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Thread: After the final curtain: America's beautiful abandoned theaters.

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    Elite Member angelais's Avatar
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    Default After the final curtain: America's beautiful abandoned theaters.

    After the Final Curtain | Photographically documenting neglected and abandoned theaters throughout the United States

    I found this site to be really interesting. The photographer has photos of
    other theaters as well. Loew's Kings Theatre seems so beautiful to me.


    Loew’s Kings Theatre



    Auditorium of the Loew's Kings

    Loew’s Kings Theatre opened on September 7, 1929 and was designed by the architectural firm of Rapp and Rapp (also known for the Paramount Theater in Times Square) and decorated by Harold W. Rambush. It was operated by the Loew’s theaters chain, and, along with the Loew’s Jersey Theatre, Loew’s Paradise Theatre, the Loew’s Valencia Theatre and the Loew’s 175th Street Theatre, it was one of the five “Loew’s Wonder Theaters” in the New York metropolitan area.

    The lobby of the Loew's Kings Theatre

    The Kings introduced a few well known stars to their future craft. Many celebrities who grew up in Brooklyn worked as ushers in the 3,676 seat theater, including Sylvester Stallone, Barbra Streisand, and Henry Winkler.


    Loew’s dropped the Kings in August 1977 due to low attendance and high maintance costs, as well as the decline of the surrounding neighborhood. The Kings was passed over for many 1970s blockbusters, including Jaws and Star Wars. Instead, it showed mostly kung-fu and B-horror movies, films that were incapable of pulling in the massive audiences needed to sustain the theater. Already visibly deteriorating, the theater was sold in 1979 and later seized by the city for back taxes owed by the purchasing company.

    Hand carved mahogany adorns an exit to the lobby

    Numerous restoration proposals have been presented over the years – including one that would have turned part of the lobby into a wax museum – but only recently have any plans been made official. On February 2, 2010, the City of New York announced a $70 million renovation in partnership with ACE Theatrical Group of Houston to restore the Kings Theatre for use as a performing arts center by 2014.

    View of the Loew's Kings from the balcony

    The current plans call for the Kings’ interior spaces to be restored to their original 1929 splendor. Once reopened, the theater will be the third largest in New York City.

    One of the entrances to the auditorium



    One of the exits from the balcony


    Ornate chandeliers decorated the lobby


    Projector room of the Loew's Kings
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    Elite Member Brah's Avatar
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    Wow, that's really beautiful. I'd love to have gone there when it was open.

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    Glad they are planning to restore it to its former glory. It would be a tragedy if it was allowed to rot away.
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    Elite Member mtlebay's Avatar
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    So beautiful and ornate.
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    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    We have an old fashion theater like that in my town. AMC pulled out and there was talk of it being converted to office space. People formed a Save the Theater group and managed to get Clearview Cinemas to lease it. They have been in there for years now and it is so nice to have them. They did divide the theater so that there are now multiple movies shown at the same time but they left the exterior and lobby as they were and restored them. It costs a little more to see a movie there but I don't mind paying.

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    There was a fantastic theater I used to go to that is long gone and I miss it. It wasn't as ornate as the ones in the photos there but they had a bar at the back (ergo nobody under drinking age so no kids!) and served wings and things instead of the usual theater snacks. You'd get popcorn in a plastic basket too. No wasted packaging. Indie films, foreign films, old stuff. Great variety.

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    Elite Member Chilly Willy's Avatar
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    Old movie theaters make me melancholy. It's like an entire era going down the drain.
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    On the news last night they were just saying that Vancouver has the oldest vaudeville theatre in North America, and it's going to be torn down. It's called the Pantages and it's on the Downtown Eastside (I think this is the poorest postal code in North America, although going through some gentrification).

    Some people formed a group to try to save it, but they failed

    History of Vancouver - The Pantages in Vancouver

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