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   



Sunday, September 12, 2021

Loew’s Kings, 1027-1031 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn

 The Kings was one of the five "Wonder Theatres" built by Loew’s Inc. and named for  Robert Morton ‘Wonder Organ Installed in each. Four were constructed in New York City and one in Jersey City.

 
On January 7 1929, the Loew's Valencia, Jamaica, Queens,  would be the first of the Wonder Theatres to open its doors.  The Loew’s Kings was a joint-second, opening the same day, September 7, 1929 as the Loew’s Paradise in the Bronx.



Motion Picture News
, September 7, 1929:


Auditorium towards left, rear


Left proscenium wall



Proscenium and Stage


"Marking another significant advance of the major type motion picture playhouse into the neighborhood districts of large cities. This palatial cinema, with a seating capacity of 3, 900, styled in the period of the Italian baroque, is luxuriously equipped with every patron-convenience and apparatus for presentation of elaborate stage spectacles and sound motion pictures.--C. W. & Geo. L. Rapp, Architects [Loew's Kings]"



Interior 2019, Copyright Betty Sword. All rights reserved



Daily Mail, February 3, 2015:
“A once gilded Brooklyn movie palace that’s been crumbling for decades, with pigeons infesting its stage, is back-- again a glittering gem from the 1920s. Diana Ross headlines Tuesday’s opening night in the 3,200-seat Kings Theatre in the Flatbush neighborhood where a teenage Barbra Streisand spent afternoons enjoying double features.

“After a two-year, $95 million dollar renovation, every detail from its jazz age 1929 incarnation has come to life amid computerized sound and LED lighting. The theatre that first opened weeks before the Wall Street crash is now the largest in New York’s biggest borough.”














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   






 

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Meserole Theatre, 723 Manhattan Avenue

 The building that one housed the Meserole Theatre has been demolished. After closing as a cinema it became the Greenpoint Roller Palace from 1979-1986. After briefly serving as a discount store, the former theatre was an Eckerd Drug/Rite Aid, 1990-2020. An unsuccessful attempt was made to save the building.


1940 Tax Photo

Moving Picture World, November 12, 1921:
“The Meserole opened October 25, with the latest Power’s Type-E projectors and equipment as fine as money could buy. The house seats about 2,700 and the opening announcement of the management is interesting enough to warrant repetition. ‘There has been but one thought in the minds of the management of the Meserole Theatre—to present the finest productions of cinema-art, in deluxe surroundings at a price within the reach of all.’” 


Newspaper ad reproduced in Exhibitors Herald & Moving Picture World, March 3, 1928.


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   

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Nitehawk Cinema Prospect Park Opened

188 Prospect Park West
Brooklyn, NY

COVID prevention at the Nitehawk

 

 April 14, 2021:



Nitehawk Cinema

 

 

 

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    

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Halsey Theatre, 928 Halsey Street, Brooklyn

 Motion Picture News, December 12, 1925:

 


 "George Powell's effective lobby billboard of coming attractions in which cut-outs from the Fox annual trade paper insert were used attractively. The board was mounted in the lobby of the Halsey theatre, Brooklyn." 

 

 The Metamorphosis of a Brooklyn Block

 

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    

 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

On Stage at the New United

1940 Tax Photo

 

New United Theatre
207 Myrtle Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY
 
 

 

The Billboard, March 26, 1927:
“Midnight shows the first in theaters in this section as a regular thing are being played at the New United Theater, in Brooklyn, using colored attractions such as Shuffle Along, Seven Eleven and others.
“Walter Plimmer has been authorized to book the special late performances, which run from 12 o’clock to 2 in the morning, and in addition is furnishing the house with four acts (colored) every Tuesday night for what is called Plantation Night.” 

 

The Billboard, March 31, 1928:
“According to manager Anthony Costa [New United Theatre], four nights of vaudeville are booked from three different sources.
Walter Plimmer books the United on Saturday, Charles Rich supplies acts Friday and Sunday, and on Wednesday Costa himself books in Italian entertainment from various centers of suppl
y.”

 

One of thirteen Brooklyn movie houses in Motion Picture Heralds list of “388 Negro Theatres”, July 15, 1939:
“Motion picture theatres operated exclusively for negros.”

 

 

 

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