Groundbreaking for Loew’s Kings Theatre Restoration

Loew's Kings, ceiling above main lobby, April 2008

Today at noon Mayor Bloomberg, Borough President Marty Markowitz and other officials will attend the ceremonial groundbreaking for the $93 million restoration of the Loew’s Kings Theatre. The theater, which opened in 1929 and closed in 1978, has been in disrepair for decades. The start of these renovations have been a long time coming. Back in 2006 we wrote about the Economic Development Corporation’s request for expression of interest in renovating the theater. Three years ago the city decided to work with Houston-based ACE Theatrical Group, which has restored a number of historic theaters around the country. The new theater, when open, will host 250 performances and community events each year. The restoration is expected to be completed in late 2014.

B’klyn to get ‘the Next Apollo’ [NY Post] GMAP
Loew’s King Theater to be Restored [Brownstoner]
Developer Save the Kings
[Brownstoner]
A Chance to Bring Back an Old Brooklyn Gem
[Brownstoner]
Photo by tony10036

15 Comment

  • WOW…incredible!!!! Too bad it’s in the middle of nowhere! :)

    • Really? That’s funny, it’s a huge and vibrant neighborhood with many more residents than Bed Stuy as well as a college and medical school.

    • It’s in the heart of Flatbush which is smack dab in the center of Brooklyn, far from nowhere. It is indeed incredible and the remaining ornate detail is beyond belief. It’s going to rejuvanate the commercial corridor on Flatbush Avenue. Now is the time to buy commercial real estate nearby or negotiate a lease at today’s prices.

  • this is going to be wonderful.
    imagine, a historic theatre restored beautifully and not for a church!
    the ACE group has done just about every great theatre restoration in the country from San Antonio to DC to Boston.

  • I’ve been inside, and its one of the most colossal and amazing theaters I’ve ever seen. THis is going to be a major, major cultural asset to central Brooklyn. A 10 minute walk from PLG or Ditmas Park.

  • That was a bustling commercial area with several movie theaters, a small scale Macy’s Department Store, a still open Sears, a Loehmann’s discount store, a Jahn’s ice cream parlor and loads of other small stores. It was far from being a nowhere, but it was the heart of Brooklyn at one time.

  • Wow, that’s great. I’m so glad it’s finally happening. It’s not going to be “in the middle of nowhere” much longer. It’s about time people start visiting many more different parts of Brooklyn. Spread the love, and the wealth!

  • I have to agree with Dave, it’s in the middle of nowhere, but it will have parking.

  • “Once completed, the restored Loew’s Kings will be the largest indoor theater in Brooklyn, hosting concerts, plays, special events and graduations. It will be nothing less than a combination of the Beacon and the Apollo in one architectural jewel of a building-as well as a catalyst for economic growth along Flatbush Avenue and all of Central Brooklyn.”
    – Marty Markowitz.

    Gee, DIBS and Minard, I agree with you both on the “incredible” and “wonderful” comments. But, can we please put some brakes on the “nowhere” remarks? Nowhere to who? For the thousands who live and/or do business in the area, this location is indeed SOMEWHERE. Somewhere quite important in fact. And I’m betting lots of those thousands, (as well as those who will “dare” to commute there), will welcome a restored Loews Kings in these parts. So nice to see this part of Brooklyn getting some of the love MM mentions.

    • I went to the press conference/ribbon cutting today (bloomberg, markowitz, et all were all there), and spoke with the architect overseeing the restoration. The project is being partially funded by Goldman Sachs, via the same community development fund that is underwriting Mr. B’s 1000 Dean St. project. This is going to be a major game-changer for the entire neighborhood, and really a cultural gem for all of Brooklyn. It will be the second largest performance space in the borough after Barclays (1000 seats larger than the BAM Opera house.) And a much needed infusion of jobs and culture to this stretch of Flatbush. Mass transit is the sole inconvenience, since the nearest train is the Beverly Q. But for DIBS, who lived in Stuy Heights, to call this the middle of nowhere is just wrong. It’s going to be great.

  • “Middle of nowhere” is a term I’m certain the locals would dispute. I find it disrespectful, actually. It would be more honest to say that one is just lazy about visiting the larger city around them. I’ve been to Flatbush, and while it’s not “comparable” entertainment wise to more dynamic areas of NYC, it’s still hospitable territory. Middle of nowhere makes it sound like a rural community with cows.

  • This is going to be great. The only one of the Loew’s Wonder theaters yet to be saved and it will. The era of mid size houses, as opposed to arenas, has been here. When the Beacon was closed for renovation and then Cirque Du Soliel moved in with Banana Schpiel, the annual Allman Brothers show at the Beacon had to be moved to the United Palace, the former Loew’s 175th. The old Loew’s 175th was a “Wonder Theater” as well and had been owned by Reverend Ike since the early ’70′s. He has kept the place intact, restored the paint colors to original opening day colors, even the restroom signs are original. To keep this place up, and remember they are not paying real estate tax as it is a church, they began to rent it out. Too many people to list here have played the United Palace. At 3361 seats it is bigger than the Beacon (3154 seats) or the Kings (3192 seats) making the United Palace the second largest theater in the city, the Kings the third after Radio City Music Hall. All of these theaters are uniquely different but they acoustically superior to many newer houses, are all beautiful, special, and they are part of what makes New York City the greatest city in the world.

  • This is going to be great. The only one of the Loew’s Wonder theaters yet to be saved and it will. The era of mid size houses, as opposed to arenas, has been here. When the Beacon was closed for renovation and then Cirque Du Soliel moved in with Banana Schpiel, the annual Allman Brothers show at the Beacon had to be moved to the United Palace, the former Loew’s 175th. The old Loew’s 175th was a “Wonder Theater” as well and had been owned by Reverend Ike since the early ’70′s. He has kept the place intact, restored the paint colors to original opening day colors, even the restroom signs are original. To keep this place up, and remember they are not paying real estate tax as it is a church, they began to rent it out. Too many people to list here have played the United Palace. At 3361 seats it is bigger than the Beacon (3154 seats) or the Kings (3192 seats) making the United Palace the second largest theater in the city, the Kings the third after Radio City Music Hall. All of these theaters are uniquely different but they acoustically superior to many newer houses, are all beautiful, special, and they are part of what makes New York City the greatest city in the world.

  • This is going to be great. The only one of the Loew’s Wonder theaters yet to be saved and it will. The era of mid size houses, as opposed to arenas, has been here. When the Beacon was closed for renovation and then Cirque Du Soliel moved in with Banana Schpiel, the annual Allman Brothers show at the Beacon had to be moved to the United Palace, the former Loew’s 175th. The old Loew’s 175th was a “Wonder Theater” as well and had been owned by Reverend Ike since the early ’70′s. He has kept the place intact, restored the paint colors to original opening day colors, even the restroom signs are original. To keep this place up, and remember they are not paying real estate tax as it is a church, they began to rent it out. Too many people to list here have played the United Palace. At 3361 seats it is bigger than the Beacon (3154 seats) or the Kings (3192 seats) making the United Palace the second largest theater in the city, the Kings the third after Radio City Music Hall. All of these theaters are uniquely different but they acoustically superior to many newer houses, are all beautiful, special, and they are part of what makes New York City the greatest city in the world.