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Regal Entertainment Group was in the process of building a new theater on this site, (building permits were filed, and architectural plans were drawn up) when prospective buyers showed up at their door waving millions of dollars for this property.
They then decided its better to take the money and run, and as a result the UA Marboro property is currently being sold off, the dollar signs in their eyes were far greater than providing this community with a decent place to see a movie.
Regal Entertainment Group (Regal, U.A., Edwards) is legendary for running their older theatres straight into the ground.
Here is their viewpoint as stated in the 2002 Regal Entertainment Group Annual Report: â€œOur strong cash flow from efficient operations combined with the limited need to make maintenance expenditures and a conservative capital structure, provide us with significant flexibility to pursue and execute our future growth opportunities.â€
Frankly, Iâ€™m surprised this place managed to survive as long as it did after the UA-Regal-Edwards merger back in 2002.
No curtains were working as far as I could see, but plenty of neon and not any pink marble, like most of the Manhattan Cineplex’s had.
The Fortway was triplexed in 1979 and Fiveplexed in 1981. Cineplex Odeon did a big renovation when they took over, with the purple walls in the theatres, blue, purple and black carpeting and the blue velvet seats, plus new poster cases everywhere. All these items were very similar to the Worldwide Plaza as I seem to remember. This renovation of the Fortway took place in the late eighties when Garth was spending money on theatres like there was no tomorrow. I guess thats what got Cineplex Odeon into trouble.
I could see one disadvantage to this theatre from a projectionists viewpoint, the projection booths for all of the theatres were separated from each other. It must have been quite a job to get all the projectors going at the begining of all the shows.
The February 13th 1995 Issue of New York Magazine rated the Sony Theatres Oriental “The Best in Brooklyn”, here is what they had to say about the screen (size, whiteness): “The landmark theatre has been hacked into three theatres, all with semi-grand screens; the largest is 37' x 17'”.
And here is the assesment about the seats (comfort, legroom, views): “Old and creaky, but you have an excellent chance of scoring some extra legroom in one of the upper cinemas (in what used to be the theatre’s balcony), and the raking is spendidly steep”.
Thanks for the info CocoBoy, it must have been nice to have gone bowling before or after watching your movie at the Fortway. In the Real Estate listing the mention underground parking, I guess that will be where the Bowling Alley once was.
Golden was a two-partner business that started the dollar theatre policy in Brooklyn with the Oceana, Graham, Granada, Rugby and the Highway. They also owned the Alpine, Olympia and the Fortway, additionally they also operated the Quad in Greenwich Village for a while. Eventually one of the partners died of cancer and the small theatres in the chain were either closed or sold off.
Theaterat: The Fortway’s last day was actually on Sunday June 19th, when I went there on June 21 all of the theatre signage was removed. All we have now is the Alpine and with the merger who knows how long that will be around for?
The Brooklyn Public Library has a picture of the Fortway from 1942, unfortunately it does not come up online, I guess I will have to trek over to Grand Army Plaza for a photocopy.
Where was the bowling alley exactly? All I seem to remember is before the CVS Pharmacy, it was an Associated Supermarket.
And they got to run it until the 1998 merger with Loews Theatres. This also means Loews Cineplex ran the Fortway Theatre the last seven years of it’s Life.
The Kingsway was originally part of the Century Circuit, which included the following Brooklyn Theatres: Avalon, Patio, Midwood, Mayfair, Marine, Albermarle, Farragut, Nostrand, Rialto, Elm, College, Triangle, Vouge, Parkside & Quentin.
Thanks br91975, the last Golden Theatres that I remember were the Benson & Oceana. I know the Benson closed in 1988, but can’t seem to put a year on when exactly the Oceana closed.
The UA Marboro was at one time part of the Randforce Theatres Circuit, which also included the Savoy, Walker, Duffield, Clinton, Ridgewood, Colonial, Beverly & Culver Theatres.
The Fortway in the 70’s & 80’s was run by Golden Theatre Management, Does anyone know when Cinplex Odeon took over the Fortway?
I know Cineplex took over the RKO Century Circuit in September 1986, which gave them control over the now closed Kenmore & Kingsway Theatres.
Also this was one of the few theatres to be equipped for 70mm films in Brooklyn along with the RKO Century Kingsway.
The Loew’s Circuit transferred control of the Alpine to Golden Theatre Management circa 1985, Does anyone know when Cineplex Odeon took over to run the Alpine?
It always was better to see a flick here than the Alpine. I wonder if it did good business, the final year they only had evening showtimes on weekdays.
Was it run by Cineplex Odeon at that time? It looks like it’s been closed for a while.
I emailed Loews Cineplex Entertainment about what exactly had happened to the Fortway Theatre, this is the responce I had gotten back from them:
“Unfortunately, we have returned the theatre back to its landlord. In
the long term, this plan will make our circuit stronger and more profitable.”
Does anyone here remember the Alpine Ice Cream Parlor around the corner from the Alpine Theatre on Bay Ridge Avenue? The sign is still there along with the entrance, but the windows and doors are covered up with paint.
lostmemory, where exactly do you get this type of information? I try using the ACRIS & BIS lookup, but I am unable to get such detailed information. By the way in ACRIS I do see that the mortgage was held by RKO Century Warner, I wonder who bought the Fortway?
Other theatres in the Interboro Ciruit included the Canarsie, Park, Kismet, Bershire, Coliseum, Sumner, State, Harbor, Ritz & the Lincoln as well as the Fortway. The tagline for the Interboro Circuit Brooklyn Theatres was “Always The Best In Entertainment”.
Went by the Fortway tonight, it’s gone for sure. The side Marquee signs that read Cineplex Odeon Fortway have been taken down & the front of the marquee where the Cineplex Odeon letters and Fortway name were have been taken off and painted an ugly gray color to obsure the name. The marquee now basically sits blank, it does not even say “CLOSED”.
All of the poster cases outside and in the lobby are now empty, as is the mylar sign above the entrance doors that used to give you the name of the films playing and their repective showtimes. The security gates in front of the theatre were rolled up & all the lights were on.
As I walked around the building I saw two men working inside carrying theatre equipment into a car, I guess what ever can be salvaged is going to either the Alpine or Kings Plaza, the only two Loews Cineplex theatres left in Brooklyn. Pretty soon you will never be able to tell the Fortway was ever a Movie Theatre at all. I wonder if the Marquee will be kept in the new design?
Farewell Fortway, Thanks for entertaining generations of Brooklyn movie fans, we will miss you!
What is to be the fate of the Former Cineplex Odeon Fortway theatre, here is the listing straight from the [url=http://consumeralertsystem.com/cas/zx-hclick.php?hid=32]Massey Knakal website/url], it is as follows:
6720 Fort Hamilton Parkway, Brooklyn, NY (On the Corner of Fort Hamilton Parkway and 68th Street) Under Contract
Commercial Buildings,Special Use,Outer Boroughs
Rent is competitive!!A two story, 33' theatre delivered vacant located on the corner of Fort Hamilton Parkway and 68th Street. The 21,866 SF building is zoned C1-1 overlay of a R5 zone. The FAR is 1.25. This former movie theatre is being converted into first class retail/office space. On-site, underground parking will be provided. The space is available immediately; units from 1,000 to 40,000 square feet are being offered either as shell space or on a build to suite basis. Asking Price: Competitive Rent Representative/s: Timothy D. King
It is with great sadness that I inform everyone here that the Cineplex Odeon Fortway Theatre has closed. I spoke with Loews Cineplex directly, they said it’s no longer their property and the lease was up so they had to leave. In the final months they only showed movies on weekdays in the evenings and one of the upstairs theatres was closed for repair.
The last films that played here were: The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D, The Honeymooners, The Longest Yard & The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
Another Brooklyn movie theatre is nothing but a memory now. Now all that we have is the Alpine and with the pending merger who knows how long that will last?
At least I have all my great memories of seeing great movies at the Fortway. Farwell Fortway, may you Rest In Peace!
Fortway Theatre 1927-2005
There actually was a permit filed with the NYC Dept. of Buildings for the Repair and Upgrade Of the Existing Marboro Theatre back in June 2003 by the same design firm that handled the retrofit of the Sheepshead Bay, so I do believe it was on the drawing board at one point. Probably after carefull consideration they decided that it was just better to sell this property than to do the upgrade. It’s really a shame, Bensonhurst now will have no movie theatres at all.