anniegirl

rdittus on May 14, 2006 at 5:18 pm

Yes. I used to go there all the time (almost every Friday) when the previous owners were there.

noelea on May 14, 2006 at 12:50 pm

do you ever go to cono’s pizza on Graham and Ainslie Street? I used to know the owners before they sold the place and moved to Long Island?

rdittus on May 13, 2006 at 4:32 pm

That name (Jerry Yellin) does not sound familiar. I’m a little bit younger (born in the early 1960’s), but have been in the neighborhood my whole life.

noelea on May 8, 2006 at 1:20 pm

Dear Bob D did you know a kid by the name of Jerry Yellin. He lived in the hood around the Rainbow. That moviehouse was closed by the time I went to Graham Ave to shop. I was born in 1945. Went to Graham Ave when I was 10 and older. I will go on that site and have some discussions. anniegirl.

rdittus on May 7, 2006 at 2:55 pm

The Rainbow was on Graham Avenue near Montrose. There is a lenghty discussion on this website for the Rainbow. Friends of our family that were close enough to be thought of as “aunt” and “uncle” actually ran the luncheonette on the block of the Rainbow in the mid-1960’s.

noelea on May 5, 2006 at 2:54 am

Dear Bob D I do not remember the rainbow theater, where was it located. the Commodore abandoned what a shame. That moviehouse was my Saturday hangout and also the Republic on Saturday’s. I now live on Long Island and the Multiplexes cannot compare to the old moviehouses of my youth. I miss them now. Anniegirl

rdittus on May 4, 2006 at 5:34 pm

I do live in the neighborhood and a typical route to work includes going past the Grand (McDonald’s), Graham (Medical Center), Republic (Shell Gas Station) and the Commodore (closed and looking more abandoned as time goes on) as I go to take the train over the Williamsburg Bridge. I have to check, but I do believe that my aunt may have either worked at or ran the luncheonette near the Rainbow Theater for a brief period of time in the mid 1960’s. I enjoy neighborhood history of any kind and I know that in the pre cable, VCR, and DVD times, the movie houses were an important part of people’s lives.

noelea on May 2, 2006 at 11:29 am

Hey does anyone who lived in the hood remember Louie’s Deli in Lee and Hewes street. From the movie looking south it was on the southeast corner next to the zipper hospital. Love my memory. anniegirl

noelea on May 2, 2006 at 11:25 am

Hi Lost Memory, I lived in this neighborhood all of my life. What a great place to grow up and I went to this moviehouse with my Mom we lived only 3 blocks away on Penn Street and Bedford Ave. anniegirl

noelea on May 2, 2006 at 11:24 am

Do you live in the neighborhood Bob D. anniegirl

rdittus on May 1, 2006 at 4:33 pm

I believe that it is still used as some kind of synagogue. I saw a building on that block that I thought had some very theater-like qualities on the outside. Now I will need to go back and take a closer look to make sure that the address matches.

louieb on April 5, 2006 at 7:47 am

Does anyone out there remember this theater? I went to this theater as a small child with my mother. My MOM went to this theater every time there was a new movie out. We lived on Penn Street and the movie was only 3 blocks away. There was an A&P Grocery Store across the street. Anniegirl louieb’s wife.
posted by louieb on Apr 5th, 2006

cjdv on October 4, 2004 at 6:09 am

The Lee Theatre opened around 1923 with a seating capacity of 550—sometimes given as 600. In the mid-1930s it was renamed the Model Theatre and closed in 1951. After the Model’s closing,the building was used at one point as a synagogue.