Thursday, May 26, 2022

The New Clinton

595 Clinton Street.
Brooklyn

The Exhibitor, March 20, 1940: 

"The new Red Hook low rent rental housing development, just completed by the New York City Housing Authority in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, was the incentive for the erection of this neighborhood deluxe house.

"The development, which replaces what were formerly junk and lumber yards and dilapidated buildings, will house 2500 families, all of whom are potential theatre patrons."

 


 "The exterior of this modern deluxe house is of various colored face brick laid with horizontal tooled joints and trimmed with cream colored terra cotta. The theatre entrance is at the corner of the building and is accentuated by a curved marquee and upright name sign of stainless steel and porcelain enamel. 

A glass block tower illuminated from behind with mercury vapor reflective lights adds further prominence to this corner of the building."

 


 "The standee room is partitioned from the auditorium by the standee rail and Venetian blinds.  Illuminated "Silence" signs have been placed over the entrance to each aisle to help insure comfortable hearing for those already seated."

 

"The auditorium and balcony are quite spacious and allow a total of 1644 seats with ample spacing back to back. Auditorium spacing is 34 inches, with the balcony spacing a minimum of 36 inches. All interior lighting is indirect with many beautiful effects being gained by a blending of colors through the dimmers."

 

Red Hook Houses 

 




Since 1997 theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle, has conducted a popular series of  theatre talks and walks, available for  historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.

Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres.
The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.
Currently seeking funding for “Editing & Formatting” the first three volumes of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, 3rd Edition

Goodreads

Medotcom  

 
 

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Art Theatre

 

954-958 Marcy Avenue


1939 Tax Photo

Excerpts from the Brooklyn Theatre Index, 3rd Edition, to be published 2022.

MAC DONOUGH THEATRE

October 29, 1913-1915 

The Brooklyn Eagle, “Business Opportunities”, September 27, 1914:
“Motion Picture Theater—For rent: first-class opportunity; 954 Marcy av, near Fulton st; open for inspection Sunday and Monday.”

 Real Estate Record and Builder’s Guide, March 3, 1917:

“Frederic Brown resold to Isaac Levin, 954 to 964 Marcy av, a moving picture theatre, with two stores, 77x115x51x120, recently required by him in an exchange with Stephen Hoff.”

 

(NEW) CLASSIQUE THEATRE

1916-1928

Seating Capacity: 550

Advertisement, The Weekly Chat, September 23, 1916:
“The Classique Theatre is now under the same controlling management as is now directing the Regent and the Colonnade of the Bedford section. We have taken this house for the simple reason that the Classique is one of the prettiest and best equipped houses in the city to present Photo Plays properly.”


ART THEATRE

1932-1946

Seating Capacity: 550 

The Film Daily, “Changes in Ownership”, May 27, 1935:
Art, 954 Marcy Ave. transferred to 954 Marcy Corp. by Koman Corp.”

Motion Picture Daily, March 8, 1939:
“I. T. Berg and Charles Friedman have purchased the stock of 954 Marcy Corp. operator of the Art, Brooklyn, from Harry Kutinsky and Morris Block.” 

Film Daily Yearbook, 1946, lists the Art as closed 



Proscenium, September 2015 (Photo: Ken Roe)


The former Art Theatre, September 2015 (Photo: Betty Sword)





Since 1997 theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle, has conducted a popular series of  theatre talks and walks, available for  historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.

Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres.
The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.
Currently seeking funding for “Editing & Formatting” the first three volumes of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, 3rd Edition

Goodreads

Medotcom   

Friday, January 21, 2022

Poitier onstage at the Bedford

 

The Brooklyn Eagle, August 12, 1951


The Brooklyn Eagle, August 2, 1951:
“Loew’s Bedford Theater announces the booking of two Broadway stage plays with all-star, all-Negro casts. First of the stage hits is Sidney Kingsley’s dramatic ‘Detective Story,’ starring Sidney Poittier [sic], star of the film ‘No Way Out,’ which premieres at the Bedford Wednesday, Aug. 8, for six days. Reserved seats will be scaled at one-third of the original Broadway price."

“Somerset Maugham’s ‘Rain’ starring Nina Mae McKinney, will open at the Bedford on Wednesday, Aug. 15.”


Loew's Bedford, Tax Photo 1939-1941


The New York Age, February 2, 1918:
“…there has been a growing tendency to be less liberal in the treatment of colored patrons in some theatres and public places since the court declared that a colored man has no right of recovery against a saloon-keeper who refuses to serve him.
     “Two days after word came from Albany relative to the Court of Appeals opinion the management of the Bedford Theatre, Brooklyn, adopted the policy of excluding colored people from the first floor, although prior to the court’s decision colored patrons were permitted to sit in any part of the house.”


Loew's Bedford
1372 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn

Sidney Poitier



Since 1997 theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle, has conducted a popular series of  theatre talks and walks, available for  historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.
Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres.
The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.
Currently seeking funding for “Editing & Formatting” the first three volumes of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, 3rd Edition

Goodreads

Medotcom   

Monday, December 6, 2021

The Brooklyn Theatre Fire, December 5, 1876

 With the loss of at least 278 lives, the Brooklyn Theatre fire is number three on the National Fire Protection Association's list of "the deadliest public assembly and nightclub fires in U. S. History."






 The Syracuse Daily, December 7, 1876:
"J. W. Thorpe, stage manager, states that the fire caught from a burner, the jets of which extend downward and conveyed fire to the drapery."

From an interview with Kate Claxton, Oswego Daily Times Express, December 19, 1885:
"By this time sparks were falling all over the stage and the fact that there was a fire behind the scenes could no longer be concealed from the audience. Still we continued the play. By the time I said 'You may beat me if you please, but you shall find that my will is stronger than your violence and I shall beg no more,' a panic had broken out in the auditorium and we saw that it was useless to attempt to proceed." 

Claxton did not escape over the heads of the audience as mentioned in the card above.

The greatest loss of life occurred in the upper gallery and along the stairways leading down. 

The testimony of G. A. Wiseman who "assisted in getting people out," Auburn Morning News, December 8, 1876:
"There was two separate stairways leading up there. As I got up to the first flight of stairs a lady coming down got her leg caught in the banister, a large man fell over her and others falling over him made a heap on which those in the rear piled. There were fully fifty or sixty persons packed in this heap at the front of the second flight of stairs." 

Excerpts from Fire Marshal Keady's "investigation," the Daily Register, Hudson, New York, December 15, 1876:
"If the audiences had been notified when first noticed by the stage hands, they could have escaped, and that the request of the actors to the audience to sit down, although well meant, was disastrous in its consequences."
"That the means of exit from the gallery was not good enough."
"That the fire was caused by a border scenery taking light from the border lights."

On December 8, 1876, 104 bodies were buried in a common grave at Greenwood Cemetery.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, December 8, 1876:
"There was a tremendous crowd assembled at Greenwood. As the cortege passed through the gate the bell of the tower tolled mournfully. On either side, along the pathways, on the hillsides and invading private plots, the people were there by hundreds and by thousands." 

Four years later a monument placed over the grave. 

The Herald, Pine Plaines, New York, November 24, 1880:
"The citizens of Brooklyn have erected in Greenwood cemetery a handsome monument to the memory of the victims of the Brooklyn theatre fire. One hundred and five unrecognizable bodies were buried in one lot in the cemetery." 




Since 1997 theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle, has conducted a popular series of  theatre talks and walks, available for  historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.
Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres.
The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.
Currently seeking funding for “Editing & Formatting” the first three volumes of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, 3rd Edition

Goodreads

Medotcom   




Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Now Playing at Your Local Century Theatre

 Flyer for the Century Theatre circuit, 1958




The above theatres exist now only in memory, demolished or closed and converted to a new use. 




Since 1997 theatre historian, Cezar Del Valle, has conducted a popular series of  theatre talks and walks, available for  historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc. Private walks also available.
Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres.
Currently seeking funding for “Editing & Formatting” the first three volumes of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, 3rd Edition

Goodreads

Medotcom   

Monday, October 18, 2021

Fabian Brooklyn Theatres

 Motion Picture Herald, July 24, 1937



Simon Fabian

Fox Theatre

Paramount

Strand




Since 1997 theatre historian, Cezar Del Valle, has conducted a popular series of  theatre talks and walks, available for  historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc. Private walks also available.
Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres.
Currently seeking funding for “Editing & Formatting” the first three volumes of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, 3rd Edition

Goodreads

Medotcom   

Friday, September 24, 2021

Prospect Hall

 263 Prospect Ave, Brooklyn



Prospect Hall was a building of historical and architectural importance. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it was not landmarked in New York City.

The Hall closed at the onset of the pandemic with owner Michael Halkias succumbing to COVID-19 two months later in May 2020.

In mid-July 2021, Prospect Hall was sold "as part of an assemblage"  to Angelo Rigas through his company Gowanus Cubes for 30 million.

A few weeks later Rigas filed permits  to demolish the properties including Prospect Hall.  

Local activists started a petition to save the building and a stop work order was placed on the demolition.

In September, the Landmarks Preservation Commission decided that  Prospect Hall had undergone too many architectural changes since opening in 1903 to qualify for preservation. They also noted that Angelo Rigas had already gutted much of the building's interior. 

Realtors and developers often move quickly to demolish a building in order to avoid landmarking.



Prospect Hall in the 1940s when it was the largest Polish National Home in the United States.


Ballroom, Prospect Hall, part of my 2007 walking tour of Park Slope theatres
 for the Brooklyn Center for the Urban Environment and Open House New York.



The ballroom, Gothamist, September 2, 2021



National Register of Historic Places

The Real Deal

Crescent Film Company




Since 1997 theatre historian, Cezar Del Valle, has conducted a popular series of  theatre talks and walks, available for  historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc. Private walks also available.
Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres.
Currently seeking funding for “Editing & Formatting” the first three volumes of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, 3rd Edition

Goodreads

Medotcom