Loew's Pitkin Theatre

1501 Pitkin Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11212

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Loew's Inc.

Architects: Thomas White Lamb

Functions: Grade School, Supermarket

Styles: Atmospheric, Greek Revival

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News About This Theater

Loew's Pitkin Theatre in early 1930

The Loew’s Pitkin Theatre opened on November 23, 1929 with Elliot Nugent in “So This is College”, plus on-stage “Café de Paree” (originally created for the Capitol Theatre in Manhattan). Initially operating as a premier movie/stage show venue that eventually went to movies only it was advertised as a ‘Loew’s Wonder Theatre’ by 1930. Multi-tiered theatre with Greek statuary adorning the side walls and proscenium area. It had a Robert Morton 3 Manual, 14 Rank theatre organ too.

Unfortunately, the neighborhood went down, and the theatre’s fortunes went south as well. The Loew’s Pitkin Theatre was closed in November 1971 with Richard Roundtree in “Shaft” & Jim Brown in “The Split”.

It had a long stint as a church, but the congregation eventually moved out. The entry lobby was converted into retail space (later used as storage), but the theatre auditorium itself stood behind a fake wall that was installed in the foyer. Over the 40 years of neglect and dereliction the building gradually became a wreck.

In the Summer of 2010, the building was being prepared to be converted into a school and retail use, which was completed in September 2012.

Contributed by philipgoldberg

Recent comments (view all 295 comments)

tapeshare on July 2, 2017 at 2:26 pm

For all you fans who frequented Brownsville’s theaters I am pleased to announce the release of Brooklyn’s Historic Brownsville, a 228-page hardcover photographic history of Brownsville including images of the Pitkin, Sutter, Ambassador, Stone and others, as well as the schools, synagogues and institutions that were the heart of this neighborhood. For more details visit www.tapeshare.com/BrownsvilleBook.html

luckyshow on August 23, 2017 at 6:03 pm

It doesn’t look any worse than the Loew’s King does in pictures I’ve seen. To gut the inside is hardly restoration, the inside was the most of these theaters.

I recall seeing movies here as a kid, Gi GI was one my grandmother brought me to. The ceiling sky fascinated me.

What made the “wonder theaters” like the King different than Pitkin?

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on August 24, 2017 at 7:09 am

When they turned it into a school did they incorporate a gymnasium in there someplace? If they did I’m sure they didn’t save any of the interior. I’m just interested in how they might have fit it into the new design.

Luis Vazquez
Luis Vazquez on August 25, 2017 at 8:22 am

I don’t believe any of the interior survived, only the exterior.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on December 3, 2017 at 8:20 pm

Thanks Luis. I was only trying to envision how they reused all that space in the building, and if it was an effective redesign. I’m sure none of the interior was saved. It was junk at the end.

dfc on February 7, 2018 at 11:44 am

Loews Pitkin building recently sold for $53M. http://www.brooklyneagle.com/articles/2018/2/7/revamped-loews-pitkin-movie-theater-brownsville-treasure

Samson on June 2, 2018 at 9:32 am

Of course it went South, the neighborhood changed. Anyone see a pattern? The Pitkin was a great theatre when my Mom was growing up in the 40’s, it’s a ghetto now.

Orlando on April 10, 2019 at 8:39 am

Overview should be changed to “closed in November 1971 with the final film being "SHAFT” and “THE SPLIT” with Jim Brown". Late sixties can be construed to any date after January 1968. The Palace which opened in 1925 closed in 1969/70 making it the longest in business. The Palace played “Planet Of The Apes” in ‘68 and “The Detective” in late '69 listed in NY Post Movie Guide in November, just to set the record straight as true as it can be. Please. please change the Overview. It also makes Cinema Treasures professional with facts updated when they are really incorrect.

Orlando on April 10, 2019 at 8:41 am

Correcting myself… the Palace opened in 1915, forgive typo in last post

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on December 31, 2019 at 10:48 am

An ad for the Pitkin’s first New Year’s Eve presentation in 1929 can be viewed here

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