Phillip's Lyceum Theatre

84-88 Montrose Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11206

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Germania Hall, Germania Theatre, The People's Theatre, Stubel and Fabbiani's New People's Theatre and H. R. Jacobs' New Lyceum Theatre

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As extensively documented in the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a large theatre existed at 84-88 Montrose Avenue, in Williamsburg, from - with a few breaks - 1870 through 1918. This establishment clearly reflected the tastes of the large German population that dominated this community during this time.

During most of its existence, this establishment hosted legitimate theatre and vaudeville. However, as noted in a July 2, 1916 Brooklyn Eagle article, the Lyceum Theatre had, by that time, become a "photoplay" theatre. This qualifies it for inclusion in this web site.

The site of the Lyceum Theatre is now included within the bounds PS250 opposite Frances Hamburger Sternberg Park (formerly Lindsey Park), which was extended north from its initial location as part of a 1960’s era Unban Renewal project.

Contributed by John Dereszewski

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

johndereszewski on January 30, 2011 at 10:47 am

When I was a student at Most Holy Trinity High School during the mid-1960’s we would play softball on an asphant covered field that, in all probability, included the old theater’s site.

The Urban Renewal Plan noted in the introduction dratically transformed the area and produced seven twenty-two story apartment buildings, named Lindsey Park, in what had previously been a low scale community dominated by the mighty steeples of Most Holy Trinity Church. While this project did replace some blight and definitely increased the amount of badly needed recreation space, alot was also lost.

Frances Hamburger Sternberg, after whom the park is now named, was a community leader who grew up in the area and lived in Lindsey Park. We both served for many years on Brooklyn Community Board 1. Also, the complex was named after a local City Alderman and NOT after Mayor Lindsey.

johndereszewski on January 30, 2011 at 10:57 am

Upon looking at the map, a possibility exists that the old theater was situated on the southeast side of Montrose and Leonard Street and not, as I initially surmised, on the southwest corner. This would place it within the current confines of PS 250. Before submitting the theater, I checked the school’s address and came across street number in 100-110 range. But since the school covers the entire block from Leonard to Manhattan Avenue, it could also have included the theater’s address. Given the lack of any other information, you really can’t tell for sure.

By the way, PS 250 was also constructed as part of the above noted Urban Renewal project.

johndereszewski on January 30, 2011 at 12:28 pm

well, I did what I should have done at the outset and checked the Building Dept. data base. The map was correct, and the old Phillip’s Lyceum was situated at the southeast corner of Monrose Ave. and Leonard St. and is now part of PS 250, with the park being situated across the street. Hopefully, the introduction will be changed accordingly. Sorry.

jflundy on January 30, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Hello John Dereszewski ..
There are a number of photos for sale, taken on March 11, 1928 along Manhattan Avenue, showing at least three theatres, posted on Ebay as of this date that may be of interest to you and other CT members. This link to page:
View link

johndereszewski on January 31, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Thanks so much JF for these treasures. I will peruse them very closely when I have a chance. I believe you have uncovered a rare view of the very old Garden Theatre. This is a great find!

Astyanax on May 2, 2017 at 7:31 pm

I’ve just come across the link provided by jflundy. Truly addictive, and potentially expensive. Thanks!

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