When I took these photos of the Loew’s Kings Theatre at 1025 Flatbush Ave. in Brooklyn, in the section of Flatbush known as Prospect Lefferts Gardens, I realized that it’s a cool building, but I didn’t realize just how special it was [and could be again].
A family member of mine had his high school commencement ceremony here [from Lincoln HS in Coney Island]. According to Wikipedia, Sylvester Stallone, Henry Winkler, and Barbra Streisand all worked as ushers here. The building is also the subject of a film documentary entitled Memoirs of a Movie Palace, although I can’t find any information about that.
The Loew’s Kings Theatre was designed by the Chicago-based architecture firm of Rapp and Rapp, and opened its doors in 1929 as one of the five Wonder Theatres built by Loew’s in NYC. It featured 3,700 seats and was the first such structure designed for “talking pictures.” The Loew’s Kings Theatre closed its doors in 1977 and is currently awaiting someone with a grand plan and deep pockets to restore it to its former glory and reinvent it for the present entertainment climate. The other four Wonder Theatres are currently cultural centers or churches, and this one, located on a fairly busy stretch of Flatbush Ave., is the only one that’s dormant and rotting.
Check out this 10-minute documentary about the building:
Learn more: basic information [check out the extensive comments for tons of updates], photo tour of the interior, organ information, and NYT article from a couple of years ago. There’s a lot more information about this structure online.